Monday, June 6, 2011

Tina redux

Nick Smith has kindly confirmed my view of his so-called environmental protection law by saying: ‘It is the pressure on land-based resources grows, that there will be more activity out in the ocean environment, for petroleum, for mining...'

Inevitable? We hear here the ghost of Tina ('There Is No Alternative'), the poster girl of Rogernomics, who was used to excuse every policy from floating the dollar to sinking the state sector. Nothing is inevitable in politics, Nick. Some things may be less possible than others, that's all. You're in government to tell the difference, not to shrug and walk away.

Your mate Steven Joyce, for instance, has no problem not regarding peak oil as inevitable. He's building roads and motorways as if all transport options remain on the table, unchanged since the day the first Model T Ford rolled off the assembly line. Take a tip from him: go on, laugh in the face of 'inevitability.'

New Zealand's choice for the kind of country it wants to be may be limited but they're not so narrow as to resemble a tunnel. With our abundant hydro, tidal and wind energy sources, for instance, there is absolutely no reason why, in the long run, we couldn't become a country entirely free from dependence on fossil fuels.

Which, by the way, aren't going to last forever, or even for the rest of this century. And that's inevitable.

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