Showing posts from May, 2020

Your vote really does count.

  In our house we recycle everything we can, I will ride a bike rather than drive the car if it is practical, and we stockpile soft plastic in the hope that one day, preferably soon, we will be able to recycle that. We try to be vegan but in reality we are merely vegetarians. I don't think our actions alone will save the planet but one does what one can. But does one? There are many measures of wealth and many measures of a person's carbon footprint but overall it seems that a very wealthy person will have a footpint about ten times greater than that of a normal person. I have known someone whose boat cost $8,000 to fill with diesel, and that was a few years ago.  I'm not sure how long that would last but it seems like a lot of fuel to burn in a pleasure boat. I wonder how far someone would have to ride a bicycle to offset that lot. And what about people who fly around in private jets? A study at the University of Bern in Switzerland concluded that a person's carbon

The elephant in the waiting room.

  In the wake of Grant Robertson's $50bn recovery budget there have been, amongst other reaction,   claims that climate change has been left out in the cold. Of over $50bn set aside to boost our country's economic recovery, just 2.2% of that figure - $1.1bn is destined for 'nature jobs'. This money will help to create 11,000 new jobs in conservation and environmental work. New Zealand has comitted to being carbon neutral by 2050 and yet is currently on track to see a 20% increase in net emissions between 2005 and 2030. Therefore might we not have expected to see a larger proportion of the bailout dedicated not just to environment and conservation but to the core issue of climate change? - which I maintain is a far greater existential threat to New Zealand and humanity as a whole than Covid-19 or Spanish Flu ever were. I think this ripple of negative reaction to the government's strategy is a case of people 'doing what they do', pundits adopting their res

Now to the world's real problems.

  As the world begins to emerge from lockdown and strives to get back to normal, it is important to remember that normal was a crisis with far more serious implications than the one we have just overcome. And this crisis is ongoing. Whatever you choose to call it, think of it as the dark shadow of a predator - and we are the prey. The normal which the world is turning back towards is a rising vortex of consumerism, economic growth, inequality, and for the most part morally and ethically bankrupt leadership. A seemingly unstoppable behemoth slashing and burning its way through the limited resources of the earth. There is no point quoting statistics here - dire predictions backed by science are easy enough to find. Suffice it to say that most rational people believe that climate crisis 'is a thing', and we have learned recently that we can stop the juggernaut; when the chips are down we can make big changes quickly. So how is it that we can move mountains in minutes in respo

Just take what you need.

  I have said in this column that I think our government has handled the Covid19 situation very well. There are rumblings in various corridors though, to the effect that it's all gone too far and we are sacrificing the economy on the altar of caution. Of course the leader of the opposition is busy saying that we should be out of Level 3 as of now, and that small businesses are the victims of the government's carefulness and placing of human life before money - it's kind of hard to say in a way that isn't, well, uncaring, expedient, and materialistic. To be fair to him - there is not a lot else he can say - and he has to say something doesn't he? I read an article this morning in which the writer, Damien Grant, wrote that the government's wage subsidy scheme "was a massive waste of cash as most of the employers who took it, including me, didn’t need the subsidy and were going to retain their staff anyway. Most firms that were going to fail before they got