I want to be clear with you all — it is not cows that have caused climate change. It is the way our economic systems are structured. It is greed. It is the demand for growth ...

The move to promote industrial forestry will eventually have an impact the wider public will see, but it might not be the one they're being sold.

Industrial forestry is being sold as New Zealand's answer in its planetary role in reducing the harm of climate change. This is despite reports that have clearly said that to keep the carbon storage qualities they offer as time goes on, we will have to keep planting a certain number of trees.

Eventually we are going to run out of farm land to plant them on. So where will the trees go then?

Advertisement

With the attitude shown by the government towards industrial forestry, no one is thinking about how New Zealand will pay its way to exist in the near and distant future. The system this country, and the majority of the globe, exists in is capitalism. If New Zealand cannot pay its debt or fund its infrastructure, the rest of the world is not really going to care.

This country relies on the massive returns from our overseas markets to enjoy our current standard of living, and the primary industries, and the other industries that feed off that collection, are responsible for a lot of the money generated.

People talk about tourism rising to replace dairy, but that industry itself has proven troubled elsewhere, such as Thailand and the Philippines. Moreover, ask councils with a limited rating base about what it is like to provide services for those rich enough to travel to New Zealand, but only being able to really rely on local populations to pay for it.
What has filled me with delight recently is the move of city councils to declare climate change emergencies, in a local council election year.

A personal favourite move was when the Mayor of Auckland City, after declaring a climate change emergency, was in a matter of days helping open the American chain store Costco in the city he represents.

Costco is known for serving many plastic things. We all know how the environment loves to wear plastic. Nevertheless, remember the problem is cows that burp.

I want to be clear with you all — it is not cows that have caused climate change. It is the way our economic systems are structured. It is greed. It is the demand for growth. It is the pressure to outdo your neighbour. Planting farms out of existence is not the answer for the nation's climate change guilt.

If we are to adapt and survive then our communities and politicians need to take responsibility for their behaviour and the decisions they make. We need to look at our fossil fuel usage.