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jamesc

Irrigation

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My morning routine is not a run like Trevs, but rather, boiling the billy and making coffee. And while all that is happening I crank up the computer and see whats wot in the world.

This morning an article caught my eye .... Greenpeace protesters shackled to the vast irrigation pipes not far from us that are destined for the Central Plains Irrigation Scheme.

Curiosity being what it is, I went for a look see. This used to be our primo Bee country ... clover country where we produced comb honey for "Export" ..... we used to run over 600 hives on the plains, until the dairy boys and girls moved in and all of a sudden the grass was too green and the clover too long to yield an economic amount of honey.

So I cruised on down Plantation road to the site of civil disturbance and came across local people, activists and members of the police having a standoff from two sides of the road, along with two suits from the contracted company to build the scheme worried that downtime is lost time and it all cost money. I stopped for a chat with activists ,mainly because I had'nt had a run in with the cops for a while and recognized one of the female activists. Their main complaint was that the police presence could have been better. I thought seven or eight cop cars was'nt a bad turnout !

Anyway ... where am I going to here ? Much as I dislike dairying, I have a lot of respect for Small boy's rugby coach who involved in the industry and has turned our young team around this year. And of course,the cows produce the money that pays for both Auckland and Wellington's new roads, not to mention a plentifull supply of drugs that far surpasses the potency of Heroin, I do wonder.

When I was younger and single I travelled to Pakistan to partake of daring deeds in the Hindu Kush and picked up a book of the political history of that country.

The thing that caught my eye was that in the late 1800's the British built the most massive irrigation scheme sourcing water from the Indus and Jhelum rivers to water and grow wheat and cotton on over 9,000,000 acres. The Punjab became the powerhouse of the subcontinent.

Today over 50% of that land is now degraded and sterile.

So, while Greenpeace got to Plantatation road several years too late, the fact remains that we have obviously not learnt from history. At this time of year the Canterbury plains are a putrid land of mud that wreeks of cow poo and kale which we seem to be hell bent on consigning to become a sterile desert within the next hunderd years that will be fit for nothing except growing houses on ..... and that will be a very sad day indeed. The saving grace is that I'm picking I won't be here to see it.

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you could always buy your own land and put it in clover

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you're missing the point ....:)

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i get your point. and yes dairying has a lot to answer for when it comes to environmental impact. but unless people are willing to stop having milk in there coffee i doubt it is going to change.

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unless people are willing to stop having milk in there coffee i doubt it is going to change.

I agree. It'll take a law change or a massive shift of mindset amongst the greedy people.

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It'll take a law change

 

spoken like a good communist

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Unbridled growth is bad for the planet. A small cow shed in every village would have no impact. Turning New Zealand into one big cow shed so that no one else needs cows. .. we'll know soon.

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Hmmmm .... what really surprised me was when I went into the Fonterra tent at one of the fielddays here a few years ago and they showed what they made from milk .... dried milk, butter, yoghurt, but then it came it became really interesting, like the components for plastics and pharmaceuticals.

But then there's the bigger picture. For us,the bees don't matter on the plains anymore. We've moved on. But we notice that houses are habitated by migrant workers who are there for a season and move on , and the houses look derelict , year after year.

The shelterbelts are gone and with them the diversity. The rivers are dry one minute and a raging flood the next. The Nor'west rages and the topsoil is gone. The landscape has become a medium of monoculture, and there is no beauty in it. And without beauty, what is left in life ?

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Well said @jamesc ! @nab is right though of course, anyone who should even think that we all should not grab, grasp and connive every last dollar for our own selves at the expense of the well being of all others is indeed just a rotten commie :eek:. It matters not a damn what is (or is not) left for our grand kids after climate change and man wreaks it's best. Hope your not occupying low lying ground nab old chap.

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Absolutely agree but some how we are educated/brainwashed into thinking that we need to be a big prodution engine room. Give it time the powers to be at Lincoln uni have assured me in time the canterbury plains will become a seed basket producing carrot, pak choy etc etc seeds for the rest of the world and our bees will be back in demand on the canterbury plains again. Myself I have never understood why we take on huge amounts of debt to feed burgeoning populations for them to come buy us out.

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If we put just a fraction of the water taken for irrigation into bottles and sold it as snow fed drinking water we would make a hang of a lot more money from it with a lot less environmental impact.

I'm a keen salmon/trout fisher person and to see the Rakaia, Waimak, Ashburton, Rangitata, Selwyn and so many others in the state they are in now makes me very angry.

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i get your point. and yes dairying has a lot to answer for when it comes to environmental impact. but unless people are willing to stop having milk in there coffee i doubt it is going to change.

 

It's not the milk in my coffee that's the problem. It's the ####ty mozzarella on pizza in China

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The great Green dessert.

I was told by a tit puller the other day that furt is still the cheapest supplement they can feed their cows.

They wanted to put hives on the stinking place and where surprised when I told them no.

One, no clover was amongst the tall strands of green blades of McDonalds grass

Two, one of the first things that they asked is how much I would pay per hive and how many I could fit on their open sewer.

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While the early examples of mass irrigation have not ended well there are other reasons for it (and most of them aren't an issue in NZ)

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ahem...

*couNATIONALgh*

Our friends in government have decided that growing our economy is the most important thing at the expense of all the other things.

Pretty standard National tactic I would say, and without trying to be rude and offensive because sure it takes all sorts and we need everyone's views, and of course, majority rules.

 

But National is a self interested bunch. And to me this is where most of our problems are going to arrise in the future because stupid National sold all our stuff and allowed it to be sold.

At the time it was a good idea sure, but did they think about 20 years from now? I bet not.

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And of course,the cows produce the money that pays for both Auckland and Wellington's new roads, not to mention a plentifull supply of drugs

 

This sounds like the "trickle down theory" that we heard about when I was a lot younger. In the subsequent 40 years or so, I think it has been conclusively proven that "trickle down" doesn't work and doesn't exist.

 

Aside from Canterbury rivers, they have been reduced to less than a trickle..

 

 

Oh and National (?) well they keep "Thinking Big" and that worked out like the trickle down theory too.

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I have not been to Canterbury for 20yrs.

I used to live along the banks of the waimak and had family on the Ashley .

What I remember most of the landscape on the regular trips to Christchurch were the conifer hedges.

I was always amazed at how they pruned them into walls , and how high up the machines could cut .

Are the hedges gone ?

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Get planting then ;)

She lives 200 miles away.:)

That is so north island to think we all live within a few miles of each other.:lol

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Someone told me that when you travel in the North Island there's heaps of towns between the main centres is this right?

How sad is it that I haven t seen the NI yet :( it actually seems like a whole different country.

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Someone told me that when you travel in the North Island there's heaps of towns between the main centres is this right?

How sad is it that I haven t seen the NI yet :( it actually seems like a whole different country.

Your not missing much lol

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For the most recent year that data is available (2013) from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, New Zealand's largest company used 410,000 tonnes of coal to turn liquid milk into powder, earning total revenue of $22 billion in 2014. Altogether the dairy industry burns 512,811 tonnes of coal.

 

Based on one tonne of coal producing 2.86 tonnes of carbon dioxide, Fonterra's coal-powered factories pump out 1.17 million tonnes of the climate warming gas. Add to that its gas-powered plants and tanker fleet, and the company becomes one of New Zealand's top greenhouse gas polluters.

 

And thats before you factor in the methane from the cows.

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Deleted post. I'd best not start.

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Someone told me that when you travel in the North Island there's heaps of towns between the main centres is this right?

How sad is it that I haven t seen the NI yet :( it actually seems like a whole different country.

I always thought the same Frazz, but you know what, once you get off the main drag there are lots of neat places tucked away in the hills. One of the good things to come out of our time as corporates up north was that I got to see a whole heap of country. I think my most favorite was Taumaranui - on the main trunk line. We stayed in the motorcamp cabins there for weeks . They have a great swimming hole in the river right out the back door. Next best place is Opotiki .... the local indians cook a mean curry and the views East from the beach is just awesome.

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