Gareth Morgan – impressive talk, but questions remain

We went along to hear Gareth Morgan last night. We aren’t the type to go to a finance talk, so it wasn’t that. He is touring the country, talking about his trip to Antarctica, and raising money fro a pest-eradication programme on a sub-Antarctic island.

I was prepared to ask the obvious question: how does he justify, cranially, his involvement in growth economics, with his conservation efforts.

I didn’t. The man spoke too sincerely, and too thoughtfully, for that to be a valid question. A case of someone being too proactive, to knock. He has a better grasp of Climate Science, than anyone outside the science profession; with the perhaps exception of Gwynne Dyer. His graphic of the warming Southern Ocean (the temperature differential is much bigger at the poles) was irrefutable.

So too, is his ability to identify a deal-with-able project, and commit.

He also pointed out that if the current population of the planet, wanted to live like the citizens of the USA, it would need 7 planets. Also pointed out the land-grab going on (didn’t mention end-game, though, interestingly) and the resource-grab ditto.
He was honest about global finance – pointing out the current zero and less-than-zero interest rates, but not correlating them with the lack-of-resources issue. Honest about our ‘valuations’ in NZ being too high still, but again, not relating it to the needs of a fiscal system based on growth.

So it wasn’t the forum to challenge him, but his argument that ‘we should reduce our emissions’ hardly goes with growth in his investment obligations, and his talk of ‘rogue nations land/resource-grabbing’ didn’t sit well with his “we have land in Brazil”.

Still and all, if all folk in the financial game, applied as much thought and effort to global issues as Morgan clearly does, we’d be in better shape. I suspect, deep down, that he knows we’ll end up in a global war over resources; nobody who understands the  ‘7 planet’ discrepancy can really think otherwise.

In that light, his conservation efforts on the sub-Antarctic islands make more sense than most; they may well be bypassed in the scrap, and any species saved while we take ours out of the picture (or learn to live less impactively within it) is a win.

Perhaps it’s the best that can be done in the here and now. Good luck to him.






2 Responses

  1. Thanks for the review on the Our Far South Roadshow John. Cheers for coming along.

  2. Sorry MURRAY, I had just finish writing a reply to John on Facebook… Thanks again.

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