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Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Federated Farmers need to own their shit

Gareth Morgan chooses a blunt title for his post on Conor English's excuse-making around farm-created pollution.
Morgan says:

"The problem with Conor English is that he stubbornly refuses to answer the charge that Fed Farmers think that it is a birthright for its members to vandalise the environment and smash the rights of others, all for the pursuit of profit."

That's putting it out there, Gareth! Our local Feds are going to be squirming when they read that! Morgan goes on:

" That’s the issue here and as the dairy herd increases from 2 to 4.5 million and ever upwards, this constraint will enforce a change in farming practice. If you want more cows and you’re not allowed to impact the waterways with their presence, then you need to change practices. Connor English does not accept this, he argues farmers should be allowed to raise their pollution in line with their herd size. There is no logic to his lobby group challenging the Environment Court otherwise. Conor’s form of guardianship is not quite the kaitiakitanga that preceded industrial farming."

Mr Morgan sums up the National Government's (I call them the John Key/John Banks Government) position on this with:

" It’s noticeable that National are pulling back from siding with Fish and Game and conservationists challenging Fed Farmers through the Courts on this issue now, and instead are switching sides as the raw reality of rural politics is brought to bear on the Conservation Minister.
This fits with National’s demolition of the ETS, withdrawal from Kyoto and Steven Joyce’s championing of GDP growth founded on continued destruction of natural assets. We truly have stepped back to a conservative, non-progressive government."

And here, in big text, the nub of the issue:

" Let’s repeat it. If Fed Farmers’ view was that you can’t despoil the environment for others in your pursuit of personal gain, it would not be squealing and saying the Environment Court is raising the barrier too high in terms of what pollution is acceptable. No more pollution is acceptable so it doesn’t matter how high the hurdle is."

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