Researching an interview with Vicki Buck, the former
mayor of Christchurch who's into green business
ventures these days, I came across something she said
in 1991. As an innovative form of taxation, it could be
a very useful source of government revenue.
"I think negative people should be taxed," said Buck.
"They require an enormous amount of your energy."
Certainly, as the planet warms, any enlightened
government will sooner or later want to think about
the carbon emissions given off by depression,
negativity, stored-up grievances and plain old
grumpiness. As well as using the car less, and
cutting out plastic bags, we should all be cultivating
sunnier dispositions. It makes economic and
environmental as well as emotional sense.
Vicki herself is a living advertisement for positive
energy. I can see why the people of Christchurch
took her to their hearts. The interview was
punctuated by waves of laughter, often at her own
expense. She could be a big hit if she went into
national politics; only, her ebullience would probably
be crushed over time. In my experience, politics is a
chemical process for draining the life juices out of
human beings and replacing them with pod people.