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

Seriously though by Trevor Plumbly

The gift to be simple Having passed the allotted biblical span, I find my field of entertainment has narrowed quite dramatically. In the interest of good taste, I won’t itemise activities that gratified me in my younger days. Instead, I’d like to indulge myself in the time-honoured pastime of the elderly by having a bloody good moan. 2018 in New Zealand promised a great deal, but delivered little. We had a young, charismatic prime minister with a strong social conscience, a reasonable bank balance and a weak political opposition. It should have… Read More

Values versus science by Susan Grimsdell

New Zealand has been seeing some pretty scary behaviour from seemingly ordinary people lately.  Government staff have been the target of a torrent of abuse and threats, on social media, in phone calls and by email. This has included death threats and, following up on that, some staff have had the wheel nuts on their cars loosened.   Dead birds have been thrown on the steps of Parliament and thousands of people have marched in fury down the streets of our cities. Predator danger The issue?  Dept of Conservation dropping a poison, referred… Read More

Saving Cities by Susan Grimsdell

“New York, New York, a wonderful town” goes the song and anyone who’s been there surely agrees completely. One of the best things about New York is that it’s made up of a lot of villages, each with its own character.  Chinatown, Little Italy, SoHo, Greenwich Village, all of them places where people walk, where the dwellings have their own style, where there’s density of living, lots of shops of every type, noise, people, trees, variety in every aspect.  Talk about wonderful!  I first went there for a weekend at the age… Read More

The wisdom of trees by Susan Grimsdell

Trees are smarter than we think; in fact, smarter than us.  Trees have survived through eons of time.  In contrast, our species is unlikely to survive for very much longer, considering what we are doing to the climate and considering the way we destroy one another in our millions. The need for water Trees, like every living thing, need water.  When you think of all the different conditions trees have to face in order to grow, it’s a bit like our society, where kids are born into different circumstances and have to… Read More