Gareth Renowden

Gareth Renowden (MA Oxon) is the author of the award-winning The Truffle Book (Limestone Hills 2005), The Olive Book (Canterbury University Press 1999) and Video – The Inside Story (Collins (UK) 1983). He has written for and worked on a wide variety of magazines and newspapers in Britain, NZ and the US. He is trying to grow truffles, olives and grapes on a small farm in North Canterbury, and is immediate past president of the NZ Truffle Association. He is a member of the committee of the NZ Meteorological Society, deputy chair of the North Canterbury Radio Trust, and a founder member of the Waipara River Protection Group. Gareth is on Twotter @grenow

The advice of fools: Newman and Kelly risible on rising seas - Hot Topic

Sep 16, 2015

Former ACT MP Muriel Newman — an extreme right-winger and no stranger to the wilder shores of climate denial — has waded into the debate about sea level rise and coastal hazards in Christchurch in a long-winded and unhelpful article at her NZ “Centre for Policy Research” web site. In many respects, her piece is par for the Hidebound course — full of misdirection, misrepresentation and schoolgirl errors of fact, motivated by a weird world view: The reality is that unfortunately, carbon dioxide is being used as a political football. When radicals embraced the environmental movement in the seventies, driving out people like Dr Patrick Moore the founder of Greenpeace, they used the climate debate to conceal their real agenda – the global redistribution of wealth. Newman takes as the text for her sermon a … Read More

How Climate Change Deniers Sound to Normal People - Hot Topic

Sep 11, 2015

Ssomething for the weekend: US comedy team Girl Pants Productions with a commentary on denier arguments. John Cook will be particularly pleased with the condom consensus argument… And a date for the diary of Wellingtonians: next Tuesday Steve Rintoul from CSIRO’s Oceans & Atmosphere Flagship and the Antarctic Climate and Ecosystems Cooperative Research Centre in Hobart will be giving this year’s ST Lee Lecture on The Fate of the Antarctic Ice Sheet: Lessons from the Geological Past and How they are Informing Future Predictions at VUW. From the Royal Society alert: This lecture will review recent progress in understanding the role of the Southern Ocean in the earth’s climate system, how the Southern Ocean is changing, and the consequences of those changes for climate, sea level and the future of the Antarctic Ice Sheet. Sounds … Read More

The Age Of Resilience starts tonight - Hot Topic

Aug 26, 2015

A quick heads up that the Royal Society of New Zealand’s panel discussion series on the theme of The Age Of Resilience starts tonight at the Auckland Museum at 6pm. French and NZ experts will consider the “economic conundrum” of transitioning to a low-carbon economy and at the same time deliver a “high and sustainable level of human well-being”. On the panel are Pierre Ducret (see the NZ Herald today), Dr Suzi Kerr, Professor Catherine Larrère and Fraser Whinerary. Kim Hill will be in the chair, and the evening is being recorded by Radio New Zealand for broadcast next month. More details at the RSNZ web site, and you can download a flyer here. Two further sessions are being held in Wellington and Christchurch: in Wellington tomorrow night on Climate in-justice? and Christchurch next Tuesday on … Read More

The latest NZ Emissions Trading Scheme report - Hot Topic

Aug 21, 2015

This is a guest post by Professor Euan Mason of the School of Forestry at the University of Canterbury. It is cross-posted from his Photosynthesis blog. New Zealand’s climate change policy failure is the main feature of the 2014 report on New Zealand’s emissions trading scheme (ETS). More than 95% of surrendered credits were imports, and the cost to emitters was approximately 10 cents per imported ‘hot air’ credit during most of 2014, compared to an average of approximately $4 for New Zealand Units (NZUs), our domestic carbon credits, during that year. In addition, during 2014 taxpayers gave 4.4 million NZUs to ‘trade exposed’ industries, representing a windfall for them of approximately $17 million, which is their allocation multiplied by the difference in price between domestic and imported credits; we essentially paid them to pollute. Given the … Read More

What’s Beef? (The Rap Guide To Climate Chaos) - Hot Topic

Aug 14, 2015

A little something for the weekend courtesy of Baba Brinkman — the Canadian “rap artist, writer, actor, and tree planter” — from his Edinburgh Festival show The Rap Guide To Climate Chaos. Familiar themes, I think you’ll find, over a blistering beat (as the young folks may say). See also Brinkman’s Rap Guide to Evolution, […]

Postcards from La La Land: the Cnut conundrum - Hot Topic

Aug 12, 2015

New Zealand’s merry little band of climate deniers are turning out to be a right bunch of Cnuts. Sea level rise and its implications for Christchurch and the wider world have been making news in recent weeks — as have new projections of rapid sea level rise over the remainder of this century. So what […]

A tale of two hemispheres - Hot Topic

Jul 27, 2015

At the end of June, Professor Jim Renwick of Victoria University gave his inaugural lecture. As you might expect of a climate scientist, it concerns what we know about the climate system and where we’re heading. He pulls no punches. Jim has been kind enough to put together a text version of the lecture for […]

Climate Action Tracker analysis: NZ emissions targets inadequate, not doing our fair share - Hot Topic

Jul 13, 2015

Climate Change Minister Tim Groser’s claim that New Zealand is doing its “fair share” of climate action has been blown out of the water by an international analysis [Full policy brief here (pdf)]. Once one removes what the Climate Action Tracker (CAT) calls the “creative accounting” of rules around land use and forestry, New Zealand’s […]

Renwick on NZ’s 11% cut: follow us down the path to catastrophe - Hot Topic

Jul 09, 2015

This guest post is by Carbon News editor Adelia Hallett, published with permission. New Zealand will face droughts, floods, fires, social upheaval and catastrophic global economic damage if the world follows the country’s lead on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, says one of our leading climate experts. Dr James Renwick – Professor of Physical Geography at […]

NZ emissions target announced: unambitious, ineffective and morally repugnant - Hot Topic

Jul 07, 2015

Climate change minister Tim Groser today released New Zealand’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (pdf) to emissions reductions after 2020 — a 30% decrease on gross emissions in 2005, equivalent to an 11% reduction on 1990 levels. Groser’s press release described this as a “more ambitious climate change target” and “a significant increase on our current […]