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

Vegan saving the world by Susan Grimsdell

We’re hearing every day that we need to stop eating meat as one important step towards preventing catastrophic climate change. But even as the people who promote vegan diets speak up, rainforest is being cleared at a rate equivalent to the area of a million soccer fields every year or nearly 2,000 hectares every single day, day after day, and it’s not stopping any time soon. Beefeaters rule The trees are being cut down to clear the land so that crops can be planted to feed cattle, so that we can kill… Read More

Oil – the bottom line by Susan Grimsdell

Our Prime Minister, Jacinda Ardern, is under pressure to make a decision about whether to allow oil companies to drill off New Zealand’s coast. My attitude is – what’s her problem? We’ve been told time and again over a period of years now that the oil already stockpiled in reserves has to stay where it is, unused, forever.  If we use any of it, the climate will be toast. Oil and global warming According to the London School of Economics, with the support of HSBC, Citibank, Standard & Poor, and the International… Read More

In pursuit of truth by Angela Caldin

Beauty is truth, truth beauty – that is all Ye know on earth and all ye need to know. That’s what John Keats wrote in 1819 and he attributed those famous words to an inanimate object – a Grecian urn. They are great words with a real ring about them, poetic, moving, inspirational, but do they get us any nearer to an understanding of what truth actually is? It’s fairly clear that they don’t, nor do they help us to get our heads round the various tamperings with facts and evidence that… Read More

DIY Aliens by Trevor Plumbly

They’re Coming to Get Us I remember with some fondness the 1950s and 60s. The popular theory at the time was that the Aliens were up there and intended to invade; indeed, according to the more fanciful newspaper accounts of the time, ‘they’ had actually visited, abducted a few of America’s fairest, transported them to the mother ship and impregnated them. However, time has shown that if indeed ‘they’ are up there, they’re either not in any hurry to ‘get’ us or they’re quite happy to let us ‘get’ ourselves. By virtue… Read More