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

Another fine mess by Susan Grimsdell

Does the resignation of the Leader of the NZ Opposition, Todd Muller, send a signal that the public has a  standard of decency, one that he failed to meet?                                                                                                                               … Read More

The decline and fall of Paula Bennett by Susan Grimsdell

One of the wonderful strengths of our political system is the peaceful transfer of power.  We don’t get rid of a leader by killing him or her.  Instead, the defeated candidate steps down, following long-established protocols, and often expresses respect and praise for the new person. Democracy rules There are no guns or armed insurgents ready to assassinate the outgoing politician.  It’s unthinkable to even imagine such a thing. The procedure is based on respect for democracy and is carried out with courtesy.  While watching it happen, we all get confirmation that… Read More

Covid-19 and after by Susan Grimsdell

People sometimes talk about the Covid lockdown as being a bit like the atmosphere during the war.  Then, everyone in every country, in fact in much of the world, faced similar risks and hardships.  “We’re all in this together” and we all had to make sacrifices and put up with inconveniences for the common good. The difference is that during the war, people went out of their way to support one another.  They sat in bomb shelters, sang, shared their thoughts and feelings, probably went to each others’ places to listen to… Read More