Tagged: environment

Treated like dirt: urban soil is often overlooked as a resource - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 27, 2021

Roisin O’Riordan, Lancaster University When you think about soil, you probably think of rolling fields of countryside. But what about urban soil? With city dwellers expected to account for 68% of the world’s population by 2050, this oft forgotten resource is increasingly important. City-based agriculture is on the rise. But urban soil is more often associated with contamination … Read More

Demand for rare-earth metals is skyrocketing, so we’re creating a safer, cleaner way to recover them from old phones and laptops - Guest Work

Guest Author Apr 20, 2021

Cristina Pozo-Gonzalo, Deakin University Rare-earth metals are critical to the high-tech society we live in as an essential component of mobile phones, computers and many other everyday devices. But increasing demand and limited global supply means we must urgently find a way to recover these metals efficiently from discarded products. Rare-earth metals are currently mined or recovered via traditional e-waste … Read More

Getting to Net Zero - The Dismal Science

Eric Crampton Apr 12, 2021

We have not been fans of the Climate Change Commission’s draft report. New Zealand has an Emissions Trading Scheme with a binding cap, and a declining path for net emissions in the covered sector. Measures taken within the covered sector cannot reduce net emissions. NZU not purchased by one sector get purchased and used by another. Regulatory measures around coal boilers … Read More

Managing retreat: why New Zealand is drafting a new law to enable communities to move away from climate risks - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Apr 07, 2021

Catherine Iorns, Te Herenga Waka — Victoria University of Wellington The government’s recently announced overhaul of major environmental legislation will result in a new law focused solely on climate change adaptation. The 30-year-old Resource Management Act (RMA) was groundbreaking when it was passed in 1991 — the first in the world to be based on the concept of … Read More

Recreation Transition: low-carbon recreation in the mountains - Planetary Ecology

Guest Author Apr 07, 2021

By Jamie Stewart, Federated Mountain Clubs Federated Mountain Clubs (FMC), founded in 1931, represents 96 clubs, 22,000 members and 300,000 people that regularly recreate in the New Zealand backcountry. This article first appeared in the June 2020 issue of Backcountry magazine and is reproduced with permission. (Read the original article). See also “EVs for mountain recreation” ( … Read More

Time to make nature studies a compulsory school subject – before it’s too late - The Changing Climate

Guest Author Mar 22, 2021

Matthew Adams, University of Brighton The UK government is reported to be seriously considering making “nature studies” a compulsory subject for all pupils. It’s a move that was recommended in the recent government-commissioned Dasgupta review, a detailed analysis of the “economics of biodiversity”. The review is long and technical, but in among the tables and statistics, there are … Read More

Wasps are forever? The potential to eliminate an invasive pest in New Zealand; permissions withstanding - Genomics Aotearoa

Genomics Aotearoa Dec 21, 2020

By Gemma McLaughlin, University of Otago PhD candidate Invasive social wasps have long plagued New Zealand’s beech forests and suburbs. Now, a  genetic technology holds the potential to stop such wasps in their tracks. But one major issue lurks: are scientists even allowed to explore this option? New Zealand summers are a great thing. We have our kiwi classics: … Read More

5 reasons why banishing backpackers and targeting wealthy tourists would be a mistake for NZ - Guest Work

Guest Author Nov 26, 2020

James Higham, University of Otago and Hazel Tucker, University of Otago Raise your hand if you’ve ever travelled for weeks or months as a backpacker on a limited daily budget. Keep your hand up if you were made welcome in the places you visited on your OE, enjoyed chance encounters and experienced the generosity of strangers. And did those … Read More

New Zealand weighs up a nation-sized battery - Planetary Ecology

Guest Author Oct 21, 2020

Ian Mason and Robert McLachlan Climate change was a small but perceptible part of the recent election. On climate change, Labour pointed proudly to their record of legislating for net zero emissions by 2050 (nicknamed the ‘Zero Carbon Act’), establishing a Climate Change Commission to set carbon budgets and advise the government, and for strengthening the Emissions Trading Scheme by … Read More