Greenpeace in battle again

I really don’t know why Greenpeace don’t change their name. There is nothing peaceful at all about their organisation or their activities. They ram boats, climb trees and chain themselves to farm machinery, all in an apparent effort to save the planet. Ahem. The best way to save the planet would be by consultation and collaboration on matters that affect the environment to see if a compromise can be reached. But that’s no fun at all, is it? Much better to climb up rigging to make a statement about oil drilling and then drive home in the SUV. Much better to cause property developers to lose hundreds of thousands of dollars in application fees and consents for a much needed housing development by climbing a lone kauri tree and refusing to come down. Collaboration is for pussies. For activists such as Greenpeace, maximum disruption is the only way.

And they are at it again.

Stuff?reports from the MacKenzie District: Quote:

Police have arrested 12?protesters?demonstrating against a large dairy farm development in the Mackenzie Country.

Sergeant Mike van der Heyden, of Temuka, said the protesters had been asked to leave the property but had?refused.

One of the protesters refused to walk from the property and had to be dragged away by police. End quote.

I don’t understand why they think it is a good thing to be dragged away by police. Personally, apart from soiling myself in public, I cannot think of anything more humiliating. But then, I’m not fooling myself that I am saving the planet. Quote:

Police used bolt cutters and a portable disc grinder to cut the protesters free from the machinery they had been chained to since early this morning.

A police spokeswoman said the protesters were being taken to the Timaru Police Station. She said charges were likely to be laid.

Acting Mid-South Canterbury police area commander Inspector Natasha Rodley said officers had been trying to?negotiate an outcome with protesters. End quote.

I suppose they have to try to reason with them, but everyone knows it is a waste of time. When you are standing on the moral high ground, everyone else just looks like an insect under your feet. Quote:

The Simons Pass property, just south of Lake Pukaki, is said to be the home of a variety of native flora and fauna, including the endangered?black stilt (native?kak?), of which there are only about 100 left.

Greenpeace sustainable agriculture campaigner Gen Toop said “for the sake of the Mackenzie and our rivers, industrial dairy expansion has to stop”. End quote.

Here we go. Different part of the South Island, but there must be a snail in there somewhere.

But wait. Quote:

However, the land’s crown leaseholder, Murray Valentine, said 40 per cent of the land on the proposed dairy farm is being set aside for conservation.

Valentine said they were at the end of a?process?which started in 2004.

“We’ve seen a lot of legal hearings and all sorts of things that have gone on – all public -?to get to where we’ve got to.

“We are setting aside, in our plan, almost 4000 hectares of our 9500 hectares?- that’s 40 per cent -?which has been set aside for conservation. We’re not going to farm it.”

Valentine said the land had been set aside through?an agreement reached with groups opposing the farm.

“We’ve come to that agreement. Greenpeace have just sent people down to tie themselves to vehicles.” End quote.

Fourteen years. Thousands in consents and legal costs. An agreement not to farm 40% of the land. And that still is not enough, Greenpeace? Quote:

“The Mackenzie is a fragile wilderness, home to critically endangered native species, world-renowned landscapes, and bright blue glacial lakes. It’s simply not suitable for dairy farming.

“This new mega farm is a shameful example of how the rules to protect our rivers and our environment from industrial dairying are failing.”

Toop said the Government can protect the Mackenzie by banning new dairy conversions. Greenpeace says nearly 30,000 people have signed a petition to ban new dairy conversions across New Zealand. End quote.

So that’s approximately 4,470,000 that did not sign. In normal statistical terms, that would be within the margin of error. Quote:

Mackenzie mayor Graham Smith said there had been immense pressure from various people that the development be stopped.

“It’s very hard to stop development once it’s got to this stage and those consents that he [Valentine] applied for happened many years ago and, to be absolutely fair, Murray Valentine has ticked a lot of the boxes that he was required to for development.

“I think the major point a lot of people have missed is that in getting his consents, Simons Pass has given a significant amount of land to a dry-land type park.”

South Canterbury Federated Farmers president Jason Grant said the farm owners will be under pressure to look after any significant wildlife.

Grant said he’s confident the impact of the farm on native birds is going to be slim.

“There’s still going to be a lot of native areas around … the owner of that farm is setting aside ground for native birds and native biodiversity so I think there’s quite a lot taken up in that.” End quote.

And there may also be some environmental advantage from the development. Quote:

“Also too with some of the irrigation in the Mackenzie Basin, there’s soil erosion from wind damage and the dry climate has been quite an issue in the past, but you don’t tend to get that with irrigated ground so there are positives for the environment when you irrigate some of that ground.

“Now with the rules that are in place, especially in the Mackenzie Basin, there would be no way that someone would get away with breaking the rules.” End quote.

So there are compromises, there are rules about protecting the environment, 40% of the land is to be turned into a park and the Greenpeace activists (and Forest and Bird) are still not happy? Well, of course not.

New Zealand makes a concerted effort to look after its natural environment, but unless we all want to live in caves (now there is an option for Phil Twyford), there has to be a compromise somewhere along the line. The activists don’t live in caves either but somehow they manage to justify their existence, using mobile phones, portable solar panels while travelling to their protest venues in gas guzzling cars or electric vehicles that require more power stations to be built…which they will protest against…

It must be tough being an activist. The world is crashing down around your ears. People are voluntarily looking out for the environment. We can’t have that. Or at least, we can’t not protest about it.