A string of successful Game of Mates speaking events has happened recently -- in Kuranda, Sydney, Canberra, and Melbourne. I can't take all the credit. But, James, our bandit in the Game of Mates, can. He has been extremely active all across the land and people are starting to notice.
One issue that has repeatedly come up at these events is the rise of 'strategic representation' of the economic benefits of major projects in planning applications. For example, a land subdivision proposal might include plans for a new university campus, eco-tourism facilities, and more, in order to be able to claim the project will generate billions of dollars of economic benefits to the region. But the reality is often that these additional facilities are completely infeasible and will never happen. They are just included in the application to beef up the claimed merits of the project, for there is no obligation from the approval to follow through with the ful…
One issue that occupies the minds of environmentalists from across the political spectrum is food waste. Around one-third of all food produced for human consumption is never eaten. To environmentalists, this is astonishing and terrible.
But, unfortunately, they are completely wrong. And I say that as a fervent environmentalist.
It is actually a world with zero food waste that is a terrible place to be. We absolutely do not want to be that world.
The reason is this.
Food waste is, in practice, a tremendously important global food insurance policy. In a world of zero food waste, if a natural disaster, such as a flood or drought, hits some of the most productive agricultural regions, both food production and food consumption will fall dramatically. There is no buffer. If production falls, food consumption falls by an equal amount.
If a flood, for example, wiped out a quarter of world food production one year, in a world with zero food waste the per person food intake must also fall on average…