Bryan Walker

Bryan Walker is a long-retired English teacher who lives in Hamilton and has contributed many articles and book reviews to Hot Topic over the years. Failing eyesight means that he now unable to contribute as often as in the past, but his moral and ethical perspective on the climate problem is always welcome.

Adventures in the Anthropocene - Hot Topic

Jul 28, 2014

Science journalist Gaia Vince left her desk at Nature and spent two years visiting places around the world, some of them very isolated, where people were grappling with the conditions of what is sometimes described as a new epoch, the Anthropocene. It dates from the industrial revolution and represents a different world from the relatively […]

Labour’s dodgy drilling policy avoids climate reality - Hot Topic

Jul 17, 2014

In his interview on TV3’s The Nation last weekend David Shearer declared a Labour Party policy on oil and gas drilling which, like the Government’s, fails to confront the reality of climate change. Drilling will continue. The approval processes will be improved, the regulations will be tight, the money gained will be used well, but […]

Antarctica: An Intimate Portrait of a Mysterious Continent - Hot Topic

Jul 15, 2014

Science journalist Gabrielle Walker’s book Antarctica: An Intimate Portrait of a Mysterious Continent (Bloomsbury, 2012) tells an absorbing story of the wide variety of scientific work undertaken in Antarctica and the support services that maintain it. It also attempts to capture the human fascination of the continent, not least for the author herself in her […]

The Collapse of Western Civilization: A View From The Future - Hot Topic

Jul 03, 2014

Science historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway, co-authors of the acclaimed Merchants of Doubt, have joined forces again to produce a striking short fictional work The Collapse Of Western Civilization: A view From The Future. It purports to be an essay written by a Chinese historian three hundred years after the collapse of western civilisation […]

Turning point: Al Gore’s new hope - Hot Topic

Jun 22, 2014

Al Gore has written an impressive long article in Rolling Stone magazine. I read it with gratitude and wanted to recommend it to others. It’s a highly readable text packed with rich detail which reflects the wide spectrum across which Gore operates and the considerable intelligence which informs his thinking. It deserves wide readership. The […]

The Sixth Extinction - Hot Topic

Jun 16, 2014

Elizabeth Kolbert’s recent book The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History is science journalism of a high order. As with her earlier notable book on climate change, Field Notes from a Catastrophe, she includes lively narrative accounts of her visits to places around the world where scientists are at work and communicates the import of their […]

Out of Africa: Nigerian environment minister warns of devastating climate impacts - Hot Topic

Jun 09, 2014

The government in New Zealand may make soothing noises about climate change impacts, but that is not an option for the Minister of Environment in Nigeria, Mrs Laurentia Mallam. She issued this chilling warning about the impacts of sea level rise a few days ago: “Studies have projected that with an accelerated sea level rise […]

Herald gives de Freitas platform to smear climate science - Hot Topic

May 01, 2014

Climate change denier and Auckland University geographer Chris de Freitas seems to have fast access to the dialogue pages of the NZ Herald. His latest effort this week is a long ramble ostensibly around the possibility of an El Niño this year, but at its centre contains a nasty slur on the honesty of climate […]

TV3′s The Nation: Antarctica and public understanding of climate change - Hot Topic

Apr 24, 2014

A few days have passed since Lisa Owen’s interview with Antarctic scientists Chuck Kennicutt of the US and Gary Wilson of New Zealand on TV3’s The Nation but I hope it’s still worth drawing attention to. Programmes like The Nation tend to focus on immediate political excitements. It was therefore a pleasant surprise to see […]