Are you a Good Freemason? Remember your FC degree?
“So ought every Freemason to conduct himself towards this world; to observe a due medium between avarice and profusion, to hold the scales of justice with equal poise, to subdue his passions and prejudices, and in all his pursuits to have eternity in view.”

Thus we are taught in the Fellowcraft degree, but how many Freemasons follow the teaching

Increasingly we are being made aware that humanity is destroying our world with global warming, pollution and the exploitation of resources on land and in the sea.

How many of us agree that global warming is a fact?

- Are there any people, who disagree that much of it is man made, that are willing to take the challenge of holding the exhaust manifold of his car for 15 minutes with the engine running?
- In the 1950s Britain’s magpie population lived South of the Humber, in 2006 I saw many around Edinburgh when I visited, and I am told that populations have now reached Inverness.
- Photographic evidence of worldwide glaciers melting and that only occurs at temperatures one degree or more over zero celsius!.
- Temperature records show 2016, 2015 and now 2017 are the 3 warmest years on record.

Whether from man made heat or gases may be debatable. Surely if we can cool it we must if we want eternity for our future generations on Earth.
As Freemasons we have no option.

As Freemason we SHOULD look at all we can do to ensure ETERNITY not just for our childrens' childrens' childrens' and their families but for the whole human race.

Personal Action

While most of us are not “greenie”s, we should admire them for being society’s conscience.  We should also do our bit as a consumers to help. Personally I have taken the decision not to own a Japanese car, but have moved to Korean - I firmly despise whaling. Unfortunately I see a large proportion of “greenies” who do not take that personal stand.

Dairy Industry

I hazard the opinion that we all do not take a world wide view, but are very parochial. We as Freemasons do not have that option if we are to be true to our obligations. New Zealand produces a third of the world tradeable Milk products, but works its carbon footprint out on 0.06% of the world's population. There is no wonder our dairy Industry has a high global footprint per person. Figures show that new Zealand milk is produced with 40% less Carbon Dioxide equivalents than British milk. This is principally due to climate which allows our cattle to be fed on grass all the year round, where as Northern Hemisphere farming houses the cows during the winter months and have to feed them concentrated meal etc. Therefore any reduction in New Zealand milk output will result in considerable increases in Global Warming gases from production elsewhere.

Our scientists are also well on the way to reducing that footprint by 35% by vaccination to prevent Cyanobacteria in the gut, and this allied to our world leading Agricultural recording, breeding and research institues will allow New Zealand farmers to change to low methane producing stock.

Complaints of high stocking rates and soil damage from that abound. However, trials in the late 1980s between light weight Jersey Cows, and heavier Friesian cows showed that, when stocked at the same weight per hectare, the smaller cows outperformed the heavier by quite some margin. So much so the trial was stopped earlier than originally intended. However, New Zealand farmers reacted and it is a fact that the Jerseys and Friesian cattle in this country are considerably smaller than those of the Northern Hemisphere..

Finally good grassland farming takes around 50% more Carbon out of the atmosphere per annum than a good Pinus Radiata forest. So one must ask why we, the  public are not made aware of that fact. Well it is a fact that the dairy cow converts quite a proportion of that back to Carbon Dioxide, and Methane (25 times worse than CO2). It is therefore politic for those in power to stress the negative.

Clothing and Fashion Industry

Producing a pair of jeans is reported to use 10,000 litres of water (includes growing the cotton). Although firms such as Levi are working hard to recycle water and therefore reduce the water footprint and the dye product that is pumped into drains, treated or not. The cotton plant is a huge user of water and resources. Although Cotton is only 2.4% of the world cropping area, it uses 24% of the world's insecticides applied, and 11% of the world's pesticides (one-third of a pound of pesticides to make one t-shirt). In other words it is greedy for the world's resources. Other natural sources of fabric must be investigated.such as linen.

Because the clothing industry is a fashion industry the population continues to buy seasonally. So much so that 150 billion garments are produced annually, i.e. 20 new garments for every person on the planet. It is the 2nd largest industrial polluter after oil, produces 10% of all global carbon emissions,  the 2nd largest user of water and produces 20% of all industrial waste water.

However, clothing produces a whole lot of pollution when it gets to its end user and beyond. In the case of a ladies’ white long-shirt, for example, on average 3.3 kilogrammes of CO2 are produced during use before its disposal, if it’s assumed that it will be washed around 55 times before it becomes rubbish. In the survey consideration was given however to the fact that not every household has a dryer and that not every wash-load is ironed. If the product is put in the dryer each time and then ironed, the CO2 emissions increase, just from use of the product, to almost 12 kilogrammes. The Product Carbon Footprint then increases from approximately 10 to around 19 kilogrammes.

Apparently one pair of shoes produces 30lbs of Carbon Dioxide in its manufacture - and so it goes on and on.

Other Sources

New Zealand has a great Tourist Industry, and the golbal footprint might be relatively small while holiday makers travel around the country by road, bus or boat. However, they have already produced copious amounts of global affect by flying the vast distance to our shores. Many reports appear to overlook that negative when they compare sources. Just how much does flying affect climate on a passenger basis?

A horrific fact that came to my attention the other day is that Tennis balls are filled with sulphur hexafluoride -  a gas 22,800 times more damaging than Carbon Dioxide, and this means that a tournament such as Wimbledon uses in its tennis balls the equivalent of 170,000 litres of New Zealand milk each year. That comes from just the gas inside the tennis balls alone, and as we strive for no carbon status will this gas be changed or will tennis and other sporting ventures be restricted.


The World is looking to Electric cars and they are now becoming the future for many manufacturers such as Volvo, Jaguar, Toyota and Nissan.  Presently they are exceptionally cheap to run in New Zealand with government incentives. However, as fuel tax (67c/litre on petrol) cannot be levied they will attract road user tax, as diesel vehicles do at the moment. We are told New Zealand makes nearly 85% of its electricity from renewable energy (Hydro, Thermal and Wind power). With the uptake of electric vehicles, and their increasingly fast charge batteries, the requirement for electricity for charging will quickly exceed peak supply.

We will not need to use fossil fuel generation, The exciting prospect is that there are now clean green alternative generation methods. For instance a wind farm the size of Britain’s Hornsea offshore scheme, placed off the Manukau Harbour would provide all the extra power that Electric cars will need. Such a scheme may also reduce the transmission losses to Auckland from the South Island for normal use.

Solar power is ever becoming more economic, with firms like Tesla inventing tiles for roofing that will reduce the need dramatically for transmission lines. Scrub land, hidden valleys and waste land can be utilised for solar farms. We only have to look at China to see the huge schemes that are being constructed. New Zealand has a powerful sun and it is abundant as our melanoma statistics testify. Why even parking outside with a solar panel roof rack will recharge a car for the journey home

The future

This is now an exciting time to live. Among all the negativity are opportunities in new fields that have been opened up by the search for "green enterprises". We should look to the future with a positive attitude. An attitude that many famous freemasons in the past had. Will you follow our teaching and ensure you "have eternity in view."

Final Thought

Can we ever get an encyclopaedia of the Global footprints of various products, crops, livestock and activities?


CO2 Equivalents Link

Carbon Dioxide - Weight and Volume Equivalents

CO2 equivalents

GHG Lifetimes and GWPs
The tables below show the lifetimes and direct (except for CH 4 ) 100-year global warming potentials (GWP) relative to CO 2 for ozone-depleting substances and their replacements.


SOURCE: It's the Second Dirtiest Thing in the World-And You’re Wearing It /environment/its-second-dirtiest-thing-world-and-youre-wearing-it

On average, the production of one shoe produces 30 pounds of carbon dioxide and there are more than 15 billion shoes produced each year!

A regulation tennis ball has a diameter of 2.5 inches. Find the volume of the tennis ball, rounded to the nearest tenth inch
How Many Balls Are Used at Wimbledon?

Greenhouse Gas Emissions
At a global scale, the FAO has recently estimated that livestock (including poultry) accounts for about 14.5 percent of anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions estimated as 100-year CO2 equivalents

Breeding Dairy Cows to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Seaweed in Cow Feed Reduces Methane Emissions Almost Entirely

Greenhouse gas emissions from livestock can be cut by 30%, says FAO

Putting an end to gassy cows

Methane emissions (NZ)

OECD: NZ must tackle cow emissions

FUTURE NZ - Our Smartest thinkers' prediction for the year ahead and beyond (EXCELLENT READ)

Cutting Down on Cow Burps to Ease Climate Change
Livestock has directly caused about a quarter of industrial-age warming. Scientists in New Zealand are working on an anti-burp vaccine for those methane-emitting cows.

Methane Research Programme

Researchers in New Zealand are trying to prevent livestock belching methane

by G.C. Waghorn and S.L. Woodward$foragebeef/frgebeef.nsf/e5ae854df3230ce787256a3300724e1d/30242e114ec84f8487257162006b48b0/$FILE/CcbRuminentconributionsinNZWaghorn.pdf

Estimating Values of Environmental Impacts of Dairy Farming in New Zealand
by Ramesh Baskaran, Ross Cullen, Sergio Colombo

John's World