Sustainability & hope

This isn’t the column I wanted to write.

I was back on my bike, back on the road again. Last year I cycled from Cape Reinga to my home in the Waikato. I was continuing the journey this year, heading for Wellington.

When I left home, the coronavirus – Covid-19 – had barely a toehold here. But that changed rapidly as I pedaled slowly along, everyday further from home.

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Beyond economic growth

“Get out there and head for the mall – it’s your economic duty” was the headline in a comment piece by editor, Liam Dann, in the business section of The New Zealand Herald.

Stewart tries to get his economic questions answered[/caption]
It noted that after cutting interest rates to an all-time low, Reserve Bank governor Adrian Orr was calling for consumers to spend more and businesses to invest more. So Dann urged us on. “Get out there this weekend and have some fun, buy those new shoes,” he exhorted. “You’ll be doing your bit for the economy.”

Being averse to shopping, I dropped him a note instead.

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Re-imagining our world

A movement of communities coming together to re-imagine and rebuild our world.

That’s the catch phrase and explainer for the Transition Network. The network grew out of the Transition Towns initiative established in the UK in 2006.The emphasis is on sustainability, resilience and local self-reliance in the face of a growing climate crisis.

“It’s a bottom-up, community-led action,” says founder Rob Hopkins.

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Strikes hit the hot spot

Never mind if we got to yawning at the mention of ‘global warming’ or ‘climate change’. After decades of denial and dallying we now get to call it a ‘climate crisis’ and an ‘existential threat’.

With more hui than do-ey, chain-dragging by the previous Government, lots of lip service, greenwashing by some, small positive steps by many, and outright opposition by others, the situation has only continued to get worse.

Well-informed and caring young people, and adults of all ages and from all walks of life, aren’t standing for it any more.

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Too little climate action: Bech

Environment issues are top of mind for many people and as local government voting papers are expected in the mail this week Tamahere Forum canvassed the views of election candidates.

Waikato District Council Tamahere Ward councillor Aksel Bech has been re-elected unopposed but his views were sought as the person working locally for Tamahere.

This is what we asked Cr Bech:

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A climate for change

The people have spoken. A June Ipsos poll found that climate change was an issue of personal importance to 79 per cent of Kiwis (up from 72 per cent a year ago).

Fully 69 per cent of us have become more concerned over the past few years (up from 60 per cent).

More than two-thirds of Kiwis are prepared to act to reduce climate change impacts. Yet, surprisingly, only about half know what steps they should take. Here are a few suggestions.

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Food, farms a-changing

A dairy farmer friend said to me: “Just go to a café, look at the menu and what people are eating, and you know things are changing.”

That was years ago. Change continues, and the pace of change is accelerating.

The Craft Meat Co of Dunedin, for example, has “100% plant-based” No-Meat Mince. Sunfed Meats offers Chicken Free Chicken Wild Meaty Chunks made from premium yellow pea protein.

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