New Zealand and the Mega-Consumers

Much has been written lately about the fiasco surrounding Mr Dotcom and Megaupload. I will not comment on his alledged criminal activity, however, his profligate lifestyle has been of considerable interest to the media.

The mansion, in which Mr Dotcom resides, apparently consumes $8500 worth of electricity per month (1). That is 100 times what many households spend on electricity per month! So what is my point? Well, that electricity must come from somewhere, and that somewhere is either renewable or non-renewable sources of electricity generation. Obviously if all New Zealanders consumed electricity the way his household does, we would need up to 100 times our current generating capacity!

Now I am all for renewable electricity generation, but the wanton consumption of it is reprehensible. I, and I think most New Zealanders, are not prepared to have all of our rivers dammed and hillsides covered with wind-turbines so that unscrupulous playboys can have centrally heated mansions, with multiple big-screen televisions, and all manner of other power-consuming appliances. This is not to mention the energy consumed in the construction of the mansion, the indiscriminate helicopter flights, the private jets and the list goes on.

Mr Dotcom is, however, not the only wealthy individual with lavish lifestyle tastes to want to contribute to New Zealand’s unsustainable path. Apparently many billionaires are all too keen to come here(2), build their trophy mansion on our “pristine” coastline (thereby rendering it un-pristine!) and then consume energy and generate waste like there’s no tomorrow.

When will we realise that when all our beautiful bays are lined with luxuriant lodges(3) and our hilltops are crested with monstrous mansions, that the pristine and pure will be desecrated, the wildness consumed by consumption and our land will no longer be Gods own country but will be owned by the gods of our age.

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