Wednesday, December 2, 2009

2025 and all that

What a desperately sad document the report of the 2025
Taskforce is. And yet how tremendously instructive too—in
in the way that accident investigators find the site of a train
wreck. Pinched, narrow, number-fixated, crippled by a
concept of ‘the economy’ as something primarily to do with
money, the report is not so much inhuman as ahuman,
bereft of anything signifying that it might have been written
by people for people. It is the little bit of business done by
grown men fascinated by their own motions. The very
concept of ‘catching up with Australia’ bespeaks an
impoverished imagination. One might say that that is what
the Government asked the ‘taskforce’—a committee,
actually—to do, but we have seen other official reports that
go further than their brief to show courage and vision.
Justice Mahon on Erebus, for instance. This one could
have had something serious to say about the state of the
nation but this is an age of diminished leadership and Don
Brash and his colleagues have adjusted their moral height
accordingly. Among their 35 recommendations you will
find not a single reference to climate change, global
warming, carbon footprints, the ecological credit crunch,
the planet’s inability to go on sustaining human lifestyles
at the present rate. Such news has clearly not penetrated
the consciousness of homo economicus, still smashing
rocks in the cave of his boardroom: a creature who, looking
out the cave entrance, sees not a horizon but a bottom line.
There is one reference to emissions trading, in the sense
of its being a possible impediment to ‘development,’ and
some concern expressed about road congestion; otherwise,
the whole green movement might just as well have never
happened. Through the eyes of Brash and co—and here’s
where the report is truly instructive—we see just how
juvenile and irrelevant they think ‘green’ issues are. New
Zealanders, the report says, and a hat-tip here to new
Green MP David Clendon for noting this, have frittered
away economic opportunities: ‘We distracted ourselves
with increased focus on fashionable causes and issues such
[as] sustainability.'

Oh, so that's what we've been doing with our contemptible
concern for the health of the planet. Being distracted.
From? Making more money and consuming more resources
without a thought for the morrow, of course. Silly us.

1 comment:

Pdogge said...

Well said Denis, reminds me of that Oscar Wilde quote ending in "knowing the value of nothing"
Ah well...nil bastardum....