The fatuousness of that last claim can be seen simply by observing that it is the world's wealthier nations that are the cleanest, and the world's economic basket cases that are enmired both in poverty and environmental squalor. Wealth buys environmental goods; poverty buys squalor. That's a lesson Russel and his colleagues need to learn.
Another lesson they need to learn is that Nick Smith has no intention of gutting the RMA, more's the pity. They could have learned that by reading my own fisking of Smith's pitiful performance at last weekend's National conference. Perhaps I can recommend it to them now?