To some extent, this is a ‘me too’ posting, but I hope to have some value added in it as well. Over on WUWT there has been an appeal to help some farmers in Australia who have run into the buzz saw of governmental control. The “socializing” of private property rights. And that is how I see it. When you must get permission from someone, or some agency, to run your affairs or operate your business, you are a serf to the state. Your ownership and property rights are now shared ‘for the greater good’… You have been ‘socialized’.
The WUWT article asked for donations, so I’ve emptied my Paypal account into the donation button. Along the way I discovered more about using Paypal and how easy it is to just directly use Paypal to put money in others accounts. Those long suffering with a semi-broken donation widget here will see that I’ve tossed it and instead put in a direct link to the Paypal page and a slightly encoded email address. (Spam bots search for syntactically correct email addresses, so I’ve learned to put in ‘variations’ that people understand to defeat the Spam bots.) So I’ve already had a positive impact from my decision to donate.
If you think it is wrong to toss a farmer off his land because the Powers That Be are screwing around with him, see the article at WUWT or at JoNova and lend a hand. While the Jo Nova thread began some months back, on WUWT we find that it has reached the point where they have ‘days’ before eviction.
This is the original article from Joannenova.com. Well worth a read and with a load of interesting comments:
The WUWT article with a link to a donation button:
This link: DONATE BUTTON will take you directly to the donate page set up by Anthony Watts.
In private email, a reader (Ian B.) sent this which is one of the comments:
For my part I have taken the time and effort to become relatively fluent in Enviro babble.
My landscape has become environmentally degraded, and large areas of it have degenerated into a monoculture. Therefore I propose to intervene mechanically and re-establish the original biodiversity. I expect this to enormously benefit all native flora and fauna in the area, particularly the small marsupial ground dwellers.
As the general environmental health of the area improves, it will also enable some commercial livestock raising in a carefully controlled manner. Economic gain from the livestock will enable further employment of local indigenous people. This will have the triple bottom-line effect of improving the economic, social, and environmental, bottom-line of the area.
Translate to farmer speak:
The country has become overrun by useless bloody scrub. So I intend to get a couple of big bulldozers in and pull all that Scrub. So that some grass will grow and I will be able to fatten my bullocks on it, and make some money.
I will need to employ some black fellas to help me muster all those fat bullocks, so it will be good for them as well.
Also all the little native mice will have some grass to hide in and eat, instead of the bare ground that is now under the scrub.”
And in a curious way I find that encompassing so much. The farmer must be in direct and clear contact with reality. The “environmental advocate”, not so much…
The basis of the complaint about the Thompsons farm is that it will have smell from the cow poo. It sits right next to a hog farm.
I grew up in cow country and it is true that farms smell. To not expect farms to smell is incredibly silly. And yes, cattle feed lots can have more smell than a turnip farm (unless, of course, the turnip farmer is using a manure spreader… )
But it is very clear that a Pig Farm smells much more than a cattle feed lot. At least to those of us who have visited both ;-) Though I do have to say that a visit to a modest ‘egg ranch’ when I was in High School rapidly informed me that chickens can be even worse! There is a reason they are called ‘fowl’! That the cattle operation is taking flack and the pig farm is not just shouts “agenda” at me.
Here are a couple of links to examples of how mitigation can be done. The first one is an example using trees and other vegetation to trap odor:
So a planting of a bunch of Eucalyptus trees might help our farmer friends. The second is more of a story about a pig farmer that gives a broad brush to what kinds of things can mitigate odor.
And if it those things can mitigate pig farm odor, they can mitigate cattle odor. So perhaps the Thompson family can find a proposal to make for ‘mitigation’ that along with a little international visibility can get the local permit issues to see a little light and avoid some heat ;-)
I also have to point out to those living in large cities: Small town politics and power games can be very intense. If you piss off the wrong person who got to be mayor because his brother was on the city council, all sort of problems start to show up at your door. Folks don’t expect such things to be seen by outsiders, and get used to abusing power. So while I’m sure the Thompson’s probably made a bad planning decision to ramp up the scale faster than the ‘permit in hand date’, it’s also got all the fingerprints of ‘bureaucratic revenge’ all over the story. Especially telling is that the old “local guy” pig farm is getting a pass while the ‘new guy’ gets the shaft. Guess who is going to be best positioned to buy the Thompson farm at auction? Yeah, the local town power structure and the hog farmer…
Now, both of those farms can be managed to mitigate (but not eliminate) smells. Personally I’d have the ‘excrement’ sent to a methane digester and then power a diesel generator and sell the excess electricity. This is fairly commonly done and reduces smell a fair amount.
This page has a nice introduction and some decent links:
But lets be perfectly clear, here. Farming smells.
On the way from San Francisco to Los Angeles along I-5 there are two places where you will discover a more pungent aroma. One is a large cattle feed lot. The other is the nice green farm land where the sewage sludge from Los Angeles is spread on the land and ploughed in. Perhaps we should insist that the occupants of L.A. cease and desist their pooing as it stinks up the farm land? Hmmm?
Though, as a Farmer Friend said about the ‘aroma’ from his freshly manured soon to be planted field: “That’s not the smell of manure, that’s the smell of money”. (A very old and very common farm saying…) He ran about 50 head of hogs as a small money making side line and mostly had corn. It was the corn field that smelled that particular day.
One other comment from the Jo Nova posting caught my eye:
To Elaine at 125 and all others trying to justify the absolute power of the state and associate wowsers to endlessly interfer with our lives I would like to include the following quote from C.S. Lewis “Of all the tryannies, a tryanny exercised for the good of it’s victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber barons cruelty may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own consience.”
This totally describes the modern environmental activists in their self acknowledge aim to “save the planet”. Even the ex PM described it as a moral crusade. This allows the followers of this quasi-religion to inflict any sort of grief upon the average citizen for “their own good”. How can we rid ourselves of these people. They seem to infest all aspects of our government so a simple change of governing party will not suffice. I certainly hope their are some creative souls among us who know the answer to this question. If there is not, then we are truely doomed to slow destruction.
I find I agree with this a great deal. So if you have not already done so at WUWT and would like to take a swing at injustice, well, it’s pretty easy to make a statement with a credit card these days… So look at the kids in that picture up top and ask yourself: Which matters the most to me today? That $5 Starbucks Latté or keeping them in their home?