August has been another quiet month for Horizons, with only the Catchment Operations Committee , the two day Strategy session, and a wasted trip to Wanganui for the Regional Animal Health Committe meeting which was cancelled and I was not get notified. Never mind. The vet that attends Dave Barker got caught out to, he did not scroll down far enough!

The catchment Operations meeting was interesting in that Mr Greer from MAF was in attendance, and during his presentation seemed to suggest the days of Government funding for Horizons Sustainable Land Use Initative was numbered. He requested that Horizons place emphasis on not necessarily more plans but getting those plans already written implemented. I wonder how many have been stuck in the bottom draw.Great news to me as I have spent considerable effort lobbying Ministers as to the negative features of this initative, and not always been recieved with an open mind. One, being the  Minister of Agriculture, Mr Carter. He was so incensed by my objective science and reasoning, that he wrote a strongly worded letter to the then Chair, Mr Murfitt expressing his great displeasure. Well Gary, I will say, jumped to my defence saying I was entitled to my opinion.

The big concern now is that Horizons will build up reserves at rate payer expense to continue on.

We have a serious issue arising with our flood protection schemes, in that nobody will insure these schemes any more. It seems that with global warming and Horizons unadultered acceptance of this that the Insurance industry has opted out.

The money being talked for repair is significant . eg September 2010, total damage $6.5 mill. Insured damage of $2.8 mill and uninsured damage of $1.6 mill with new damage since, for insurance purposes of $2.0 mill.

The Taonui Basin saga is still on going, with as explained previous, Horizons wanting to use it as a storage pond during times of excessive flooding to protect Palmerston North. Only problem is, its chocka full of Dairy Cows.

I walked out on the Strategy session . At least I went. Three other councillors did not for their own reasons unbeknown to me. I spent alot of time lobbying fellow councillors to change the ‘Well Beings’ from Environmental, Social, Economic and Cultural, to Social, Economic etc as per the requirements of the 2008 review of the Local Govt Act.  This forces staff to give Regard to Social and Economic as the prioroty order for decision making, and then give effect too, with regard to plans, policies and objectives of Council.

I thought I had the majority convinced but,  “no”, on the day they dissappeared into the status quo’s camp. There was no point staying. All decisions made at the strategy session have the environment as it’s priority first .And by that I mean the floura and fauna. I had to laugh to myself when just this week, the Taurarua Councillor is going nuts about the big slip blocking the Manawatu Gorge, and how contractors have to remove xxxxxx tonnes of rock and dirt off the site at great economic cost to the tax payer, including the extra costs imposed on industry finding alternative routes. He states that the spoil should be dumped over the side. Let the river do it’s work. Then completed his little tantrum by stating that these god damned Well Beings are to blame.  Well well. He was one of the first to jump ship.

Those of you who have followed my progress since I first publically got involved with regional politics will remember the first artical I wrote in the NZ Farmers Weekly, September 2007. In it I write of the unsustainable future for Carbon.  Espeacially if Govt has to use regulation to bring about Land Use Change. Well I have got to say that I am right. And am being proved right. Lets look at some of the nonsense promotional prices put on Carbon in those years. $30-50/tonne. Then reality started setting in and $25 became the figure. Well 3 weeks ago NZU’s on the spot market $13.44c.

Staff, to their credit, are now saying that the Carbon Market is unsustainable. Emitters are getting more efficient with energy use but what is worse, now saying that two rotations of harvest off most sites is all that is sustainable. After that the poor environment will have to be left to regenerate back to indigenous vegitation for another million years or so. Today I am looking at a Carbon report. It states Eruopean Carbon market oversupplied.

Minority Australian Government under extreme pressure. The carbon tax is behind this.

Carbon bubble lies ahead. According to the Potsdam Institute, to reduce the chance of exceeding 2% warming to 2050, we cannot burn more than 886 GtCO2 between 2000 and 2050. Given that we have burn’t 330 GtCO2 in the first decade, this leaves 565 GTCO2 in the remaining 40 years.

If the planet forges ahead with a low cabon economy , strictly enforced through regulation something will have to give. We have already burn’t 30% of our carbon budget in the first decade.

Lets face it, to achieve the ideal world. Carbon is going to have to become a hell of alot dearer, and that is unsustainable for the consumer.

We know that carbon and methane gases were alot higher in previous melliniums and we are still here. Carbon is essential to the life cycle of the natural physical. My thoughts are, that to restrict it will impact on all forms of the natural and physical in a negative way.

Oh did I  hear a whisper that Environment Waikato changed their Well Beings to represent the requirements of sec 10 of the LGA 2002. Social ,Economic,Environmental and Cultural?(In that order) Just a question.Could be wrong and readily admit that I have not sighted a written report.

See you next time.