Balancing our environmental needs

Over the past several years I have tried to understand economics. I have tried to understand the need for market economics, the winners and the losers. I have come to the conclusion that not all is as portrayed by economists and that there is a degree of misleading spin in the profession that economists need to acknowledge.

I did a Certificate of Business Administration at Vision College in 2011, which I completed. It was suggested to me that I try to go into the private sector, as much as someone trying to “make money’, as earning a proper wage. My wires most probably crossed here, but in the two years between 2011 and 2013 for me, if it took a private sector job trying to create money or working in the public sector for a guaranteed wage, then so be it. For two years, from about the end of April 2011 through to being offered a job at Avis, I thought this was the way to go. Aside from Work and Income New Zealand upon whom I rely for my benefit during times when not much is happening few Government agencies came close to realizing how vulnerable people like myself am.

And whether or not they cared was another point altogether.

There are plenty of people who want to develop their own businesses or work for an accountancy firm. There are plenty of people who want to be bankers. I applaud you all for doing something you genuinely believe in. Now I would like you to applaud those who have different ideas because you at the end of the day can no more do without them, than they can do without you. One cannot, despite efforts to the contrary, ignore the fact that human kind in the west, but increasingly elsewhere is living an increasingly unsustainable lifestyle.

The whole idea of economics is something that on one hand fascinates me, but on the other completely repels me. A love hate relationship if you will. There are several fronts I want to see the end of the moview with. I want to develop my finances to the point where I can look after myself and not have to rely on the State any more than I need to – something that is unavoidable when you have severe hypertension requiring 9 1/2 pills a day. I would like to own a little block of land that I can call my own and have a house and grow a few vegetables.

But I don’t need a huge mansion with a tennis court, three bathrooms, nine bath rooms and a bunch of people driving the latest Mercedes Benz’. Nor can I imagine who would want to. The whole idea of wealth to me is the means to buy items that you know one is in needs of – food, medicine and so forth and have a degree of modesty or humility about ones lifestyle. Having a car and a boat is fine, but do people really need super yachts with helicopter decks and features that not even a luxury liner has? And where did all the raw material that went into these things come from?

I would like to see a biofuel programme backed by the oil companies. It should have a processing facility here in Christchurch  and another at Ports of Auckland Limited. It does not need to be based on corn conversion into ethanol as American companies are doing. It could be made from local waste stream products such waste cooking oil and fat from the deep fryers in fast food outlets. It could come from green waste. Making fuel suitable for cars does not have to cost the earth.

Yes, this requires resources, but can you tell me what does not these days? The challenge is now much those reserves can be used sustainably as far into the regional situation as possible and see what the other nations think.

What do you think?


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