Salient. Victoria University Student Newspaper. Volume 33 No. 14. 1970
ecology action — New Zealand could take the initiative in:
New Zealand could take the initiative in:
Reduced use of pesticides:
Pesticides are simply a form of pollution. However, they may be indirectly lethal to man and certainly affect many useful and aesthetically valuable organisms.
New Zealand is blessed with an absence of many of the world's most serious agricultural pests and disease carriers. In the long run only other animals can effectively control pests; this is biological control. But biological controls are slow and expensive to develop whereas chemical controls are cheap and fast. New Zealand uses cheap and fast measures even though it is widely recognized that pesticides encourage outbreaks of vigorous resistant strains. This does not apply to biological controls. New Zealand can afford to lead the world in this field but, as usual, fails...
There is need for New Zealand to have a population policy specifying optimum rates of increase and a population ceiling.
This should be the task of the National Development Conference. However, instead of presenting long-term recommendations on this subject the NDC passively accepted predicted population increases and used these estimates as their target.
These figures were reached before the recommendations of the Physical Environment Conference on optimum environments were made. The question of regulation of growth-rates arises.
Proposals on population regulation will have to include free contraception, abortion and sterilization available to everyone desiring them. Tax exemptions for children should be abolished, and tax penalties for more than two children will probably be needed.
Almost all New Zealand foreign aid is futile in a world-wide perspective. This is not because the volume is small, but because it is aimed at increasing resources. This only enables populations to expand.
We should not ship food to countries such as India where the in balance between food and population is hopeless. Aid should be reserved for those whom it may save.
We should refuse foreign aid to countries with increasing populations which we believe are not making a maximum effort to limit their populations.
The most important agricultural aid should be in the form of teachers who understand not only agronomy, but also ecology and sociology.
For 20 cents we can feed a child essential milk biscuits for 5 days...
For 10 cents we could have prevented his birth and saved his long day's dying...
As New Zealand's industries increase pollution must become much more of a problem. The time to introduce legislation is Now while plant is being designed.
The problems are complex for attempts to curb one form of pollution often lead to another. Changes in car engines to reduce carbon monoxide output have increased nitrogen oxide emissions which react with sunlight to form the most toxic element in smog.
Massive research may overcome these problems. Unlike the problem of population, that of pollution may be solved by technology. Research could be financed through effluent charges by which industries pay by the pound for the pollutants they discharge. These charges could make it less expensive for companies to clean up than to continue polluting. Industries are profiting at your expense—by not meeting the costs of pollution.
We must press the implementation of these points through political, economic and educational means.
We must develop an ecological conscience that recognizes man is a member, not master of the living things sharing his environment.
The solution to the ecological crisis lies in development of understanding in all walks of life—from the politician to the industrialist to the level of the common man, the waste-maker, the litter-bug.
Education is the key to understanding, and the responsibility of the educated is to promote understanding at all levels.