Local fuel please
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