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Take back the power to save the environment

Take back the power to save the environment

Democratically directed “people power” is the key to resisting growing corporate greed that threatens our natural environment and precious resources, the Alliance says.

Environment spokesperson Greg Kleis says the Alliance opposes private control of electricity and water that are essential to human life and the provision of which can have a detrimental impact on the environment.

“We would remove market mechanisms from the provision of water, electricity and other resources.

“This means decisions about new power generation would be planned as part of the Government’s overall energy strategy and would have regard for the environment.

“It also means that nobody is denied access to these basic necessities because they cannot afford to pay.”

The public ownership of electricity and water is a classic example of the interaction of economic, environmental and social needs, Dr Kleis says.

“In the school curriculum we should be encouraging young people to make links between a socially just and healthy society and commitment to protecting our natural environment.”

Dr Kleis, who is the Alliance candidate in Kaikoura, says community projects such as restoration of natural habitats can raise political consciousness of the potential for environmental degradation with unregulated development, while at the same time encouraging responsibility in the preservation of New Zealand wildlife and its habitats.

Another example of the connection between ecology and society is rampant consumerism, which the Alliance says is a major contributor to the rapid depletion of the earth’s resources, including energy sources.

“More than 10% of the world’s population living in North America and Western Europe account for 60% of private consumption. This is the inevitable result of capitalism, which must expand without end to exist. As it does so, capital tends to degrade the conditions of its own production.”

Dr Kleis says multinational corporations operate in an economic dimension that consumes all else.

“Nature and the ‘commons’ are continually devalued in the search for profit.”

He says top-down “expert” knowledge available to corporations disempowers local communities and limits people’s awareness of political possibilities.

“What we need are democratic structures that ensure citizens can participate fully in public decisions, secure in the knowledge that their local understanding is valued and that their rights and freedoms will be protected.”


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