Mainstream [Bill Clinton] mainstream!

I’ve been collecting examples all this week of green ideas, still derided by such as John Key and Peter Dunne as extremist and growth-stifling, being promoted by people and institutions who are accepted as voices of informed conventional wisdom.

First was the edition of New Scientist that arrived in the letterbox on Monday, with its special section on “the folly of growth”.

We live on a planet with finite resources – that’s no surprise to anyone – so why do we have an economic system in which all that matters is growth

Frogblog has already got that one up. Then there was the UN research report showing that small scale organic type farming is a better bet for feeding impoverished areas of the world such as Africa than large scale machinery and fertiliser intensive farming. But Russel beat me to that one, if not the one where the Deutsche Bank economist seconded to the UN recommended turning the current financial crisis to good purpose to instigate a ‘Green New Deal’.

“Mobilizing and re-focusing the global economy towards investments in clean technologies and ‘natural’ infrastructure such as forests and soils is the best bet for real growth, combating climate change and triggering an employment boom in the 21st century.”

But this is my absolute favourite. Who is more mainstream and centrist that Bill Clinton? (Except for Peter Dunne, of course) Continue reading

Food Show

I love food. I love growing it, I love cooking it and I love eating it, so it was with great enthusiasm that I popped off to the Auckland Food Show this weekend to help man the Green Party stall. It’s interesting that in a time of rocketing prices in almost all kinds of food, including staples abroad and even local produce here, the Greens are the only party that seem to be aware of, and responding to, what’s going on. Unsurprisingly then, we were the only political group at the Food Show, spreading our message of safe, affordable food to people who are as passionate about their kai as us!

I could only attend on the Friday, but it was a fantastic event from what I saw: huge kudos to Sue Kedgley and Lisa Er (Candidate for Mt Roskill) for getting us there and among the public. I found that people, whether they were just domestic foodies or the importers of Australian rice, were really willing to engage with us about our policy on food; having a chat about getting gardening skills back into primary schools, getting mandatory country of origin labeling for the food we import, and having a long hard look at the things we’re throwing into our food to replace the nutrients we seem hell bent on ripping out.

Special thanks to Atomic Coffee for providing good quality Fair Trade coffee at a very reasonable price – and for donating a third of the price of every cup sold to Oxfam. Kia ora!

Fruitful Waiheke

I just found this video on Treehugger about Waiheke Island’s Fabulous Fruit Tree initiative. Apparently the Transition Town movement there wants to plant 20,000 fruit and nut trees to to provide a local source of food that will protect their community from the dangers that peak oil and rising food prices threaten to our ability to feed ourselves healthy fresh food.