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.