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

Staying healthy by Susan Grimsdell

There’s a new book out: “Dear NHS, 100 Letters to say Thank You.” 100 letters, 100 contributors, some of them very famous – Paul McCartney, Malala Yousafzai, Emma Thompson, Ricky Gervais and many others – well, 96 others.  Each has submitted a story of their experience of being admitted to hospital under the auspices of the NHS and the wonderful care they received. Public health and private health What got me thinking was that none of the contributors was short of a few bob, yet they had not been treated under the… Read More

The letter of the law versus the spirit of the law by Susan Grimsdell

The NZ Herald reports a South Island mayor urging farmers who have claimed the government wage subsidy  during the shutdown, to repay the money.  Prices have held, there has been no actual loss.  One farmer with a conscience has given back $177,000 he said he had claimed “just in case”. The letter of the law The policy states that money is available if the claimant experienced an actual or “predicted” loss of revenue of one third in any month over the 6-month period January to June compared with last year. This is… Read More

Acts of kindness by Susan Grimsdell

A couple of weeks ago two police officers from Hastings showed all of us how to help make society a better place in every way. Shoplifting to feed family They were called to a supermarket where a mother, with three small children in tow, had been caught stealing $50 worth of meat.  She at once admitted taking it, and began to cry.  She said she’d never done anything like that before, and she only did it because she just didn’t know any other way to get food for the family. The officers… Read More

Coronavirus by Susan Grimsdell

There’s a new scourge invading the earth.  Coronavirus or Covid-19 to give it its new name. Many thousands of people have got it, and hundreds have died.  It’s brand new, so none of us has any immunity to it.  It’s causing havoc everywhere.  People are stuck in China, prevented from flying home, shipments of products to and from China are grinding to a halt threatening whole economies, stockmarkets are falling. People are afraid, very afraid. Masking the problem Chinese authorities’ response has been to make the wearing of facemasks compulsory.  People elsewhere… Read More