Keynote speakers painted a grimly realistic picture of the economy and environmental issues at PrintNZ’s Ink in Our Veins centenary conference in Taupo this week.Gareth Kiernan, managing director of Infometrics, wasted no time in coming to the point about the state of the global economy: it’s grim. That’s bad news for us. Environmental sustainability expert Phillip Lawrence also had bad news for anyone who thought that climate change is under control: it isn’t. We’ve got work to do.
Introduced by representatives of major sponsors Heidelberg, Hostmann Steinberg, Fuji Xerox and Spicers Papers, both speakers provided new and valuable information to delegates at the conference.
Kiernan covered the global and local economies. With black humour, he described any possibility of a house price recovery as a “dead cat bounce.” That is, when a cat falls from a tall building it bounces on the ground, leading onlookers to believe that it’s survived the fall, but the cat is really dead; it’s just the bounce that makes it look like it might be alive.
He said, “All the indicators indicate a downward trend. Manufacturing is beginning to contract, building activity is dropping off, there’s tighter lending criteria, building consents are falling and residential developers are falling over.”
Lawrence also had bad news about the environment. Using global weather as an example, he illustrated the difficulties we face with climate change. He said, “A recent CSIRO report says that temperature will increase. Average temperatures will increase; some parts of Queensland will be uninhabitable. It says that we’re reaching a point of where we’ll have severe weather conditions everywhere. For example, 20 years ago the USA would have only one hurricane per year. We had a hurricane in South America this year when we’d never had one in the past.”
Lawrence also covered sustainability issues in the printing industry. His main message was that the industry has been badly misrepresented in the media and is cleaner than most other industries.
In depth articles on both speakers will feature in December’s issue of New Zealand Printer.