Friday, September 14, 2007

over the pulp mill or ' wishing the pulp mill was over'

I'm heartily tired of this whole pulp mill business. (Years of having it's fabricated benefits stuffed in my ears are taking their toll)

I'm relieved it has become a national issue. (53% of us who live in the area don't want it, while 35% do. The rest don't know who to believe and choose fence sitting over becoming better informed. But even with those statistics - and yes, in case you missed it, that's a majority of people who don't want the mill - Gunns think they can swan into our backyard and do what they want because. well. they want to. isn't that reason enough? We need all the help we can get to beat this thing, so thankyou to all those mainlanders who've waded into the debate and are fighting with us)

I'm extremely upset that the bottom line is the almighty dollar. Always the almighty dollar. Everything is reduced to profit. Dividends. Value per tonne. Trade deficits balanced by pulp production over woodchip export.

I am going to buy this t-shirt and wear it everywhere.

Eat money?

Only when the last tree has died
and the last river been poisoned
and the last fish been caught
will we realise we cannot eat money.
It seems to me that our whole value system is totally mucked up. (I really want to swear there, but I am not as brave as some of you whose blogs I read. My Mum is reading... replace 'mucked up' with the expletive that best fits) We have totally stuffed up our world for the sake of a dollar and I am enraged and grief stricken all in one. I am distressed that I (separated from you only in degree), am a consumer who contributes to this system that rapes our earth in return for paltry money.

I've been reading a book called 'The ethics of what we eat' by Peter Singer and Jim Mason. In their tabulation of the atrocities of industrial size chicken production they make some statements that are relevant to the pulp mill debate:
Tyson produces chicken cheaply because it passes many costs on to others. Some of the cost is paid by people who can't enjoy being outside in their yard because of the flies and have to keep their windows shut because of the stench. Some is paid by kids who can't swim in the local streams. Some is paid by those who have to buy bottled water because their drinking water is polluted. Some is paid by people who want to be able to enjoy a natural environment with all its beauty and rich biological diversity. These costs are, in the terms used by economists, 'externalities' because the people who pay them are external to the transaction between the producer and the purchaser. p29.
What bothers me most about the Gunns pulp mill debate is that these externalities have been largely ignored. Obviously Gunns turns a blind eye to them because it wouldn't look so good in their Integrated Impact Statement. That the government has also chosen to ignore them is testament to the fact that not only will Gunns profit from this trashing of our environment, but so too will they. And while Gunns and the government line their pockets with trees ripped from the heart of my state, I and my fellow citizens will pay the enormous 'external' costs.

Is this justice? Is this right? I think not.

Bring on heaven, lush land of restored creation, kingdom of justice, haven from the evil dollar. I think I've had enough of it down here. Can I go to that new place right now please?

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At 1:18 pm, September 15, 2007, Blogger Deanna said...

Right, Cecily, so much isn't right in our world. I cringe to think of them putting up a pulp mill on your pretty island, and yet I still want to publish...books. Pulp and more pulp. Yuk. Life's too complicated. Yet if there weren't these issues to make me want the things you mentioned in your last paragraph, would I take time to want them?

Anyway, I'm still pulling for the pulp mill plan to fizzle.

At 3:27 pm, September 15, 2007, Blogger Mike S said...

deanna...they're closing existing, productive mills daily, all to chase the cheaper labor and higher profits that come when they dirty somebody else's backyard. They don't even clean after themselves when they go.

Cecily, you have mail on the subject, with photo of the effects of a 'clean' mill. Don't go just yet, people like you are needed to fight on against these corporate rapists lose on our planet.

At 9:16 pm, September 15, 2007, Anonymous Sandy said...

Cecily, I tire for you. The fight you're on must be exhausting, and I hope, worth every minute. They may win, but you are making it so they have to listen. Imagine if no one bothered to fight against it? Then everything would surely be different.

Good luck!


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