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

Beatniks, bombs and bollocks by Trevor Plumbly

Peace and love In the 60s, the British public weren’t ready for hippies. We had long hair, moustaches that struggled to impress and a creative scruffiness guaranteed to make mothers cringe. We were the new aliens; others tore themselves to pieces chasing the dictated norm, but we dwelt on a higher plane. We knew full well where the ills of the world lay, but didn’t achieve much in the way of curing them. We marched, of course, clutching signs saying, “Ban The Bomb!”, or the more creative, “Fighting For Peace Is Like… Read More

The oil industry fights back by Susan Grimsdell

The oil industry’s in trouble.  Consumption of fossil fuels is dropping because of travel bans all over the world and because of public recognition that climate change is a reality.  The writing’s on the wall for oil-based fuels. The counter attack The industry isn’t defeated however.  They’ve seen a brilliant solution to their plunging revenue – plastic.  They are building 350 new plastics plants in Appalachia, a very poor area that has lost its main industry – coal.  These plants turn fracked natural gas into plastic bottles, bags, straws, cups, all the… Read More

The Bigger Picture by Susan Grimsdell

We’re in the midst of one of the Biblical afflictions we were warned about in Revelations – floods, locusts, fires, pestilence, darkness, and in our case here and now – plague.  Covid can’t be described any other way. A plague on the Earth Governments everywhere were caught unprepared. Most dealt inadequately in the early days of the virus, resulting in literally hundreds of thousands of people dying.  New Zealand was one of the countries that did pretty well, through a combination of good luck and good management, and for a while we… Read More

Carbon footprint by Angela Caldin

I’m getting increasingly concerned about my family’s carbon footprint which is fast assuming the proportions of a giant’s imprint. Yesterday we took our younger daughter and her partner to the airport for their journey back to Brisbane after a brilliant family Christmas here in Auckland. They took with them, as well as the usual suitcases, two mountain bikes in enormous cardboard boxes and a surfboard with its cover stuffed with all sorts. They’ve set up in Australia after two years in the UK. Our elder daughter lives in Auckland and our son… Read More