Fuga de gas en California, estado de emergencia y crisis ambiental

Desde el 23 de Octubre en Los Angeles, específicamente en el Aliso Canyon, existe una gigantesca fuga de gas en instalaciones de la Southern California Gas Company (SoCalGas), que se ha convertido en uno de los desastres ambientales más grandes de los últimos tiempos.

La cantidad de gas que ha sido liberada a la atmosfera desde el pozo de almacenamiento es difícil de comprender solo en base a números. La estimación oficial más reciente, de la California’s Air Resources Board (CARB) señala que hasta el 22 de Diciembre pasado, unas 66.000 toneladas de metano habrían sido liberadas a la atmósfera. Lo que equivale a las emisiones de 7 millones de automóviles cada día.

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Para comprender mejor estos números, el grupo ambientalista basado en Estados Unidos, Environmental Defense Fund ha implementado un contador en tiempo real de las emisiones de metano, igualándolas a emisiones de CO2, gasolina y su equivalente en dólares.

Esta catástrofe ha sido comparada por su escala e impacto ambiental, con el derrame de BP oil en el Golfo de México el 2010. Sin embargo una de las mayores diferencias, está en el impacto visual de ambas catástrofes. Mientras la fuga de metano es invisible a simple vista, el derrame de petróleo tuvo asociadas impactantes fotografías y videos.

A mediados de Diciembre, utilizando una cámara infrarroja, fue posible capturar en imágenes el gas escapando de su almacenamiento subterráneo a la atmosfera.

 

La fuga de gas tiene claras implicaciones relacionadas con el cambio climático. Si bien el metano tiene una vida media menor a la del carbono, su poder de calentamiento es unas 84 veces mayor. Según señala Timothy O’Connor, EDF’s oil and gas director en California, la fuga de metano “podría doblar las emisiones de metano asociadas al uso de gas natural de California en un año”.

En cuanto a los efectos inmediatos del gas en la salud de los residentes del condado aledaño a las instalaciones de SoCalGas, estos han manifestado sangramiento de nariz, dolores de cabeza y nausea, lo que ha llevado a la relocalización de miles de personas.

Esta semana el Gobernador de California, Jerry Brown, declaró estado de emergencia en el área de Porter Ranch, Los Angeles debido a la fuga de gas.

En un comienzo, la empresa responsable intentó tapar la fuga, pero su esfuerzo no fue exitoso. Se espera que ésta sea contenida durante la primavera del hemisferio norte, cuando el nuevo pozo aledaño esté terminado y el gas pueda ser transferido.

3 Comments

  1. Thomas King

    In an age where the demand for protein has never been in such high demand questions of feeding an ever burgeoning human population spring to mind. In our land of fanatically faithful carnivores, many of us are only waking up to just how environmentally destructive, cruel and how polarising the animal slaughtering business really can be. The release and production of many horrifying reports are increasingly asking us to contemplate if there are any other more ethically superior alternatives. Seated at a discretely sheltered Danish cafe on a balmy summers evening with a cherished friend we yapped on about the state of his province the West Coast in the South Island and the hardships the region were going through. “Buying meats a killer” he declared flapping his arms like a bird propelling itself into flight. “We’re bloody lucky we’ve got lots of ‘weta’ (cricket insect endemic to NZ) or we’d be eating our gumboots”. I’m sure that even the most famished Coaster would veer away from a tasty treat of fried cricket as to avoid a public lynching at the hands of the public. It was a sly bluff but i wasn’t buying it. That said, his position was understandable and his economic anguish. However it did lead on to one very inspiring debate not solely about the future fortunes of a reeling community but about the dietary destiny of mankind. For if there was one thing the Coasties (West Coasters) could take consolation in was there ability to promote their well reputed *Wild Food Festival*. This was an occasion which pushed the average everyday ordinary Kiwi to push the limits of what he or she was prepared to stick down their gobs. While a logger by trade, my rugged weather beaten calloused skinned mate had a sense of affinity for the Greeners. “We got some pretty unique bird and bush. We don’t want to be a mini Outback”. But it was when we came to farming that he became most spirited. “Yeah, it is (the farming sector) our bread and butter (economy) but there’s gotta be more to life than milkshakes and fillet steaks”.I nodded accordingly. “We Kiwis do some flipping crazy sh*t when we go ‘contiki’ and yet when we return we roll back into our conservative shells of conformity.” He did have a point, away from the roost we could be a lively bunch but back in the coop we could equally be a dour and dry lot of mopey Muppets. He belted on “Nah, that Food Fest brings us to life gets us to mingle and gets us to think beyond the limited notion of either having pork, lamb, beef or chicken for tea each night.” I smiled for both of us knew that even these meats were the preserve of only a select number of economically privileged and soundly blessed New Zealanders. “Back when i was a wee ‘tadpole’ (young boy) lamb was as cheap as chips. The butcher was practically throwing the carcass at ya”. Indeed I recall those times from my father’s recounts before neo liberalism forced our lamb industry to seek the greater remunerative rewards of the Asian market. And as far as “cheap as chips” the 90s potato blight had certainly reduced this phrase to the redundant file. “Yes” I agreed “Now chicken is the new lamb. That’s what we’d sink (eat) on special occasions”. “And pork” he interrupted flinging his finger in the air like a fierce composer. “But those industries… Mate they can make you ‘chunder’ (vomit)”. Local campaigns had certainly drawn attention to the cruel nature of pen and battery reared creatures. My passionate friend sounded on. “We always claim we want diversity, choice and that we won’t be pegged and here we are having to live of only a few staples”. “Yeah, well farming is about maximising the mass amount of product which you can get out of your paddocks and from your well permits”. I stated smugly quoting my old AgriTech researchers sale pitch to the class. “True, but mate just look at all the resources needed to beefen up those heifers. Or the f*cking sh*t those pigs and chooks have to go through before they end up in your cauldron”. Brash that my friend was but I could not fault his logic. “Nah, those Maoris is who we ought to begetting lessons from. They know about what ‘kai’ (food) is all about.” I do agree from a distant summer living at the ‘marae’ (communal house) of a former Kai Tahu (South Island tribe of the Canterbury region) Maori friend that the Maori had a national reputation for being indigenous gourmands. Over several weeks our tummies were satisfied with the unfamiliar delights of eel, trout, shellfish, duck, swan, deer, maku (shark) and wild boar. All deliciously palatable and an immensely memorable experience. Never had i been so surprised by such exotic delights. “But, we live in the real world I asked. No one or not everyone wants to be a” bushwacker”(live like an ancestor/person living without technological needs). “Farms exist cos masses exist.” Shaking his head from side to side like a windsock being slapped by the breeze my friend energetically displayed his disappointment towards my restricted remarks. “Who says you can’t farm other things though. There’s got to be even more potential out of farming less resource intensive species while avoiding the ethical perils bound up in it”. It was then that his piercing ‘pounamu’ (jade/emerald coloured) eyes darted towards a snail sliding it’s way up the leaf of a gold and royal green hued wide leafed hosta plant. “Escargot, Monsieur?” i recoiled in shock retreating back from the statement that struck me like a venomous snake bite. He grinned. “Ya see, I tell yah. In a fancy Nancy posh Euro cafe enjoying pastries filled with Kiwi butter and cream while sipping a latte with our milk you’re a ‘wuss’ (coward/afraid/chicken/hesitant) but at the Wild food Fest you would have thrown the little sucker down to your gut (stomach).I confess i probably would have but as far as i was concerned the gulf between a one off pageantry of foraged feeds and the daily staple was a width spanning the expanse of the Pacific Ocean. However, in his quest built upon shock and awe my determinedly driven friend was intent upon stamping his case onto my impressionable nature. “Just think about it, Cobber (friend) we could have a bug bug-get (budget – his neologism not mine unfortunately). A Culture of Bugs i pondered, how eerily creepy. I was sceptical. It seemed about as rational as selling ice to Eskimos or bags of sand to bedouins. “Nobody likes creepy crawlies” i stammered. “They seek ways to eradicate them not to have more of them.” My wise twinkle eyed friend quickly reaffirmed his commanding stance in the dialogue. “Yeah, a whole dirty industry (the pesticide one) which only survives because we allow them too by living upon a chemical obsession.” i respected his passionate plea as my mother had been the toxic chemical nemesis for ages believing in using only two very accessible, very organic and very inexpensive natural items to sanitise our family fort; baking powder and vinegar. I tried to let him down gently with some dissuading words of reason. “You’re light years ahead of us in your thinking, Bud” i said in my most flattering of make believe tones. “But i just don’t think the masses would flock to your bugphoria craze”. With a wry smile and a quick wink he forced his way back into pole position. “i know you think I’m deranged and a bit deluded but there have been plenty of nutty ideas over time that managed to make there way into the norm into the err mainstream.” “Like what?”i intendedly pressed on. Well like drinking alcohol, smoking dried leaves and buying sugared water for starters. And what about the fast foodies. Once upon a time we all went home or to the team cafe expecting to eat real grub (food) not the wam bam thanking you McDonald’s girl mam for the burger with the sh*tty dried out piece of jerky lodged between two overly toastedpieces of cardboard which they call a bun. How have we allowed ourselves to accept this? To actually put this cr*p in our guts and to sacrifice tea breaks, lunches and other rest periods with fine food and fantastic company?” “well we can’t all live like the French” i retorted gruffly “otherwise we’d never get any work done”. I was all for culinary opulence and indulgence but in the real world of deadlines and insufferably severe schedules le facon francaise seemed a bit too exuberantly lavish given the circumstances. That stated, the quick fix Soylent Green fluid diet which had come to dominate many of our rushed lives was arguably a substandard substitute. And yet, here we were. Some getting through the day on Gatorade, V, Tab, Coke, milk shakes, sugary ice slushies, healthy but not really that healthy smoothies and that king of Kings the caffeine hit in all it’s shapes and forms. Thinking about this shambolic liquid intake my reservations about chomping on a bug chip or chewing on a slug pate cracker began to feel more feasible. “All this refined junk we’re throwing into our engine can’t be good for the ol’motor” my friend beat on like a drum in overdrive. “I guarantee you that if you go back to our earliest ancestors they were having a few grasshoppers in the salad bowl”. Did the shift to agriculture which first appeared in the Fertile Crescent of the Middle East lead us to neglect a once vital component of our nutritional intake? But wasn’t the point of growing wheat and domesticating cattle sheep and other creatures to get us away from eating ‘pests’ which carried plagues, ate our crops, bit us, stung us and generally irritated us with their presence? Why would humanity after entering the dawn and glorious light of civilisation ever wish to go back to this Dietary Dark Age? Yes, we probably once roamed around with the minimal fur we could muster but few of us yearn to return to striding the planet in our Birthday Suits. “I’m not sure people would embrace this blast from the past concept, mate” i saidhesitantly. “i just think its too radical”. My friend laughed in a mildly mocking manner trying not to wound my injured ego any further. “All it takes is an ideological shift. Then, you’ve hit the jackpot. You’ve found a winner”. “An ideological shift?” i queried. “Yeah ya know like Italian in the 50s and 60s. Seeing Julie Child, Jacque Cousteau whatever. There sceptic at first, curious a moment later and converted two minutes later.” My friend did lead a compelling case. It was true that after the immigration legislation was softened after the we 2nd World War that our foodie revolution really began to take off. “You know what I’m on about” he buoyantly babbled on “those days of just the corner Chippery and nothing more. Now you can chose from Thai, Japanese, Korean or whatever fusion feed ‘floats yer boat’ (makes you happy). Indeed i could attest to most Kiwis shunned away from me in revolt when i recounted to them of having eaten raw fish in sashimi and sushi and even when i told them of how i savoured eating udon noddles with ‘hashi’ (chopsticks). Certainly what we Kiwis know now about food makes me and my ancestors seem like dusty relics. Bug fever may have seemed implausible upon first appearances but the possibility that it may catch on was by no means a foregone conclusion. How would it catch on though i wondered? My perceptive friend read my mind. “All it would take is for one of the eateries to create a trademark dish. It’s probably gonna come from the Oriental side but ya never know”. Bug dumplings, caesar salad with beatle croutons, it all made the mind spin just thinking about how uncomfortable it made me feel. But, that didn’t mean that i was completely closing the door on the affair. After all, i was one whom believed that everything merited at least a chance.Still, many doubts flooded my perplexed mind. And i imparted these concerns with my cafe companion. “It would be a mammoth task to manage. How do you exactly farm a bug? How would you contain their numbers? Wouldn’t spraying and the need for insect management control only increase? What if these critters broke free from the bug farmers paddock? How would the environment fair faced yet again with another ecological blunder founded on the avarice and ignorance of man. Don’t you think we’d be contributing to a biohazard of epic proportions?” My friend smiled allowing me to go deeper into my tirade. “And then what will this mean for humanity? Will it create and enforce a culture of inequality between those who eat meat and those who eat bugs? Or the what about the biosecurity threat these things might cause to border control, quarantine and the realistic risk of plagues and infestations? Will these creatures once released pose a threat to other species? Plants, animals and our agricultural industry? What will tourists think of us if we go down this road? Would farming bugs threaten our tourist sector? And what about the risks of cross breeding? Are we on the path to creating a Frank-insect? Is it right for us to play God with bug blending,? How would this affect our trade industry,? Would this turn nations off from trading with us for fear of receiving a Pandora’s Box? Could bugs be perceived as a biological weapon? What kind of reservations might this cause between trading partners and rivals? Could this lead to strained political and socio economic relations? Might one witness the break down of economic trade treaties? Wouldn’t this impact upon economies or maybe even contribute to a recession?Beyond breeding a potentially malicious little ecologically perilous nightmare what about that other issue of feeding mankind on bugs? Is that ethically right? What if a sprayed bug makes us ill? Will we be deprived of all other comestibles? Will it put certain other farmers out of their livelihood? How would it be both managed and inspected to ensure that we are getting an edible bug? What will be the distinguishing factors which determine an edible bug from an inedible one? Will bug harvesting be seen as morally complicated in the way we treat this particular type of living creature?” My friend chuckled heartily. “Geez i never thought of all those possibilities” he said scratching his shaggy head. “I s’pose you have a point”. I grinned somewhat smugly like a living version of the Grinch contented with having made my case. “Still” my friend argued “who knows what we’ll be chomping in 5,10, 15 or 20 years time”. His poignant words were certainly food for thought as i excitedly gazed down at my Danish “Spandauer” pastry shell bathed in a glossy sticky sweet glazing and hiding a deliciously gooey spiced apple surprise beneath it’s layers of golden radiance. An exotic foreign ‘postre’ baked item i would not have been eating nor have known about over 20 plus years ago. Maybe bugs do indeed deserve a palatal whirl to get this Cultural Shift ball rolling.

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  2. Thomas King

    Christchurch New Zealand’s very own earthquake city is slowly like a phoenix rising from the rubble and ashes. But, before it can be rebuilt it has to be further reduced to a even more ruinous state. Accompanying an old friend whom had entered into the rebuild mission, I was eager to hear what steps he and his associates had taken to rebreathe some much needed life into our flatlining city pulse rate. To my astounding shock, what i was invited to was not a homage to man the creator but of man the destructor. Hopping into his pepped up dozer he set forth in demonstrating how one turns something already devastated into an even greater eyesore. Sitting down shortly after to masticate a sandwich brought by a fellow workmate we commenced to reflect upon the massacre that confronted us. His friend, a foreign boy of fair complexion with a bumpkin Canadian accent, shook his head. He informed me that he was a chippy (builder) by trade and had left O’Canada to be part of the rebuild effort. “You know, I hate undoing some of these great residential and country roads. They really could have done so much more with them”. My friend a New Yorker, in origin nodded. “You’d be ‘a-booot’ right too, Hockey Boy” gently jibing at his Northern neighbours accent and die at all costs love for anything done on ice. “These dummy council and state ding dongs have put more money into pulling down the city that putting it up”. I could sense the animosity rolling of his tongue. I tried to lift the mood. “Well, so long as the pays good and it keeps rolling in, you’re doing a great job”. I hadn’t fooled myself and I was kidding if i thought I’d played a winning bluff against these highly intelligent North Americans. Patty, the Canadian, drooped his head like a graceful swan retreating to the waters mark. “Nobody celebrates a guy that drives a digger, Tommy. Even more so when they see that guy driving round it all day and seeing the ground as a dusty flat pancake at the end of the day.” Hayden as agreed. “i do the job for the green but i don’treally like where it’s going. I feel pretty dissatisfied come clock out time.” I could see where they were coming from. The patch where they toiled day in and day out looked like a mini Sahara with a view of the Port Hills in the background. “I can see the point when there fixing that road up for roadsters (cars) to race across it but to just pull them up when they’ve got another route being plotted out is just dumb.” Jumping back in i stated what i assumed to be ‘the obvious’, “well, but if the roads are no longer roadworthy why would you keep them there anyway. The dynamic Northern Duo, turned towards one another in a moment of collective group think unity then turned back grinning in my very direction. “Buddy, you guys could learn a lot if you thought outside that tunnel visioned box”, declared Patty. Hayden gave the thumbs up “the old girl (the section of highway) may not take a car but whats to stop the graceful old senyora from holding some bicycles, skateboards, rollerblades or just some casual old stompers (walkers/joggers)”. I was little lagging in my effort to understand the picture which these guys were trying to decrypt for this old slow modeled Kiwi. Patty waved in a fashion which suggested that i should make a move on and get with the programme and pronto. “You knoo (now i was beginning to hear his Canadianess) a nice little perch for a picnic, to smell the roses, to maybe watch the stars on a clear night. To meet your buds. To pick up your future wife”. Yanky chimed in “oh come on you have to know what were talking about you silly little flightless Kiwi. Surely you’ve seen them while watching CSI NY or one of those other all the same repackaged crime procedurals which we export to you guys”. The Eureka light suddenly clicked on in my now radiance drenched mind. “Ah oh you mean those umm errr (rail) track umm errr retreats where you guys go for some R & R (rest and relaxation). The Canadian clapped while Uncle Sam pat my back.” Give the kid a prize, Maple leaf, croaked the relieved American gladthat the game of charades had finally terminated. “oh and FYI (for your information) we call them High Lines back in the States” he gleamed in referring to its appropriate technical title. “i looove them” i replied not really knowing what else to say seeing that i had never been to NY and everything i did know about it had largely come from the tube (tv). Captain America kept on beaming but his Canadian friend was keen to burst his ego bubble. “Typical New Yorker. You guys just think you conjure up everything.” The perplexed American stared back blank faced. The Canadian merrily bantered on. “You should have the right to know Tom that the idea really came from the French.” “Really?”i mustered all my energy to reply. “Oh yeah, the NY one and others alike it in the Land of the Free (cough cough poking a finger softly into the ribs of his southern neighbour) were actually inspired by the Promenade Plantee a tree-lined walkway in Paris. We actually walked part of it when it first opened up to the public in the early 90s. C’etait magnifique.” “You would say that though you French speaking cheese eating surrendering monkey. Go chomp a French fry, buddy. We’ll stick with our Freedom fries (he said winking and heartily laughing)”. Amongst the fun spirited national revelry i was awestruck by the idea. “It sounds so surreal, like aerial utopias floating in a sea of concretia.” i exclaimed at the glorious mental illusions that in that instance filled my mind. The American regained control of the reins from the mildly agitated Canadian. “Seriously, these elevated linear public parks pack a punch with what they afford your average spectator. They’ve allowed green foliage to reclaim it’s stakes to the NY cityscape and the sight of birds contentedly darting in an out of these ecochic highways is a refreshing presence”. I could just picture the avian traffic flow soaring overhead while I leisurely sauntered without times pressuring presence at the back of my mind. “They certainly give you every ounce of a reason to get yourbutt away from the bureau” the eager Canadian added to the American’s soundly convincing case. “These sites are what keep city slickers sane” he pressed on. “There’s always a good reason to go to the Line. Whether it’s to meet a friend, engage in some vigorous or gently paced recreation of just to get some vitamin nature in your daily diet”. Clearly, a great deal of foresight had gone into conceiving this project which advantageously served it’s citizens and visitors in so many marvellously magical manners. The plucky American crowed on “heck the tourists rave about it and it’s gonna be on your average visitors itinerary equally with seeing Lady Liberty herself”. “it doesn’t even seem phoney” he kept proceeding to state as if intent to drill his convictions well and truly into this disbelieving South Sea Islander. “It feels so genuine that it’s like a cardiac artery pumping goodness and goodwill around the Big Apple.” The Canadian’s head tilted in acknowledgement. “I hate to say it but these places bring out the best in even your atypical unruly Yorker”. “It’s as if these parks have a power to morph these men and women into moral wonders. Showpieces for a model America beyond the sad stereotypes they sell us in pop culture”. El Americano shook his head, “you don’t believe everything you see, Champ. However point taken. The people that do take to these places are real people who take great pride in this park as an asset to the health of their city and their own wellbeing”. “I hear your natives get quite jumpy when anyone takes to the park in any sacrilegious fashion” queried Patty. Hayden fixed his eyes on the questioning Canadian intently “why wouldn’t they? This place means so much to so many people. It’s a hub and hive of throbbing social pursuits catering for such dynamically diverse tastes.” Rolling on, Hayden turned his attention to the largely mute Kiwi elephant at the matinee tea party. “Several places like this could really give a much needed moral nudge and economic boost to the people of Christchurch, Tom.” I elevated my shoulders uncertain really of how to meet his challenge. He persisted probing me to deliver a response, any kind of verbal spillage seemingly would suffice his foreign curiosities. “They’ve done some great stuff over on Oz to get the folks out and about come the ‘smoko’ (tea break) whistle”. His relentless poking forced me to contest. “Look, the idea is thought provoking but we don’t really ahh have anything very high left in Christchurch err as you can probably see”. They bellowed out in childlike laughter at my on the spot impromptu remark. “Who says you need to raise the road, Kid?” Hayden said trying to suppress the tears of delight which were welling in his squinting eyes. “Yeah” tipped in Patty “what’s so wrong with having a Flat Line, after all then you’ve got some great soil beneath you to grow some mighty bush”. I’d never looked at it from that angle before. “A project like this could spur on so many benefits for the people of the city that seem almost inconceivable even fantastical”. I looked on not wishing to intrude while my guest were delegating so devotedly on this delicate matter of which my familiarity with the matter was minutely thickle. “Depending on where it goes a ummm Low Rise could serve as a way to get more commuters to get to work by bike or on the hop (foot). It’d be a great way to reduce congestion and to deal with your winter smog problem.” Mr Canada concurred. “Yeah and as some of these ex-roads are wider than the NY tracks you’d have some serious space to play around. Tree lined berms and spaces for curbside business stands. A vehicle-less utopia for friends of the planet.”Let’s not forget the desirability of such a communal asset also” chipped in Hayden. Places such as these concoct a magnetism that draws people towards them. Like a neighbourhood with good schools, shops and other amenities people want things that bring ‘value’ to their lives. The High Line did this bringing about a host of psychosocial benefits all while boosting the housing market around thelandmark. Once one guy has it, others will want a piece of it too and even if they can’t get it well it’s presence may be just enough to inspire some positive proactive change in the greater community. At the upbeat least, you’ll have some very passionate tourists hitting your side of the ‘burbs (suburbs)”. Such splendid suggestions i thought as my view towards this previously contentious matter began to severely shift. “Best of all” Patty peeped “it would be a speedy and savvy use of time and resources to raise up the spirits of the townsfolk all while raising the morale of the workers currently devoted to more de constructing missions than ones devoted to development.” He sang on “oh how brighter our days were if we were tending to flower beds, raking leaves or painting pedestrian crossings rather than pulling up these barely scathed surfaces”. “So many of our chums could be putting in lightbulbs, installing park benches and moving fragrant strips of freshly clipped clover. Ah now wouldn’t that be a lift for our sunken souls.” I couldn’t have agreed further for the thought of partaking of what they were doing on the daily failed to appeal to my nature where wasting perfectly adequate resources was akin to the act of committing a cardinal sin. The American sighed. “it chokes me up everyday having to uproot perfectly healthy shrubs and plants along with incredibly fertile rich bio soil put it in a tipper truck and drive it out to the dump. What a blooming waste!” i took a moment to divulge a rare opinion. “It would be amazing if they converted one of these old roads into a bee and butterfly highway and filled it with pollen laden plants.” Both smiled before Hayden replied “the opportunities are boundless and everyone should be able to get a bit of what they want from it. From using recycled debris already in existence to get the project off the ground to pleasing the many different types of expectations attached to such a venture. Whether that be a jogging track, arboretum or insectorium”. I adored the idea of an’Insect Kingdom’ given that the population of Christchurch’s bug population had taken a grand knock after the quakes. Unsurprisingly, my Canadian friend had also pointed out that beyond our flowery gardens our river fish had also paid a price for the decrease of insect larvae breeding around our contaminated rivers. Indeed, for those ‘brave enough’ to still eat from these food sources, the competition for food from the rivers fostered heated hostility between suburban city dwellers. Of course, the pesky kind of buzzing nuisances were never really in danger of departing from our lives. While fish missed out on cadflies we still received our even more generous annual dumping of the common house fly and a swathe of malicious mosquitoes over the sweltering simmering summertime. “Finding an equilibrium is the key to everything, Tom” decreed my deep thinking Canadian comrade. “i sadly saw a lot of homes where fish ponds were abandoned and these beauties were as homeless as their human equivalents. Surely, ponds could be created to give these forgotten fellows a fresh stance”. “and don’t forget the frogs”cried Hayden. “Anything that’s got an appetite for flies is a friend of mine”. “Yeah, ohhkaay fine and some toads for the Prince to pucker (kiss)” exclaimed Patty. “Hey, not cool, dude” expressed Hayden with a devilish grin on his face. “I’m still searching for a Maori Princess” he contested winking at me while doing so. “I’m sure the Maori would see the cultural benefits of supporting such an inspirational initiative” Patty professed. “I agree” i answered astounding myself more than my companions.Hayden intercepted me. “The road could serve as a metaphorical time line of the accomplishments of your indigenous people” he emphasised. “On the plus aide aside from serving as a cultural smorgasbord for both locals and visitors alike, it could act as an emblematic reminder of the efforts we have to take both Maori and Pakeha to protect an environment which we all now share”. “But you don’t want it to be a walk of shame” replied the Canadian. The American shrugged. “Obvious what’s done is done but we still can take bold acts to remediate what we as a species have damaged. I like the idea of ending such a promenade with a symbolic pot of gold at the end of the yellow brick road. Why not have a meaningful road which leads to a ‘marae’ (Maori communal meeting house) a place which can serve to venerate and promote both cultural awareness and natural conservation.” “I like the idea of a place which at it’s core facilitates the promotion of sociocultural exhibitions which encourages cultural immersion, recycled eco friendly arts and crafts marquees and a place where harmonious human collectivity flourishes”. Canadian Pat face palmed himself. “What KiwiBoy was really tying to say, in translated simplified English, is that the path could lead to a park, botanical reserve or an outdoor arena or theatre”. “Ah i got ya.” the relieved Yankee breathed. After deep acts of respiration he suggested that a ‘trail’ that lead to a market garden would be an exciting prospect. “It could be tailored and delivered in such a fashion that it operated under the strict specific principle that only eco appropriately raised goods could be vended.” “Uuuh uuuh uuuh what do you guys think about the install of a small toll bridge? It would be a phenomenal way to spin some dollars to aid some very needy and noble conservation projects”. “That could work”i answered bobbing my head upon my spring coil neck. Patty yapped on.” yeah I’ve been doing some greenie bed time reading since touching down in NZ and from what I’ve learnt your bush is asunique as the birds and bugs it sheltets”. I couldn’t disagree with that observation so I just threw in some fancy stats just to show my Northern friends that I could go toe to toe with them when it came to a good old fashioned debate. “About 80% of NZ shrub and tree life is endemic to our nation alone. Lamentably they all compete for survival on under 10% of our remaining largely undeveloped unprocessed land”. “Jeez” yelped the pair bewildered by the facts that lay before them. The American composed himself and strove to rereciprocate in some form of communication “it’s no surprise that so many creepy crawlies and flying critters are in danger when the habitat which they depend upon for survival has been so massively eroded”. I nodded not knowing how further to proceed only aware that all of us were well aware of both the anthropological and environmental crises which were often so heavily intertwined amidst one another. Patty finally shattered the silence “i don’t know how pro or con i feel towards the gentrification of neighbours although i like the idea if it can lead to a reduction of crime. However, the fact that it would be a NZ and Southern Hemisphere first up novelty and something that could lead towards a greater holistic position intrigues and appeals to me immensely.” Hayden patted Pat “Pat has a point. I’d like to see something which brings humankind, their pets and nature closer together while serving as a historical legacy or a memorial to those in Christchurch whom have suffered from the historical ravages of those two great fears; quakes and puddles (floods)”. The material to make this a reality was in abundance. However, the ‘start from scratch’ mentality still overrode the masses. “Thats a lot of reusable rubble that’s being hauled cross country on diesel gurgling tippers (waste trucks)” responded Patty. “They could have saved a few oil wells, the atmosphere and our patience if they’d just given the linear park idea some thought.” But instead, we elected to waste, money, resources and evenmore bemusingly our own time. Professing to possess the patience of saints which resting of on upon the lowest of social laurels. The ingenious nature of man can certainly represent itself in ever more spectacular shades sometimes. And at present this flat plane canvas of 50 shades of decay was leaving me and my companions very unfulfilled indeed.

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  3. Thomas King

    Professing to possess the patience of saints “whilst” resting upon the lowest of social laurels

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