A glimpse of light in confronting NZ’s environmental crisis

Posted 21/11/2018

The Spinoff website

Is there a single answer that addresses all the freshwater and environmental problems? Yup: it’s fewer cows, writes ecologist Mike Joy in this extract from his new book Mountains to Sea: Solving New Zealand’s Freshwater Crisis

The problems faced by New Zealand’s environment, particularly freshwaters and soils are wicked, complex and intertwined. After struggling with these issues for a half a lifetime, it strikes me with great clarity that if you look at each in isolation they seem intractable; but when you grasp that there could be one single solution that addresses them all, then suddenly there is a glimpse of light at the end of the tunnel.

Take, for example, a subset of the many environmental issues facing New Zealand, such as bacterial and pathogen contamination of water and soil, excess nutrients in waters, excess sediment in waterways, freshwater habitat loss, groundwater contaminated with pesticides and nutrients, and the huge loss of the mauri of waterways. Any of these issues appear impossibly hard and/or expensive if evaluated in isolation for costs, or for the difficulty or value of resolution.

Read the full article here.