I see our old mates at Greenpeace are up to their tricks again.
I don’t doubt their ultimate intentions. Like me, and you, they want to make the world a better place. And overall, they are helping to do that. To get any change someone needs to be pushing, cajoling, agitating and advocating for a cause and they are very good at that. Those of you who resent any agitators for change and see them as stirrers, don’t forget that all the freedoms you hold dear such as democracy, freedom of speech and the like are from stirrers going back thousands of years who prodded and poked at the establishment and those with the power and money to eventually deliver the benefits of our current civil society. We are seeing some of those benefits being eroded in countries like the US and even here and must resist this erosion ourselves.
I’ve got a mate who is a bit of a fifth columnist from within the Greenpeace ranks.
A fifth columnist by the way is a term originating from the Spanish Civil War when a Spanish general talked about his four columns of troops and also a fifth column of citizens from within Madrid who would rise up and help him relieve the siege of the city.
My mate has just been sent an impassioned email from the irrepressible Gen (no not the Spanish General but Genevieve) Toop who has been somewhat a thorn in the rural sector’s side.
Gen says “Our rivers and lakes are filling up with slime and toxic algae. Now’s our chance to get the Government to clean up freshwater for good.”
Nothing new in that.
She goes on to say “For decades politicians have chosen to put the profits of the dairy and fertiliser industries before the health of the rivers, lakes and drinking water that we all rely on.
But, over the next couple of months the Government is finally drafting new water rules. This is our chance to act and ensure that our rivers are swimmable for generations to come.”
OK, more of the same and not unexpected.
However, her link to the petition that is currently bombarding minister Parker’s office says, “Join us to demand the Government ban chemical fertiliser, cut cow numbers and clean up our rivers and lakes.”
Here’s a change in their rhetoric. They have had their sights set on nitrogen in the past but now seem to be widening the net to include other fertilisers including our beloved superphosphate. Or don’t understand the difference.
This is a bridge too far Gen.
It’s akin to attacking Hillary or Lahore or McCaw.
There is absolutely nothing wrong using super (or nitrogen) if it is applied appropriately and away from waterways. It is one of the foundation stones that this economy is built upon.
If we are to feed 8 billion people, compost alone is not going to cut the mustard Gen.
I shouldn’t be surprised their latest campaign on cleaning up waterways again makes no mention of urban rivers or harbours.
Where is their outrage over Wellington City spewing millions of litres of raw sewerage and wastewater directly into their harbour just before Christmas? Is it because that’s where they mostly live? Maybe because they don’t want a massive increase in their own rates to upgrade 100-year-old pipes and infrastructure that are obviously no longer fit for purpose.
Wellington City’s slogan “Let’s get Wellington Moving” takes on a whole new meaning.
Where is the outrage from mainstream media or even an intent by Greater Wellington Regional Council to prosecute over this appalling breach of standards? Maybe because the Regional Council is a part owner in Wellington Water along with Wellington, Hutt and Porirua councils.
No outrage Gen over the sewerage spill by Wellington on the 5th August last year? Or Porirua’s dumping of sewerage into the sea in October 2018?
Where is the indignation and petitions about Taupo’s 800,000 litres of wastewater and sewerage spill into Lake Taupo in early July last year?
Any petitions Gen flooding parliament about the 40 Auckland beaches deemed too high risk to swim at in November because of sewerage from leaking and ageing pipes?
No, I didn’t think so.
Because these are the very people who send donations to Greenpeace and who sign your petitions.
Asking them to agitate so that they are forced to maybe triple their own rating burden to upgrade not fit for purpose infrastructure is too tough even for the fearless Greenpeace warriors.
Much easier to get them to put he boot into a bunch of unknown cockies whose world and lives they have little inkling of.
If this debate is truly about safe swimming, then wouldn’t we want to be getting the most bangs for our bucks?
Hundreds of thousands of New Zealanders want to be able to go to their local beach when its hot for a swim.
A few thousand want to head for a river.
Come on Gen, get that petition going to demand that city folk borrow money to pay their rates to upgrade their infrastructure to help make the world a better place.
I’ll happily sign it.