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April 9, 2019 | by  | in Editorial Homepage |
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Editorial – We done fucked up

Sometimes life seems like one compromise after another, especially when it comes to efforts around conservation.


For instance: Every weekend, Grant Guilford flies to plant and care for native trees in his tracts of bush in Waikato and Nelson Lakes. The paradox is that in doing so, he’s contributing to air pollution.


Grant’s not alone. We are all guilty in our apathy, and perhaps more tragically, the unintended consequences of our actions. We think we’re hitting the ball, but we’re not following through with our swing.


Salient writes about how the earth needs to be saved, but we don’t currently use recyclable paper or local printers (you can send an email to to ask Matt Tucker why).


We’ll bike to the market for our groceries, but end up using plastic because we forgot our tote at home. We’ll recycle all the right materials, but we’re unsure how clean that yoghurt container should actually be.


The examples go on: We’ll buy the plain brown packaging with green arrows on it, but hell, now that I think about it, was that shit just green-washed? Which leads to a bigger question: Am I green-washed?


Here’s a quote that a charity mugger told me a few years ago: “Every time you make a purchase, you vote for the way you want the world to be.”


As much as I resented his self-righteous posturing, the dude had a point.


Since the government isn’t holding manufacturers accountable, it appears as though it’s up to us, the consumers.


It is also up to us, the creatives. The entrepreneurs. The inventors. The educators. The voters.


On one hand, I wonder how far away we are from being a better society. How far off until we see rooms advertised in “plastic-free” flats? How many years until petrol is a product of the past?


On the other hand, I wonder how much longer we have left. Ice caps are melting off faster than a popsicle in Wellington on an, especially good day. Faster than our hope for a flat warrant of fitness promised to us two years ago. The waters are rising, the fires are burning, and the wildlife is migrating—or disappearing altogether.


Let’s chew on these issues together, starting a dialogue about the cost and benefits of it all.


This week’s ^Salient offers you a variety: CKW writes about the controversial but unavoidable question looming over Taranaki. Finn has a chat with Sea Shepherd. And Te Aorewa brings us back to our very innate yearning to connect with nature.


Everything is connected on this pale blue dot. We done fucked up. Now we must take the steps to unfuck the world.


“There is perhaps no better demonstration of the folly of human conceits than this distant image of our tiny world. To me, it underscores our responsibility to deal more kindly with one another, and to preserve and cherish the pale blue dot, the only home we’ve ever known.”


-Carl Sagan, ^Pale Blue Dot^, 1994

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He Tāonga

:   I wanted to write this piece, in order to connect to all tauira within the University, with the hope that we can all remind ourselves that we are a part of an environment which is valuable, no matter our culture, our beliefs or our skin colour. The ultimate purpose of this