Dear Amanda Larsson,
I see you are Greenpeace’s head of campaigns.
I’ve just read a piece where you were having a good go at the dairy industry and saying that the Climate Change Commission’s report missed its mark by not getting stuck into methane emissions. But we will come back to that.
Rather than what you were saying, I was more struck by the photo taken of you that went with the story. I know this is petty but please bear with me.
I see you were wearing a puffer jacket.
You do know that the linings of puffer jackets are made of nylon I assume? You may not be aware of this, but nylon is not a naturally grown sustainable product. I’m sorry to have to tell you but nylon is a type of plastic made from crude oil! Gasp. I knew this would shock you.
It gets worse. Once the plastic is crafted from this heinous oil substance, it is put through an intensive chemical process resulting in nasty by products that foul the environment to make it nice and stretchy.
Once the jacket passes its use by date, obviously burning it would be an awfully bad idea. That would release polybrominated diphenyl ethers, hydrogen chloride, hydrochloric acid, hydrogen cyanide and dioxins. I don’t have to tell you I’m sure that these are carcinogens, asphyxiants and extremely bad for the environment.
So, you will have to send it to the landfill. Problem there being that it is so well crafted that it is virtually unbiodegradable. They reckon that it might take several hundred years for it to finally disappear from the world and your conscience.
Mind you that puffer jacket of yours is stuffed with a natural product to keep you warm called feathers.
Most puffer jackets are crammed with duck and geese feathers of which 80% come from China. They have quite a neat trick for keeping the feather production sustainable. They hold the duck on its back and while its still alive they pluck the down and feathers from its chest. If you pluck a dead duck, you only get the one harvest of 60 grams but if you keep it alive then you can pluck it four times in a year. And they can be kept alive for five years.
It’s a brilliant business strategy meaning instead of 20 ducks, you just need the one poor bastard. As an ecological economist, I’m sure you see the efficiency in this.
Have you heard of this amazing fibre that is natural, sustainable, environmentally friendly and grown locally? It’s called wool and you should investigate it. It’s very cool and all the environmentally conscious folk are wearing it on the feet, heads, hands, and bodies. You can even carpet the house with the stuff. Who would have thought?
The other thing in the photograph that caught my eye was the cars whizzing past over your left shoulder.
I see your specialization is energy policy so you should be able to answer this for me.
Why do ecological economists like yourself always focus on dairy and agriculture and never mention the impact of say the tourism sector? Before Covid, inbound tourists were spewing 6 billion tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere to get here and holidaying Kiwis another 4 billion tonnes to travel overseas.
Given no one is going anywhere presently, we have stopped emitting a massive 10 billion tonnes of carbon. And CO2 is a much longer-lived gas than methane. Yet not a kilogram of these aircraft emissions is added to the country’s transport emissions. Keeping everyone’s feet on the ground would have a major permanent reduction in emissions.
Don’t you think that this is “the major weak spot” you highlighted that the report might have missed rather than methane?
Greenpeace is not calling for a shut down of the tourism sector to make the world a better place. A cynic might think that 3 million frustrated travelling Kiwis are probably a large part of Greenpeace’s funding whereas 51,000 farmers seem easier game.
Amanda, we all want the world to be a better place and we are all hypocrites.
If you are interested, how about we get you out onto one of the many dairy farms that has already reduced its cow numbers whilst maintaining production, fenced off their waterways and planted many thousands of natives to soak up any excess nutrients and storing carbon at the same time?