In our latest BayBuzz Digest, we offer a range of views on the National Government’s handling of environmental issues, one year into its stewardship.
MPs Craig Foss and Chris Tremain lead off with Our Environmental Progress So Far. They emphasize the Heat Smart initiative, freshwater management, the NZ Cycleway Project, RMA reform, and climate change. On the latter, a rather contentious issue, they gamely claim that National wants to “reduce emissions in ways that result in the least cost to society and the economy” … the alleged “environment vs the economy” trade-off.
A variety of different assessments follow, some taking the view that the environment and the economy are indivisible, and that National doesn’t really “get” that reality.
This is the tack of Labour MP Stuart Nash in Fighting for the Right Choices, his critique of National’s environmental performance. And it’s echoed by Green Party Co-leaders Russel Norman and Metiria Turei in Not Living Up to the Rhetoric. Reading between the lines, one gets the impression that these out-of-power critics are actually relieved … they feared much worse out of National.
We also asked Raewyn Peart at the Environmental Defence Society (for my money, the thinking person’s national environmental organization) to have a go at the Nat’s enviro performance. Her article’s title — From Good to Scary — signals her assessment.
And I offer my own opinion in Unfulfilled Promise. As I see it, National, like any mainstream party, should be assumed to have a caucus that includes people seriously concerned about the environment and people who don’t give a rat’s arse. Where the balance falls is the key … and in this case, that literally hinges on THE Key! I think he still falls into the false “environment versus economy” trap too often, and he’s not attentive enough to some of the environmental damage the barbarians in his party might wreak.
All this sounds pretty heavy, so we’ve included columns from our irreverent observers of the local scene … Brendan Webb on Catching a Wave and Tim Gilbertson with And in Cell No. 4, once again illustrating why no one takes him seriously.
And don’t miss Roy Dunningham’s review of Seen This Century, an exhibition just opened at Judith Anderson Gallery in Maraekakaho.
P.S. You read the entire November BayBuzz Digest, including our adverts, in this NOV 09 Digest.