The Warehouse emperor has no clothes

Matthew Hooton has drawn a bead on Stephen Tindall’s greenwash and his utter hypocrisy in promoting the bollocks of Copenhagen. Once again I have been up early and trudged up to the local Howick Stationer who knew I was coming and had my NBR all ready for me. The article is well worth it so I will painstakingly re-type it all for you. Well, the best parts anyway

Stephen TindallThe Warehouse is almost certainly New Zealand’s most economically-, socially- and environmentally-destructive company, perhaps explaining why its founder, Stephen Tindall, tries so hard to greenwash it and himself.

Mr Tindall’s latest initiative is to email “everyone” urging support for Greenpeace’s target of a 40% reduction in net carbon-equivalent (CO2) emissions by 2020.  In doing so, he contrives not to know that this could only be achieved by butchering New Zealand’s agricultural sector and what remains of our manufacturing base, doubling energy prices, increasing unemployment and cutting everyone’s income by $3,200 a year.  Then again, perhaps he knows all this only too well, because his business would benefit.

Ouch! No holds barred there. I guess Hooton isn’t pushing for the PR work at The Warehouse anytime soon.

The Warehouse model is to buy junk manufactured in Chinese sweat shops using coal-fired electricity, burn more carbon by shipping it here, and then flick it to mainly poorer New Zealanders, who often neither need nor even want it.  The company has fuelled our ruinous trade deficit, boosting only the fast-growing home-storage sector and TradeMe.

To reach consumers, Mr Tindall’s company dumps its vulgar red sheds in the middle of small towns and shopping centres, destroying the retailers and the culture of entrepreneurship they promote.  Audaciously, patriotism is prominent in its marketing, including even the New Zealand flag,

The company also works hard to keep its wage bill low, with an in-house union set up in 2000 with seed money from the employer.  When its distribution-centre workers finally saw through that scam and joined a real union, the company immediately and miraculously found it had enough for a $3 an hour pay rise.

Double ouch!! Calling The Warehouse a sweat shop maked Hooton sound suspiciously like Matt McCarten or Laila Harre, I wonder if thy ghost wrote this article.

Pol PotMr Tindall’s echo of Greenpeace’s call for a 40% cut in CO2 emissions by 2020 is all the more extreme because it’s measured against a 1990 baseline.  Since 1990, New Zealand’s emissions have increased by around 25%, mainly as a result of population growth, so that the true cut required to meet Mr Tindall’s dream would be in excess of 50%, in just a decade.  It goes without saying that no other country in the world is considering anything so stupid.

Neither Mr Tindall nor Greenpeace dare say how they think New Zealand could achieve their goal.  The mass planting of new forests might, at a stretch, deliver half of it, but policy u-turns over the last decade make it doubtful that private-sector investors will ever again trust ministerial statements sufficiently to plant even a single tree. With agriculture not yet having the technology to reduce emissions significantly without a mass national cull, only a Kampuchean solution in the industrial and transport sectors could deliver Mr Tindall’s goal.

Is Hooton ranting now! The Kampuchean solution! Where we all are forced to abandon out cities and march to work camps in the countryside where a quarter of our population dies in death camps. Surely that is a bit melodramatic? Well hang on a minute here, all evidence suggests thaat Pol Pot was actually one of the world’s pre-eminent environmentalists. Yes people will quibble about some of his techniques like killing a quarter of the population, but the evidence is categoric, carbon emmissions in Kampuchea were the envy of the world and the green movement and plunged to almost the levels that they are talking about.

Not even that, of course, would slow climate change by a single day, and Mr Tindall knows it.  New Zealand contributes just 0.2% of net global emissions so even were we to halve them, the total global reduction could be no more than 0.1%.  Worse, such a move by New Zealand would in factincrease global emissions and the Warehouse again provides an excellent case study as to why.

Mr Tindall and his ilk have destroyed their own countries’ manufacturing bases, instead buying from the polluting sweat shops on China’s eastern seaboard.  In so doing, it’s true they’ve cut their own countries’ emissions marginally but they have fuelled the doubling of China’s emissions, so that one out of every five CO2 molecules that enters the atmosphere now does so from what has become the world’s biggest polluter.

Mr Tindall’s 40% goal would make it worse.  With the collapse in economic activity his goal requires, even fewer Kiwis would be able to shop at High St, with its lower-carbon but more expensive goods.  More of us would be forced to buy the high-carbon junk he and his suppliers peddle, manufactured in countries with no environmental standards and no intention of following New Zealand “leadership” in slashing their industrial output with suicidal carbon-reduction goals.

Sheesh, that is hard hitting. The only word missing is the one Hooton called Winston Raymond Peters, 64, unemployed of Herne Bay.