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.

The Hockey Stick and the Climate Wars - Hot Topic

Feb 21, 2012

It was clearly never Michael Mann’s wish to be embroiled in the public controversy that has been manufactured by the denial industry around his and his co-authors’ work. He’s a scientist first and foremost, the nine-year-old who wanted to know what it meant to go faster than the speed of light, the high school student [...]

The Benefits of Soil Carbon - Hot Topic

Feb 15, 2012

The UN Environment Programme’s just released Year Book 2012 includes a report The Benefits of Soil Carbon which looks at the vital role played by soil carbon in regulating climate, water supplies and biodiversity, and maintaining the ecosystem services that we depend on. The report is 15 pages long and well presented for general reading. [...]

Minister wants all options open - Hot Topic

Feb 12, 2012

The Minister for Economic Development Steven Joyce had a curious op-ed in the Herald earlier this week. It was aimed at those pesky people who obstruct progress when government tries to remove roadblocks in the way of business development. And that’s when the problems start to arrive. The people who say “we want jobs” but [...]

Uncomfortable parallels - Hot Topic

Feb 04, 2012

I’ve often been struck by what I see as parallels between the defence of slavery in earlier times and today’s persistence with fossil fuel-based economies. I explored this in a post some time ago but an article in yesterday’s Guardian encourages me to return to the theme. Jean-François Mouhot, a visiting researcher at Georgetown University, [...]

We’ll surpass government forecast says wind energy association - Hot Topic

Feb 02, 2012

A mild protest from the NZ Wind Energy Association arrived in my inbox recently. It was in response to the Ministry of Economic Development’s latest Energy Outlook forecast, published last week. The Energy Outlook estimates that wind farm capacity will increase from the current 622MW, to around 1,410MW and produce close to 10% of the [...]

Water is rising - Hot Topic

Jan 31, 2012

A friend from Los Angeles mentioned when visiting us a few days ago that he had recently seen a striking performance at UCLA by dancers from the Pacific islands of Tuvalu, Tokelau and Kiribati. Climate change figured strongly in the concert, which was part of a project called Water is Rising. Intrigued, I tracked down [...]

What Will Work - Hot Topic

Jan 24, 2012

Kristin Shrader-Frechette of the University of Notre Dame is rigorous in the presentation of her argument in What Will Work: Fighting Climate Change with Renewable Energy, Not Nuclear Power. In recent times a number of leading environmentalists have concluded nuclear power has to be employed to enable the transition away from fossil fuels. Shrader-Frechette disagrees. [...]