Stupidity of Governments Causes Neglect of Environmental Crisis

Opinion by Stewart Hydes

Humanity’s impact on climate change .. the degree to which we may or may not be accelerating it .. is almost irrelevant.  But Humanity’s impact on our planet is undeniable.
We are beyond crisis point.  There’s been something approximating a 60% reduction in wildlife, since 1970 and a 75% reduction in insect biomass over the past 25-30 years.  Ninety three percent (93%) of the mammalian biomass on Earth is now either human .. or the animals we farm, to feed ourselves.  We’re rapidly pushing everything else off our planet. The population crisis is real and worsening.
This will have dire consequences for all species on Earth and ironically including our own.
We are actually witnessing the sixth great extinction right now  and human activity is by far the greatest causal factor.
Our global population has reached 7.9 billion and predicted to be almost 11 billion, by 2100.
On a planet where things are measured in millions of years,that’s almost a 45% increase in the human population, in less than 70 years.  Unless we do something – that’s a 45% in the food we need, and the waste and environmental impacts caused.
Our planet, it’s environment, and the rapidly disappearing biodiversity we have left, simply cannot sustain that.
The things we have to do to minimise our impact on the planet and the things we have to do to minimise our impact on climate change acceleration, are practically the same.
It’s a crisis – and it demands urgent, global action, by humanity.
It may already be too late.

On its own, New Zealand can do next to nothing.  And therein lies the problem.
We expect our government to take globally-responsible action .. that will contribute to a global difference.  Not just inflict pain upon ourselves .. only to shift human activity to elsewhere in the planet.  And this is where we are failing.  Miserably.
New Zealand’s government dramatically reduced its coal production, virtually destroying the West Coast economy – now that international tourism is gone too –  only to import vastly more lower-grade, environmentally-worse coal, from Indonesia.
So short-sighted – to the point of being stupid.
Shifting employment from lower-populated New Zealand, to support the economy in over-populated Indonesia, is downright stupid.
Equally, sacrificing our agricultural sector, only to benefit agricultural economies elsewhere around the world, is also stupid.
A “ute tax” imposed on rural New Zealand .. when farmers and tradespeople have no viable alternative, is not only unfair; it’s stupid
A classic example of government foolishness. New Zealand continues to apply ever-increasing amounts of aerial 1080 poison – which is an example of the sorts of stupidity humanity indulges in.  1080 was first developed as an insecticide – it kills everything that consumes oxygen.  That’s business-as-usual, for humanity – killing everything else off our planet.  Stupidity.
Covid may have threatened a disaster for humanity? Actually, it’s turning into a bit of a fizzer. .. but indirectly it has promised a godsend, for our planet.  Mother Nature will continue to experiment with options to curb our out-of-control, over-populating species, until she finds one that works.
Ultimately, we must support and vitally, respect Mother Nature.  
It needs a radical approach and vision and foresight.
Clearly, thinking we are going to solve our problems for ourselves .. while we continue to apply the same thinking we used when we created them .. is insanity. Dare I say stupid?

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5 Responses to Stupidity of Governments Causes Neglect of Environmental Crisis

  1. Rupert Pye says:

    Well written Stewart Hydes. The over population is the crux of most environmental degradation. Governments were warned back in 1970 or so with Paul Erlich’s “The Population Bomb”. Instead governments have blindly followed the growth dogma, more people means more wealth, more money, more,more, more. It’s known as greed and myopia.

  2. Pete Watson says:

    More and more lost civilizations are being found in the Amazon using drones, satellites etc. These are clear examples of how vast the human population was in the past, further the technology to build these cities and the likes of the pyramids proves that technology was far ahead of where we are at even at this point in time. Now they are gone the earth reclaims the lost ground covers the cities and time marches on.
    I feel we are near this point once again. We are going to make a tragic mistake. We will take that one key ingredient from the circle of life and the acceleration into the abyss will be at devastating speed. No one can say we/they were not warned.
    Grab a beer, grab a hilltop and enjoy the slide into the abyss. Its going to be one hell of a ride.

  3. Tony Orman says:

    Very good opinion piece and with a strong warning of the urgency of the growing population/uncontrolled growth crisis.
    CORANZ has produced an election charter over successive elections of the last 15 years. I have a CORANZ election charter for the election 2020 and the first two questions to political parties were:-
    1. New Zealand should replace the index for national prosperity, Gross Domestic Product (GDP) based on solely economic indicators, with Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) based on three values – social, environmental and economic to thus fully measure the quality of life.
    More debate needed

    2. Establish a population policy for New Zealand – relative to national, regional, cultural conflicts and immigration aspects.
    More debate needed
    Interestingly neither Labour or National bothered to reply despite reminders!

  4. Steve Vee says:

    Excellent comments. The world has a problem ; too many people!!! NZ if it had to be self sufficient has just passed that limit, which I understood was just 5 Million people. We have now moved to a country that can no longer support its population with out creating significant environmental damage if it wishes to remain to be self sufficient, however that will only last so long before environmental disaster.
    Interesting Germany , India and several other European countries are no longer self sufficient emery wise and rely on foreign suppliers for oil and gas ie Russia. They are not only energy compromised, but now politically compromised to the extent their sovereignty is challenged.
    The only solution, which I wish was not done Putin’s way, is to reduce the worlds population to a sustainable level for the environment. World recognition of those population levels at a country level for self sufficiency would be a good start. Proper solutions can then be developed from there, and as a result the environment can start to heal.

  5. Tony Orman says:

    The Council of Outdoor Recreation Assns of NZ (CORANZ) produces an election charter each election year which goes to all political parties (of significant size). Item 16 was Establish a population policy for New Zealand – relative to national, regional, cultural
    conflicts and immigration aspects. People put demands on resources, both land, water, energy, fishery and other resources.
    Neither Labour or National despite reminders past deadline could be bothered to answer.

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