A superb blog today by Jeanette Fitzsimons about the
proposal to extract lignite from the Southland soil and
turn it into ammonia urea for use as farm fertilizer.
Now here's a great idea for economic development.
First, dig up Southland.
and proceeds majestically to demolish the case for
granting Solid Energy permission to develop this
proposal, pointing out along the way that
This dog of a project has only emerged because
of the Government's proposed changes to the
ETS. These changes mean that there is no cap
on the emissions for Solid Energy making the
urea, or for farmers piling on more nitrogen.
New Zealand's emissions will rise substantially,
but you, dear taxpayer, will foot the bill.
Jeanette not only remains a powerful political voice for
the Greens but has come to be an astute and acute
critic of agricultural practice in this country—not as
some urbanized greenie who never got cowshit on their
gumboots but as someone who knows farms and farming
and argues from a position of, essentially, sympathy for
farmers trying to make a living. She doesn't lecture them,
just points out the common sense (and economic value)
of farming more ecologically. She has even been
published in Straight Furrow. That's good. Far apart as
they may seem at the moment, I believe that the farmers
of New Zealand have a lot more in common with the 'green'
point of view than the rhetorical posturing of their leaders
would cause you to think, and as, over time, the two
positions fuse, the pastoral industries will change quite
dramatically in nature.