The tale of the sealion and the shark by Susan Grimsdell

Recently a sealion was bitten by a great white shark and lived to tell the tale. Well, the sealion didn’t tell it, a reporter did.  A feel-good story The tone of the news story was very upbeat – a happy story told entirely from the perspective of the sealion.  If it had been told from the shark’s perspective it would have been quite different.  Perhaps it might have been told like this: “There has been an unprecedented and alarming increase in the risk of extinction of great white sharks.  According to “Nature”… Read More

After the gold rush by Trevor Plumbly

‘Helpless, helpless’ (Neil Young) Neil was scarcely boy-next-door material; he looked like someone had abandoned him in a doorway: overlong hair and a face that charity would describe as ‘lived in’. But the guy could write! He was the high priest of the folk/druggie followers (see ‘The needle and the damage done’). Vocally he wasn’t much, but then neither were the others; the message was more important than the melody. They were heady times with newly discovered drugs, rights, sexual freedom and social wrongs to identify with, from racial discrimination to nuclear… Read More

NZ farmers’ protest by Susan Grimsdell

Taking to the streets Hundreds of farmers recently took to the streets in their expensive tractors.  The vehicles are big bullying things, and that makes me think the drivers are too.  Sitting way up high, big wheels, the whole rig shouting – “I’m big and powerful and rich so get out of my way.” As far as I could make out, that was the essence of their protest – “This government is telling me what to do.  I won’t have it.  It’s my land, and I’ll say what happens to it.”  Farmers… Read More

Plastic with that Ma’am? by Susan Grimsdell

We’re all horrified by pictures of birds and other sea creatures with plastic filling their stomachs, and seeing videos of them innocently feeding plastic to their infants.  It’s too ghastly to think about? Plastic in humans Well, what about newborn human babies with plastic particles in their bodily organs – hearts, brains, lungs, liver, kidneys? Recent research has found tiny plastic nanoparticles in human placentas which pass through to the foetus and contaminate all those vital organs.  The original research was done at the prestigious Rutgers University in the USA, on pregnant… Read More

Saving the mature trees by Susan Grimsdell

The government has a plan to plant one billion trees by 2028.  This is a stupendous endeavour, and it will cost a lot of money.  The trees they plant will be skinny little twigs with a few leaves on them.  The plan is part of the climate change deal whereby if we plant trees we get the right to spew even more emissions into our poor ruined atmosphere. Tree massacre Native trees are slow growing so it will take many years until the newly planted ones are big enough to have even… Read More