What happens when somebody does something stupid to the environment

I thought I’d share a photo I took a little while ago as an object lesson in what happens when somebody does something stupid with the environment.

Coastal erosion near Clifton, Hawke's Bay, New Zealand.

Coastal erosion near Clifton, Hawke’s Bay, New Zealand.

This is a was-a-road on the coast south of Napier, in New Zealand. It’s at the edge of an alluvial plain. Last time I saw this road – just a few years ago – it existed. Now it doesn’t. I am told that reasons for this erosion flow in part from the way a harbour breakwater construction, some distance to the north, interacted with longshore drift. That has been an issue for decades. But stormier weather patterns brought on by global climate change aren’t helping. New Zealand’s off the beaten track, usually. But to me, irrespective, this highlights climate change as a world problem, right in our back yard. It’s not a single-cause problem, it exacerbates old issues, and it’s going to create new ones. It might be in your back yard tomorrow.

We need to do something about climate change – all humanity, all around the world, working together with kindness, tolerance, reason, abstract understanding, good will to each other, and earnest endeavour as we should. Are we? Uh…no… Damn.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2015

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Summer writing inspirations – a rainbow umbrella in sun

A summer writing inspiration – blue skies, bright sunshine and a rainbow umbrella for New Year 2015.

Summer sun on New Year 2015.

Summer sun on New Year 2015.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2015

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Summer writing inspirations – beach textures in grey

Colour can affect mood in profound  ways. The sombre tones I found on this Hawke’s Bay beach and in the rising ground behind, marching off through the haze into the distance, seem as inspiring as the sapphire skies and topaz sea of the day before.

Layers of grey one hazy day on a shingle beach in New Zealand...

Layers of grey one hazy day on a shingle beach in New Zealand…

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2015

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Summer writing inspirations – a classic Kiwi camping ground

It’s summer in New Zealand and here’s a photo I took of one of the country’s best known camping grounds at Clifton, northeast of Hastings in Hawke’s Bay.

Camping ground at Clifton, Hawke's Bay.

Camping ground at Clifton, Hawke’s Bay.

Camping grounds like this one were iconic for decades in New Zealand, the focus of the great Kiwi holiday in which Mum, Dad and the kids packed everything up into the car and drove off to the camping ground they used every year. Back then there were no cafes or coffee culture and travel was difficult. But it was easy to camp. They’d set up house there – just like at home – cook all their own meals in the camp kitchen, and meet the people there they met every year and generally have a fun time. Today camping grounds remain an important part of the holiday scene, and it’s inspiring to imagine the stories of the people who stay there.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2014

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Summer writing inspirations – a slice of California in the South Pacific

It’s summer in New Zealand (at last) and I thought I’d run a short series of summer writing inspiration posts. Today’s is the Marewa shopping centre in Napier, New Zealand, one summery evening.

Marewa shopping centre in the early evening light.

Marewa shopping centre in the early evening light.

This was the city’s first suburban shopping centre, serving Marewa – Napier’s ‘art deco Hollywood’ suburb, built from the late 1930s on land uplifted by a disastrous earthquake of 1931. It tells a story of the dreams of those who built it, looking for inspiration to the magic of the movies and the world of Hollywood, far away on the other side of the Pacific. Copyright © Matthew Wright 2014

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Writing inspirations – living the golden age Hollywood fantasy

Today’s writing inspiration is another of about a thousand photos I took during the 2014 Napier Art Deco weekend – a time to celebrate 1930s Hollywood fantasy against the wonderful backdrop of Napier’s art deco architecture. What lives would we have had in the 1930s if it had really been like Hollywood wanted it to be? I find the thought inspiring. Do you?

Yes, I'm sure it's 1940...

Yes, I’m sure it’s 1940…

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2014

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Writing inspirations – the magnificent Buller Gorge, in mist

Today’s writing inspiration is a photo I took of the Buller Gorge, one damp day.

A monochrome Buller Gorge, one wet day early in 2013.

A monochrome Buller Gorge, one wet day.

The gorge and river are both named after Charles Buller, the first pakeha explorer to venture into the district in the early 1840s. The original name of the river, Kawatiri (meaning, among other things, ‘deep swift’), is seldom used these days. It is a magnificent place where the prevailing cloud and mists add drama to a spectacular landscape. An inspiration by any measure.

Copyright © Matthew Wright 2014

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