CategoryBiodiversity

Bee-ing Frank About the Future

There is still some confusion over the health of the bee population in New Zealand. Some argue that bee populations are stable or increasing, while others suggest that bee populations are rapidly declining. The short answer is that wild bee populations are declining, and while managed hive numbers are increasing, honey yield isn’t. This is a clear example of diminishing returns (increased inputs...

Insuring Carbon Credits – All Smoke & Mirrors?

The degree of technical wizardry involved to understand the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) legislation and its practical implications, was, and still is, draining. This combined with the Government’s early mistakes in setting the rules, saw many ETS linked commercial operations fall by the wayside – caused either by a lack of sophistication in their business models, or simply starving to death...

Biodegradable Lubricants: Oiling the Wheels of Change

Lubricants are an essential part of any piece of moving or rotating machinery. The applications in which lubricants are used are countless, ranging from speciality industrial compounds used in power plants to basic penetrating oils used on squeaky door hinges. Typically, lubricants are based on petroleum fractions (aka mineral oils), liquid by-products of crude oil refining. Mineral oils have...

Farming Profitably Within Environmental Limits

Globally, over $100 billion of inorganic nitrogen fertilisers are applied to crops and pastures every year. Between 10 and 40% of the applied N is taken up by plants. Much of the remaining 60% to 90% is returned to the atmosphere as ammonia or nitrous oxide – or leached to aquatic ecosystems as nitrate. The use of inorganic N in agriculture is recognised as a highly inefficient – and...

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