The air travel conundrum by Angela Caldin

My younger daughter and her family have been visiting Auckland for the last ten days and flew off back to the Sunshine Coast this morning. My son lives in New York and is bringing his family to visit us in July. If we want to see each other in person, we have no alternative but to fly. There is no other means of transport we could use. That means that our carbon footprint as a family is large and we are making a disproportionate contribution to climate change. What should we do?… Read More

Threats to our world by Angela Caldin

There is extreme flooding on the east coast of Australia after a ‘once-in-a-thousand-years’ weather bomb, resulting in buildings, vehicles, roads and bridges being submerged. People climb onto their rooftops and huddle there in groups waiting to be rescued. It is terrible to see such devastation, but I say to myself that I am safe. Not long ago, there were violent storms in England with quaint names like Franklin, Eunice and Dudley which damaged buildings, ripped off rooves, uprooted trees and left homes without power. It is frightening to see this wreckage, but… Read More

Resolution of a resolution by Angela Caldin

Last January, I made a New Year resolution not to buy any more clothes for the duration of the coming year. I’m happy to be able to report that I kept my resolution more or less. There were two blips: in August I bought some new pyjamas online because I had a sudden uncontrollable urge for some slightly more glamourous nightwear than the nightie I was wearing which has Trés Normal written on the front. This has always bugged me because there should be a grave accent rather than an acute one… Read More

Under a pohutukawa tree by Susan Grimsdell

Auckland’s largest pohutukawa tree and perhaps the oldest, as it’s thought to be at least 170 years old, is in Dove Myer Robinson Park.  It’s a wonderful sight to see, and I advise anyone reading this to go there and gaze up at it in awe because it’s not going to be there much longer.  It lives on the edge of the footprint set aside for the memorial to the people who died in the Erebus air disaster in Antarctica in 1979.  Lack of protection The roots of pohutukawa trees are vulnerable… Read More

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