Monday, 21 December 2009
These are the notes for a talk given by UNITYblog editor David Colyer on the subject of ‘Transitioning to a human-centred economy in Aotearoa’ at the Marxism Alive conference in Auckland, 27 June 2009. New Zealand is the world’s biggest exporter of dairy products, not because we produce more dairy products than any other country, but because unlike other countries, we produce much, much more than is used here. We are all now becoming increasingly aware of the environmental costs of producing all this “surplus” dairy produce for export: the pollution of our waterways, the drying up of streams, the greenhouse gas emissions from the belching cows. So why do we do it? Why keep producing so much more than we need if the costs are so high? Why the continuing push for even more dairy farms? Obviously the answer is that the dairy farmers and their investors want to make more money. We have a profit-centred economy, not an ecology-centred economy.