One of the themes that has been recurring in the news over the last few weeks is just how little the current government cares about our environment and the long term implications of their current policy agenda.
What they’re damning our future generations to makes my hair stand on end and I think it’s worth another look at what is going on.
First comes the outrageous softening of our emissions trading scheme — which has now pushed back any sort of business or agricultural compliance for yet another two years (and no doubt longer if they get their way.)
While there are compelling arguments that the scheme is really just another way of the rich making more money out of our dire environmental/ climate crisis, it is, at present, the only scheme we have.
NZ becomes a ‘laughing stock’
To further weaken it makes us a laughing stock and puts mitigation costs onto the already beleaguered tax payer, rather than the emitter at source.
It’s hard to understand the mentality, when National’s catch-cry for all these devious changes is ‘the economy’… surely they must see that our only hope for securing long-term sustainable business is to embrace changes now?
They cry ‘why should we be the first to do it?’ The answer is ‘because we’d show ourselves as innovative and smart!’
Why not lead the way? It is about the most sensible business strategy we can take in a climatically unstable world.
The world’s ‘most important issue’
They holler on about ‘innovation’ and ‘smart technology’ in every other bloody area, so why not this? Especially when it is the most important issue faced by every living organism on the planet today.
Our ‘clean green’ brand is already worth around $20 billion — by setting ourselves up as world leaders in the charge to save the planet think how much more business — and respect — we could gain.
Then there’s the dilution of the RMA. Again, the short-sightedness of this is deeply worrying. These changes are not about protecting our environment, or even about streamlining processes — it’s all about making it easier for Big Business to rip us off.
Critics say the recommended changes are a ‘Trojan Horse’ – cutting environmental protection under the guise of adding natural hazards to the list of considerations.
Come on, we all know National and their business buddies hate the RMA because it calls them to account. Let’s not buy the bullshit when we know the truth.
‘Full steam ahead’ on mining and drilling
Finally, of course, is the full steam ahead approach to mining and oil exploration. You’d think that after the Rena, Pike River and Waihi we’d all be wary of opening ourselves up to further environmental degradation and human risk, but once again the standard answer is: ‘It’ll be good for the economy.’
I have this terrible fear that this will be the folly written on the human race’s headstone: They died by way of killing off the things that sustained them… all for the love of money.
National’s sole argument for all these policies destroying the environment — which they are so hell-bent on enforcing — is that we have to ‘grow’ the economy. I hear the same tired argument bandied about again and again, by people who obviously buy the media sound-bites, with little thought to what they really mean.
These people haven’t grasped yet that if we’re not really careful, the days of the species known as ‘human being’ are numbered.
And those who think everything can be solved by exploiting the very land we rely on to feed us and shelter us are nothing more than dinosaurs on a mission to enrich themselves before the final curtain falls.
I’ve got news for them: a healthy bank account won’t stop them dying. Money makes no difference to the dead.