A World Environment Day Carol

Written By: - Date published: 11:01 am, June 5th, 2008 - 18 comments
Categories: articles, Environment - Tags:

Garth George surprised me today, and a welcome surprise it was. Here’s an extract from his article

I decided that in this week’s column I would have a bit of fun at the Greens’ expense in the wake of their annual meeting.
But since the spartan media coverage given to that conference was insufficient to provide 800-odd words, I went to the Greens’ website to see what more I could find.
Having downloaded the full addresses of both co-leaders, Jeanette Fitzsimons and Russel Norman – which, incidentally, between them run to more than 9000 words – I sat down in a comfortable chair to plough through them.
And within a few minutes these documents had me as absorbed as would a Tom Clancy bestseller.
In particular, Dr Norman’s dissertation on the state of our water supplies and Ms Fitzsimons’ exposition on world and local food production, processing and sale brought me to an inescapable, albeit somewhat uncomfortable, conclusion: that the Greens do have a vital part to play in Parliament, and that part is to be its political, economic, social and environmental conscience.

Now, many on the Right dislike green politics because it is a barrier to short-term profits but Garth is a conservative, he is no neo-liberal. His previous opposition to the Greens had been based on an innate distrust of people he sees as eccentric, not a real analysis of what they stand for. Once he actually learnt about Green policy and its scientific and moral basis, he changed his mind.

It’s easy to mock when you’re uninformed but, illuminated, Garth appears to have had a change of heart. That education, enlightenment, can really open people’s eyes should give hope to all of us who care about the environment on World Environment Day.

18 comments on “A World Environment Day Carol”

  1. Good on Garth George for heeding the evidence. Too many people don’t.

    Also interesting was his apparently unfounded presumption that the Greens would be easy fodder for a mocking piece…and that he admits it.

    Leaves one not knowing whether to laugh that he finally got there or to cry because it’s taken him over a decade to work it out.

    I’ll laugh. It’s better.

  2. Principessa 2

    Perhaps old Garthy should also sit down and have a read through what our PM and Labour Ministers have to say…

  3. outofbed 3

    Yes I was at the conference and heard both of the speeches
    I have on arriving home, then sat down and read the media reports of the conference and the speeches.
    And I am profoundly disappointed by the media coverage and I urge everyone to take the time to read and digest Russel and Jeanette’s words.
    The greens have got it right, ignore them at your peril

    http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/speech11885.html
    http://www.greens.org.nz/searchdocs/speech11880.html

  4. Phil 4

    “Now, many on the Right dislike green politics because it is a barrier to short-term profits ”

    This is only true of your interpretation for “the right”.

    There may well be some who hold this view, but I suspect there are more people on the left who view all on the right as baby eating slave driving racists.

    My personal objection to Green Party policy (which I think is reasonably consistent with the vast majority of the non-green-voting populace) is that they are willing to sacrifice all and sundry to the alter of environmental protectionism, regardless of the economic costs in doing so.

  5. “My personal objection to Green Party policy (which I think is reasonably consistent with the vast majority of the non-green-voting populace) is that they are willing to sacrifice all and sundry to the alter of environmental protectionism, regardless of the economic costs in doing so.”

    =

    “many on the Right dislike green politics because it is a barrier to short-term profits”

  6. outofbed: Welcome to the gross distortion of reality that occurs when the media are relied upon for an understanding of pretty much anything. In technical terms, the “dropped packets” account for most of what happened and the “error rate” on the remainder if often so high as to render it worse than useless. I have long since lost cont of the number of issues, events, and people I have personally known who have been distorted beyond recognition by the media.

    Phil: NO business is sustainable in the long term without also accounting for the REAL environmental costs. That WILL be a hostile concept to people who like to employ their capital in an area until they’ve utterly poked it, and then re-invest in some other area that hasn’t yet been strip-mined, exhausted, depleted or otherwise wrecked. In a “green world”, that approach to business has NO place.
    Raping the commons for profit isn’t an acceptable business model for any thinking person, whatever their views on the optimal distribution of any wealth may be.

    That aside, why should someone dirtying the soil, water or air we ultimately all share not have to be accountable for that? It makes no sense to allow the cost-free imposition of any ‘loss’ on another person or group without their agreement, for your own profit. That is the equivalent of theft.

  7. erikter 7

    “many on the Right dislike green politics because it is a barrier to short-term profits’

    What are the facts to prove it?

    Opposition to the Greens is directed at their controllist, socialist approach and their mesianic desire to sacrifice everything for their “environmentalist” cause.

    Bugger the human beings casualties of the process. In the Green Party book the environment comes first.

    It’s fine by me if they have that view of the world, but I don’t share that vision.

  8. Stephen 8

    Where are the facts to prove everything *you* just said?

  9. Draco TB 9

    What are the facts to prove it?

    Conveniently provided by Phil.

    Opposition to the Greens is directed at their controllist, socialist approach and their mesianic desire to sacrifice everything for their “environmentalist’ cause.

    Bugger the human beings casualties of the process. In the Green Party book the environment comes first.

    Which is as it should be – without the environment, we all die.

    It’s fine by me if they have that view of the world, but I don’t share that vision.

    Perhaps you need to do some more research on the matter.

  10. outofbed 10

    A little reminder people… The Greens commits to the following four Principles:

    Ecological Wisdom:
    The basis of ecological wisdom is that human beings are part of the natural world. This world is finite, therefore unlimited material growth is impossible. Ecological sustainability is paramount.

    Social Responsibility:
    Unlimited material growth is impossible. Therefore the key to social responsibility is the just distribution of social and natural resources, both locally and globally.

    Appropriate Decision-making:
    For the implementation of ecological wisdom and social responsibility, decisions will be made directly at the appropriate level by those affected.

    Non-Violence:
    Non-violent conflict resolution is the process by which ecological wisdom, social responsibility and appropriate decision making will be implemented. This principle applies at all levels.

    not much to argue about there eh ?

  11. Chris 11

    So if I gave Garth some wool, would he knit me a homosexual?

  12. erikter 12

    “Therefore the key to social responsibility is the just distribution of social and natural resources, both locally and globally.”

    The road to hell is paved with good intentions.

    What constitutes “just distribution” and who makes it? With what criteria?

    Woolly and dangerous words and tools in the hands of totalitarians.

  13. shorty 13

    Well I’m from the right (by NZ standards anyway) and my objection to the Greens is the far left element they are burdened with. If they stuck to environmental issues and got rid of Bradford and Co so they could be a viable coalition partner with either party thus keep them honest on the green isues then they may just get my vote, but until that day arrives not a chance.

  14. outofbed 14

    What constitutes “just distribution’ and who makes it?

    You should have read further

    Appropriate Decision-making:
    For the implementation of ecological wisdom and social responsibility, decisions will be made directly at the appropriate level by those affected.

    if they stuck to environmental issues

    Mr Shorty are the resources of the planet finite ?

    if you answer yes (which I can’t see that there is any other answer)
    Then how do you propose to share those resources ?

    You can’t say I want to to save the Planet for just me. or maybe “you” can
    The Greens are not right or left in the traditional sense,
    both left and right are two sides of the same coin
    unencumbered growth at all costs, just an argument on how the ever dwindling cake is distributed. Slices for a few, crumbs for the many eh ?

  15. erikter: I suggest you actually read Green policy instead of reciting your erroneous articles of whatever right-wing faith system you subscribe to. Market models are proposed to enable the best uses of resources in order to avoid draconian regulations.

    If you weren’t aware of that, please catch up before posting more comments so you can make a more intelligent and informed contribution to any discussion on the topic.

  16. Paul Robeson 16

    It was interesting to hear Garth George refer to the idealism and eccentricity of the past missing from politics today…

    I think the Labour government has been the worse for not being kept as sharp by criticism from the left. If you look over at the election coverage on scoop in a hand full of articles the issue of oil exploration and our unprotected marine environment is investigated, as is some morally dodgy business by one of our state owned enterprises. Hardly areas the Nats would chase with any real virtue.

    Perhaps the left has become a tad unfocussed?

    The current government certainly has not had the idealism of the Lange government in terms of nukes and race relations. But it has been much better in other key areas. Carbon neutrality? Well no, not really, but we have an airline and railways.

    I would like to hear the Greens put out a pragmatic and practical face. What is their key legislation? If they had a shot what would it be? What are they bargaining for?

    What would be step number one and step number two?

  17. Paul Robeson 17

    oh yeah- this is the same Garth George who thinks we are being brainwashed about climate change?

  18. Macro 18

    yeah!!
    makes you wonder doesn’t it!
    but then can you believe ANYTHING the man says?
    but nice to see he can read.

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