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.

Greens about-face on Tasmania safety burn-offs

A homestead burns in Tasmania

Australia endures regular bushfires. They destroy property and kill people and wildlife, but they’re necessary for the survival of various plants and trees.

The most important tool in managing bushfires to help ensure they don’t become monster conflagrations is controlled burnoffs in the cooler months — it’s really the only tool, since burning is the only practical way to destroy undergrowth and dead timber. That way, when the fires arise in the hot season they are not so large and damaging.

Burnoffs have a fascinating history. They’ve been practised since Europeans arrived in Australia, and of course the Aborigines, who started the burnoffs thousands of years ago, taught them how to do it. Since then the application of Western science has improved our understanding of the bush.

This week, on the Tasmanian Greens web site, in response to “a few queries about the Greens’ policy on fuel reduction burns,” somebody signing himself “Greens staff” claimed that the Party supports “fuel reduction burns as a vital tool in protecting lives and property in all land tenures including National Parks.”

But it’s only two years ago that they wanted to shut them down. Continue Reading →

Greens win, so Tasmania burns

Miranda Devine Blog, Daily Telegraph.

Tuesday, January 08, 2013
h/t Andy Scrase

First

It’s nothing to do with the climate.

WHEN Julia Gillard toured fire ravaged parts of Tasmania on Monday she couldn’t resist opportunism – using the calamity to push a climate change agenda.

As a result of climate change we are going to see more extreme weather events,” she said.

But the fact is Australia gets hot in summer – sometimes very hot – and if there is fuel on the ground it will burn. The more fuel, the wilder the fire.

Greens are environmentally disconnected

Green activists are mostly city dwellers with little understanding of the natural environment — regardless of how much they talk about it. How else could they put so much bush ecosystem, human property and human life at risk? Why did they go out of their way to meddle with well-tested systems of fire management that were working? Why do we listen to them? Continue Reading →

Fracking right

It hasn’t happened for a while, but today I agree with Nick Smith.

What he says about fracking confirms my impression that his position on global warming since the Nats took power has been constrained more by his cabinet obligations publicly to support government policy than by his lack of understanding of the scientific facts, for he shows himself perfectly capable of examining these, and on the topic of global warming surely he has examined them. But I digress.

Smith has an article in last Monday’s Herald, Fracking the sensible choice for NZ, in which he destroys the Green’s jittery arguments against fracking in the extraction of underground resources.

It’s a pleasure to read and, giving information about the true extent of both fracking and minor earth tremors caused by human activity, puts the absurd fracking “controversy” into perspective.

The Greens, with their emotionally-charged attack on the “new” environmental evil of fracking, have elevated the technique into our national consciousness. But this campaign, though as well funded as their other campaigns, has been just as distorted and free of objective content and once again plucks mercilessly at the public uninformed fear nerve. Continue Reading →