Time to stop industrial farming

For 300,000 years Homo sapiens lived as hunter gathers, spreading in waves from Africa, colonising all corners of Earth, including, very recently, New Zealand.

We couldn’t do much harm; we didn’t have the power. Then the climate stabilised and we started farming.

We found fossil fuels which could give one man the power of a hundred horses. Machines and capitalism have given us riches beyond the dreams of ancient kings. Profit was the key and the prophet is the new key.

But all good things come to an end and the planet is not a warehouse stocked by the supernatural for man to pluck. For [National Party leader] Christopher Luxon the future is technology, growth and lower taxes. Being conservative means always trying the same thing over and over and, as the great quantum physicist Wolfgang Pauli might have said, “No, Herr Luxon, you’re not even wrong.”

When asked if reducing GHG emissions would mean reducing cow numbers, Mr Luxon replied, “No”. Just to be clear, a get-out-of-jail-free card for farmers means the rest of us must do more.

Yes, methane (CH4) must be treated differently from CO2 because it behaves differently – it doesn’t accumulate in the atmosphere – but there’s also nitrous oxide, which is even worse.

We have allowed the number of cows to almost double since 1990 when we pledged to reduce emissions.

If Mr Luxon was more than another ambitious politician telling conservatives what they want to hear, he would know we must stop industrial farming. It is destroying the land too – soil and rivers.

Mr Luxon has said, “farmers are not villains.” Who said they were? Not Labour. It has bent over backwards to help farmers and encourage regenerative farming.

It even paid the cost of Mycoplasma bovis spreading – when farmers failed to record animals moved to other farms as required by law.

Lux in physics is a measure of brightness. Faint hope, then.

Dennis Horne, Howick