Blair Anderson, on the hustings 'canvassing for opinion'

Blair Anderson, on the hustings 'canvassing for opinion'

Friday, June 8, 2007

The Price of Milk

media release:   Mayor Blair Campaign. Christchurch 2007
The Price of Milk and Good Governance
A few minutes after CCC voted to ask more irrigating questions and to accepting CPWT financial accounts 'skipping the preamble'  from the CPWT Chairman, Garry Moore was lauding the council for its 'sustainability' and climate change preparedness. 
More Cows = More CO2, Moore's portrayal of supporting CPWT in the public interest 'to keep the corporates out' is double speak.
If the viability of Central Plains irrigation is dependent on dairy profits for a return to ratepayers and farmers consider the social context of recent events including Fontera's 100+ million dollar 'bonus' to regional dairy farmers preceding  a stiff rise in the price of milk nationally.
Now set that against Auckland's rocketing water rates where taking a 'bath' has been variously costed at $3.50.
Were Canterbury farmers to pay water rates for access to 'run of river' [on demand] and at comparable costs to Auckland water consumers, and knowing that dairy's water consumption in our marginal and alluvial soils of  600-800 litres per litre of milk produced would infer that a standard 2litre of milk would be $60-$70. 
The differential between cheap water now and unknown future remediation vs what the market will bear along the way is an unaccounted and significant 'subsidy'.
The Auckland water problem gives us insight into how unsustainable the aberration of intensive dairification on the Central Plains (and elsewhere) is.
Much of the mainstream reporting on this [TV1 in particular] did not show the visible dissent all around the CCC meeting. The full gallery included retired Professors to layfolk many carrying bold and declarative signs - a testimony to strongly held dissenting views and evidence of a public engagement lacking in quality information.
Subsequently Mayor Garry Moore portrayed this decision as 'keeping water in the public domain' whereas (and as many folk feared) the converse is true. I was at the meeting. I saw no significant or informed discussion by councillors that tested 'public opinion' or any recognition that public submissions to Environment Canterbury are yet to be considered. (submissions closed two business days prior, Monday being Queens Birthday).
Some dissenting ratepayers see water as a basic human right. Many others consider the CCC decision  an unauthorised million dollar gift rorted from citizens to Central Plains Water as a subsidy encouraging others to pollute. The unintended consequence of this decision will  disproportionally burden future generations to competing with climate changing 'cows' for clean mountain water and further test finding civic 'beyond kyoto' solutions.
Some Councillors had been concerned after hearing legal advice that 'rejecting'  the CPW initiative may leave them individualy liable for millions in losses, however subsequent legal advice determined otherwise. 
"A pity, the diversion hasn't been helpful" Mayoral aspirant Blair Anderson was heard to say to one journalist. "Good Governance requires unfettered views unconstrained by such legal overtures, however councillors should be advised that the insurance industry is ready to take on Councils that fail to address and mitigate climate change risk... consequential damages and recovery by the insurance industry pales beside this."  
Scientists [MIT] are reporting that based on increasing observational evidence we may have as few as ten years to hold climate from running away without us. Further observational evidence from satelites show 100's of Antarctica Glaciers melting (and contributing to sea level) at unprecedented rates. The West Antarctica Ice shelf is not the safe harbour it has been thought to be. IPCC reports have seriously underestimated glacial and polar losses and in a grave omission from its terms of reference from day one, The United Nations has not accounted loss of sinks such as the warming Southern Ocean, Tropical forest to Palm oil  and aridification/desertification at all into its predictive scenario's.  
Another cow is unhelpful.
In a striking irony, the fastest growing alternative to dairy in the USA is 'hemp' milk and butter.  No cow required. And even less water. Less fat, and full of healthy protein and Omega 3, 6 and 9.
Its enough to make ratepayers weep into their unaffordable, nitrite flavoured latte.
"Mayor" Blair Anderson   ‹(•¿•)›

ph (643) 389 4065   cell 027 265 7219

No comments:

Support New Zealand's Call for Cool.

Sign On - The World Needs Us