The miracle of the monarch butterfly by Angela Caldin

I’m in Pacific Grove, California, for a few days where I’ve witnessed a part of what has been called one of the greatest natural events on Earth. In a large grove of eucalyptus trees called The Sanctuary, clusters of monarch butterflies cling like glowing autumn leaves to the branches. They arrive in late October to overwinter in the mild climate here, escaping the harsher winters in the north. They travel vast distances to reach the California coast in the west and the mountains of Michoacan in Mexico in the east. Hardy butterflies… Read More

Climate change in action by Susan Grimsdell

A survey of how kids get to school found that of the sample number of approximately  800,000 young people, about 580,000 get there by car, 450,000 of those driving themselves, which means they were unlikely to be able to take a passenger.  About 100,000 took a public bus or train and just over 100,000 caught a school bus. Action not words I was interested in these numbers when I thought about the kids’ recent climate change march.  “What do we want?  Climate change action. When do we want it?  NOW!”  I’m all… Read More

The climate will change by Susan Grimsdell

By the time our children are grandparents, our world will be like nothing we can even imagine. The planet will have a climate not seen for hundreds of thousands of years.  Oceans over a metre higher, flooding and rainfall like we’ve never experienced, together with severe drought and forest fires, and large numbers of migrants trying to get into New Zealand.  These are the facts, this is what we are facing. But how many of us are taking climate change seriously?  We give lip service to awareness that the climate is changing,… Read More

Get it together and get it right by Susan Grimsdell

Sometimes I think different parts of the NZ government live on different planets. One part is always warning of the risk to the economy of New Zealanders’ high level of indebtedness. We’re told we’re deeper in debt than almost anyone else in the world: Fitch Ratings (whoever that is) reports that this country has one of the world’s highest household debt levels, at 93% of GDP. Save or spend? By the same token, we’ve also been told time and again that we need to save more. Consumer advocates urge us not to… Read More

Young people on the streets by Susan Grimsdell

I’ve come across two crowds of young people in the past couple of weeks.  On 24 May hundreds and hundreds of students marched down Queen Street in Auckland blocking the entire street. They were angry at us – oldies – who have used and abused the planet: the damaged, degraded planet they will be obliged to cope with in the coming years.  They carried handmade placards with messages from the heart.  These were not mass-produced as is the case in some protests.  “I’d be in School if the Planet were Cool”, “I’ll… Read More