Hauraki at Tipping Point
Saturday, September 6, 2014 at 12:45PM
Bill Barclay

To those of us who have watched the steady deterioration of the Gulf over many years with almost unlimited intensification of dairying through the Waihou and Piako catchments, this article in today's NZH by Andrew Laxon reporting NIWA scientist Dr John Zeldis will come as no surprize.

It is not what you can see on the surface - it is the unseen build up of carbon dioxide, and consequent acidification starting from depth that is almost irreversible.

"When you factor those things together you come to the conclusion, which I think is inescapable, that agriculture is dominating and has for many years dominated the nitrogen climate of the Firth of Thames."

Sixteen years of oxygen level study has led to this inescapable conclusion. The bane of every dairy farmer - Dr Mike Joy chimes in with the claim that the true value of NZ dairy exports ($13.7b in 2012) could be halved if the true cost of dairying were counted in the equation.

And still the Fed's Dairy Chief Executive Tim Mackle repeats the old Fed shibboleth about the contribution to pollution by non-dairy sources - "big cities, small towns - they are all going to be in the firing line." I guesss that we just have to accept that they will have be dragged kicking and screaming towards reality.

As I repeat endlessly, the real problem lies with the need to intensify to meet borrowing costs resulting from over-valued farms willingly financed by banks. Greed is built into the price because farmers see their big pay-off in the capital gain when they sell - a fact that neither the Feds, nor the Government appears willing to acknowledge. The capital gains issue will not go away - regardless of all Bill Engish's 'red herrings.' 




Article originally appeared on BillBarcBlog (http://billbarclay.co.nz/).
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