CategoryThought Leader

New New Zealand

It is clear to ecologists, and many others that this COVID-19 pandemic is not a one off ‘bolt from the blue’. Rather it is a symptom of our over-exploitation of the life-supporting-capacity of the planet. It is a warning sign of our overshoot in the same way that climate change, biodiversity loss, antimicrobial resistance and many more incipient crises are. It is crucial to understand that as bad...

Rethinking Growth Part Two

Anyone who believes in indefinite growth on a physically finite planet is either mad, or an economist –  Kenneth Boulding If you’ve read the NZ Productivity Commission’s milestone 2018 report Low-emissions economy, you’ll know it’s a widely-researched 600-page response to various climate imperatives.  Repeatedly, it flags population and economic growth as causes of rising greenhouse gas...

Rethinking Growth Part One

Under the banner The systems that got us here have failed, acclaimed business commentator Rod Oram recently shared his insightful stock-take on many things, and lamented,  Too often we can’t even agree a simple set of facts about a problem so our chances of solving it are minimal.  An intriguing example was last year’s public spat on RNZ between two economics big-hitters: Kate Raworth (of...

Restoration need not cost the Earth

Restoration need not cost the earth – managed natural regeneration at Waikereru (Longbush) Ecosanctuary Some thirty years following destructive Cyclone Bola, an alluvial strip of forest and adjacent steep erosion-prone hill country on the East Coast of the North Island has had new life breathed into it through a private restoration endeavour. Relying largely on natural regeneration...

Work of science to work of art: a visual explanation of the IPCC’s latest special report on the ocean and cryosphere

To save you the hassle, John Lang has done the heavy lifting on last month’s IPCC Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere (SROCC). In succinct, but typically striking fashion, John elevates why this assessment matters, what’s happening out there in the ocean and up there in the Arctic, and presents two possible paths to two very different futures. It’s fitting to present SROCC visually just as...

Radiata pine plantations – a band aid to nowhere

Climate change policies, the Billion Tree initiative and recent news promote the establishment of extensive pine plantations to benefit Aotearoa New Zealand’s climate change response by sinking carbon. Others have questioned the benefit of short-rotation plantation pines compared to natural regeneration of native forests. Whilst afforestation has an important role in New Zealand’s climate change...

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