Go on Green by Trevor Plumbly

From Beatniks to Modern-day Greens Dope smoking, free loving, tree hugging pacifists were a hard act to follow, but it happened: the beatniks faded into non-violent old age and were replaced by hippies who, in turn, continued to fry their brains, bonk each other and love every living organism. Both were regarded as fringe counter cultures and viewed by most with a sort of amused tolerance, but the man warned ‘The times they are a-changing’, and they did! We got ‘The Greenies’. It’s hard to laugh at this new mob: they don’t… Read More

To Frack or not to Frack by Angela Caldin

Giddy Gideon backs Fracking I heard George Osborne’s honeyed tones on the news this weekend announcing big tax breaks for the fracking industry with the aim of kicking off a shale gas revolution in the UK.  The Treasury has set a 30% tax rate for onshore shale gas production. That compares with a top rate of 62% on new North Sea oil operations and up to 81% for older offshore fields. Some say this is needed to improve Britain’s energy security but others say it will greatly increase carbon emissions. A day… Read More

Outstanding Women Last Week and Always by Angela Caldin

Malala at the UN 12 July 2013 Did your eyes well up like mine when you heard Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani girl shot by the Taliban, speak at the UN, urging education for girls and boys alike? She was shot in the head on a school bus by Taliban gunmen because of her campaigning for girls’ rights, but, speaking on her 16th birthday, she said that efforts to silence her had failed. Her speech, to more than 500 young people from around the world, was delivered with grace, confidence and compassion. Her… Read More

Inorganic Collections in Auckland – Trash or Treasure by Angela Caldin

Biennial Inorganic Rubbish on the Kerbside It’s that time of year again: the householders of Auckland are disgorging vast quantities of unwanted items, and piles of cast-offs of varying descriptions are appearing on the kerbsides and grass verges around the city. Auckland is either blessed or cursed, depending on your point of view, with its latest two-yearly inorganic rubbish collection, when the council vans trundle round collecting the masses of rejected junk spewed out by households in varying degrees of magnitude. For a few days, before the council trucks arrive, the kerbside… Read More

The New Rainbow Warrior by Angela Caldin

When I heard that the New Rainbow Warrior was to sail into Auckland Harbour, my heart skipped a beat. I felt excited and exhilarated. That name was synonymous with Greenpeace and so evocative of many years of non-violent direct environmental protests on the high seas. My mind went back more than 25 years to the first Rainbow Warrior and her tragic sinking in the same year that my younger daughter was born – 1985. First Rainbow Warrior She was a trawler used in many Greenpeace protests against seal hunting, whaling and nuclear… Read More