Wednesday, May 17, 2017


I am a regular listener to Mike Hosking Breakfast for an insight to local news and do not subscribe to the socialist drivel that he is a spokesman for any particular political view that they raise as a problem for him in his position.

I do not agree with all his views and have enough functioning brain cells to process what his morning effort delivers.

Yesterday morning on newstalk ZB, Hosking gave free reign to a Mike Joy who was introduced as an expert on "water quality" with the qualifier he was employed  at Massey University.
Mike Joy is a puppet in the genre of Punch and Judy who is running attack  lines for the Melons using his protected and largely unchallenged aura of knowing the subject around water quality, as a 'drip under pressure'.
I have no doubt Mr Joy has accumulated a mass of knowledge on water quality but his open political links to the increasingly dishonest Green Party. An outfit with a much changed political philosophy, now a mystery to many of the original supporters unaware of the morphing from environmental protection party that attracted a caring segment from across the spectrum, to a bunch of hard left socialists who saw an opportunity to progress their marxist ambitions.

This post takes issue with Mr Joy being introduced using his sinecure at Massey and no mention of his clear bias against private property rights of those who choose to grow green grass rather than own dusty dry unpalatable areas that require field mice to carry a cut lunch.
A recent example of Mr Joy's shameless use of imagery to promote his crusade was shown on a popular segment on a local TV, with him standing in the dry riverbed of the Selwyn River decrying the ecological damage that dirty dairy was inflicting on the nation.
As a child probably six at most I was taken by my grandad from my little world in Waiau to visit Mum's sister who lived at Pendarves, South of Rakaia, requiring a traverse of a seemingly never ending bridge that  Grandad Ken told me was the longest in the Southern Hemisphere, as if that concept meant anything to a child. but it was  a very long bridge.
Not far previously on the journey of discovery,  the little Morris Eight, with its single electric windscreen wiper giving a quaint little arc of clear vision to the driver, had crossed a much smaller bridge that had no  river, stream or even ponds. Being inquisitive, I asked grandad why a bridge when the road could have gone through the hollow, as many roads did in those days only to be told it was still flowing under the shingle, OK, he knew everything.
Now, c1950 there would have been almost zero extraction of water from anywhere that would impact on the flow of the Selwyn that I now know at White Cliffs in the foothills flows over a cumec even today as a low summer flow.
An entirely natural example of a braided river having a subterranean flow yet Mr Joy wanted viewers to believe that it was unrestricted extraction by greedy dairy farmers who had perpetrated this abomination on the devastated landscape. Utter baloney.
He could have equally used the Hawkins  that has an even drier bed parallel and to the north of the Selwyn that I have never seen with water flowing in over half a century.
While discussing dry riverbeds, there is a very small creek between Hurunui bridge on Hwy 70 and Culverden ironically named Dry Stream that also never had a trickle in my childhood but with the advent of the Amuri Plains scheme drawing water from the Waiau at The Leslie Hills bridges, the border dyke system had Dry Stream running a goodly volume all summer long although now diminishing again as the Dikes are replaced with the significantly more efficient Spraylines

So IMHO, Mr Hosking and others going to such seriously biased and motivated "experts" for comment need to be aware and certainly give additional information as to why their views and opinions might be so readily available. Not based on verifiable  facts as Joy wanted his congregation to believe but being dishonestly presented from entirely false premises
Sadly also unchallenged was the totally false manipulation of the central point that gave  Joy his platform, in that it arose from a claim from a dairy spokesperson that 95% of dairy cattle were fenced from waterways. An opinion that was corrupted to 95% of all cattle, some that can have free access to tributary and often dry waterways. Cattle, not all dairy but including beef,  range at very low stocking rates and if required to be fenced from access to such land, a result  only achieved by total de-stocking of millions of acres of land,  much held under a freehold title that as the name implies has certain rights of occupation.
Yes I accept that an image of a herd of cattle being published, standing in Lake Sumner during high summer in the third year of a drought embracing North Canterbury, could be viewed as terrible to the ignorant whereas it was an incident inspired by extreme dry conditions and an act of  humane stock management. The alternative has animal welfare implications that could earn a person deemed responsible at risk of gaol time.

Dr Joy may be a lecturer in water science at Massey but his other life as a padre in the "church" of saints using every opportunity to rail against the wealth creating major segment  of our currently admired economic status needs to be admitted when he is being portrayed as an "expert witness".


Chris said...

My Dad was born and grew up at Pendaves from the early 1920s and always told us as kids when we crossed the Selwyn river that he had NEVER seen water in that river in all the time he crossed it to travel to Christchurch as a child, or after WW2 when he farmed at Motunau and we visited Grandparents down there.

There is a very interesting article in the latest NZ farmers Weekly where Dr Doug Edmeades has been under fire for his comments about freshwater ecologist Dr mike Joy.
He said, "What you get from Mike is one contaminant, Nitrogen , one source, dairy farming and one solution, get rid of dairying. It is not a matter of being biased. It's plain wrong." It was to do with an article written by Doug about whether balance is important in reporting on science.

Bill Watson said...

The number of dairy cattle in NZ in the 1950s (or 60s, for that matter) was significantly less than it is today, and didn't pose the same level of threat to our waterways. Dairying was more lucrative than sheep farming, so in search of more profit farmers built larger and larger herds without awareness of (or in some cases, care for) the consequences. We don't need to get rid of dairying, just scale it back to reasonable numbers. Dr. Joy's party affiliation has nothing whatever to do with his message: enough is too much. As an ecologist he understands something that seems lost on the author of the original rant: we are dangerously close to the "tipping point" with our fresh water supply, and the main culprit happens to be Nitrogen. If we allow greed to drive our decisions, we will continue to destroy our tiny green islands at a rate of knots. I won't be voting Green, but I heartily endorse their environmental policies, which make sense to me (and to my kids, who will have to live with the consequences of greedy short-sighted humans long after I'm gone.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Bill Watson

I hate to rain on your parade but how much of your information comes from computer models?

Empirical evidence would suggest that few dairy cattle were fenced off from waterways in the 50s and 60s while it is reported that 95% of cattle today are kept away from waterways.

A third form mathematician will tell you more cows were shitting and pissing in the nations creeks in 1967 than now do so in 2017.

Don Graves said...

In the run up to our election we all need less economic dillusion & dogma about individual rights having some sort of moral superiority to public health.
Ecological science is not the enemy of economics, it is merely the study of how our human and non-human communities environment interact & affect each other. Ecology is a science with complex theories which is no less dependent on rigorous measurement & analyses of quantitative & qualitative data than is it's counterpart, economics.
What Dr Mike Joy says is sometimes confrontational to people's personal opinions or business expectations, .... so what do you expect Mike to do with his expert knowledge? Shut up? Academic freedom is an important part of our democracy, education and research systems. What would happen if freedom to study contraversial topics became in jeopardy of being denied??? What next could we expect, no freedom of the Press?
Ecology is not "fake science" ... what Dr Nike Joy was saying about intensive dairying in the dry East Coast farmlands of Canterbury is his honest & scientifically evidence-based assessment of the effects of widespread irrigation & Nitrate leaching on the quality of water aquifer.
If the original correspondent is so sure of his / her assertions about water quality in Canterbury, is she/he willing to fill their grandchild's infant formula mix bottle with aquifer water contaminated with Nitrates? How about the livestock water trough or dog's water bowl .... Why not? ... Heard of "blue baby syndrome anyone?
In my experience Mike Joy is an intelligent & effective teacher, ... occasionally he needs to wag his finger in 'preachy' mode to tell farmers what they "should" or "should not" be doing with Public Health resources such as clean water. However, some people's ears are just 'painted on' ... none so deaf as those who will not hear... De Nile is only a river in Egypt isn't it.

Bill Watson said...

Adolf, none of my information comes from computer models. In the 50s and 60s there were no Ecology professors to disturb the Kiwi farmers' peace, and there was less than one-third the number of stock there is today. NZ waterways--which had been largely undisturbed for millions of years--were still in fairly good shape, if not pristine. Don Graves has made the point about present contamination levels, which are in large measure from the cumulative effect of herd intensification. It is easy to become a boiled frog if you don't notice the water heating in the pot.

Mike has also pointed out that "...throwing money at clean-up projects and fencing is not the solution...It doesn't effect the amount nitrogen getting in the water...nitrogen doesn't come over the land, it goes through the land and it's mostly through urine patches in the paddocks. You could have 100 percent of waterways fenced off and you would barely touch the nitrogen problem because all of these problems come from having too many cows on too smaller an area of land."

You can twist the (government) "95%" fencing stats any way you like, Adolf...but water quality sampling tells the real story, and Mike is telling us we're close to tipping point, after which your third-form mathemetician and his grandchildren will be stuck with the mess a couple of ignorant generations made of it.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Don Graves

Now that you've got that off your chest, tell me how many cows were pissing and shitting in the rivers in 1967?

If there is a problem with nitrate levels in water, maybe, just maybe, it's caused by something other than dairy cattle?

Bill Watson said...

Adolf, evidence shows clearly that fifty plus years of excessive amounts of nitrogen and other biological contaminants has had a cumulative effect; that much should be obvious even to your third form mathematician. Are you the official apologist for the dairy industry? Do you profit from herd intensification? “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it.” -Upton Sinclair, who 100 years ago blew the whistle on the meat packing industry

gravedodger said...

I am mystified as to how Joy.'s defenders could miss the point. Mr Hosking could have made equal reference to Mr Joy's clear bias against Dairy in his qualifying intro that only made reference to the guests academic background.
It is election year and Mr Joy, who I at no time dismissed as not being knowledgable, iwas always going to manipulate the base news item in his blatant preaching against the one single activity that enabled this country to escape the ravages of the GFC that struck supposedly much stronger economies than NZ.

Mr Joy is a crusader against dairy and I must miss any references he has made to applaud any of the not inconsequential advances in the Dairy industry progress to clean up their act, they do actually exist, also the equally damming attacks on local government that has little regard for the environmental effects of urban pollution of water ways in times of extreme wet weather.
They are numerous and include Mr Joy's work place city of Palmerston North.

How many of the army of the ignorant were so quick to condemn Dairy when Havelock North found illness being spread by their stupid refusal to monitor and treat their waterin the public supply.
So tell me again if it was Dairying that made the people sick, no it was strongly suggested to have been sheep sh@t, retractions across front pages, I must have missed that too.

paul scott said...

Jesus one look at Geaves scary clear blue Zealot's eyes and I got the picture.I go out now to shoot cows and farmers in the name of the religion ..

paul scott said...

And Bill ""Dr. Joy's party affiliation has nothing whatever to do with his message:"" yeah Bill enough already is too much, I believe Joy on Sunday church day. There are good reasons to be careful what discipline you send you child to at University.

Don Graves said...

Adolf ...
Your comments seem to be the reaction of an overly sensitive person. Sientists like myself & Mike are capable of listening to and accepting well reasoned criticisms, we're not taking extreme opinions, we're looking at evidence / analysing data & asking for 2nd & third opinions for other explanations .... & requiring 'peer-reviewed' critique of our methods, observations & conclusions ... However, we're also sometimes involved in supporting our fellow scientists against personal attacks!!.
Just because you don't agree with our difficult to swallow messages, doesn't give you responsibility or right to attack the integrity of the messengers. This isn't a pub brawl or drunken domestic dispute where 'he said ...." she said ... & then punch the people who disagree with your opinions .... scientific method is wide open to criticisms in the same civilised manner that criminal & civil court procedings occur...
Some soils & local climatic / hydrological regimes have lower limits of resilience to being over-stocked, or over-loaded with human NPK inputs & animal manures & urine. Had you noticed that the Lake Taupo catchment has Nitrogen limits that also include the measurable effects of decaying gorse & broom?
The RMA is a particularly permissive legislation when it comes to human / production uses of land water & air .... but it also requires resource users to AVOID, REMEDY & OR MITIGATE AGAINST EFFECTS ON THE SPACE & QUALITY OF NEIGHBOURS POTENTIALLY AFFECTED BY THESE ACTIVITIES.... e.g. It's no longer socially or politically acceptable to blow cigarette smoke / burn domestic rubbish piles or plastics / tyres into other peoples' faces or lungs .... Or maybe you think that there should be rights for individuals to do whatever they like & say "bugger you" to everyone else?

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Graves and Watson

Call yourselves scientists do you? I notice you have not attempted to answer the valid questions I raised but, instead, tried to label me as an apologist for the dairy industry. Out of your own moths you confound yourselves.

If there is a problem with nitrate levels in the aquifer then industry needs to sort out the problem. My understanding is, it is doing so and has been for some years. If it does not, then legislation will follow.

You seem to place all your emphasis on cow numbers and carrying capacity but have nothing to say about the use of very high levels of urea on pasture.

That looks very much to me like 'agenda' science where the preordained result leads to a reduction in dairy cow numbers.

No wonder they are called the killer Greens.

Adolf Fiinkensein said...

Here's a much more measured and balanced scientific assessment which includes some salient facts conveniently omitted by our crusading academic Luddites who probably would like to ban thunderstorms because they introduce nitrogen to ground water.

The aquifer nitrate levels of today were created by farming and horticultural practices adopted FORTY years ago.

Nitrate can be filtered out of drinking water.

So the 'problem' actually is imagined. Lets use the nitrate laden water for irrigation and then we won't need to use so much urea.

(Edited for spelling)

Anonymous said...

Adolph Troll ....You are probably the most stupid person, arrogant beyond belief in your own invincibility, it has been my misfortune to read in many years. The fact that you are a known liar has no bearing on my assessment.

Lord Egbut

Gerald said...

Kapuni produces abou 250000tonnes of urea which is about a third of the annual use today.
A continuing problem.

Noel said...

Nitrates have the same effect on river systems as phosphates.
Never known anyone to swim in a bore.