One thing farmers learn quicker than anything else when dealing with climate change is that your survival will depend primarily on decisions that are based on what we know to be true.
Most of the reliable data used when planning for a changing environment will be gleaned from historical records that give clear indications of the likely success of any mitigating scheme introduced that includes the lessons learned from past severe events. It’s just common sense but it usually works better than placing all our eggs in a basket of relatively unknown alternatives.
So it is with the nation’s search for reliable clean energy alternatives that will enable us to eliminate the traditional reliance on a mix that includes coal fired power stations.
It would appear that those who make the decisions on the alternatives we can choose from have been given clear instructions from our political masters that large scale hydro schemes are not on that list in any shape or form. More's the pity!
This would appear to be the dumbest or most flamboyantly irresponsible decree ever to emerge from parliament buildings - and the evidence suggests that my suspicions are correct - current government policy appears to limit hydro type schemes to those of limited capacity (or if they can be justified economically) to small “pump hydro” type schemes.
These yet to be tested plans for bolstering our clean energy plants fly in the face of all the data we would ever need that suggests the “big brother” variant is by far the cheapest and most reliable form of energy supply we are ever likely to build in this country. And there are more than one good reason why we should build them where-ever they can also be used to provide other “life saving” supplies to communities under siege from climate change eg. fresh drinking and irrigation water.
Why then are we not investing in the one thing we know to be a winner on more than one of the criteria that would determine viability and survival?
You guessed it - we are being forced to accept even more evidence of a government that is controlled by ideological loons!
When it is clear that these large dams can become the saviour of provincial New Zealand, its people and its industries, and the flow on effect is equally beneficial to the large metropolitan communities with insatiable demand for clean energy, it beggars belief that (presumably) sane men and women are allowed to get away with this outrageous self indulgence.
Getting back to the farming folk and the supporters of our industry - remember us, the backbone of the country that allows the Prime Minister the luxury of claiming “we are all in this together”- such is her and the country’s dependence on our survival.
It is shameful that the green lobby in the current government is being allowed to dictate the parameters that determine the choices we should be making regarding our own survival.
My guess is that the reason they don’t want us to consider more fresh water storage multi purpose capacity is simply because it might alter the visual and environmental character of habitats that are home to the odd rare frog, dragon fly or endangered species of soldier ants.
No matter that the alternative considerations for clean energy generation are economically non viable for small populations like ours ie. nuclear or are currently notoriously unreliable suppliers at peak times such as wind and solar.
It is madness verging on criminal assault but what do l know.
You be the judge.
Clive Bibby is a commentator, consultant, farmer and community leader, who lives in Tolaga Bay.