Chloe Swarbrick (CS); Steve, I see you are due to be retrained.
From The Ridge (FTR); I’m sorry, I didn’t quite catch that, I thought you said I was to be retrained.
CS; Yes, that’s what I said. You are next on the list. It’s your turn.
FTR; I’m sorry, I think we are at cross purposes here. Have you got the right person? I don’t need to be retrained; I’ve already got a job.
CS; I’ll just check my list. Steve Wyn-Harris?
FTR; Yes, that’s me. But I’m not looking for another job. I’m a farmer.
CS; That’s why you are on the list for retraining. We love our farmers which is why we want to retrain you for a new career when farming becomes redundant.
FTR; Who says its going to be redundant?
CS; I do and some of my colleagues in the Green Party. We must remove ruminants from the landscape, stop eating meat and start growing crops and vegetables instead. So, you and your colleagues are going to need to learn new skills.
FTR: Have you been spending time with James Cameron? I see he’s banging on again about stopping eating meat. To save the world. Doesn’t seem to worry himself about jetting about all over the place, running several houses and using ruminants on his properties to control the feed and eat crop residues.
As it happens, I’ve just had a quick look at your own expenditure on air travel. Between 1st April and the 30th June this year I see you managed to spend $9093 just for that quarter. That’s more than I’ve spent on air travel in thirty years. The previous quarter you spent 12k, 9k the quarter before that and 7k before that making it $37,000 for the year. Oh, and some $13000 on car travel during that year. That’s a large amount of emissions.
Doesn’t this strike you as a little hypocritical?
CS; It’s a necessary part of my job. I must meet with my constituents.
FTR; Chloe, you are a list MP, you don’t have any constituents.
And a necessary part of my job is to grow food to feed people. That’s why I have ruminants.
CS; But Steve, don’t you see that if you got rid of the sheep and cattle off your land you could feed far more people with a plant-based diet and you wouldn’t be destroying the planet with all that methane?
FTR; Lady, I don’t know what planet you are on but on my farm and most other sheep and beef farms the soils, topography and climate mean we only have two choices; either ruminants or pine trees. We can’t crop them. I struggle to grow a decent brassica half the time.
CS; Well plant trees then. That would soak up lots of carbon.
FTR; I’ve already personally planted 60,000 trees on my 360ha farm and recently got a gang in to plant another 15,000. How many trees have you planted out of interest?
CS; I planted six natives in our back yard last year to offset my emissions. We seem to have got off track here. We are here to talk about your retraining options. You can learn to be a barista if you like.
FTR; Haven’t we got enough baristas? There’s one on every corner here in Waipukurau, I imagine it’s the same everywhere else.
CS; Alright then, how about learning to grow plants for human consumption?
FTR; I already do. We call it grass and we repackage it into convenient packs of protein called chops, burgers and steaks.
CS; Steve, I don’t think you are taking our offer of retraining seriously. We want to help you transition from the current economic model to something more suited to one that leads to a sustainable future.
FTR; I’ll tell you what Chloe, bring Golriz, Marama, James, Jan and the others to my place and we will have a drive around and a chat and see if we can find some common ground. You don’t think I’ve grasped the challenges ahead of all of us and I don’t think you have a pragmatic view on what is really happening in the real world. It’s a genuine offer. Deal?
CS; Deal. See you soon.