Another Natter

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The recent find of a kumara pit led to a natter about climate change and protests

Another Natter

Albert had just finished digging his spuds when Henry arrived, so in a team effort, they carried the heavy six sacks into his shed.

‘Pretty good crop,’ Henry observed, ‘a bag per row.’

‘We laid down a lot of compost,’ Albert acknowledged Henry’s praise with a nod, ‘well rotted hen poo made the compost a pretty good brew this year. C’mon, let’s have a cup of tea.’

‘I see archaeologists have just uncovered a Maori kumara storage pit in Dunedin.’ Albert said waiting of the kettle to boil. ‘Dates back to 1460… amazing really, ’cos nowadays sweet potatoes can’t grow anywhere near this far south, it’s too blimmin’ cold. Amazing what those guys find out, don’t you think?’

‘Yeah, I read the article too, it’s not surprising that it was warmer then.’ Henry took his cup and walked with it and Albert, out to the conservatory. ‘The climate change bods don’t like to admit it though.’ And he gave his mate a cheeky wink.

‘I know you think climate change is baloney, but on TV, they’re reporting nearly every bad things that happens as being caused by it.’ Albert shook his head.

‘Here, I’ll show you a video.’ And Henry took out his phone, and showed Albert the video: Outsiders Weather and Ice Age Watch: Satellite data shows up climate forecasts. ‘It’s Outsiders Sceptics, an Aussie outfit. Now ok, it shows all the computer model predictions on warming and how the actual figures taken by some ‘independent’ satellites are well below the average of the predicted temperatures. The data finishes 2018 with the trend heading downwards, so they reckon we’re getting cooler.’

‘But on telly the other night, they were saying that somewhere-or-other, they had a record high.’ Albert scratched his head.

‘Yeah but you didn’t hear about Alaska this year, they had a one hundred year low. But even though what the video says supports my argument, I’m not so sure…’ Henry trailed off.

‘Why not?’ asked Albert.

‘Well, you’ve taken as many weather readings as I have – more probably.’ Henry explained. ‘So you know the temperature is taken inside a special weather box with vents so the thermometer’s not in direct sunlight. The method of measuring is supposed to be the same standard worldwide, right?’

Albert nodded. ‘Yeah, but we saw the site changing over time, eh? Our weather box was put in well before we planted any amenity trees, so it slowly became more sheltered… warmer. I see the one in town has trees around it now too.’

‘Yeah, so the basic data’s corrupted for a start and there’s no real way of correcting it.’ Henry agreed. ‘So how’n hell can satellites replicate the weather box conditions on the ground? I suppose they could use a formula but it’d be a supposed formula, so when someone’s compiling the data, they can make it to suit whichever result they want. Up or down. And anyway, they say it’s an average world temperature, how did they know what the temperatures were in Africa and South America a hundred years ago to work out a world average?’

‘No, I guess they can’t.’ Albert agreed. ‘Anyway, I see in the paper, the local young’uns knocked off school and had a climate thingi, the other day… y’know, a climate strike.’

‘Actually I was just walking out a shop as they were marching past, calling out slogans and waving a few placards! Good on them for having their say though.’

‘But you disagree with them.’ Albert said reaching for some shortbread.

‘Tell me, do you remember Tania Harris?’ Henry asked.

‘Tania Harris… no, I don’t think so. Who was she?’

‘Back in 1981, most Kiwis were getting sick and tired of aggressive unionist, Pommy unionist most of them… they were striking, disrupting industry.’ Henry replied. ‘She was just 22, and started a movement, Kiwis Care. She attracted huge crowds to march with her, waving placards and shouting slogans. The Muldoon government had been scrapping with the unions too, and when he saw that most Kiwis were angry about the unions, he called an early election, and won hands down, so he had a mandate to put the boot into them.’

‘I do remember.’ Albert said. ‘But, shit, I’d never have voted for Muldoon!’ Albert was a Labour man through and through.

‘I know, but see, it was an effective protest,’ Henry reckoned, ‘but look at the latest ones in the US. Kids protested against guns… good, but nothing happened, black lives matter… nothing much is better there… and where has all the money raised for black lives matter gone?’

‘Dunno.’ Replied Albert.

 ‘It’s unaccounted for… poof!’ And Henry made a sign of going into fresh air.

‘Typical.’ Albert rolled his eyes. ‘Well, we’ve declared a climate emergency, so the government must be taking some notice of the kids.’

‘Well, you know what I think carbon credits, Albert! We’re committed to paying through the nose to cover our deficit, to Russia no less, but have you seen where that money goes? Have you seen a stopbank being built to save an island?’

‘No and no.’ Albert replied.

‘Kids have every right to state their case, and I’ve criticised them because they’re critical of our generation, but I haven’t seen any actual mitigation of ‘greenhouse gases’ on their part, although there’s some tree planting going on now. But why are they planting trees?’

‘To store carbon, everyone’s conscious of that.’ Albert replied.

‘Yes, because for every hectare of trees planted we get carbon credits, but that’s about money and not about the environment…’

‘How so? Carbon storing is supposed to save the planet isn’t it?’ Albert asked.

‘Trees have a bigger role than that.’ Henry said firmly. ‘Trees are part of the water cycle, which is as complicated as the climate, trees pump water into the atmosphere from water stored in the subsoil. Litter from fallen foliage forms duff, which holds water and stops the runoff that causes floods. And they’re a habitat for all sorts of organisms from birds to fungi. That’s why I’ve been planting trees all these years, bugger carbon!’

‘Without thinking about it, same here, I wanted to attract bees and feed the birds, and I spread all the fallen leaves around the garden, it makes good mulch.’ Albert agreed, puffing out his chest.

‘Instead of climate change, I’d like to see the young’uns focus on other forms of pollution, especially the creation of waste. Our council’s sending rubbish 200 miles away to be dumped! How can that be sustainable?’ Henry asked, and added. ‘I see there’s another girl stirring the pot about climate change now too, someone… Bastida.’

‘Is she taking the place of the Swedish girl?’ Albert asked rhetorically ‘But I suppose kids don’t have any life experience so can only go on what they’re told… can’t they?’

‘Dead right, of course I worry about my grandkids, anyone should be worried when there’s enough nuclear bombs to decimate the planet 600 times over!’ Henry said. ‘Kids don’t seem to be worried about that nowadays, yet they’re alarmed about climate change. I suppose it’s because of Gore’s movie An Inconvenient Truth. Y’know, there’s been speculation about climate change for a couple of centuries at least,  but the movement has  grown because of propaganda put out by the International Panel on Climate Change, which isn’t a scientific organisation but a political one. Remember, none, none of Gore’s predictions have come to fruition.’ Henry stopped for a breather and to allow Albert to think about it.

‘Well, we all know about politicians don’t we?’ Albert laughed.

‘Sure do.’ Henry smiled back. ‘Kids like that Swedish girl are blaming you and me for mucking up the planet, and her ilk call us climate deniers, but some of us see through the politicians’ rhetoric. Nobody’s prepared to grasp the fact that climate is ever changing, it’s clearly not the same as it was in 1460 when Maori were growing sweet potatoes around Dunedin, and it won’t be the same as it is now in a hundred years. The climate’s dynamic, yet people are expecting it to stay more or less the same forever, that’s just not logical. The planet doesn’t exist for the benefit of human survival, we’ve been lucky for maybe 150 000 years, but our luck could run out any time. Nobody seems to have that figured out. It’s too easy to blame carbon dioxide.’

‘Are you saying that kids should just ignore climate change then?’ Albert asked.

‘Not at all,’ Henry replied, ‘there’s just a lot more to be aware of. You know me, I like to plant seeds and hope they grow. The thing is, our government has signed up to the United Nations’ Agenda 21 and its amendment 30, what they propose is pretty dramatic; redistributing world order, a world government, telling people where they can live or not live, what people can do with their land… stuff like that, there’s pages and pages of it. Looks to me, the IPCC is deliberately causing alarm so people will be so blimmin’ scared, they’ll let the UN’s agendas slip into place. It’s all politics… devious politics… in my opinion.’

‘Sounds a bit like a conspiracy theory.’ Albert eyed Henry for a reaction.

‘Yeah it does,’ Henry agreed, ‘but, there’s a lot of information out there if you care look. My suggestion for the youth of today is to check out the implications of agenda 21/30 and if they agree that it’s a future they’ll be comfortable with, and they might very well do so, then by all means make the changes that the climate activists are demanding. I won’t be here to see if they’re right or wrong. But they shouldn’t allow unelected officials make fundamental changes that are so radical without wide consultation. Governments are applying some of it already. So I’ll keep stirring and you never know, my seed may germinate.’

‘Well that’s cleared the air.’ Albert said smiling at his pun. ‘C’mon, I want to show you my bantam chicks, they hatched despite that blimmin’ thunder storm… could that have anything to do with climate change?’ And they both laughed.




Submitted: April 30, 2021

© Copyright 2021 moa rider. All rights reserved.

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