Forget prosperity, we need the extra tree

Cost-benefit analysis, anyone?

The Green Party today revealed that the National Government is allowing mining companies to search for minerals on our most protected conservation land.

To reassure New Zealanders that our National Parks and most precious conservation land won’t ever be open for mining, the Government should stop allowing minerals prospecting and exploration there.

via Our most precious wilderness not safe from mining | Greenweek, the newsletter

They say 50,000 people wanted to tell 4 million what to do. Without even discussing whether to measure the value of having reserves against the cost of locking away their natural resources.

Actually, our wilderness is not so precious that we’d give up prosperity to keep a particular piece of it. That’s taking the principle too far. We can replace a piece of any old reserve with another piece somewhere else. There’s plenty of it. Look at a map. Continue Reading →

Snip-it

Freedom by any means is freedom

Scissors

Auckland’s transport system is clogged up, and as it’s our largest city, the whole country will benefit from freeing it up.

The solutions already exist and are achievable. Please join me, and our transport spokesperson Julie Anne Genter, this Sunday afternoon at the Green Party Auckland office to launch our new transport campaign Reconnect Auckland.

Green transport solutions, like the City Rail Link, will help build a smart, green city of the future.

via Free up Auckland | Greenweek, the newsletter

Whenever new lanes, tunnels and bridges are proposed to accommodate more vehicles and alleviate Auckland’s transport woes, the Greens oppose them, even though it always becomes faster to get around.

Now they argue that the “whole country” will benefit from the “green” solution of a few more buses and trains, seeming not to realise that’s also the aim of the extra motorways and tunnels. Also seeming not to understand that public transport is no solution.

That’s because we already have private transport, which we control. We can already go wherever we want to, whenever we like.

A bus or a train cannot take a person where they want to be, because nobody (beyond a few sex “workers”) has business at a bus stop or railway station. Sure, in the city there’s no difference between a short walk to the office from the bus stop or the car park and it’s a trivial thing. But we’re talking about every trip, not only into a crowded city, but also around the suburbs and even, oddly, into the far more spacious countryside, where no bus can serve everyone. Each of these trips must negotiate the perilously crowded main roads in and around the city.

Importantly, buses and trains don’t use the most efficient route, or go at the right time, so they are more expensive — and less convenient — than a private car.

But don’t try telling the Greens that people insist on going where they want to go, right when it suits them.

Because the Greens know little about serving the people and don’t seem to care.

Big roads and private cars are the “greenest” of transport solutions, because they keep the big dangerous bus monsters off our roads.

NZ warming to soar and slump

Today, the NZ Herald announced:

New Zealand’s climate is forecast to warm by at least 1°C by 2050, while the average rate for the world has been put at more than 2°C.

via Warming likely boost to vineyards – NZ Herald.

The article said it was good news for wine. James Renwick was asked to comment and thought stonefruit and pipfruit wouldn’t suit warmer conditions and “other potential negatives included more floods and cyclones, sea level rises, and more plant and insect pests.” (There’s always someone with a gloomy view, isn’t there?)

But this move in temperatures is hard to reconcile with what we know. Continue Reading →