The Southland Times - - COMMENT&OPINION -

Are we se­ri­ous?

Sarah Roberts (pic­tured) told us her ru­ral com­mu­nity’s ex­pe­ri­ences of the neg­a­tive im­pact of frack­ing op­er­a­tions in Taranaki this week. Farm­ers and neigh­bours signed the in­nocu­ous-look­ing ‘‘af­fected party ap­proval’’ doc­u­ments at the oil and gas com­pa­nies’ re­quest.

They didn’t re­alise it trig­gered open sea­son - drilling der­ricks went up, drilling vi­bra­tions and un­der­ground ex­plo­sions started, heavy ve­hi­cles trucked up and down their roads. With wells in pro­duc­tion, night be­came day by the light of the gas flare, acrid hy­dro­car­bons wafted across the pad­docks.

To cap it all off, ‘‘land farm­ing’’ started - spread­ing of oil-pol­luted drilling mud across pas­ture that seeps into the soils and wa­ter­ways.

Yes, I drive a car, and ‘‘ben­e­fit’’ from the use of petroleum prod­ucts in my daily life. No, that doesn’t mean I can’t ad­vo­cate for a bet­ter way for­ward. Cur­rent oil de­ple­tion means global all liq­uids sup­ply is pro­jected to start con­tract­ing from around 2020 (IEA WEO 2016 Fig­ure 3.16) and could de­cline by up­wards of 50 per cent by 2035 (HSBC an­a­lysts, 2016). Divest your pen­sion funds from oil in­vest­ments, and into the re­new­able en­ergy sec­tor or to­wards build­ing re­silient, lo­calised economies.

For en­vi­ron­men­tal and re­source de­ple­tion rea­sons, we don’t have any choice but to wean our­selves off oil. Or, is our mes­sage to fu­ture gen­er­a­tions ‘‘please for­give us, we were rolling drunk on petroleum’’? Nathan Suren­dran In­ver­cargill

Keep it sim­ple

On read­ing Let­ters to the Ed­i­tor ( The South­land Times , July 15), I would like to add my 100 per cent agree­ment to the com­ments made by the cor­re­spon­dent, Mar­garet Dynes of Win­ton.

I am not from any ‘‘art back­ground’’ but view An­der­son Park as an im­por­tant part of South­land his­tory and it was in this area of in­ter­est that I was for­tu­nate enough to be em­ployed for a short pe­riod of time as a ‘‘vis­i­tor host/as­sis­tant’’. In this po­si­tion I was di­rectly in­volved with, and re­lat­ing with the vis­it­ing pub­lic.

What an as­set the home and grounds are and, equally, how frus­trat­ing to wit­ness the con­tin­u­ing saga of pro­found lofty opin­ions as to its fate.

South­land, get on with it ... a sub­sidiary gallery keep­ing it sim­ple and let the build­ing speak! For­get mak­ing money and sat­isfy the sim­ple fact - it is a fine res­i­dence that at­tracts at­ten­tion sim­ply by its pres­ence and the gen­eros­ity of its orig­i­nal own­ers. David Cook


He got some­thing right

Gary McEwan’s scat­ter­gun let­ter of ig­no­rant prej­u­dice ( The South­land Times, July 13) got some­thing right. I didn’t spend my youth back­pack­ing about South­east Asia; I was too busy pay­ing for my ed­u­ca­tion and hav­ing been raised for part of my child­hood by my grand­mother who eked out a liv­ing milk­ing three cows. I thought if I could not af­ford a house bet­ter than one with an out­side dunny and squares of torn news­pa­per for toi­let pa­per, I would build one my­self.

Last year I tripped to Tai­wan to visit the place where my son had worked on his post-doc­toral en­gi­neer­ing de­gree, see his in-laws, where my an­ces­tors are sup­posed to have orig­i­nated, and Viet­nam.

If you want an an­ti­dote to the nightly diet of whinge­ing woe that New Zealand TV news is, Viet­nam is the place. The Viet­namese have fig­ured that the goal of so­cial eq­uity is achieved from the pur­suit of lib­erty.

I loved Hanoi. The place was a com­bi­na­tion of co-oper­a­tion and com­mer­cial in­dus­try that oc­cu­pied the very pave­ments.

I am sure the au­thor­i­ties rounded up and shot the fel­low for wast­ing paint on pedes­trian cross­ings. You get to hear the hopes and dreams of young peo­ple be­cause they want to prac­tise their English. Their be­lief in self-destiny gelled with my own.

I see their ed­u­ca­tion sys­tem is al­ready trash­ing ours. And if their ‘‘com­mu­nist’’ rulers con­tinue to keep so­cial­ism, with its dumb pur­suit of lib­erty de­stroy­ing eq­uity, at bay they will con­tinue their up­ward tra­jec­tory to pros­per­ity. Mervyn Cave Manapouri

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