Showing posts from 2019

Plant that tree.

  Let's face it, the evidence is incontrovertible: All but the most staunch deniers and the doggedly ignorant agree that we are on the brink of a global climate crisis. But there are pockets of good news and optimism to be found. Do a quick net search for "Monbiot trees" and you'll get a page full of links about how tree planting and 'rewilding' really can make a difference. And if you haven't seen the video made by George Monbiot and Greta Thunberg - you should watch it. In 2017, 1.5 million volunteers planted 66 million trees in 12 hours. There is great work being done in Ethiopia, a country better known for famine and war than reforestation, where a campaign known as 'Green Legacy' recently saw 353 million trees planted in 12 hours. The target for 'Green Legacy' is 4 billion trees. A few weeks ago during Equidays at Mystery Creek, in the recycling area known as Wombleton,  a team of volunteers sorted rubbish from the event into com

Are you sitting comfortably?

  Well that was a bit awkward. Organisers of #climatestrike NZ reckon that about 170,000 people turned out nationwide for the events of 27 th September 2019. That's about 4.25% of the population. For the climate strike at the Cambridge town hall on that date, attendance peaked at 24, and I'd like to congratulate and commend every one of them. It is, however, about 0.12% of the population of Cambridge, which is less than the national turnout by a factor of about 35. Do we, in Cambridge, really care that much less than the rest of the country about climate change? Probably not; that would be an absurd claim to make. It does suggest though, that we in Cambridge do not feel comfortable addressing the issues. Anecdotally speaking, I have met a few people over the last month, some prominent in the community, some not so, who have surprised me with the things they have said with a straight face: "So, this Greta Thunberg, who's manipulating her?" - You assume


  It is said that there are three kinds of people: those who make things happen, those who watch things happen, and those who wonder what's happening. A couple of weeks ago I was invited to a meeting of Greypower in Cambridge where a group of senior students from Cambridge High School were to speak on a variety of topics around the theme of what concerns them as they move from school to further education and life beyond. Climate change was, of course, high on the list. I attended the meeting and, apart from the apparently mandatory overuse of the word 'like', the students were articulate, confident, and possessed of eminently sensible viewpoints. I concur with Michael Cole's assessment in his letter to the editor last week, where he wrote that these students will become "worthy citizens of our country". A couple of days later I met with two senior students from St Peter's School. This was a meeting I had requested by telephoning the school and asking

The coffee's good, but what about the ground?

  About an hour ago I was walking up the main street in the winter sunshine. The odd car horn tooted over the general morning bustle as I stepped into the lotto shop. There was a couple in front of me at the counter and the lady turned to me and said: “Since it’s very likely that we are going to win, you may have to wait a while”. Quick as a flash I replied “I shall be happy to wait - for a small commission”. That’s the kind of thing I normally wish I’d thought of in time to say it. Feeling pleased with myself I went into a small cafe across the road for a long black and was enveloped by the aroma of hot coffee and pain au chocolat. Looking back through the steam rising from the coffee machine, through the open window across the street, with sunlight through the trees, I had a feeling that all is well with the world. Except that it’s not. Somewhere in the background, beneath the idyllic scene of small-town New Zealand, something clunked and I remembered that the planet is grappling