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  • Writer's pictureGary Moller

Am I doing my bit to save the Planet?

There is no Planet B

Replying to my article about the Veggie Burger, one reader, Kalyani, called me out. I suppose it is my duty to respond. Below is an excerpt of what was said:

" Yes, fly around the world to compete in competitions that make you feel good, why not, and then yes, top up your health with a whole array of things to keep your body going when, on a simple diet it may not be able to cope. It is a temporary hit which may give your life some deep satisfaction yet are you considering the full picture of what is occuring on this planet? Maybe some research into that would be a useful thing for you and others to spend a few hours doing.."

(you can read the full version here in the comments at the bottom of this article:

We watched the documentary "10 Billion" on last night. It was extremely sobering and ended with the conclusion that we are already past the point of no return for global catastrophe.

The political will for the necessary changes to save us from catastrophe is not there. I have been saying time and again for many years that there are too many people in the world, which is the root cause of just about all that ails this beautiful and precious planet. I have argued that New Zealand needs to provide some leadership on this matter by having a conversation about population, by asking what is the optimum number of people for a truly sustainable country, then acting on it?

Incidentally, one of my family challenged the Australian Green Party about its population policy or lack of one to be more accurate. He was promptly shut down and blocked from their forums. I fear that we are doomed because there is no political will for change - all we are getting from our leaders is a whole lot of hot air with only token action - including from the Greenies who seem to be more preoccupied about cannabis than the dire state of the planet! Am I being too harsh on the Greenies?

The world is being led by corrupt and stupid people: in response to the bombing of hospitals and schools in Yemen by the Saudi-led coalition in a one-sided war that has cost hundreds of thousands of innocent Yemeni civilian lives, the Yemeni rebels bombed an oil refinery two days ago. The entire world now is suddenly up in arms and in a panic with the USA threatening what could quickly become World War Three. The rebels should have bombed some Saudi hospitals and schools instead. Leave our oil alone!

I joined my first conservation organisation in 1968 (Forest and Bird). As a young uni student in the early '70s, I became a member of the world's first green political party, the Values Party. I've been an active financial supporter of many environmental causes ever since, including our family being actively involved in many projects such as native plantings, installing nesting boxes and predator control.

Our latest monthly Winter power bill is $114.88. This includes the energy for running a full-time business from home and the energy to charge our hybrid car. We can go for 2 months or longer at a time without putting any petrol in the tank. Our main transport is a 50cc scooter, bicycles and getting about on foot.

I do have concerns about the environmental cost of flying and any form of long-distance travel. We counter this by limiting the frequency of this kind of travel and by staying put once there. In Canada, for example, we spent the month in one place with our only means of transport being bicycles.

We have shares in a cow that lives a wonderful life on a small organic farm in the Manawatu. The farmer delivers us a supply of fresh, raw full-cream A2 milk each week. It is a happy cow. Our free-range eggs are supplied by family friends. Happy hens. We buy locally as much as possible, prepare most of our meals from basic ingredients and recycle just about everything. We compost and grow what we can in this seriously wind-exposed Wellington location of ours.

This frugal but enjoyable lifestyle is possible on a joint income which is a little less than what I was earning alone in 1990 and this is without adjusting for inflation! We are living a better life on less.

We actively promote and sell the products of small organic farmers and co-ops such as Waihi Bush Flax oil. If we do not, they will be swallowed up by yet another mega-dairy farm.

One of the driving motivations for my indulgence in contesting masters world championships is to drive home in the most emphatic way I can that a long, healthy, disease and drug-free life is possible for all - that lasting health does not come from pharmaceutical drugs or the scalpel.

Sadly, a long and healthy life can no longer come from a simple diet alone unless you are living in a remote valley in the very back blocks of China. A simple diet is a good start but the simple fact is that our soils are now too nutrient-depleted to meet our needs and there are now far too many toxins in the environment that interfere with our metabolism. If we do not use modern science to measure our needs and take specially prepared nutraceuticals to balance and protect us, ill health and disease are going to be the norm. This is reflected in our steadily deteriorating measures of health despite massive increases in spending on health.