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NZIF Newsletter 11 March 2019 (Perley Pick)

Thinking about the Ends before we focus on the Means

Some bright spark once wrote, “Remember children: Whenever you employ Instrumental Rationality, somewhere in the world an Gulag comes into existence.”

First, some sociology.  ‘Instrumental rationality’ was defined by Max Weber as a focus on ‘means’ – what will work.  Great for factories.  Great when the goals are set, now let the engineers and the agronomists loose.  

But what of that purpose, that strategic vision?  That’s where ‘Value Rationality’ comes in, a focus on what is the good ‘end’.  And that is far far more than simply positivist numbers.  It requires a breadth, a ken of cause and effect, consequences and feedbacks within a complex system.  More especially because we are looking out decades, not months or quarters.

Focusing only on means alone – the instruments – can take us down a dark path.  You can rationalise all sorts of madness because – for instance – the discounted cashflow based on precisely enumerated, but subjective, assumptions might indicate a particular path.  For example, the supreme and uncertain logic of producing a price-taking commodity in a discerning future market – or one that might not be there in 30 years time – which country will be the next building boom Japan, Korea, China?? – or passing costs on to the land, the stream, to future generations or a local community who … are human.  Consequences.  

12:57 AM, 11 Mar 2019


2012 10 22 14.37.20

In the News 11 March 2019

Forestry News from around the world and New Zealand, including:

  • Forest Growers Levy Vote 2019
  • Climate change tipping point could be coming sooner than we think: Vegetation may not be able to continue abating effects of emissions from human activities
  • Nitrogen-fixing trees 'eat' rocks, play pivotal role in forest health
  • Indigenous knowledge, key to a successful ecosystem restoration
  • Global climate action is nothing without local backing: Sub-national participatory decision making isn’t easy, but the reward is worth it
  • DOC gets $76 million to protect native plants and animals
  • Recovering forests important to conservation
  • Gisborne District – Forestry Future Assured
  • OIC Regulatory changes no threat to forestry
  • Tree rings tell climate stories that technology can't: Study suggests rings offer long term picture other technologies can't
  • EU-driven timber certification raises hopes for sustain forest management and forest dwellers' benefits 
  • Forests, carbon sinks cannot make up for delays in decarbonizing the economy, experts argue 
  • Surprising findings on forest fires: Researchers use drill cores to trace back the fires of the past 600,000 years
  • CIFOR and FOERDIA renew collaborative relationship with Memorandum of Understanding
  • More than 1,000 'out-of-control' wild boars are wreaking havoc in Forest of Dean with extra marksmen brought in to cull
  • Complete world map of tree diversity: New statistical model eliminates blank spaces

8:20 AM, 11 Mar 2019


Canty meeting3

Institute News 11 March 2019

The latest news from the NZIF includes:

  • Future Foresters Event
  • From the Registrar
  • 2019 ANZIF Conference
  • Valuation Standards: Discussion Documents
  • EVENT: Central North Island Local Section
  • EVENT: CNI ( Rotorua)  Local Section & NZFFA
  • EVENT: NZ Farm Forestry Assn Conference 2019 – Fast Forward
  • EVENT: 2019 Biosecurity Conference
  • Changed Address?

12:22 AM, 11 Mar 2019


Canty meeting3

Institute News 25 February 2019

The latest news from the NZIF includes:

  • From the Registrar
  • 2019 ANZIF Conference
  • NZIF Forest Fire Committee Newsletter 
  • EVENT: Central North Island Local Section
  • EVENT: Wellington NZIF Local Section & NZFFA
  • EVENT: NZ Farm Forestry Assn Conference 2019 – Fast Forward
  • EVENT: 2019 Biosecurity Conference
  • Changed Address?

12:53 PM, 25 Feb 2019



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