Solid Energy: 100% Pure Greenwash

Monday’s Westport News (not online) says that Ruud Kleinpaste, the bug-man, is visiting schools in Buller this week courtesy of Solid Energy. Ruud is fresh from braving bees and political interference in Wellington.

Frog readers will know that Solid Energy has had a lot to do with creepy-crawlies. Coal-mining operations destroy invertebrates and their habitat daily. Solid Energy terminated the only habitat of an endemic giant carnivorous (and NZ’s most famous) snail species Powelliphanta Augustus. Solid Energy had to get a wildlife permit to move and kill them. But the relocated populations are struggling, and face extinction.

Despite this, Solid Energy has invited the bug-man down to talk about the importance of bugs to Coast kids, and get nice PR out of it. Solid made a cool snail movie too, just to show how much they loved them.

I’m also told that their leaflet promoting the Solid Energy Leisure Centre in Westport has a beautiful photo of a sun-speckled nikau leaf on the front.

You’d be forgiven for thinking Solid was in the business of environmental enhancement, with a bit of mining on the side! Alas, it’s an illusion.

Solid Energy: 100% Pure Greenwash.

Addition: a local tells me that Ruud’s visit is part of Solid Energy’s “Environment Week”, which also includes hosting a beach cleanup, an environmental photo competition, a tour of mine water treatment plant, tree planting and a blue duck presentation. Sound great – pity about the coal mining, biodiversity destruction and carbon emissions.

10 Comments Posted

  1. latest from the business community:

    Coal?s idea for tiny tax and trees given solid debunking
    Tuesday 12 May 09 9:00am

    Solid Energy – asks for a $1 tax when carbon price is $24 plusBusiness leaders have debunked Solid Energy?s proposal for a small new carbon tax.

    In a commentary not widely released, Solid Energy?s plan is described as inadequate and likely to deny low-emissions projects $1.3 billion a year from emission credit sales.

  2. I tend to agree with jh “As we power down we will need oil and coal to stop using oil and coal.”
    I think from memory less that 20% of our electricity comes from coal. I read somewhere that Huntly Power station produces about 17% of NZs electricity but last year less than 10% of electricity came from coal. But after Maui runs out there will be a short fall and that will probably be taken up by coal, I think.

  3. SB: If Commodore Frank spends Fiji Government money on planting trees, town sport centres, and bug education for kids, would we still criticise the political situation?

  4. At least they’re doing something!!
    Geez you guys are tough.
    Solid energy grow and plant (unfortunately not from me) thousands of native plants per year. Actually I’ve seen the nursery’s and its more like 10’s of thousands.

  5. As we power down we will need oil and coal to stop using oil and coal.
    I tentatively agree, jh. Would you care to expand? (plus, do you really think we need to open more mines? Better use of those that already exist would be my preference).

  6. Wiping out the food source for the local bird population too hey?
    Might be time to put up that Aviary – I’ll have the last Kea’s here!

  7. The direction of the GP to the lhs is green wash as the goals of that political group dominate a mainstream direction with a focus on sustainability and social justice.

  8. I’m not sure there is anything wrong with Rudd accepting the job although he is being used for PR.
    As we power down we will need oil and coal to stop using oil and coal.

  9. Children love creepy crawlies. Solid Energy should have sent Garrett instead of Kleinpaste.

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