“When a National Government enacted the Resource Management Act in 1991 it was groundbreaking, establishing New Zealand as a world leader for our domestic focus on sustainability and its emphasis on the interrelation between economy and environment. However the years subsequent have seen a blossoming of ignorance in those tasked with governing us, with this key dependency sidelined in the push for economic growth. Our current government only continues this trend, albeit in spectacular fashion – removing the right to protest oil exploration at sea while claiming it as the solution to our modest economic woes.
If the above isn’t enough to convince you of the institutionalized lunacy running our country then Greenpeace’s recently launched oil spill model might be just the thing to push you over the edge. Frustrated with the lack of communication from the companies granted exploration permits (Anardarko refused to release their own modeling) Greenpeace took the matter into their own hands, hiring experts and using industry standards to model the likely effects of oil spills from the two exploratory wells going in this summer. That’s right – going in. This is happening, in our backyard, with the Government’s assent.
As the models show, even conservative estimate of flow rates and recovery times leave our marine environment decimated. The reach of a potential spill is vast and its downstream effects considerable – and not just for our marine life.”
“There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action” – Goethe
The charge of ignorance is not one I would level lightly. Ours is a complex world and people act for a variety of reasons; it is at the core of a liberal perspective to respect these – but even liberal tolerance has its limits. These aren’t arbitrary limits or the decree of some paternalistic dictator – but the very real limits of biological systems, set by Mother Nature herself. It doesn’t matter what the supposed economic benefit are: the ongoing pursuit of deep-sea oil by Messrs Key and co. flies in the face of all available evidence. This isn’t open to interpretation or only the domain of a small subset of society, but a key – the key – issue of our day. Climate change is no longer a problem that we can leave to “future generations” – it is happening and…
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