Saturday, May 22, 2010

Archey's frog verses brownlee fly - hiccup!

Can we see the woods for the trees?

We know that the mining will affect things like tourism and macro-environmental areas by putting roads in and the excretment produced by mining, the massive amount of debris that has to be put through the machines to get a tiny amount of 'valuable' mineral out. But the ecosystem is 3 dimensional - it is what we can see and also what we can't. A bit like the oil spill - the bit we see on top of the water is only a tiny fraction of the pollution - it is a big oil iceberg and the total ecosystem around the spill is doomed.

The mining of shedule 4 lands has hit a number of opponents and it is good to see another join the fight - I have to say I'd get rid of zoos but in this fight we take everyone who can man/woman the barricades.

From Stuff
"One of the world's largest zoos has drawn attention to the plight of an endangered New Zealand frog, which could be wiped out if its protected habitat was opened up to mining."
"The society is calling on the British public to make submissions on the New Zealand Government's proposals to permit mining on more than 7000 hectares of the conservation estate."
The society, which runs the zoo, drew attention to the plight of the critically endangered Archey's frog, found in the area of the Coromandel Peninsula proposed as suitable for mining.
The frog is at the top of the society's list of endangered amphibians. It is described as the "most evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered amphibian on the planet."
The society's conservation project co-ordinator, Helen Meredith, said Archey's frogs were like living fossils, as they were almost indistinguishable from 150 million-year-old fossilised remains.
This year is the United Nations Year of Biodiversity, yet New Zealand was considering removing protections from land where rare and endangered species lived, she said. "In the year when reducing biodiversity loss is high on the political agenda, it is inconceivable to think that we'd put the nail in the coffin of some of our rarest and most extraordinary frog species."
What a description, "most evolutionarily distinct and globally endangered amphibian on the planet." that is one very good reason to kick these mining proposals into touch. Brownlee it is time to pack up your tent and piss off from this mining idea. You are doing the environment and this country irreparable damage by your idiotic attempts to grease up your big business mates - even London Zoo think you are an idiot. It the UN year of biodiversity FFS.


Mike said...

Hi Marty. Thanks for the post. I can think of many reasons not to break down schedule 4 and make it easier to allow additional mining. Doing so is nothing I'll be proud of or support if it goes ahead, but I'm not convinced the tourism argument holds up. For many reasons New Zealand's already embarassingly bad at environmental sustainability, and contradicts the pure NZ marketing.

eg. Our infrastructure frequently makes aircraft the cheapest and easiest way to travel domestically, we rely on private cars to go nearly anywhere -- even many people who live in cities, because public transport only goes so far, there are already heaps of mines outside S4 that might not have been allowed if applied for today, there's ongoing "sustainable" logging of trees like Rimu that take well into the hundreds of years or longer to properly replace, I daily see people throwing cigarretes down drains without a second thought about the problems they cause, farms and industries dump toxins and effluent into otherwise clean rivers as a legal part of their business model, and so on for a very long list.

Despite all of this happening as part of our daily lives, we market ourselves out of it with our 100% pure NZ branding. New Zealders often even tell themselves that we're a clean and green country, which of course is a pile of straming bollocks. I'd be devestated to see national parks and other schedule 4 areas compromised by mining, just as I'm already uncomfortable with most of what I mentioned above, but apart from the short term publicity I'm not sure how it's too different from other stuff that's already done, or why tourists would really act differently except for during short term bad publicity.

Marty Mars said...

Kia ora Mike

Yes I agree that the clean green image is just that, just an image and I find the whole approach a bit offensive. I would rather we actually were clean and green not just a bit cleaner and greener that other places because we don't have many people. Personally I think it is possible to create an oasis here, an example for other places. But the type of paradigm shift needed for that to happen seems a long way away.

Meanwhile we fight their plans to mine and dam and genetically modify our animals and food - onward and upward mike - the fight continues.

Urewera traveller said...

Just a few thoughts-
Not clean and green? The largest patch of old growth forest on the whole european continent is about 200 km2. Te Urewera national park is over 2000 km2. Fiordland NP is over 12,000km2, pretty much all unmodified old-growth bush. We're not %100 pure like the marketing campaign states- but we're possibly the closest of any country in the world to that ideal. Visitors understand that. They don't leave NZ feeling like they've been victims of a misleading ad campaign.
The %100 pure brand is seen globally as a huge success. It has massively increased sustainable tourism and is one of the reasons why NZ's largest export industry is tourism.

I agree that we have problems with sustainability in transport/agriculture/energy but we are punching well above our weight and other countries come to us for advice on sustainable development.
I don't know what angle you're approaching this from guys but we are not embarrassingly bad at environmental sustainability at all. We're global leaders. I'm sure Marty must understand this (as a shareholder in the worlds leading sustainable fishing fleet).

I try and put our enironmental problems in perspective- a dam on the mokihinui and a proposal to mine small areas of national parks? Compare this with the massive deforestation, river detruction and resource depletion elsewhere, we're very lucky. Furthermore, any proposals to mine or build dams are subject to extensive public consultation and impact mitigation through a transparent, appealable process via the RMA- a world-leading piece of environmental legislation. We're lucky that in NZ the public is so empowered in enviromental deliberations. Overseas, deals are made behind closed doors and consent to mine/dam/build is much much easier to come by, especially if you are rich. We're extremely lucky to have the RMA here, even if we lose a few fights occasionally. For what it's worth, no environment court will allow any activities that have even a remote possibility of affecting archeys frogs thanks to the RMA.

BTW- Next time you're on the west coast have a look at pike river coal mine to see how mining currently takes place in a Park- I think you'd be impressed.