“Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould, but let God re-mould your minds from within...”
Romans 12:2

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Hilary's Desk

Did you know that dust

Hilary Butler - Wednesday, September 30, 2009

... can mobilise meningitis in the bloodstream? that Saharan storms in Africa "spread lethal meningitis spores throughout sime-arid central Africa? That 2 - 3 billion tonnes of fine soil leaves Africa every year in dust storms which is slowly stripping the continent of its fertility? That it was supposedly a dust storm from Africa which seeded UK with foot and mouth disease?

No, neither did I. Do you believe them?  Hmmmmmm... let's say that one pound of salt wouldn't go amiss.

Did you know that some scientists who had thought diseases were mostly transmitted by people or animals now see dust clouds as possible transmitters of influenza, sars, foot and mouth and respiratory diseases?

Let's try to attribute the increase in asthma in the Caribbean islands and Barbados to dust, shall we? Of course. "We are just beginning to accumulate the evidence of airborn dust implications on health."

Never mind that there is a humungous mountain of other excuses far more valid. After all, were dust really the issue, all the nations who have never done much else other than live in the dust would have been wiped out like the dinosaurs.

But don't worry.  All these dust storms --- which of course, will be the next plague to ruin your health; and which strip continents of soil and lead to mass starvation, we are told, ...  these dust storms from Australia, will help save the planet.  What about the inhabitants?

My crystal ball tells me that this new dust problem, will, of course, require a global "dust tax" in the developed countries, where yet more little people shell out on top of the carbon tax, fart tax, burp tax, fat tax, and every other possible tax....  After all, it's only developed countries which have the necessary money to rob.  The excuse will be that the dust tax is need to remedy a problem primarily by global big business raping the earth at an ever faster rate.  From well before the time that we, who protested about their activities, were considered anti-progress, hippie scum!

Remember Hamaker? Remember Orgill?  Remember Ephron?  See there is something funny here.  In Orgill's book which was coauthored with John Gribben who is a climatologist, they used a novel format to talk about how the world got hotter, more humid, more moist, more snow, and then bang.  Snap ice age.  Interesting.  You still hear the odd scientist muttering that the hot earthers have it wrong.  Do YOU remember when protesters against deafforestation were callously sneered at and called tree-huggers?

I guess I sound just like a geriatric.... Remember when...????

If every person in New Zealand, who had space, had a proper garden as opposed to grass, or worse, the ubiquitous stone and broom switch soundless static display... the people of this country would be so much healthier.  I hear, amongst those who are thinking, that home gardening is becoming quite the thing.  Yet, what's the bet some "expert" comes along some day, and accused home gardeners, who've created rich black soil over the years, of releasing green house gasses into the air, and slaps a tax on home gardeners?  If it moves, tax it.  Every slug or snail or compost heap, rots and releases carbon.  If it moves, smells or fertilizes, tax it.

Whether the theories in 1970 and 1980 were right or wrong.. whatever the end point is.. we were right about one thing. The bottom line, no matter the theory, is that the health of the soil and having masses of trees matters.  Nearly 40 years ago, while we protested about "10 rugby fields felled a day" and "How long will this continue?", the ordinary person walked past bemused, thinking... "I can't see what the problem is."

The answer to climate change is two-fold: 

Trees; the massive retuning to the ground, large quantitities of humus and fibrous carbon using animal manure as the activator.  Agricultural history shows that without animal manure in balance with vegetation, soil structure isn't nearly as good. The answer in Franklin is to make the "clay" which most people mistake for soil, back into what was once black, viable, living, teeming soil which retains moisture much longer, instead of the dusty fine particles of today, which dry out so fast, and then whip up in wind with the ease of a tiny feather. 

The answer might be simple, but the problem is that the solution involves hard work and commitment from every New Zealander. 

Listening to politicians, they'd have you believe that all they need is some more of your taxes.

When the last tree is felled, then ....   politicians might realise that you can't eat carbon credits or fart taxes.

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