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Monday, 06 May 2013 12:59

Silencing Environmental Criticism

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Dr. Mike Joy

Mike Joy is an environmental scientist at Massey University specialising in the ecology of water systems. In 2011 he was the object of a sustained attack by Prime Minister John Key (who is also the Minister of Tourism) on British TV for having said  in nthbe International heraldtribune that New Zealand's 100% Pure brand advertising was, well, bullshit, andf that it would eventually hurt our tourism market. The International Herald Tribune article citing him questioned the 100% Pure tourism campaign , and sparked some nasty attacks on his research and character from Government, ministers, a government lobbyist and journalists. None of the attacks addressed any of this factual referenced information; rather, the responses seem to reflect incredulity, revealing an alarming level of unawareness of reality.

The cosy relationship between corporate and industrial power and political systems was vividly evident in the 2012 American Election which returned president Barak Obama to the White House despite the expenditure of billions of dollars by the Republican political opponents attempting to unseat him. In New Zealand, a similar system operates, albeit with less size and overt gerrymandering. The public is still left to pay for the costs of pollution cleanup that greedy industrialists and corporations foist upon the environment. Nowhere is this more graphically illustrated than in the contradictory relationship between the New Zealand Tourism Industry - NZ's second largest export earner that relies on its marketing imagery of a pristine, pure and green environment - and the dairy industry (our primary export earner that is almost single-handedly responsible for the widespread pollution of New Zealand rivers and lakes. Scientists like Dr. Mike Joy who would speak out to reveal the true and actual state of the environment and to challenge the false imagery of the Tourism Industry appear to be the object of an attempted campaign to suppress their views. This article responds to this apparent campaign to silence Dr. Joy and presents the true picture of New Zealand's environmental record.

The piece here was written for the New Zealand Tourism Industry Blog and can be downloaded here

For a footnoted version for those interested in the validity of the arguments click here

A major article on the state of New Zealand's streams and rivers Watering Down the Image: Is New Zealand Clean and Green? was published in the 3rd edition of the Organic Explorer Guidebook to sustainable New Zealand tourism.

To download the PDF  click here



Read 1661 times Last modified on Sunday, 21 July 2013 18:49

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