Environment and Ecology

MfE groundwater report: “Propaganda” or misunderstood? - Crikey Creek

Daniel Collins Oct 22, 2009

The Ministry for the Environment released a report yesterday on New Zealand’s groundwater quality, prepared by Geological and Nuclear Sciences Ltd. Today, I read in the Christchurch Press that the report concludes that “groundwater quality has no significant relationship with land use”. What’s more, Green Party co-leader Russel Norman called it “propaganda”. Bold claims indeed. Fortunately we can … Read More

Telling porkies to Parliament (first reprise) - Hot Topic

Gareth Renowden Oct 22, 2009

There are hours of harmless fun to be had digging around in the submissions to the Finance & Expenditure Committee on the government’s proposed amendments to the Emissions Trading Scheme [full list here]. There’s some good stuff — the Institute of Policy Studies/Climate Change Research Institute submission [PDF] is scathing: The Bill [...] does not provide [...] … Read More

Wind, water and sun are all we need - Hot Topic

Bryan Walker Oct 22, 2009

Wind, solar and water sources are sufficient to provide the world’s energy by 2030. Scientific American has a front cover article coming up in November to demonstrate that. Written by Mark Jacobson (left) and Mark Delucchi, it’s heartening information according to a Stanford University report. Turning away from combustion to electricity from renewable sources results [...] … Read More

The cost of losing coral: no drop in the ocean - Hot Topic

Bryan Walker Oct 21, 2009

Perhaps it will register if it’s expressed in money terms. The latest issue of the New Scientist carries an article reporting an estimate of  the loss of the world’s coral reefs at $172 billion per year. The estimate comes from the work of Pavan Sukhdev and colleagues. He’s an economist with the United Nations Environment [...] … Read More

Metagenomics-finding organisms from their genomes - Code for life

Grant Jacobs Oct 20, 2009

Scientists are surveying the genomes found in environments, a modern way to find what micro-organisms live there. There has been an explosions of "-omics" over the last decade. Metagenomics is the moniker given to genomic, or DNA sequence, surveys of environmental samples. Basically metagenomics involves researchers collecting DNA samples from, say, the ocean, beach … Read More

swim with the sharks… - BioBlog

Alison Campbell Oct 18, 2009

... says the blackboard outside the National Aquarium of New Zealand, over in Napier, Hawkes Bay. It also offers tuatara, kiwi, a cafe... Good for an hour or so of investigation, I thought - I was on my way back... Read More