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Our problem polluters are you drivers

Opinion Piece

What a mess our small planet is in, that we human residents are responsible for.

You can fly right round the Earth in about 40 hours.

Clean air and water are essential for our present and future existence. New Zealand could be an example to the world, living in harmony with all plants and animals.

The carbon emitted by vehicles and industry worldwide is a real threat to all animals, humans included, and I believe this cannot continue.

However, those hung up on farming need to wake up, get real and realise we need all the innocent animals and down-to-earth livestock farmers a hell of a lot more than they need you.

For the non-believers, I am prepared to spend a night in an airtight shipping container with a cud-chewing cow and maybe a grass floor. I would wake up the next morning with milk on tap.

If one of you who we see jamming up our roads every morning does the same in a similar container but with an idling car, we would need to get a hearse to pick you up the next morning.

A bad fault with the human race is that the majority will always blame the minority.

All is not lost, though — we have millions of trees to help clean and balance this very fragile equation.

The pine tree is getting a lot of publicity as a good store of carbon. It's main problem is that the tree is highly flammable and when burned all that stored carbon is released back into the atmosphere again (back where we started).

Now, poplars absorb a similar amount of carbon. They also provide timber that is as good as pine, is not so fire-prone and, as a bonus, poplars also provide shade and fodder for animals. They are very, very good in a drought-prone area such as ours.

Nature reigns supreme and has now released a virus that has to date killed hundreds of thousands of people and is still out of control, with global infection rates rising. Where to from here?

It proves the Earth is very small when something like this runs loose. One thing in New Zealand's favour is that we are a small country with sea at all our boundaries. Let us all be thankful for that fact.

I read in one of the papers over lockdown that the carbon, oxygen balance showed a remarkable recovery when most vehicles were off the roads.

So, vehicle owners, to see the problem polluters just look in the mirror each morning.

Ray Newman

  1. Dave says:

    Ray. I suggest that you look at this. https://www.wgtn.ac.nz/research/strengths/documentaries-highlight-vital-experience/fresh-water
    Yes, cars pollute and are responsible for many deaths, but so is horticulture. So many of our rivers have a high level of nitrates, which end up in bore water and town drinking supplies. It’s only because it can’t be seen or smelt that it’s allowed to happen. As we intensify farming the problem only gets worse. Sadly cities continue to let sewage flow into rivers, too many old cars smoke. We are not treating our environment right and we are going to pay the price for that. Cars and cows included.