Chris Kott

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since Jan 25, 2012
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Toronto, Ontario
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Recent posts by Chris Kott

While you're not wrong, you also miss my point, Marco.

Non-natives = bad is a simplistic way to deal with the issue in my opinion. It is much more useful, I think, to look at inter-species interactions and their results.

I think that non-natives can greatly increase the level of complexity in any given system if enough care is taken. Native systems have been in chaos since before Columbus and crew brought smallpox and feral swine to Florida. Great care must be taken, but that's not a reason not to do anything.


5 hours ago
On the chemical ag culture:

It is ultimately a losing game, in my opinion. Glyphosate has been around for decades. The small percentage of target species that are resistant to this or any poison will eventually breed themselves up, passing along glyphosate immunity to their offspring. Any lacking the required traits are killed by the glyphosate, leaving only the strongest specimens to breed.

Sounds to me like a breeding program for RoundUp-Ready weed species.

It sounds flip, I know, but the US is has already started using older, more dangerous pesticides in places where the weed species are overtaking the RoundUp-Ready crops. I forget the name, but I read recently that there are lawsuits ongoing in the States regarding a newly reintroduced spray that vaporises in the summer heat and becomes mobile, so much so that people are suing over damage to crops and property.

And Bayer is just one company. There are many others, all doing similar things. The simple as-directed use of their products results in the breeding of weeds immune to their effects, and as I understand it, nobody had planned for just how rapidly they would adapt. I have heard that they are at least twenty years away from a viable glyphosate replacement, and are trying to make it more efficient to buy time by mixing in wetting agents, surfactants, and adjutants.

Well as I understand it, the US is about to have a serious surplus of soy beans on their hands. I wonder how much special seed and pesticide bankrupt farmers will be able to buy?

Of course, Bayer will probably let them have it on credit...

5 hours ago
I think this requires a two-stage process, perhaps three.

You want to physically remove any man-made garbage you can, I think. Any natural detritus should probably be gathered to accumulate more along the banks seasonally.

I think the key part of making it swimmable is to ensure that those areas of shoreline that can be left for nature be transformed into natural reed beds. Incidentally, reed beds could act as sediment traps along the shoreline if properly situated. They will also clean the water.

This sort of debris usually form sandbars, which can then be colonised by reed bed species that will in turn accumulate more sediment and organic debris. This is infinitely better than having sediment silt up your lake.


6 hours ago
I started watching the reboot. Accordingly, the only two doctors that caught from before that era were Tom Baker and Sylvester McCoy.

I liked Christopher Eccleston. He was my favourite until he was eclipsed by David Tennant. Matt Smith was okay, but no David Tennant, though I liked the story telling.

John Hurt was amazing. Just amazing. I don't know if he counts, though, because he was brought into being specifically to do things no Doctor ever would.

I haven't seen any after Matt Smith, but I look forward to watching them eventually.

I suppose David Tennant reigns supreme. Though the Doctor Donna was brilliant, simply brilliant.

7 hours ago
Timothy is the best, or at least most recommended for pet owners.

Alfalfa is to be avoided for the most part unless their environment is cold, as it causes their body heat to jump.

I know that red clover is a problem for some ruminants, especially pregnant ones, but I never got a straight answer as to if this applies to rabbits.

My rabbit, a Flemish Giant named Mizzou, will eat a sunflower plant down to whatever is left above the soil line, though if it's three metres high, it might take her a bit. I would see if that works, along with other plants they will eat. I wonder how nettles would go over...

Incidentally, one of the first things I read when researching rabbit ownership was that there was a distinct difference in raising a pet versus raising a meat rabbit, even if coming from the same litter. Apparently, it is desireable to limit the amount of protein the rabbit gets if you intend it to live a long time as a pet. Someone raising rabbits for meat has no such considerations, and frankly wants as much weight gain and growth as is healthy for the breed in as short an amount of time as possible. Meat rabbits don't need longevity.

So Timothy is best for pets, I think, but in cooler climates, a mix including alfalfa might be better for meat rabbits.

8 hours ago
J Anders, you're inventing political distinctions that don't exist.

Leftists aren't a thing. It's just a lazy way that Rightists (see what I did there? How marginalised might that make a right-winger feel?) have taken to describe anyone not as far-right on the political spectrum as they themselves are, which is pretty much anyone.

A religious reading of recent history could describe the evangelical Christian right as having elected the antchrist, who pays lipservice to their beliefs but holds none of them. I think he is taking the country he is running (into the ground) the same direction he's taken about every business he's owned: bankruptcy. After all, what is the value of all of Wall Street if its all in USD as it takes a hit against all other currencies?

I defy you to show me where in any recognised official document it clearly states that Communists are illegal in the USA.

It is less than useful hyperbole to refer to anyone that holds political beliefs to the left of yours as communists. It is also inaccurate.

I wish people who liked to voice their political opinions understood the other side better, instead of slamming the door on conversation with dog whistles and willful lack of understanding. Since when has it been desireable to embrace ignorance and division over intelligent discourse that brings us together?

As far as i know, the US has its political Left, which sits just to the right of everyone else's Centre, its political Right, whose extreme looks a lot like either Theocracy or Fascism, and Libertarians of every flavour along that spectrum.

The white evangelical right are in decline, which is why they were prepared to compromise everything to elect Herr Drumpf. All they had was their supposed moral high ground. What is now left to them?

9 hours ago
I would be less worried if the potential escapees stood no chance of overwintering on their own , but I don't think a release of these to the environment would be catastrophic. The natives adapted to this environment would easily out-compete the newcomers.

Also, the "technology" you mention isn't complicated; a decent wood shop student with a router could build a rudimentary one. Two simple guillotine closures could seal the cabinet and the drawer, so the drawer could be removed, still sealed, for freezing.

In our highly disrupted natural world, native is an increasingly meaningless distinction. It literally means "born here." I think it better to look at the natural predators and control mechanisms of each choice. I will gladly, if carefully, choose non-native analogues if they are more productive. Such absolutes are hardly useful.

Unintended consequences are always a concern, but I think intentional, careful use of non-natives is the only way to prepare our world for the changing climate. That will reduce diversity and system complexity by itself. In that vein, we have nothing to lose. I would prefer to set up resilient, self-complicating natural and food systems so that they can spread in the event that the natural world doesn't adapt as quickly as possible.

I'd rather that than a barren waste populated only by native cockroaches.

10 hours ago
What is its current condition, and what do you need to accomplish?

Does it hold water? Are there contaminants that require bioremediation, as in fungi, heavy metal-accumulating plants, and reed and pond-edge filter plants?

If you could fill in some details, including perhaps some pictures, any advice offered would be closer to what you're looking for.

12 hours ago

I once saw a proof-of-concept installation for raising crickets in the home. It was sized to fit in a small closet or pantry and was, for display purposes, constructed of acrylic and designed so that, even when adding food scraps and removing adult crickets for consumption (the focus of the installation was entomophagy, but I thought it would work nicely for chickens, personally) crickets remained isolated from the outside environment.

The drawers that slid out functioned as little airlocks, such that you couldn't open them to the outside without closing a door inside. When it came to harvest, the adults would be encouraged to congregate in an area adjacent to where eggs had just been laid, an area that was, in itself, a drawer that would seal upon its removal. The idea was that this drawer was removed to a freezer, where the crickets would go dormant and then die, and could either be stored or processed.

I am sure that such an approach would work to ensure that your cockroaches don't escape into your home or the environment.

I wonder, though, were you thinking about live feeding, or would the freezer death chamber work for your cockroaches the same way that it did for the crickets? I mean, less of a chance of escapees if they don't get out alive at all.

Would you grind them into meal at that point, to feed to pigs in a slop? I know chickens that free-range will almost always fight over live bugs, but they would probably eat freeze-dried cockroach readily enough, I think.

Fascinating, as I said before. Please keep us updated, and good luck.

12 hours ago