Bennett - Editor
Welcome to another two weekly review of energy and environmental events and developments from both here in New Zealand and around the world. As always, we hope you find our collection of stories to be of interest in what continues to be a rapidly evolving area.
In our last issue of Snippets we bemoaned the lack of a social economic model that truly valued our environment. So it is with great pleasure that we can open with the news that Dow Chemical Inc. is committing $10 million to a partnership with the Nature Conservancy to help incorporate the value that nature brings into business decisions, plans and strategies. This in our opinion is most definitely a step in the right direction and encouraging that it is business leading the charge, although we would have been even more excited if it were business acting in association with government. It’s like the world’s politicians can’t or don’t want to see what might be looming ahead. To use an American expression ‘go figure’…
Our next article takes just a peek into what might be ahead for our world and it isn’t pretty. As Editor I get to read all sorts of dire predictions and try to put a personal spin on it for myself – you know how every cloud has a silver lining. Increasingly though I can’t help but find it harder and harder to do this.
Well the legal profession wouldn’t appear to be having these same problems and are making the most of their climate change opportunities (don’t they always and whenever have you seen a beggar on the street looking for handouts with a sign saying he is an out of work barrister?). It depends on whether you view this as a good thing, a bad thing or simply a pack of hyenas picking up easy food. Litigation however, has often been instrumental in bringing cultural and organisational change and this time probably won’t be any different.
Which means that the under 25 year olds might get to see some changes ahead. Cynically though, all too late as they are going to be the generation to pick up the pieces after the excesses of the baby boomer years. That, and a world with a population of 7 billion rather than the 3 billion of the 1960s.
This week we are also taking a quick look at changes in transportation. Personally I always liked the sound of the V8, especially Cousin Melkoomb racing through the backstreets at 1.00am back from the pub and always envied the guys at college who got their parents to help buy their first car at 15. Not they ever had much money to run them. It was a time of long hair, binge drinking and rebellion. Not much has changed, especially in Christchurch, except for the long hair unless it is a mullet and earthquakes. It’s hard to think of anything else in recent times that has transformed our way of life, where we live and feeling of freedom so profoundly than the automobile.
So it is with interest to read that passenger travel has been stagnant in the industrialised world for nearly a decade. It’s not so much because we want to give up on travel, it’s just that the roads are too congested to use our cars much anymore. Which is why we thought that the idea of using cars in convoy made perfect sense. This way you can play air guitars and listen to Frank Zappa without having to wear headphones.
And if you ever doubted whether the electric vehicle is here to stay, doubt no longer. You know its all going mainstream when they start racing them. The first EV Cup races are being planned for tracks in the UK, Portugal, Spain and the US later this year. It’s going to sound a little like a bunch of sewing machines when coming down the back straight and will probably be drowned out by the hotdog stand when in the hairpins.
Changes aren’t just being restricted to road transport, with Richard Branson announcing that he has launched an internet database to list the energy efficiency of every ocean-going vessel with plans to use this to reduce carbon emissions by 25%.
Our last couple of articles look at how our shopping habits have led to us buying ‘crap’ and how these habits have been passed down to our children. We are now seeing a backlash by some in society against this consumerism and lack of quality by reverting back to handmade, high quality goods and yes ~ hand me downs. As the oldest of three kids when growing up I always thought hand me downs were a great idea…
Thanks for taking the time to read this issue and look forward to catching up with you again. If you have any items of interest you would like to submit, then please feel free to forward them.