Monday, 1 February 2021

Whaling a most unhelpful analogy

“Climate Commission chair Rod Carr’s suggestion that New Zealand farmers could go the way of the whalers is an extremely unhelpful start to the six week consultation of his draft carbon emissions budget,” says ACT Primary Industries spokesperson Mark Cameron.

“Asked on radio this morning whether the Commission accepted that New Zealand farmers already produce the lowest carbon-impact beef and dairy in the world, Dr Carr said ‘Given the way we produce it that is true, but being the best whale hunters in the world didn’t protect the whaling fleets.’

“To use as an analogy an industry that wasn’t only unsustainable but which has been outlawed in most jurisdictions because the vast majority of the world considers it to be morally reprehensible is extremely unhelpful.

“This sort of rhetoric risks taking us back to a sort of ‘them and us’ stand-off between farmers and the environmental lobby.

“There have been signs the conversation has is becoming more measured, and that’s where we should keep it, constructive and solutions-based.

“Unlike whaling the world will be consuming high quality dairy and other animal protein for many decades to come, and for the good of the planet they should continue to get the best of it from New Zealand farmers.

“Most of those farmers are already on a track to improving all sorts of environmental impacts.

“ACT will continue to support them and to highlight their hard work on environmental sustainability.”