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gringo2011

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I echo your thoughts MD. Having recently returned from Italy, I can only describe the wealth of the Catholic Church as obscene.
Further to the cattle v crops discussion, single crop agriculture not only requires large amounts of water, but to be profitable, it also requires the use of pesticides and large amounts of chemical fertilizers.... but somehow it is cattle that are vilified.

My cousin is into food ethics. It's a really complicated argument, cattle need lots of land but as you said the lesser land can be used for stock often. Unfortunately there are issues with factory farming with poor welfare standards for animals, unethical use of hormones, antibiotics and chemicals. Even things like Mad Cows disease was due to feeding them cattle products making them cannibals. The only other examples before that were in the pacific islands where people ate each other and had a similar outcome.

I don't think the world would be able to support a full vegan diet for all. I know a guy who does consultancy for companies setting up organics and specialty foods and he said that rushing things to market to keep up has meant there are a lot of issues with the highly processed vegan substitute foods they make. Especially with China rushing to make up vegetable protein bulk and no really caring about where things like peas are grown. He said one company was cropping next to a battery factory with mercury, lead and cadmium in dangerous levels in the soil.

Eating free range organics is better for everyone's health and the environment and also animal welfare but again you couldn't have everyone eat that way cheaply.

I think it at the end of the day you should just do your own thing with out being wasteful or profligate and you can't go too far wrong. Things like plastic packaging and overly processed and sweetened foods are just as big an issue. Yo really can't fix everything in the world but you can do things with your consumer dollars that promote things to be better. I live that way but only because it suits my ethics, I don't expect anyone else to do it.
 

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gringo2011

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Heyup BPF, it's a sad realty of being human that we have emotions and then rationalise them, a bit like having a monkey trying to ride an elephant, the elephants not really interested in the monkey and vice versa, and then something goes wrong, the elephant is outraged and the monkey ain't that bright but their gonna come up with an answer and God help anyone that gets in the way.

I'm so bored and disinterested in the arguments of politicians and polemicists, the believers and the virtue signallers, we have terrible problems and until the nature of the problem is understood an answer won't be found. So with much trepidation.

The current fire season.
Everyone is having an opinion, finding away to justify their own dogma and blame some other bastard, but what if they're all wrong and all right at the same time, and that nothing anyone is doing or saying or proposing will fix anything, because they don't understand the basic problem. One way of looking at these fires is us.

The tragedy of modern humans is that we only see ourselves as the good guys, strangely as we expanded out of Africa everywhere we went megafauna died out protohumans died out and localised climate change occurred which then becomes the answer for why the megafauna died out. Strange that the same pattern of extinction happened when modern man turned up every time, always local, isolated and unexperienced where modern man wasn't. Strange that we'd had 60 million years of evolution without an extinction event, plenty of climate change but only when modern man got there did things change. Also strange that these patterns of extinction and climate change didn't occur when Neanderthal or any of the other proto humans arrived, only for modern humans.

So if we looked at Australia, not at what the land looked like 30 years ago or 100 or 200, but we go back 80,000 years. You could draw a line across Australia from Brisbane and Nth of that was forested, south of that was open grassland, only 10% of that forest was eucalypt and any where you see eucalypt don't think Gum tree think fire regenerative. Within a few short thousand years the continent is completely transformed, 80% of the megafauna is extinct and the forest balance is now 90% eucalypt and 10% other.

Now the landscape is primed to burn, gum leaves don't breakdown for at least 6 years every year becoming dryer and more flammable. Unlike deciduous trees who's leaves start to breakdown in a season and fertilize the soil, gums are designed to burn and when they burn they burn off phosphates and nitrates and make the soil more barren which really suits eucalypt trees and not much else, every time the forest burns it becomes more likely to burn in the future because it is dryer and has more gum trees in it.

So when the Greens blame the Coalition for climate change policy, when the Coalition blame the Greens for forest management policy, when everyone wants fuel reduction burns, I say FCUK that I want to cut the gum trees down or when they burn down don't replant eucalypts plant Casuarinas or Native Pines fruit tress any thing but bloody eucalypts, Huon pines, Myrtle Beeches, there's thousands of trees that don't regenerate with fire plant them and make sure they grow, instead of dry forest create wet forests, and if that means we have to bring elephants and rhino in, if we should have lynx and hyena, bear and lion to have a balanced ecology then lets do it.

Because we've been burning the crap out of this place for 60,000 years, because every where we look there is no such thing as an environment untouched by human hand, the animals that would have regulated it have been extinct for 50,000 years, the carnivores that would have regulated the massive herbivores are extinct too, and all we've replaced them with is fire.

Yeah, there is tree apartheid in Australia. Native species are used as street plantings when they are inappropriate. The Elms and Planes are about to be ripped out of Melbourne. What people don't realise is that they are natural air conditioners. They drop leaves in winter and let light in and cover the streets in shade in summer. It will fu** up the city boulevards too. Arborists have to cut limbs off tall gums every year to avoid dropped branches.

I just went down to our property in Gippsland on Friday and cut about 1000 saplings of black-wattle and gums out. The last fires germinated seed everywhere and the amount of growth is unbelievable, every year more come on. You would only need a spark and it would all burn again. It used to be clear and much more fertile. I'm planting all the riverfront with things that are less flammable now. Eucaplypts send up oil vapour that adds to flammability too. Funny enough California is covered in Eucaplypt after they worked out that they grow there with out much water. They have massive fires every year now too.
 

Drake Huggins

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Some more problems with these numbers. These are USA numbers with a high % of feed lot or grain fed (mainly soy) cattle that greatly increase the methane numbers the opposite is true in Aus with a high percentage of grass fed cattle.

Further muddying the waters is water, the differences between the uses and availability of blue water, green water, grey water and desal water, access to water and access to water types all have a huge impact on the type of farming undertaken. Cattle for meat are generally farmed on land that isn't arable and a greater proportion of blue water, where as crops are found on best flat land with great access and high usage of green water.

It should be noted that a lot of tomatoes are grown in S Aus in virtual desert but with desal water.

Keep on your high horse, no religious institution, and their associated businesses pay taxes, hospitals, private schools, property, even car washes. The Catholic Church for example owns large amounts of Fitzroy (50%?), collecting rents on which thet pay no tax, same with C of E in Hawthorn and Kew.

It's well known that the Catholic Church is the largest land owner on earth, the interesting bit is that the property is still valued at it's original value, so if land was donated or bought in 1200 AD or 1800 AD, it's book value remains that original price. How that affects the payment of rates I have no idea. Working out what the church is worth is an almost pointless exercise, but the Arch Diocese of Sydney under this scheme has a value of 12 billion. What it's really worth God only knows.
Apple, Microsoft et al pay SFA tax as well. The Catholic Church is the world's wealthiest and most powerful multi-national company. It's private bank ranks third.

Maybe our problem is governments who are too gutless to take on the big boys and make them pay their fair share
Don't disturb the status quo is their motto. I think there's something in that for all of us, don't you?
 

Moral Decay

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Yeah, there is tree apartheid in Australia. Native species are used as street plantings when they are inappropriate. The Elms and Planes are about to be ripped out of Melbourne. What people don't realise is that they are natural air conditioners. They drop leaves in winter and let light in and cover the streets in shade in summer. It will fu** up the city boulevards too. Arborists have to cut limbs off tall gums every year to avoid dropped branches.

I just went down to our property in Gippsland on Friday and cut about 1000 saplings of black-wattle and gums out. The last fires germinated seed everywhere and the amount of growth is unbelievable, every year more come on. You would only need a spark and it would all burn again. It used to be clear and much more fertile. I'm planting all the riverfront with things that are less flammable now. Eucaplypts send up oil vapour that adds to flammability too. Funny enough California is covered in Eucaplypt after they worked out that they grow there with out much water. They have massive fires every year now too.
Yep the local councils that have mandated planting of natives around the house as well as banning the removal of trees from building blocks, it's a recipe for disaster, I used to go out with a girl who had a house in Berwick, huge old messmates within an arm of the house, already piped and therefore habitat trees, couldn't be got rid of and the fire risk! Those trees will go up like hand grenades, but there'll be plenty that will be smug beforehand, immensely pleased with their eco friendly bylaws.

What are you planting?
 

Moral Decay

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Apple, Microsoft et al pay SFA tax as well. The Catholic Church is the world's wealthiest and most powerful multi-national company. It's private bank ranks third.

Maybe our problem is governments who are too gutless to take on the big boys and make them pay their fair share
Don't disturb the status quo is their motto. I think there's something in that for all of us, don't you?
Absolutely, people don't like change, and anyone that challenges the orthodoxies of Homes, Holes (mining) and Religion is bound to be pushing it up hill, no wonder Labor failed at the last election, Climate change became a debate about mining, Franking Credits and Negative Gearing, becomes about home values and Freedom of Speech/ Gay Marriage becomes a debate about Freedom of Religion. These institutions, businesses and people have money and beliefs that in our democracy buy the attention of our politicians who would be stupid the fight against them, the question remains how bad does it get before people want change and are prepared to vote for it.

People forget that while we are a democracy, like all democracies it's imperfect and a veneer on what came before. Our democracy like our laws is a living thing that adapts and changes, what was reasonable 100 years ago is not reasonable now, nor will it be reasonable in a hundred years.

Change happens slowly for example, I've been looking at aware of Climate Change for more than 25 years and for thee last decade the orthodoxy is that the young voters coming through will grasp the climate change nettle, funnily enough they don't, they vote for property values, they vote are conservative in a way that young people with debts from education and limited/insecure employment prospects are bound to be, they see that hard work and buying into a dream still work.

The question becomes, not do we need change nor what is the nature of the change we need, but how bad does it have to get before we have the courage to embrace change.
 

StFly

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I agree with your understanding of the problem but can't agree with your answer for it.
It's not an answer, it merely highlights the absurdity of it.

It is recognised that the church has initial value of the land; by western standards when money was a thing and arbitrarily handed out at a specific point in time for said land (after 6BCE going by 4CE if we believe the bible creation as ironclad).

It is not recognised that the initial value of the land is what the initial owners of the land deemed it as, as value is arbitrary and handed out at a specific point in time (when first settled by homo-sapien), as money was not a thing.
 

gringo2011

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Apple, Microsoft et al pay SFA tax as well. The Catholic Church is the world's wealthiest and most powerful multi-national company. It's private bank ranks third.

Maybe our problem is governments who are too gutless to take on the big boys and make them pay their fair share
Don't disturb the status quo is their motto. I think there's something in that for all of us, don't you?

I went to a Christmas catch up today and one of the guys works for the ACCC as a lawyer, he was telling us about how companies avoid tax and prosecution but having so many seperate entities that you didn't know who to chase. They have an appetite to prosecute but are lead on trails that go nowhere. He was saying they'd offered a multinational a $300 million fine and the company had suggested they'd pay $3 million or shut up shop as it would bankrupt them,. He didn't say who it was but was saying it's just normal practice to make sure that they aren't ever exposed. Good accountants and lawyers are good at making sure that they never have to pay. He was saying that the shareholder as the focus will always lead to tax minimisation.
 

gringo2011

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Yep the local councils that have mandated planting of natives around the house as well as banning the removal of trees from building blocks, it's a recipe for disaster, I used to go out with a girl who had a house in Berwick, huge old messmates within an arm of the house, already piped and therefore habitat trees, couldn't be got rid of and the fire risk! Those trees will go up like hand grenades, but there'll be plenty that will be smug beforehand, immensely pleased with their eco friendly bylaws.

What are you planting?

More tropical stuff, several palm varieties, flame trees, silky oak, araucaria, pin oaks, elms oaks, tree ferns, bird nest ferns, clivea, some gravillia, anything that won't catch fire as easily.It should get a bit of a rainforest look with time. A bit of an old school botanic gardens vibe. Some more dry area hills are getting dracaena draco, agave and cactus sort of stuff. I went to the botanic gardens and copied their dry habitat plantings.
 

Moral Decay

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More tropical stuff, several palm varieties, flame trees, silky oak, araucaria, pin oaks, elms oaks, tree ferns, bird nest ferns, clivea, some gravillia, anything that won't catch fire as easily.It should get a bit of a rainforest look with time. A bit of an old school botanic gardens vibe. Some more dry area hills are getting dracaena draco, agave and cactus sort of stuff. I went to the botanic gardens and copied their dry habitat plantings.
Fantastic choices and way ahead of me :)
 

Pakenhamsaint

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I went to a Christmas catch up today and one of the guys works for the ACCC as a lawyer, he was telling us about how companies avoid tax and prosecution but having so many seperate entities that you didn't know who to chase. They have an appetite to prosecute but are lead on trails that go nowhere. He was saying they'd offered a multinational a $300 million fine and the company had suggested they'd pay $3 million or shut up shop as it would bankrupt them,. He didn't say who it was but was saying it's just normal practice to make sure that they aren't ever exposed. Good accountants and lawyers are good at making sure that they never have to pay. He was saying that the shareholder as the focus will always lead to tax minimisation.

Yep the local councils that have mandated planting of natives around the house as well as banning the removal of trees from building blocks, it's a recipe for disaster, I used to go out with a girl who had a house in Berwick, huge old messmates within an arm of the house, already piped and therefore habitat trees, couldn't be got rid of and the fire risk! Those trees will go up like hand grenades, but there'll be plenty that will be smug beforehand, immensely pleased with their eco friendly bylaws.

What are you planting?
I've got no idea what they planted in our street but they suck up the moisture like mad.
 

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Drake Huggins

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Absolutely, people don't like change, and anyone that challenges the orthodoxies of Homes, Holes (mining) and Religion is bound to be pushing it up hill, no wonder Labor failed at the last election, Climate change became a debate about mining, Franking Credits and Negative Gearing, becomes about home values and Freedom of Speech/ Gay Marriage becomes a debate about Freedom of Religion. These institutions, businesses and people have money and beliefs that in our democracy buy the attention of our politicians who would be stupid the fight against them, the question remains how bad does it get before people want change and are prepared to vote for it.

People forget that while we are a democracy, like all democracies it's imperfect and a veneer on what came before. Our democracy like our laws is a living thing that adapts and changes, what was reasonable 100 years ago is not reasonable now, nor will it be reasonable in a hundred years.

Change happens slowly for example, I've been looking at aware of Climate Change for more than 25 years and for thee last decade the orthodoxy is that the young voters coming through will grasp the climate change nettle, funnily enough they don't, they vote for property values, they vote are conservative in a way that young people with debts from education and limited/insecure employment prospects are bound to be, they see that hard work and buying into a dream still work.

The question becomes, not do we need change nor what is the nature of the change we need, but how bad does it have to get before we have the courage to embrace change.
When I was still at the Homicide Squad, I labelled it "Coroner's Court Syndrome". That is, someone had to literally die before obvious and necessary change was made. The same in general for individuals, companies and society. It usually takes catastrophic events to make change happen.
 

gringo2011

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When I was still at the Homicide Squad, I labelled it "Coroner's Court Syndrome". That is, someone had to literally die before obvious and necessary change was made. The same in general for individuals, companies and society. It usually takes catastrophic events to make change happen.

It's happened through out history. Once things get bad for enough people things change quickly. Revolution or political change sorts it out.
 

SaintsSeptember

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Yep the local councils that have mandated planting of natives around the house as well as banning the removal of trees from building blocks, it's a recipe for disaster, I used to go out with a girl who had a house in Berwick, huge old messmates within an arm of the house, already piped and therefore habitat trees, couldn't be got rid of and the fire risk! Those trees will go up like hand grenades, but there'll be plenty that will be smug beforehand, immensely pleased with their eco friendly bylaws.

What are you planting?
Local councils are corrupt cesspits.
At one point Hallam Kindergarten were not allowed to remove a stupid little self seeded tree, ( not a gum, some other scrubby thing).
Next thing, the land ( which was originally bequeathed to the community ) is being sold to Coles.
The Kindergarten gets put into the land belonging to the Primary School. ( goodbye full size footy oval ).
A community consultation meeting takes place, with a heap of things they assure the residents about what the development will look like ( i have no better word than LIES ).
20 or 30 large gum trees are cut down for a carpark.
They re-zoned roads and all sorts of things.

Now why does a Council who normally go out of their way to stop someone building a shed, want to fall head over heels for Coles?
 

SaintsSeptember

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Absolutely, people don't like change, and anyone that challenges the orthodoxies of Homes, Holes (mining) and Religion is bound to be pushing it up hill, no wonder Labor failed at the last election, Climate change became a debate about mining, Franking Credits and Negative Gearing, becomes about home values and Freedom of Speech/ Gay Marriage becomes a debate about Freedom of Religion. These institutions, businesses and people have money and beliefs that in our democracy buy the attention of our politicians who would be stupid the fight against them, the question remains how bad does it get before people want change and are prepared to vote for it.

People forget that while we are a democracy, like all democracies it's imperfect and a veneer on what came before. Our democracy like our laws is a living thing that adapts and changes, what was reasonable 100 years ago is not reasonable now, nor will it be reasonable in a hundred years.

Change happens slowly for example, I've been looking at aware of Climate Change for more than 25 years and for thee last decade the orthodoxy is that the young voters coming through will grasp the climate change nettle, funnily enough they don't, they vote for property values, they vote are conservative in a way that young people with debts from education and limited/insecure employment prospects are bound to be, they see that hard work and buying into a dream still work.

The question becomes, not do we need change nor what is the nature of the change we need, but how bad does it have to get before we have the courage to embrace change.
Maybe they are smart enough to realize that the Green's plans wont fix anything?
Australia cannot fix climate change by doing its own thing.
A Unilateral solution is needed.

Australia can embrace and encourage technology that is inline with climate change solutions. ( and i don't mean electric cars ) .
 

gringo2011

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Local councils are corrupt cesspits.
At one point Hallam Kindergarten were not allowed to remove a stupid little self seeded tree, ( not a gum, some other scrubby thing).
Next thing, the land ( which was originally bequeathed to the community ) is being sold to Coles.
The Kindergarten gets put into the land belonging to the Primary School. ( goodbye full size footy oval ).
A community consultation meeting takes place, with a heap of things they assure the residents about what the development will look like ( i have no better word than LIES ).
20 or 30 large gum trees are cut down for a carpark.
They re-zoned roads and all sorts of things.

Now why does a Council who normally go out of their way to stop someone building a shed, want to fall head over heels for Coles?


I met a guy who was a Greens candidate in Glen Eira, some of the stories he told were so dirty it was like a third world cess pit.
 

gringo2011

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Maybe they are smart enough to realize that the Green's plans wont fix anything?
Australia cannot fix climate change by doing its own thing.
A Unilateral solution is needed.

Australia can embrace and encourage technology that is inline with climate change solutions. ( and i don't mean electric cars ) .

It's good policy to be working towards future proofing. South Ausytalia who get laughed at and accused of being irresponsible will be the first 100% renewable state soon. My mate who works for AGL said they are way ahead of everyone else. They exported power to Queensland when their coal station dropped capacity recently. Public housing is getting Tesla systems that divert power into the national grid when needed even.
 

SaintsSeptember

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It's good policy to be working towards future proofing. South Ausytalia who get laughed at and accused of being irresponsible will be the first 100% renewable state soon. My mate who works for AGL said they are way ahead of everyone else. They exported power to Queensland when their coal station dropped capacity recently. Public housing is getting Tesla systems that divert power into the national grid when needed even.
Thats pretty small fry stuff though Gringo, and doesn't address any need for backup when Solar isn't working.
THey haven't done anything innovative, just spent top dollar.
 

DGontheQT

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It's good policy to be working towards future proofing. South Ausytalia who get laughed at and accused of being irresponsible will be the first 100% renewable state soon. My mate who works for AGL said they are way ahead of everyone else. They exported power to Queensland when their coal station dropped capacity recently. Public housing is getting Tesla systems that divert power into the national grid when needed even.
South Australia ahead of everyone else , and your'e not talking about unemployment. Well bugger me !
Jokes aside , it is good policy.
 

Kildonan

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My cousin is into food ethics. It's a really complicated argument, cattle need lots of land but as you said the lesser land can be used for stock often. Unfortunately there are issues with factory farming with poor welfare standards for animals, unethical use of hormones, antibiotics and chemicals. Even things like Mad Cows disease was due to feeding them cattle products making them cannibals. The only other examples before that were in the pacific islands where people ate each other and had a similar outcome.

I don't think the world would be able to support a full vegan diet for all. I know a guy who does consultancy for companies setting up organics and specialty foods and he said that rushing things to market to keep up has meant there are a lot of issues with the highly processed vegan substitute foods they make. Especially with China rushing to make up vegetable protein bulk and no really caring about where things like peas are grown. He said one company was cropping next to a battery factory with mercury, lead and cadmium in dangerous levels in the soil.

Eating free range organics is better for everyone's health and the environment and also animal welfare but again you couldn't have everyone eat that way cheaply.

I think it at the end of the day you should just do your own thing with out being wasteful or profligate and you can't go too far wrong. Things like plastic packaging and overly processed and sweetened foods are just as big an issue. Yo really can't fix everything in the world but you can do things with your consumer dollars that promote things to be better. I live that way but only because it suits my ethics, I don't expect anyone else to do it.
I have been interested in the debate on whether it is feasible to feed the world using agriculture alone (or mainly plant based foods with only a small meat component). The Skeptic Guide group led by Steven Novella did cover a proposition that dealt with Organic Farming v best practice farming and they conclude that attempting to provide food for the entire world using Organic Farming practices would be untenable. It simply would require more arable land than the world currently has (let alone the reduced amount there will be as our climate worsens). Organic Farming is essentially a brand name. It provides food with slightly lower nutritional value than best practice farming but is said to leave the land in better condition for the next crop. It seems to be a fair compromise until you realise that it requires a lot more land, restricts the use of GMO and other modern practices which will become more essential as demand rises.
Organic Farming has a publicity arm that misinforms us about its advantages. I recently read This Blog Post that implies that organically produce milk and beef are much better for us due to the better levels of polyunsaturated and omega-3 fats but the study is compromised several ways in order to achieve those stats. One major factor is that the study really shows the difference between grain fed and grass fed beef / milk, and another factor is that the good fats are at such low levels that in order to eat enough meat / drink enough milk to get your daily allowance, you would have a major obesity issue and the meat is so much higher in bad fats that alone would probably kill you. It is a false benefit - designed to make you feel as if there are health benefits but just not true. So how do we know who to trust? We cant do all the research ourselves.
 

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Thats pretty small fry stuff though Gringo, and doesn't address any need for backup when Solar isn't working.
THey haven't done anything innovative, just spent top dollar.
This looks pretty innovative



All at a generation price less than what it would cost from a new coal fired power station.
 

SaintsSeptember

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This looks pretty innovative



All at a generation price less than what it would cost from a new coal fired power station.
They purchased a heap of stuff at full retail. Please extrapolate to the nation and tell me what you find.

Yeah solar is free , lets play that game. Why don't you just run along and give everyone solar.
 

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Fattening cattle in feed lots is not restricted to the US we do it as well although not to the same extent.

It’s an interesting practice as it produces a different product which I guess is down to conditioning the consumer. I’m not a fan basically it takes about 2 kilos of grain often fit for human consumption and a lot of water to produce 1 extra kilo of beef. I’m assuming those figures are true as I worked in the admin side for the responsible commonwealth department for 15 years. A vet who was against the practice quoted me those figures and I had an uncle who was an executive with one of their bigger companies in the US confirm it.

Gringo great stuff and about time people realised what’s going on with the land. I don’t want to start WW3 but this is inconsistent with the original occupants being great custodians of the land so it seems to be largely ignored.

I can’t understand what the beef is with the church, fill in the denomination yourselves. Yes they own a lot of property, property that was often paid for by the congregation when suburbs were first being settled. My parish has two churches, a primary school and the st Kilda city mission. They do imo a great job and are entitled to the tax free status, just try and replace the services they provide and then check the costs. What are people proposing that churches, hospitals, schools etc should be taxed or sold off to fund what?. Interestingly a recent study found that loneliness was a greater risk factor to peoples health than obesity etc yet here we are advocating to punish organisations that do a power of work to combat that sense of isolation.

Climate change whatever the cause has been noticeable to most people for decades, anything individuals can do they should but until it’s one in all in for every country on the globe then it’s largely just a gesture. Stupid UN sponsored deals where two ancient civilisations with huge standing armies, nuclear weapons and space programs being able to continue to increase their emissions and get a massive handout off the likes of us is no deal at all imo. I have great faith in our ability to innovate under pressure, we’ve done it in the past from the civil war to WW11. I read something recently that said we were locked in a race with the Chinese to produce the first geo stationary solar farms in space that would be capable of providing us with unlimited cheap clean power.
 
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