Kitchen Garden Guides

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Am I the only one who gets it??

I have been sitting by the fire watching the world's woes presented as unrelated events, each with a different reporter, in a different part of Australia or the world.

First, was the carbon tax.... please tell me if I am wrong but I thought that was to try to help or force (depending on your point of view) industries to look at innovative ways to do their business while making less carbon pollution.... and I thought that was because there seems to be some agreement amongst some levels of government that we should do something about climate change. However, it seems that a carbon tax is just another excuse for immature behaviour amongst politicians, without any discussion on the root cause of why we need one.

Second, was quite a lengthy piece on how the high Australian dollar is making it hard for fruit growers and processors in Victoria to export their goods. In fact, it showed 2,000 perfectly good, 80 year old pear trees being ripped out of the soil. Then the screen was filled with the picture of a supermarket shelf loaded with cheap, foreign, tinned pears(mostly grown in China, they said), packaged with Coles home brand labelling.

Now, to me, naive as it may be, these two items are bound together as if with super-glue and any decent current affairs programme would have been asking serious questions about the dedication of a government, putting itself forward as being tough on climate change, whilst allowing our own fruit growing and processing industries to be sabotaged by cheap, poor quality, foreign fruit being shipped thousands of kilometres across the seas to supermarket shelves, where they sit in tins lined in plastic, instead of in decent, Australian steel (of course steel has its down sides but let's not get side-tracked!!). There needs to be an incentive to buy Australian and someone needs to stand up and explain the connection between all this carbon dioxide in the air, and all these foreign tins of fruit in the shops.

Third, there was an economist explaining that the terrible floods in Queensland back in January were the cause of the bad state of the Australia current account deficit; you see, many coal mines had been either flooded or had access to them cut off by the floods and thus have produced a fraction of their usual coal exports ever since. He was then explaining that all will be up and up (on the graph to nowhere), once that production is back to normal again.

Again I actually naively imagined that coal was one of those industries that maybe should be rethinking its future, now we are all agreed that we are getting tough on climate change... and that getting back to full production and filling those world markets for massive amounts of coal was the whole reason we are having such an affect on our climates.

So, I thought maybe if we stopped importing so much rubbish from China and started eating our own, Australian-grown fruit and veg, then we could break even with this current account deficit thing. And if we started putting solar panels on every roof (in the sunniest country on earth) then we could make electricity even in the floods and we wouldn't need the coal to be mined.

Am I the only person who sees the link between these news items? Perhaps I should send Julia an email and explain the simplicity of the whole thing.... tough action should mean encouraging everyone to grow food, buy Australian and catch the bus.

12 comments:

Mr. H. said...

It's a sad state of affairs when a person can no longer readily find products made in ones own country on the store shelves. A huge amount of American products are also from China...not very self-sufficient or sustainable is it.

WhatIfWeAllCared? said...

I see the same here... the most affordable food is in the 'Mexican Stores'... all imported... if you want a balanced diet, you have no choice... too expensive to buy from the chain stores!
Those who think ahead garden...

Paulette said...

It's all true Kate, the simplest solutions getting lost in a storm of political posturing.

Gavin said...

I agree Kate, but one important factor that you left out is our heavy reliance on oil for all of this importing and exporting.

Now that we have hit the peak of oil extraction globally, many of the things that we have grown accustom to will change dramatically. They won't be able to ship the crap from China, because it will be cheaper to grow it here. And as for sending coal back to China, with no oil, it will be back to sailing ships or coal fired ships!

Rock on the end of the age of cheap oil!

Gav x

Kate said...

Exactly right, Gavin. In this post though I was trying to expose the ridiculous lack of understanding we see politically and in the media, that all these problems are linked and we have to address the core of our way of life to actually have any useful effect on ....well, on anything!

Gavin said...

You are 100% correct Kate. I should have mentioned that if the media helped the massess to connect the dots, then maybe a lot more people would wake up to themselves and take all of those actions you mentioned. Not that the media would do that, as their job is to sell stories and confuse the average punter.

I suppose my point was that soon it will be forced upon us anyway, and the wake-up slap across the face will be harder to take for most.

Gav

africanaussie said...

If only the politicians could look at the facts logically the way you just explained here! (ever thought of going into politics, Kate?) Charging a carbon tax which they then rebate to the little guy (us) to make up for the prices which are going to be raised to pay the carbon tax. Looks a little like a merry go round to me. I dont see anything changing...

Bruise Mouse said...

Thanks for a great post. I start thinking that "maybe I don't get it" because the media/politicians aren't talking about all of these issues being related to one another. I am glad you have confirmed what I was thinking but a bit too unsure to talk about. So many of the environmental issues are strongly linked to one another but they are all treated in isolation. 100 years ago there was much less reliance on oil, and people ate food that they knew where it had come from. People didn't even need to think about the chemicals that had gone into growing the fruit, vegetable and meat as there was really no other way than the 'right' way.
I still don't understand how people in positions of power cannot see these links and do something real about it all. It is very frustrating.

Ewa said...

Kate, there is something very wrong going on. I see it too, but is there a way to stop it? I have doubts. We can only make difference on our small scale/patch and we sum it up - maybe this can make a difference...

Nallerang Creek said...

I wonder too, occasionally, if I'm missing the point.

Everything is connected and the disconnection prevents us from seeing the whole picture.

Sad about those pears. I run a food co-op and we'd make good use of them if they were closer. :(

Apple Island Wife said...

Getting the message into the mainstream is the biggest challenge. Have you read Paul Gilding? Find him at www.paulgilding.com. He's just released a book, The Great Disruption - why the climate crisis will bring an end to shopping and the birth of a new world. You can read a review of it and a profile of him at my other, little known blog, www.wifemotheractivist.blogspot.com

farmer_liz said...

Very interesting, I hadn't made those connections (even though I saw each story as bad news in its own way), but I totally agree now I've read your post (and have various problems with the role of capitalism and growth economies in all of this). I also agree with Gavin that the media seems to intentionally dumb-down and confuse the content so that the public is in a constant state of fear and misinformation. Not sure what the solution is....just want to have my garden organised for when I need it!