Friday, April 19, 2024

Save the wails for whales, Greenpeace

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Alan Emerson is really happy that what he calls a ‘fringe lobby group’ is being held to account.
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I was pleased to hear Federated Farmers President Wayne Langford telling me that Greenpeace is nothing but an anti-farming lobby group.

That it has charity status is anathema.

I’m always astounded by the media coverage Greenpeace receives as the rules that apply to normal organisations seem to go out of the window when Greenpeace emerges from under whatever.

Whereas the media generally questions bald statements from bandwagon jumpers, it seems Greenpeace gets a free ride.

Going to the Greenpeace website was an interesting experience but not one you’d want to take remotely seriously.

For a start it labels Messrs Luxon, Peters and Seymour “climate extremists”. I’m sure they’ve been called many names over the years but “climate extremists” wouldn’t have been one.

Then, unsurprisingly given its myopic vision, it gets stuck into Fonterra, claiming it is “New Zealand’s biggest climate and river polluter”. It goes on to criticise the mega co-op’s profit having jumped from $583 million to $1.577 billion.

My personal belief is that the entire country should be celebrating Fonterra’s huge increase in profits. We’d be in major strife without it.

As for Fonterra being our “biggest climate and river polluter”, I’d want a second opinion, one that is rational and scientifically based.

Greenpeace posted an article under the headline, “How big agriculture is borrowing big oil’s playbook at the recent (talkfest that was) COP 28”. My reaction to that, in a word, would be “bollocks”.

It is a bodice-ripping document telling us that food systems are “responsible for a third of global GHG emissions”. It adds that “57% of GHGs associated with agricultural production are caused by animal farming”.

I don’t know whether those figures are correct or not and I’m not going to waste time checking them out as they are irrelevant. People need to eat and producing that food will encourage GHGs as most human activities do. What is Greenpeace suggesting? That people stop eating, in the interests of saving the planet of course.

The diatribe concludes with the statement, “Here in Aotearoa, where Fonterra is our biggest polluter of climate, rivers and drinking water, we must push for stronger government regulation to cut cow numbers and stop synthetic nitrogen fertilizer being used to grow grass”.

You’d hold your breath for that one and there obviously aren’t any fact checkers at Greenpeace HQ. For a start the biggest pollution concern we currently have is all the raw sewage going into the sea from Auckland and Wellington.

I’m totally unaware of any cows in either Queen Street or Lambton Quay.

I’m also unaware of Fonterra’s contribution to the pollution of that drinking water. There must have been cows grazing the main street of Hastings during the campylobacter outbreak.

If we reduce cow numbers and nitrogen fertilizer, we reduce our income. Does Greenpeace want that or are they all supported by private incomes?

They also go rabid on nitrogen pollution with raw emotion ruling the debate. Again, they’d have found a fact checker useful.

It must have also galled Greenpeace to have lost its challenge to the High Court’s ruling on the expansion of the synthetic nitrogen plant at Kapuni.

Mind you, I’m happy that Greenpeace wasted resources with its court losses. It means it can’t use those resources to annoy the farming community.

On the positive side it was great to see Langford with the bit between his teeth over the extravagant Greenpeace claims.

His accusation that “Greenpeace is spreading harmful misinformation that there is a link between nitrates in water and colorectal cancer” was on the button.

He said “it is a new low for Greenpeace, who are using misinformation about a human health issue to prey on people’s fear of cancer and to push an anti-farming agenda”.

I can’t argue with that. To Langford’s credit, he listed all the highly qualified experts – including the World Health Organisation, Bowel Cancer NZ and the NZ Ministry of Health – who disagree with the Greenpeace rants. I know who I would believe.

What I found really interesting was an interview with Greenpeace co-founder Dr Patrick Moore on television in the United States.

He told me that our path to net zero is “crazy” and that nuclear energy is “the only technology that can replace fossil fuel”. He added that relying on solar and wind ahead of nuclear power is “absolutely insane”.

I agree with him.

I’m really pleased that the Feds are calling the fringe lobby group known as Greenpeace to account.

I agree with the Langford suggestion that “Greenpeace gets back to saving whales”.

We just need to convince them that saving whales would encourage far more donations than slagging farmers with emotive garbage.

Now there’s a thought.

I’d also back a campaign to have Greenpeace’s charitable status removed. The government promised it during the election campaign – let’s see it happen.

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