31 thoughts on “Sandpit

  1. Everything is getting Better & better, Worse & worse, Faster & faster. Bbwwff Link below.

    Re JQ’s post “Wong way to think about elections”, while replying to J-D / Nick AleD with my “thinking” I came across; Sociology of spaces. And I think Ikon quotes Harvey?

    “Sociology of Spaces.
    “Marxist approaches

    “The most important proponent of Marxist spatial theory was Henri Lefebvre. He proposed “social space” to be where the relations of production are reproduced and that dialectical contradictions [*kt2-1] were spatial rather than temporal.[13] Lefèbvre sees the societal production of space as a dialectical interaction between three factors. Space is constituted:

    – by “spatial practice,” meaning space as reproduced in everyday life
    – by the “representation of space”, meaning space as developed cognitively
    – and by “spaces of representation,” by which Lefebvre means complex symbolisations and ideational spaces.

    In Lefebvre’s view of the 1970s, this spatial production resulted in a space of non-reflexive everydayness marked by alienation, dominating through mathematical-abstract concepts of space, and reproduced in spatial practice. Lefebvre sees a line of flight from alienated spatiality in the spaces of representation – in notions of non-alienated, mythical, pre-modern, or artistic visions of space.

    Marxist spatial theory was given decisive new impetus by David Harvey, in particular, who was interested in the effects of the transition from Fordism to “flexible accumulation” on the experience of space and time.[14] He shows how various innovations at the economic and technological levels have breached the crisis-prone inflexibility of the Fordist system, thus increasing the turnover rate of capital. This causes a general acceleration of economic cycles. According to Harvey, the result is “time-space compression.” While the feeling for the long term, for the future, for continuity is lost, the relationship between proximity and distance becomes more and more difficult to determine.”

    The third factor above “spaces of representation,” by which Lefebvre means complex symbolisations and ideational spaces” is imo where to place politics. 

    And “have breached the crisis-prone inflexibility of the Fordist system, thus increasing the turnover rate of capital” provide impetus for capital to turn into neolibralism, which just gets bbwwff – the phrase generated by Tom Atlee – https://www.co-intelligence.org/crisis_fatigue.html

    The quote; “Everything is getting better and better, worse and worse, faster and faster” is an apt descriptor of of capital, society, and political impetus as it is currently. And my feeling of crisis fatigue. And belies the rebuttal people make by saying “everything is getting better – less poverty les wars” which allows for covering up the poor humans transitioning from 2c a day to the dole in Australia let alone those in nursing homes or disproportionately beingneffected by climate change! The statistics about a better world are remiss and dismiss the trasition of those on the downside. And so the statement privatise the loss is perpetuated until revolution.

    kt2-1 “Dialectic may be contrasted with the didactic method, wherein one side of the conversation teaches the other. Dialectic is alternatively known as minor logic, as opposed to major logic or critique.” is a reason for why I read this blog to assist me with overcoming my “dialecticn contractions”, of which I have plenty.
    Thanks JQ and commenters for assisting me.

    Better& better, worse & worse, faster & faster

    Here is Tom Atlee who coined bbwwff phrase;

    “And so I’ve come to conclude that all the predictions — both good and bad — tell us absolutely nothing about what is possible. Trends and events only relate to what is probable. Probabilities are abstractions. Possibilities are the stuff of life, visions to act upon, doors to walk through. Pessimism and optimism are both distractions from living life fully.”

    Poorly edited and written and a bit of a rant. Thanks and thanks for allowing a ‘Space’ – sandpit to play in JQ

  2. JQ. 37 years & Elsiver?
    …”Savage (1954) warned against confusing the von Neumann–Morgenstern utility function with “the now almost obsolete notion of utility in riskless situations.” Arrow (1951) described cardinal utility under certainty as “a meaningless concept”. However, as Wakker (1991a, p. 10) observes…”

    My utility function and opportunity cost allow me NOT to pay Elsiver for this; 37 years later and Elsiver has this paper for 42 bucks!

    Are you ok with this JQ? Can I put up a page selling all your works at $42 please?

    Quiggin, J. (1982), ‘A theory of anticipated utility’


    “Check if you have access through your login credentials or your institution.

    Purchase PDF $41.95″”

    Many other posts by JQ on utility freely available at johnquiggin.com

  3. Supposing like myself you’ve barely set foot inside a Museum in the last 20 years and you hear that some nasty people are smashing up Museums? How are you going to feel? I think I would feel intense grieving. Quite distinct from the idea of whether I ever was going to see that Museum more than on average two hours a decade.

    The Randians take the view that the value of nature is virtually exclusively valuable only to the extent that it is valuable to the human species. To me thats too extreme. But on the other hand I don’t know how to stake out a middle ground in the spectrum between the idea that humans are a curse on the environment and the extreme that the environment is good only to the extent that it is valuable to humans. Sure I prioritise humans. But its a shaded prioritisation and it depends on the time factor. Always in a hurry I prioritise humans. But the longer the time-line the more nature should take consideration.

    But the value that you feel knowing that your paternity is being preserved is a real value. The idea that your cultural paternity is being smashed is very hurtful in my view. At least to someone who is not hungry, worrying about creditors, worrying about being homeless and this sort of thing.

    I would class myself a believer in evolution but I’m not much impressed with many mainstream approved views of evolution. But there is no theory of evolution or yet even few alternative theories, that suggest that if we lose our bioversity, we will get it back quickly or easily. You can burn down the library of Alexandria and other people may feel sick to their stomach even thinking about it. But we may retrace the lost knowledge in a new renaissance thousands of years into the future. But the loss of biodiversity, to a biodiversity fetishist like myself, it hurts.

    Ten years ago I wouldn’t call myself an environmentalist. But I was still a bit of a fan of our elder Statesman Bob Brown. Yes I thought he had a loony side to him. But I still approved of a lot of what he had to say. But I found the environmentalist tag too hateful to associate myself with it. So I called myself “A biodiversity fetishist with a sentimental weakness for big brained mammals.”

    Now thats just the lead-up to something I’m proposing. My understanding of the oligarchy is that they are always trashing our paternity in favour of grasping power to themselves. They hide things in the Smithsonian. They bury the data. Fake photos. Cut us off from new discoveries in Antarctica. They are destroyers of history.

    Might they have taken our intense grieving with our almost subconscious knowledge of the loss of biodiversity …. and just skewed that horror and grieving into this CO2 roadshow? I’m only asking you to think about it.

    Only permaculture can set us up to maintain our biodiversity. And just in passing permaculture can lead to energy-positive agriculture and carbon internment. But I want everyone to really think about it. Was the intense emotional grieving, towards the loss of our bio-historical paternity, co-opted and skewed to serve the interests of the dynastic rich?

    I just want to put that possibility on the table.

  4. GB.
    Yes, I agree it is possible to manipulate climate data. Possible is not the same thing as likely though.
    Furthermore if the data was manipulated to a large degree some people, especially scientists would say shit this does not make any sense something has to being going on that we are unware of. Either our theories of how things work are incomplete OR our measurements are inaccuate. Both possibilties would be checked.
    Now if there was manipulation and it was super clever it might not get detected for a while. Or it might get detected and those who detected might be brought in to the manipulation through brides, bribes, or intimidation, or just through flat out reasoning, by convincing them that there is a good reason for maintaining this deception.
    My suggestion would be that you put this line of thought in to the closet and only take it out if you discover some evidence that would fit wit it.

  5. Shti I was not quite finished and I accidently hit post. I wanted to contrast your comments on the manipulation of science data with your comment on Kissinger being the real source of the OPEC oil price increases in the 1970s rather than the Sha of Iran. Your comment was not acctually evidence that Kissinger was the real source. But it makes perfect sense. That it makes perfect sense does not mean that it is true. But since it makes perfect sense a reasonable person would conclude that it is likely to be true and that our collective history of the events have in fact been manipulated to hide a very damaging truth from the public.

  6. Museums were mentioned above. Museums are things of the past, joke intended. Museums are huge, costly stone buildings which house stuff often plundered from other cultures or from the environment. Given the ability of good documentaries to show us things (for example David Attenborough’s documentaries) much cheaper and more dynamically than museums do, then museums are probably not good ways to educate the public. Perhaps they have other values for research and housing valuable specimens.

    In general, after spending 12 weeks in the USA and visiting all the usual suspects, National Parks, Monuments and Museums, I have to say this. I am against monumentalism in all its forms. This is not to say I am against National Parks. But I am against monuments, especially massive, imposing and numerous ones. They represent a huge waste of human effort and natural resources.

    It’s clear that the US has expended and still expends an enormous amount of money and real resources on monuments, monumental buildings and so on. Meanwhile, homeless sleep in front of a dilapidated church, one hundred yards from the boundary fence (south or west IIRC) of the White House. The White House itself is not a particularly large building as monumental buildings go although costly but the Capitol building is large and there are plenty of others all over the nation.

    The Treasury Building is massive. The Dept. of Labor Building puny. I guess this reveals some priorities to us. If all the money spent on war memorials was spent on veterans, the real human outcomes would be much better. These massive buildings and mausoleums of stone have words everywhere chiseled in stone. Very few of these words contain any real wisdom. Much of it is sheer tommy-rot, debunked ideological nonsense, the puffery of someone like Teddy Roosevelt and so on. The callousness of a nation may well be in direct proportion to the numbers of its monumental buildings and words chiseled in stone.

  7. “I wanted to contrast your comments on the manipulation of science data with your comment on Kissinger being the real source of the OPEC oil price increases in the 1970s rather than the Sha of Iran.”

    Right I cannot prove that one. There are differing accounts and one cannot verify what went on many years ago behind closed doors. But the horrific outcome is that the monetary base of the United States keeps on getting hoovered into a few big New York banks, and that the US dollar is perpetually over-valued. Making the Americans live beyond their means but ultimately trashing their economy over many decades.

    But with climate data we know for an absolute fact that they are rigging the data. Thats all people like Mann and Schmidt do really is rig data. Total frauds and conmen. And so it can be inferred that since the media and everyone else lets them get away with it, this must be a top-down oligarchically lead psychological operation.

  8. I can get to the fact, by other means, that we’ve got to gather every erg, calorie, joule, BTU, and kilowatt-hour we can get our hands on, that we need invest to massively in energy efficiency, that we need high excise on petrol, that we need far higher royalties on coal … far higher. Thats the real key here …. That we need a string of incentives towards greater energy diversity ….. I can get to these conclusions by other means.

    But when we go to put a nasty extra royalty on coal we must not call it a “carbon price” or a “carbon tax” Its got to stay just a boost in royalties levels. Because as soon as you play their game thats welcoming the vampire into the front door. And they’ll have all these fake markets, ripoffs, Abba Dabba Berman numbers rackets, international taxes. You never give these financiers a break of that sort.

    It will be NBN all over again. The NBN is the generic example of when your heart sank knowing they had taken a good idea and trashed it. I knew it would be a mess just as soon as I found out these pollies had taken the project off-budget, and they were consorting with thieves like Rothschild and Merrill Lynch. It was like waking up and finding out that Mossad was running Sydney’s airport security. Really that bad. If we call a massive boost in coal royalties a “carbon tax” we will wake up to the same sort of menace but one hundred times worse.

    Why not humour me on this one. We’ll inter that much more carbon doing things the way I suggest. Export less coal and inter more carbon. Thats what we want isn’t it?

  9. Irony alert on. The world’s scientists have rigged ALL their data. We know for a fact that the world is flat, aliens walk among us, the TV show Battlestar Galactica (Re-imagined) tells the true story of human origins and I am married to a Cylon and privy to their next Plan. Irony alert off.

  10. GB,
    There is a big difference between the Kissinger-Palavi conspiracy and a climate data rigging conspiracy.
    The first is a one time shot. Hiding who did what does not need to be repeated. Data Rigging needs to be repeated over and over again.
    But there is an obvious conpiracy that is similar to the climate conspiracy that you are aledging. That is the deficit scare conspiracy. That this conspiracy can run for so long and be supported by so many seemingly independent sources proves that it has to be coordianted from a very high level. Furthermore there is some sense in pretending that deficits are really soemthing to worry about. Currency has become a nano technology weapon. By pretending that there are limits on how many of these nanobots (nanodots? nanoshots?) that we (a government) can employ a limit is being placed upon the power of this weaponry.
    This seems to have some importance for the EU because if the member states were not limited in the size of their deficits the member states would have no incentive not to try to outbid each other in the compitition over rescources. The northern Europeans are saying to the southern Europeans, we hope that you get wealthier. But it will not be at our expense, not even a little bit. But this northern European outlook is clearly delusional which the advocates of MMT clearly demonstrate.
    Even worse, the world is bigger than the EU. A person could say that the world now lives in a system of international anarchy. But I think that it would be even better to say that the world now lives in a system of international piracy.

    I myself call for all out merciless war against international pirates to be waged by people capable of acting like Ghengis Khan or Mohatmas Ghandi depending upon the situation. The forces of this war should be lead by a Central Committee composed of Thomas Paine, Che Gueverra, Sun Tzu, Niccollo Machiavelli, Hariet Tubman, Sitting Bull, Nelson Mandela, Claus von Stauffenberg, Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm Grimm, Harry Mulisch, Fake Ploeg Jr., and last but not least S´chn Spock.
    Now I know what the astute observer will say, it will be hey wait one minute, those people can not command a military force. They are all dead. But my response to that is, Yes, but there is one person who can channel all of their spirits. And I bet that if you looked just a little bit you could find that person

    Then if there were a group of people who fit the prerequisits for waging the war against the global status quo of anarchy and piracy they could ask this channel what the central committee is demanding. Any military leaders acting under the demands of this central committee would be a LEGITIMATE military leader with THE AUTHORITY to wage war agaisnt those MERE lawful military commanders who are now supporting the world wide status quo of anarchy and piracy.

  11. “The first is a one time shot. Hiding who did what does not need to be repeated. Data Rigging needs to be repeated over and over again.”

    Thats what they do. Over and over again. Thats their full-time job. And its not been hidden. The media is completely monolithic, and since the media has gone along with the data-rigging, in the same way that the media goes along with the Oswald killed Kennedy idea, what that means is that this is a top down operation. There’s no hiding their data-rigging and they have not hidden it. They’ve not stopped and started. Its a continuous full-time job and not the least bit hidden. They keep re-jacking their own data retrospectively to keep that fake upward march of temperature. So when you look at these graphs you may as well be looking at a crack in the wall.

  12. “Irony alert on. The world’s scientists have rigged ALL their data.” No its not the worlds scientists its just a handful of frauds. Michael Mann, Gavin Schmidt. They are frauds. And their full-time job is to be a fraud. Now you can call these guys scientists if you wish. But they are agents. What is interesting is that its hard to get even conservatives to stop using their data. I’ll go over to Catallaxy and point out that they are using fake data from Gavin Schmidt and the push-back you get is “Well we don’t have any other data” Go figure. This is something people do. Even if they know the figures are dodgy they will still use dodgy figures because thats all they have.

    The United States economics data is all rigged. Mostly around the inflation rate. That means their real GDP figures are wrong and their GDP has been falling at nearly all times since Clinton. Yet people still use this bad data. Whether they be pro-Trump, anti-Trump, they still grab at the bad data. So that makes it easy to set up scams and hire frauds. Because people will use their data even if they know its no good.

  13. Graeme,

    On the topic of economic data being rigged, I agree with you. After all, economics is not a science so there is no empirical check possible on the core of its data and theories where the values of different things are (erroneously) compared in the numéraire. The numéraire, the dollar, is not an objective measurement of anything real, unlike the SI (International System of Units) base units used for science. Economics is a normative, not a positive or descriptive disciple. Economics sets norms and rules and then measures according to those rules. The rules (and technical detail) for measuring things, like inflation, are changed periodically and these decisions are an amalgam of economic and political decisions by self-interested stakeholders with the power to have some input into the rules. Look into the issue of hedonic adjustment and you will see loopholes that inflation measurers can drive a Mack Truck through.

    I returned from 12 weeks OS to find groceries at the duopoly supermarkets in Australia had risen by about 10% for the basket of goods I buy, and done so in 12 weeks!. These goods were nothing special. They were mundane foodstuffs from one store of said duopoly. A small shopping trolley of goods, filled but not stacked, cost me just over $200.00! You will have to take my word that there was nothing extravagant in it. Nine chops and a chicken (chicken claimed to be macro or green or something) cost $50.00 combined. The nine chops leaked water, as well as much fat, when grilled. I notice that water comes out of duopoly meats when they are cooked (perhaps 10% by weight). I notice that water does not come out of meat I cook when I buy direct from a farmer. Is water being injected into meat by the grocery duopoly? Either that or the meat is of such poor quality or is treated so badly that all the cell walls of the muscle cells are broken by the time one purchases. Fruit from the duopoly is of a disgraceful quality.

    Australians are paying top dollar and rapidly inflating prices for food of very poor quality. The food in New Zealand and in the USA is of far better quality. The food in the USA is cheaper except if you get a bad exchange rate. We have to wonder why food in Australia is so expensive and so poor. After all, we produce a food surplus and do produce good product. Last time I was in Roma, the local steak was superb. We need look no further than conventional economics.

    Business economics says we should export all our best food at discount prices and then sell poor food at high prices to the domestic market. We saw the same thing happen with natural gas. We export about 70% of our agricultural produce. To keep the overseas markets, which are far more competitive, this produce has to be of high quality and it can be sold at somewhat of a discount due to its relative bulk. The smaller domestic market is a captive market and poorer in absolute terms. This means it is serviced less well by domestic products and by imports. We produce plenty of good food but export most of that and have to eat inferior, over-expensive product at home.

    It’s difficult to see a way around this conundrum under the current world economic system and our position enmeshed in it. I think Australia’s overall future prospects are poor.

  14. Right. In America their unemployment figures are rigged also. Trump has been re-regulating and arm-twisting CEO’s to create new jobs. He’s had some success. But he thinks that the unemployment rate has fallen to its lowest levels since 1969. Completely ridiculous. Real unemployment in the US is likely to be around 16% or higher. But Trump thinks its 3%. So he cut back on food stamps. In reality there is an epidemic of homelessness in the US. The third world is breaking out all over and the new employment growth isn’t in all areas. People could and probably will and probably have died, over these bad figures, and it paints a wrong picture of the effect of deficit spending on employment.

    I don’t know the situation here. But I was unemployed. I am unemployed. Yet up until a month ago I could not get Newstart. Does not being able to get Newstart, and being in fear of becoming homeless count as being employed? I think it does actually. One economist was waxing lyrical on how Australia had more people employed then ever and what a great thing this was. Bad figures are such a curse because everyone trained in statistics acts like its a student case study, and grinds out the analysis.

    Patrick Michaels was the Cato institutes climate guy. 13 years ago he thought he had cracked the code to the extent that CO2 increase warms, and it was a simple formula with a delay factor. And it fitted nicely the fake data and I’d thought he’d cracked it too (more or less.) His thinking seemed about right to the human eye. More recently he’s been in a state of befuddlement, since the new fake graphs these guys have produced don’t conform to his formulation, and really the data makes no sense at all, although there’s definitely a warming signal planted within the fake data. No reasonable person who thought the data was sound would suggest there wasn’t a small warming factor apparent in the shape of the graphs. Its not there in real data. Only in fake data.

    So it doesn’t really matter if you are conservative or leftist, climate realist or climate goose-stepper. It seems, if you are some sort of statistics-boy 101 type, you cannot resist using tarnished data no matter how dubious you know it to be. I’ve seen this time and time again, even with the climate realists over at the Jo Nova site. Doesn’t matter how much they know about data mischief, if you leave bad data hanging around they’ll pick it up. Play with it. Philosophise over it. You cannot get these people to abstain.

    To show I’m not all poopy-pants with the way the welfare state has treated me, they’ve given me this magical travel card. Its changed everything and now I’m not afraid to crank up my job search again. But if we take the thesis that we need to be serious about every calorie, erg, BTU, joule and kilowatt hour we can get our hands on …… ought not everyone get an off-peak version of the card I now have? Plus I can understand the stand-down time. I don’t like it but I can understand it from the point of view of saving the taxpayer money. But ought the unemployed be given, at the very least, an off-peak version of the card right away? Ought we not then race around to the employers trying to get them to stagger shifts so that more and more people are using these cards and keeping their cars at home when they can do so? Ought we not take registration fees and third party insurance out of the excise fuel levy so that people will often buy a car and yet keep it parked when they can?

    If interstate trains are going head to head with Jet travel maybe we have to think about deep discounts for off-peak interstate train travel as well, if it can be shown that it leads to less flying and less energy use overall.

    We need to be deeply serious about global energy questions. But this focus on CO2 is putting up a wall of sound and mental opaqueness to a lot of very obvious things we could be doing to get our energy efficiency really awesome.

  15. “Nine chops and a chicken cost $50.00”.

    Ikon, I’d love to see to you quit eating meat one of these days.

    From John’s article last month:


    and this paper:


    1km of driving = 230g of C02 emissions

    57g of Australian lamb = 1kg of CO2 emissions

    So every 1kg of lamb you buy causes the same CO2 emissions as driving 76km.

    It’s also worth remembering meat is 60-70% water by mass, even when it hasn’t been injected with additional water. Aside from being ecologically uneconomic, that’s a really expensive 600-700ml of water …

  16. Animals are necessary for carbon internment. We spend a fortune on fixed nitrogen fertilisers and they use outrageous amounts of hydrocarbons. But ammonia is only a urine substitute when it comes to agriculture. Urea can do the same job as ammonia. And urine is free. See that black coloured manure that comes out of the back of a cow? Thats not made dark by way of some special cow dye. Thats carbon the cow is sending into the soil. So meat is inherently a carbon negative proposition. Its the TYPE of farming that counts. We need to make farming carbon negative and energy positive. Very easy to do.

  17. G.B.
    Maybe you can not show us the math yourself. But maybe you can show us someone who can do the math. This agriculture engineer should show the math comparing the effeciency of cow carbon internment with human carbon internment the way that we inter human waste now, in perfectly good fresh water, and in addition compare cow internment with human waste internment the way that humans should be doing it, by composting it. Bexause if we do not have these comparible studies how can people make an informed decision. I suspose for extra credit the agricultural engineer could also show the sustainabilty of poltury, and rabbit farms.

    Well for a double smilely face from me this agricutural engineer could also show the net gains or losses environmentally from feeding (freshly killed) rabbits to alligators or crocodiles which would then get slaughtered for human consumpition.

    I myself love cheese. I have made quite large reductions in my meat consumption over the past 20 years. But I imagine that my cheese consumption has gone up over the past 20 years. Therefore I would be more than delighted if someone could show that cheese consuption can be done sustainably.

    Here is a potentially sustainable cycle, dung becomes compost and worms and beetles the compost becomes soil for growing hemp, bamboo, and flax, for industrial uses. It becomes soil for the production of food. Finally the worms and the beetles feed the polutry that feed us. The foodBt scraps feed rabbits and perhaps some pigs. If enough rabbits can be raised the excess could be feed to alligators. I am assuming that alligators taste good, otherwise why bother. I do not mind eating a rabbit now and then. But they are not exactly easy to work with in the kitchen, even after they have been killed and are sitting still on a plate.

    I would be as happy as a pig if some cream and cheese could honestly be added to the menu. I have not forgotten about fish. But I think that is a different cycle. It starts with not polluting our drinking water.

  18. No its not about “showing the maths” its about showing the type of farming methods. Mono-culture plant growing is the enemy. Its all about killing things, wasting energy and destroying soil. Thus mono-culture plant growing will always be an energy sink and a contributor to more CO2 in the atmosphere Do you understand the CONCEPT of what I said. Thats the main thing. You can see that conceptually herbivores by their nature inter carbon physically when they take a crap, and that they do or can (handled correctly) substitute for ammonia when they take a pee.

    In terms of non-permaculture and high-paying commercial agriculture we could take the local example of Colin Seis. Farmer and theorist. He has perennial grasses growing in a field and uses that same field to get annual crops out of. How does he do it? He does it by getting the sheep to knock back the perennial grasses before and after planting. That way he saves on fertiliser costs and gets far more yields out of the same piece of land. If your maths-boy 101 type rocked up and did the same exercise for the meat that the sheep produced you would find out that it was pretty close to being carbon negative and energy positive since you’d have to account for the annual crops and the savings on the annual crop from an energy and carbon perspective. So used correctly animals inter carbon, and reduce the energy needs of cropping. I wouldn’t go the Colin Seis way ultimately, famously clever though he be. I’m just bringing him up as an example of how we could transform agriculture to be energy positive and to inter carbon in the soil.

    Colin’s own lectures are pretty complex. So this simplified explanation of what he is up to, by Joel Salatin, might help you understand the idea.

  19. So its annual cropping that is the problem. If we phase to a situation where annual crops are only used over the top of perennial grasses (knocked back by animals) then you can have some reasonable level of annuals production, and more meat for everyone. If you want to do the right thing avoid processed foods, eat grass-fed meat until you fall over, and try to eat foods derived from perennials. Better still would be if you could get a box of food every week from a farm practicing silvopasture or permaculture or at least a highly polycultural no-till operation. Avoid products with soy, corn or wheat in them. Because its these mass-produced monocultural operations that are killing everything.

  20. GB.
    Well that is interesting. But it is a political answer. It does not directly answer Nick’s question. But I did give me somethng to chew on.
    Lets assume for a moment that the math about the amount of CO2 that is created to raise a pound of lamb (sheep?) is true. If sheep can be used to increase yields and in addition to that elminate the use of herbacides and fertilizers that has to be taken in to account. I am terrible at math. But engineers have to be good at math or else they are not allowed to become engineers. I imagine that some experiments could demonstrate whether or not the sheep and or cattle could earn their keep sustainably by increasing yields and reducing damaging inputs enough to offset the CO2 that they produce. But since one area and one year are not the same do to weather conditions I wonder if the experiments can be objective enough to reach a clear conculsion.
    Good cheese can be made from both sheep and goat milk. I have never tried cheese made from horses or llamas or camels milk. I suspect that these (5) animals would provide a better cost benifit ratio than milk cows.

  21. Ultimately you really want Flerds. Flocks and herds mixed together. To match the diversity of your perennial grasses and forage trees. The camels can reach things the cows cannot, in a silvopasture arrangement. The sheep can eat broad-leaf weeds that the cows will tend to leave alone. A relatively few amount of goats can manage your thistle and blackberry problems. The chickens can follow behind taking advantage of the larvae in the manure. If you don’t get the animals working for you, you are going to have to do the work of the animals.

    You can never assume that the maths is right. Because this anti-meat thing is another propaganda program and the maths outcomes are totally dependent on the assumptions. Likely the fellow is talking about feedlot meat. Specifically American feedlot meat. The cows are taken into these feedlots to fatten them up, but usually only towards the end of their lives. The anti-meat types takes the maths involved in feedlots and use this for propaganda. So his assumptions have to be checked for that sort of hanky panky. Feedlots are anti-economic except in some places in the winter to keep the cows warm. But feedlots in America, generally speaking, are there because of grain subsidies. As usual we find subsidies creating energy sinks.

    All this kind of talk will seem insulting to many farmers who have been locked into a cycle of debt. We want programs to transition out of interest payments and mono-culture. Post-war farming is reminiscent of the dispossession of the British landed aristocracy through debt. By selling farmers on inferior high-input modes of farming, we ending up with debt-crippled farmers, energy hungry farming, ruined soils, and nutrient deficient foods.

    Its correcting this situation, the revitalisation of farming should take precedence over foreign aid to the communist Chinese via solar subsidies. Most of our subsidies are forms of wealth transfer overseas, and are likely energy sinks, because subsidies tend to create energy sinks. Peoples minds jump to the grid and to the first and obvious things when it comes to energy efficiency. They seldom think of mono-crops in the same process as thinking about energy-efficiency. Someone ought to produce a user-friendly chart of all the potential ways to increase energy efficiency in Australia so people don’t get caught up in this idea that we have to blow out our trade deficits sending foreign aid overseas for solar and wind grid-based systems. The first option that jumps into peoples heads is not usually the best option.

  22. Nick I’m within a Cooee of getting the maths for you. A numbers outfit that sounds a lot like our national air carrier did a carbon survey on a polyculture farm. A farm following the principles of Alan Savoury and I think, for the most part, permaculture principles.

    The Quant. outfit made the claim that for every kilo of beef in the United States, 33 kilos of CO2 is released into the air. 33 kilos just for one kilo of beef. It won’t be so much here, because we don’t subsidise grain as much, and we don’t use feedlots as much.

    But they checked a farm called “White Oak Pastures” and they found that for every kilo of beef they produced they put negative 3.5 kilos of CO2 into the air. Meaning they took it out of the air. So you see its what I’ve been telling you guys. Permaculture is always the answer; Doesn’t even matter what the question is.

  23. Thanks, Graeme.

    GB: “He has perennial grasses growing in a field and uses that same field to get annual crops out of.”

    It’s called cover cropping or “green manure”, and he hardly invented the practice since it’s been used extensively around the world for thousands of years.


    It doesn’t require grazing animals. The cover crops, traditionally legumes, are what’s supposed to supply the nitrogen and other nutrients to the soil. Why does he use grazing animals and plant mainly grass, and call it “pasture cropping” instead of cover cropping? Because he’s a sheep farmer and because sheep farming is profitable.

    Yes, it’s a good thing he’s applying better soil management principles, and using less industrial fertiliser and herbicides, but there’s nothing “carbon negative” or “natural” about keeping 4000 sheep.


    Each sheep releases 22gms of methane a day * 4000 sheep = 88.6kg a day * 365 = 32 tonnes of methane a year.

    See Table 8.7 here:

    Click to access WG1AR5_Chapter08_FINAL.pdf

    Using 100-yr GWP, 132 tonnes of methane * 34 = 1,088 tonnes of CO2 equivalent radiative forcing released into the atmosphere from that one farm every year.

    Using 20-yr GWP, 132 tonnes of methane * 86 = 11,352 tonnes of CO2 equivalent radiative forcing released into the atmosphere from that one farm every year.

    Depending on which metric you prefer – and I would definitely be bearing in mind both metrics given the rate that the extremity of bushfires and drought is increasing in Australia atm – that’s the same as having 200-800 petrol cars driving around your farm in circles for 60kms every day.

    The alternative for the farmer would have been not keeping 4000 sheep, and just leaving the cover crops to properly decompose into humus. Where do you think the nitrogen in the sheep urea comes from in the first place?

  24. Sorry, not sure how that 32 tonnes became “132 tonnes” – typo

    Using 100-yr GWP, 32 tonnes of methane * 34 = 1,088 tonnes of CO2 equivalent radiative forcing released into the atmosphere from that one farm every year.

    Using 20-yr GWP, 32 tonnes of methane * 86 = 2,752 tonnes of CO2 equivalent radiative forcing released into the atmosphere from that one farm every year.

    …that’s the same as having 200-500 petrol cars driving around your farm in circles for 60kms every day.

  25. “It’s called cover cropping or “green manure”, and he hardly invented the practice since it’s been used extensively around the world for thousands of years.”

    No this is quite different. Cover crops are themselves “annuals.” He’s got permanent perennial grasses. Big difference. Cover crops are shallow rooted nitrogen fixing annuals.

  26. Far more effective to keep the deep root structure in place. There is no comparison here with the feeble nitrogen fixing process of “green manure.” Not even close. Green manure isn’t going to replace nearly all artificial fertilisers and pesticides. It can replace a tiny bit. Very weak in comparison to what Seis has going on. Note that only 500 of his 2000 acres are being row-cropped in this way. Most land isn’t suitable to row-cropping with heavy agricultural equipment. You have hillside farms of course. But since hillsides aren’t amendable to labour-saving devises, if these hillside farms deny the use of animals, they amount to a form of gardening.

    The idea that we are going to replace energy sink agriculture with energy-producing agriculture, and leave the animals out of it …. that would amount to a superstition. Animals are part of nature, they are the mobile part of nature. You cannot practice apartheid on an eco-system in this way, and hope to get good results.

    As we saw with Sepp Holzer. Holzer has aquaculture and animal husbandry integrated with his horticulture. “Fertigation” some people would call all his water features. Passive irrigation and fertilisation combined. Take the animals out of it and sooner or later the artificial pesticides and fertilisers will have to be brought back.

  27. I think we can give trace gas hysterics the bush fire link. No need to fight that one. But the vector is fuel buildup. Not anything to do with weather. Winds are an electrical phenomenon and not something that CO2 has an effect on. As we have seen attempts to link CO2 and warming have been a failure. So much so that to have made these attempts in the first place relied on rigged data. But the fuel link is not something that can be denied.

    So from here on in fuel control has to be an ongoing obsession. By goats, mobile electric fences and unemployed people where possible. And by burning until the goat herding systems are up to speed. Plenty of unemployed people to be tapped for this undertaking.

  28. “Plenty of unemployed people to be tapped for this undertaking.”

    Nah. Won’t happen. That’s what FTAs and skilled migrant labour imports are for.

  29. There is a psychological barrier to todays Greenies fixing the problem. The problem doesn’t get fixed by putting a hex on the hydro-carbon industries. Any energy in that direction is counter-productive. This requires hard-core land management. Goats, sometimes pigs, and lots of electric fences.

    I think it requires permaculture. Swales, ponds and damns everywhere. Zero interest loan programs to these effects to farmers. But continual communist undertakings of this sort on the public lands also. Brown grass catches fire. Green grass, not so much. But definitely animals eating up all the fuel. And is there anything that says that fallen wood cannot be thrown in with the coal when you are generating electricity? I don’t think so. I don’t see a problem.

    If you are getting blue-in-the-face about hydro-carbons, and wasting energy to that effect, just imagine how quickly the fuel will build up when CO2 is at 500 parts per million. My understanding is that CO2 is in fact going to about 500 before it will hit any kind of plateau. I’ve been told this but I don’t get the reasoning. I don’t understand the confidence that it will plateau without permaculture efforts. That high CO2 will be fantastic for growing a lot of food. But high CO2 requires fuel reduction all year long.

    The big fires are horrifying. The hot dry wind starts roaring into them as if from the bellows of giant demons, tree-tops explode like oversized fireworks, the windows fall out of your car, animals topple over never to get up, people jump into small ponds and either get boiled or suffocated, molten glass flows uphill. The whole things like some nightmare from out of Hieronymus Bosch. The communist fuel reduction programs ought to start as soon as the fires are out. I don’t mind camping out with the goats. That would be my dream job. I’m happy to do it for the next 30 years.

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