Welcome to another two weekly review of energy and environmental events and development issues from both here in New Zealand and around the world. We endeavour to compile stories, we hope are of interest to you in this era of environmental conflict and opportunity. This week we focus on climate change and human responses.

Will climate change sceptics awaken when the globe is on fire? UNFCCC Executive Director is thanking extreme weather events for helping drive home the potential impacts of climate related events. Hopefully there will be enough time for earnest action to change the course of human development. According to Readfearn Australia is already on fire or has been on fire since Dorothea Mackellar wrote her poem about it. This doesn’t seem to have worked on government though.

Tony Abbot thinks too much forest is locked up in reserves and parks. Timber companies can manage the resources themselves while they create jobs and bring in revenue. He even sites Tasmania as being poor and green compared to mainland Australia (which is already “burning” according to Dorothea).

Is Heather Clancy onto a better solution though? The Intrinsic Value Exchange would create wealth by putting value on standing natural resources. Big business would now be able to earn money by keeping forests uncut. The IVE is still work in progress but has drawn significant interest. Hopefully it works out to a way of closing conflict between conservation and sustainable use.

The current carbon market has too much supply and has “lost” investor interest. Assaad thinks a “federal reserve” to manage supply and demand could create a sustainable carbon market (despite the global politics). If we can remove carbon dioxide from the air then we can eliminate both the reserve and the political strife. Carbon Dioxide Removal, CDR. Apparently the potential for removal is huge and the time is now because those entering the business early are set to benefit more. We could even gain energy by putting carbon back into storage!

There may be big sources of capital for CDR on the offing. 140 leading companies including Apple, Gap, and eBay have again signed a climate declaration. They see climate change as the “biggest opportunity of our time” with the potential to create employment and growth. Tim Cook of Apple is actually willing to forego capital from climate sceptics and Richard Branson has asked sceptics to get out of the way.

Palm oil is causing methane emissions. Can the methane be used for energy so we can justify smaller palm oil plantations? The felling of natural forest has disturbed the habitat for Asian tiger, elephant and orang-utan leading religious leaders in Indonesia have declared a fatwa to protect wild life. This is a sure grassroots initiative which others can copy. Emma in New Zealand is convinced she can reduce her own carbon footprint. Her husband is already a committed cyclist and she has to reduce her footprint to match. Her experience does show that if it’s painful it may not last but win-win efforts may eventually be part of her routine.

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.

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