Saturday, November 14, 2009

Put the effing cat back in the effing bag!!

Oops. Who let that Pom into our country?!

The column by Fred Pearce on how 100% Pure NZ might just be a tad over-hyped has created something of a stir. Fred is dead right, of course, we have traded a lot on a pair of falsies ('clean' and 'green'), saved by our small population and the filthy crowdedness of the home towns of our tourist visitors. His article has run on all major newspaper websites, although not all make the most of publishing technology and provide links through to relevant reports. Go to Pearce's original article, the nicely titled 'New Zealand was a friend to Middle Earth but is no friend of the earth', published on the Guardian online, and check out his links.

The response is somewhat predictable, most commentators noting Whale Watch Kaikoura picked up the gold gong for UK Responsible Tourism Awards (e.g., Esther Goh of the NZ Herald with her NZ takes prize for 'shameless two fingers' to world'.

Pearce is right of course, and NZers were the first to point out the disparities in the reality of our environmental performance and the hype. That we're locked into whoring our land to the rich and famous is just an extension of the failed policies of the 1980s. (remember when we were destined by the laws of neoliberalism to become the Switzerland of the South Pacific?! Maybe we misheard and Roger Douglas meant Swaziland...). More importantly for me, Pearce exposes the expanding PR industry around environmental greenwashing - check out the rather interesting UNEP Climate Neutral Network...

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Simon Lambert

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