Environment and Ecology

The ocean is our greatest climate regulator. It must be a stronger part of climate policy and action - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Nov 30, 2021

Sarah Seabrook, National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research; Elisabeth Holland, The University of the South Pacific; Lisa Levin, University of California San Diego, and Natalya Gallo, University of Bergen   The German linguist Heinrich Zimmer once described the ocean as “limitless and immortal … the beginning and end of all things on Earth”. Standing on the shores of any … Read More

New Zealand’s Emission Reduction Plan - Planetary Ecology

Guest Author Nov 23, 2021

By Paul Callister and Robert McLachlan Fifty years ago, on 26 November 1971, the film “Notes on a New Zealand City: Wellington”, directed by Paul Maunder, premiered on Wellington TV. The narrator asks if Wellington’s future will involve suburban sprawl, traffic, motorways, suburban shopping malls, and the decentralization of employment; or an alternative vision of medium-density … Read More

Why emissions pricing cannot do it alone - Planetary Ecology

Robert McLachlan Nov 16, 2021

By David Hall and Robert McLachlan There is strong agreement among economists that emissions pricing should play a central role in climate change policy. New Zealand has had a price on some carbon emissions through its Emissions Trading Scheme since 2010, although (COVID excepting) emissions have not yet fallen. Recently the scheme has been strengthened through higher prices, now … Read More

7 ways to get proactive about climate change instead of feeling helpless: Lessons from a leadership expert - News

Guest Author Nov 15, 2021

Thomas S. Bateman, University of Virginia   Humans do not capitalize nearly enough on our most significant evolutionary advantage: a unique ability to take forward-looking actions that influence the future for the better. Exhibit A: Climate change is here, and things are changing quickly for the worse. However, even as dangerous and costly weather events grow more … Read More

The mystery of the moa: did these feathered giants call Rakiura Stewart Island home? - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Nov 15, 2021

The scientists shield their eyes from the howling wind and flying sand as they carefully uncover the precious skeleton. If it wasn’t for the absence of giant sandworms, this could have been a scene straight out of Dune. Alex Verry and Matt Schmidt are on Rakiura Stewart Island at West Ruggedy Beach excavating a significant taonga, a moa skeleton. Surrounding … Read More

The little frog with a big legacy - Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives

Nic Rawlence Nov 11, 2021

In the bowels of the Museum of New Zealand Te Papa Tongarewa, the little frog waited. In 2005 scientists had released its bones from its sediment tomb on the banks of the Waipara River in North Canterbury. The discoverers – Bruce Marshall, Phil Maxwell, and Al Mannering – had carefully collected the tiny bones that remained and deposited them in … Read More

Carl Sagan on climate change in 1985 and we’re still talking - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Nov 11, 2021

“We have a kind of handwriting on the wall” Carl Sagan says from 36 years ago. His message from the past that rings so close to our talks today. Sagan gives a nice explanation of the Greenhouse Effect, even if I worry it goes over the head of most US senators. I swear that’s a younger Al Gore taking it all … Read More

How Māori knowledge could help New Zealanders turn their concern for the environment into action - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Nov 10, 2021

Scott Burnett, Massey University; Apisalome Movono, Massey University, and Regina Scheyvens, Massey University   As world leaders continue negotiations at the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, several agreements reached so far have acknowledged the connection between climate change and the global loss of biodiversity. 📢 UPDATE: Over 130 countries, covering 90% of the world’s forests, have … Read More

NZ’s government plans to switch to a circular economy to cut waste and emissions, but it’s going around in the wrong circles - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Nov 04, 2021

Hannah Blumhardt, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   The New Zealand government is currently developing plans to address two crises — climate change and waste — and to embrace a circular economy. But it has no clear path for how to do this. The resulting muddle is watering down the potential of a circular economy to bring … Read More

Electrifying transport: why New Zealand can’t rely on battery-powered cars alone - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Nov 03, 2021

Soheil Mohseni, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington; Alan Brent, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington, and James Hinkley, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington   The transport sector accounts for 47% of New Zealand’s carbon dioxide emissions. It will be a focus for decarbonisation to meet the country’s new climate pledge to … Read More