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Mike's Minute: Simon Upton has a message you need to hear

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 17 Jun 2024, 10:31am

Mike's Minute: Simon Upton has a message you need to hear

Newstalk ZB,
Publish Date
Mon, 17 Jun 2024, 10:31am

Was Simon Upton watching the vote in Europe last week?

As an outsized group of young people in places like Germany and Italy voted for the right, if not the far right, and didn’t vote for the Greens, despite the Greens being the alleged “go to” team for the young ones, Upton was speaking at the Environmental Defence Society conference.

If you don't know, Upton is the Parliamentary Commissioner for the Environment.

Here is what he said;

"There is a danger that we all get into a bubble of clear-sighted, righteous agreement and if only other people had sufficient political will and shared our views we would be well on our way to the promised land."

He added, "we can close polluting industries or shun them. But in most cases we will simply import the goods. Under certain conditions we must be willing to entertain environmentally damaging activities like mining."

He said, "calling for green growth isn't the easy economic and environmental win some people imagine as it will continually trade one environmental issue for another. Any change, even a clean, green one, will be costly

"Degrowth wont be an easy sell. Barring something of a spiritual awakening, the reality is we are likely to continue to worship at the church of consumption.

Simon Upton, where have you been all my life?

It's probably why I quite liked him as a Health Minister many National Party years ago.

But there is your wake up call. There is your reality check from a bloke who's job it is to spruik the climate and environment. And the value of his point was laid out in Europe last week.

If you bludgeon people - you lose.

If you lie to them about the perfection of transition - you lose.

If you leave a gap where the lights can't be turned on, on renewables - you lose.

If you pretend EV's are the answer but ignore the mining aspect of batteries - you lose.

If you close down oil and gas with no consultation - you lose.

If you thrash farmers by telling them to have fewer cows and drown them in red tape - you lose.

In Europe last week, they lost.

The theory around renewables and the climate story of late might have smashed into reality and a general fatigue by most of us over the zealous BS that is pedalled at all costs.

The kids in Europe got it. The Environment Commissioner clearly gets it. I hope those at that conference, once they picked themselves off the floor, got it.

How about the Chloe's and Jacinda's of this world start waking up a bit and reading the room too.


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