Lo­cal fuel please

The Northland Age - - Opinion -

Ge­off Vause is cor­rect on at least two counts in his let­ter ‘A tar­get shared’ (March 7).

It cer­tainly is use­ful (and some­what rare) to dis­cuss these mat­ters calmly in a pub­lic fo­rum: and Waste to En­ergy (W2E) must surely play a part in our tran­si­tion to a low-car­bon sus­tain­able econ­omy.

I fully sup­port in­creased use of rail trans­port — in­deed, I be­lieve it’s in­evitable — and a des­ig­nated pur­pose for ad­di­tional rail-freight is a sound idea worth ex­plor­ing; but, once again, I ques­tion whether W2E needs to be highly cen­tralised?

Ge­off rec­om­mends one plant in the South Is­land and two in the North. Why not one in ev­ery dis­trict or com­mu­nity board ‘ward’? Or one in ev­ery com­mu­nity with a size­able land­fill, ‘tip’ or refuse re­cy­cling cen­tre?

Elec­tric­ity gen­er­a­tion and dis­tri­bu­tion is an­other as­pect of our ‘in­fras­truc­tured lives’, which is cur­rently un­der pres­sure to lo­calise, in­clud­ing down to the in­di­vid­ual dwelling level.

A smaller grid-tied W2E plant

might power my lo­cal bio­fuel pro­duc­tion fa­cil­ity — fur­nished with biomass from nox­ious weeds, plants and trees har­vested along the road­side — and also pro­vide (cheaper) elec­tric­ity for the sur­round­ing area, sell­ing any ex­cess back to the na­tional grid.

A tidal gen­er­a­tor at The Nar­rows near Ko­hukohu would ap­parently pro­vide power for the whole Hokianga and be­yond.

Ge­off is cor­rect about not marginal­is­ing W2E though and about Just Tran­si­tion. The world has been held to ransom by the oil in­dus­try for over a cen­tury, while to­day some re­searchers es­ti­mate that hemp grown on just 6 per cent of Amer­ica’s arable land would pro­vide that na­tion’s en­tire en­ergy needs.

Around where I live the war

against arundo donax, privet, gin­ger, pam­pas, to­bacco weed and oth­ers looks al­most lost. Arundo is over-run­ning the road­way in places. We’ll prob­a­bly spray co­pi­ous quan­ti­ties of car­cino­genic poi­son on it — like coun­cil does now on a one-me­tre strip at the curb — which they also oc­ca­sion­ally mow, ig­nor­ing 20m of road re­serve, thus fur­ther con­tam­i­nat­ing our whenua, awa and moana, rather than con­vert this un­wanted veg­e­ta­tion into nec­es­sary and highly saleable prod­ucts — bio­fuel and en­ergy — while em­ploy­ing and train­ing lo­cal labour. WALLY HICKS


NSW-AMA Pres­i­dent, the ef­fec­tive­ness of medic­i­nal cannabis for treat­ing pain and other health prob­lems was still not proven: “All doc­tors tend to be con­ser­va­tive and err on the side of safety . . . to make sure as doc­tors we first do no harm to our pa­tients.” Sounds a bit like a Tui ad? Deny­ing cannabis, which has not killed any­body in the last 11,500 years, and pre­fer­ring to pre­scribe opi­ates which kill ap­prox­i­mately 40,000 peo­ple a year in the US, and codeine, which is known to cause con­sti­pa­tion and have se­da­tion ef­fects where peo­ple can be­come deliri­ous, does not sup­port the as­ser­tion “first do no harm”.

This whole de­bate is a lit­tle like the “pre­his­toric” de­bate on

the birth con­trol pill, where women would go to their doc­tor who would refuse to pre­scribe it, or would de­mand a priest would also at­tend the con­sul­ta­tion.

Then there were those who, if they at­tended their lo­cal chemist, would be hu­mil­i­ated by those serv­ing be­hind the counter when ask­ing for con­doms. They would have to go to an out-of-town chemist.

These is­sues would sound bizarre to those born af­ter 1965. Yet it is fa­mil­iar to those of us who are se­niors, and who are now fight­ing for the right to grow cannabis for health is­sues. Most doc­tors will not pre­scribe, and the des­per­ate are forced to chal­lenge the Mis­use of Drugs Act if they want to re­gain/re­tain their qual­ity of life, at the risk of in­car­cer­a­tion.

We fought for the right to have birth con­trol le­gal, and now we are fight­ing for the right to con­trol our health is­sues. BEV­ER­LEY ALDRIDGE / KATH­LEEN PATTINSON Se­niors’ Voice, Ota­matea the­ory 1500 years be­fore. Of course Colum­bus didn’t re­ally know where he was when he got there, and it took Mag­el­lan to con­clude the ex­per­i­ment later and give us the proof that the world was round.

Not long af­ter this, Galileo was thrown in pri­son for be­liev­ing the ev­i­dence of his science. Then came the “mini ice age” which we now be­lieve to have been caused by the low sunspot count of the Maun­der min­i­mum. The present sunspot min­i­mum is the low­est for 100 years but I don’t see any ice­bergs in the bay.

“The sunspot num­ber is the only di­rect record of the evo­lu­tion of the so­lar cy­cle over mul­ti­ple cen­turies and is the long­est sci­en­tific ex­per­i­ment still on­go­ing” — In­ter­na­tional As­tro­nom­i­cal Union press re­lease, Au­gust 7, 2015.

There is an­other ex­per­i­ment which could di­rectly mea­sure the hu­man in­put to cli­mate change: re­move all the hu­mans from the planet and ob­serve the mean tem­per­a­ture, at­mo­spheric CO2 lev­els and all other rel­e­vant pa­ram­e­ters. The method of this ex­per­i­ment would also al­low mea­sure­ment of hu­man causal­ity for the quan­tity of plas­tic in the oceans, and the mass ex­tinc­tions presently oc­cur­ring of in­sects and birds.

To get mean­ing­ful re­sults, the ex­per­i­ment would have to run for sev­eral hu­man gen­er­a­tions. What would hap­pen to all the peo­ple? Some be­lieve there is an op­er­a­tional sta­tion on the far side of the moon, aban­doned by the Nazis in 1945. Whether it could be ex­panded to con­tain 7 bil­lion oc­cu­pants is be­yond the scope of this ex­er­cise. PETER KERR

Okai­hau Is­lam what it is — an ide­ol­ogy that de­mands the to­tal dom­i­na­tion and destruc­tion of all other re­li­gions and world views — we will con­tinue on with our semi-anaes­thetised sur­ren­der.

While Is­lamic “ex­trem­ists” are the true face of Is­lam, the most dan­ger­ous are Hi­jrah Ji­hadists or ‘Civil­i­sa­tion Ji­hadists’, the great Tro­jan horses of Is­lam. Slowly, over cen­turies, or even just a few decades, as in mod­ern Western Eu­rope, they in­fil­trate al­ter­na­tive so­ci­eties un­til their crit­i­cal pop­u­la­tion mass is such that they can make ever-in­creas­ing de­mands for Mus­lim Sharia Law to take pri­or­ity over Western law — in­stance the No Go Zones in France, Bel­gium and Eng­land. (No Go Zones, by for­mer Mus­lim Ra­heem Kas­sam).

Rather than deal with the in­ter­nal

strife caused by Mus­lims, Western gov­ern­ments choose the path of least re­sis­tance, and ac­qui­esce to the de­mands of ever more vo­cif­er­ous Mus­lim pop­u­la­tions. By com­ply­ing with gov­ern­men­tal di­rec­tions that Mus­lim at­tacks on host pop­u­la­tions largely not be re­ported, or at best smudged over, and through their own self-im­posed cen­sor­ship, the me­dia du­ti­fully play along.

The re­sult is the in­evitable weak­en­ing of a host cul­ture’s laws and the by-de­fault, piece-by-piece in­tro­duc­tion of Sharia Law, a law which among so many other things de­mands fe­male gen­i­tal mu­ti­la­tion (For­mer Mus­lim Noni Dar­wish, Cruel and Usual Pun­ish­ment).

This hor­ren­dously cruel prac­tice is some­thing that the mod­ern stri­dent fem­i­nists, so long as for the mo­ment it is not oc­cur­ring to them, seem not to care about.

In our me­dia-fu­elled and rad­i­cally lib­eral head­long rush to em­brace cul­tural rel­a­tivism (the view that the moral po­si­tions within any cul­ture can­not be chal­lenged by those out­side that cul­ture), we are in ef­fect giv­ing a free pass to an ide­ol­ogy the fol­low­ers of which seek to de­stroy us.

“As the (circa) 1400-year Is­lamic Ji­had against the free world con­tin­ues to ad­vance, the best al­lies of the war­riors of Ji­had are the very peo­ple that they have in their sights.” (Robert Spencer, The His­tory of Ji­had) — a di­rect ref­er­ence to the me­dia and the lib­eral left.

Doubt­less apol­o­gists for Is­lam will re­spond to the above views with their usual re­ply that they are ev­i­dence of racism, Is­lam­o­pho­bia or re­li­gious in­tol­er­ance — none of which ad­dress the ac­tual is­sues.

The shrill call of racism is of course ridicu­lous. Mus­lims are of all races, in­clud­ing the one with which I might iden­tify.

The no­tion of Is­lam­o­pho­bia is equally laugh­able. Pho­bias are ir­ra­tional fears. Is there any­thing ir­ra­tional in fear­ing an ide­ol­ogy, the fol­low­ers of which are in­structed to over­come non-be­liev­ers in its name un­til only Mus­lims and those who are in servi­tude to them (Dhim­mis) in­habit the planet?

The hyp­o­crit­i­cal, self-right­eous ac­cu­sa­tion of re­li­gious in­tol­er­ance is equally vac­u­ous. Is there any de­mo­graphic more com­mit­ted to in­tol­er­ance than the fol­low­ers of Mo­hammed, be it to­wards non-be­liev­ers or even to­wards many of those within their own ide­ol­ogy?

If the me­dia can ac­quire the in­tegrity and the in­ves­tiga­tive nous to read the texts on which all Is­lamic prac­tices are ir­re­vo­ca­bly based, then they might, if they had the guts to do so, strive to de­fend the free­doms that are so eas­ily taken for granted — ones that mil­lions of ear­lier gen­er­a­tions gave their lives to de­fend — free­doms that Is­lamic Sharia Law, if not re­sisted, will even­tu­ally deny fu­ture gen­er­a­tions. K Mc­NAUGHTON


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