Research, study, field trips and soap boxes

If I was to say the last fortnight hasn’t been eventful, I’d be lying at a politician’s level. 

I have almost completed my presentation and assignment on the ISO 14001 EMS as a tool for the agricultural enterprise to record not only the impacts the activities have on the environment, but utilising the observe, formulate and review process as a climate risk management toolset as well. I’m fine tuning it at the moment and running the presentation on Thursday – so will probably push a copy onto the blog soon after that.

I also completed the DPI run Environmental Best Management Practices course, which segways nicely into the EMS and was part of my overall skill plan to create a practical Environmental Farm Planning strategy for myself and, after a further trainers course, to allow me to pass the training on to other Landcare members and private clients.

Spent a day last week on the Blackmore Wagyu farm on Alexendra as part of the DPI Better Beef programme. A wealth of information was presented, from David’s own thirty year history in developing and creating his pure blood wagyu enterprise, the challenges and rewards through to an industry review and forecast by the MLA. Presentations on enterprise planning, a review of the operations of JSB and cattle health issues were also presented. In all honesty, the day was worth over $2000 in private consulting, and it was all presented free of charge because of the DPI and MLA. Farmers like David who open their properties up to the industry are what makes the industry able to better themselves and the efforts of them and the aforementioned groups should be appreciated by all of us.

Soap boxes a plenty have come out lately. Every aspect of my life, in fact, has been infected by the climate change and global warming argument soap box plague. 

Why do people feel the need to dot point argue it?

I feel that often, the argument is a lot like a teenager arguing with his parents where the parents have said that the child’s practice of leaving dirty dishes around the house is causing health issues, citing ants, as one of the issues. The teenager, refusing to understand all the complexities of the argument and the unspoken elements, rallies against the parents – ants are a natural phenomena it cries. There is no proof that it’s activity is causing an increase in ant activity! Besides mould and fungus are far more likely to be health issues and you only mentioned ants! The dishes are not a priority. Now, pocket money and how that affects my place in society – that is a far more pressing issue at hand!

The more I look at it, the more I am convinced the argument is flawed either way. Who cares? I mean, who cares what is the major cause of why it is happening? Does it matter that the major cause of your weakening lung capacity is asthma and it is a natural process that slowly erodes it’s function over time? Well, yes, it is good to know … but then smoking on top is not the major cause, but it definitely isn’t helping. So why keep arguing the point? Stop smoking! Hey, guess what? They discovered that if you stop smoking and do 30 minutes of light aerobic exercise a day, it helps strengthen the lungs as well! So, why are we still arguing whether asthma is natural and that smoking isn’t the real point?

Every time I look at a problem, I find that almost all of the activities that are required to ensure clean and safe environmental practices tend to also be the same activities that reduce spend and/or increase efficiencies.

If I was to place a thinking cap on finding a global solution to waste and a major cause of greenhouse emmissions (carbon and methane from landfill) , I see economical results. For example:

  • A policy to seperate out the organic waste from landfill where said organic waste is processed as either “wet” or “dry” waste
    • Creates jobs to perform the tasks
    • Wet waste is sent to a aerobic digestion CHP plant – this removes Methane from the atmosphere and creates cheap electricity, further the resulting “waste” (digestant) can be used as a fertiliser
    • Dry waste is sent to biochar and/or compost farms which captures carbon and the result can be re-used as fertilisers

??????This is just ONE example. It reduces both the METHANE and CARBON emmisions from a positively human impact of our overly abundant waste, it creates a positive economic impact and is simply good, sustainable and environmentally friendly practice.

People feel the need to jump on a soap box and spruke their condemnation or their bigotry. I would they fill the boxes with dirt and plant a vegie patch in it. It’s a far better thing they would do with it.

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