I was deeply impressed by last week’s climate change rally – I was in central Wellington, New Zealand, when the local march came past. It was not just for kids; people of all ages were there. And it pointed up the fact that what’s happening today will impact the next generation. And the one after … More What legacy will neo-liberal greed and climate change leave for our kids?
The hurricanes of the past few weeks that have devastated the Carribean and parts of the United States have been record-setters. The human cost is huge, and our first thoughts must be to the victims and their families. Unfortunately it’s the likely shape of where things are going, worldwide. New Zealand’s been unusually warm and … More Why is the weather going mad? Humanity’s ongoing stupidity, that’s why
The other day I spotted something on sale in a sandwich bar and decided I’d seen it all. Paleo Muesli, a Paleo Roll and other Paleo-labelled products, all described as ‘decadent’. I almost rolled about laughing, because one of the reasons why the ‘Paleo diet’ is so popular is because it rejects the foods that have fuelled … More In which I discover ‘decadent’ paleo food
Are you looking for a second Earth? We need to – humanity is on the fast track to ruining our one. Of course it’s not an easy task. A planet discovered the other week with the help of Kiwi astronomers underlines the problems. Four astronomers here in New Zealand contributed data to the OGLE microlensing … More Finding another Earth isn’t easy. Unfortunately.
The weather these past years seems to have gone mad, and not just in New Zealand – though here it’s been bad enough, we’ve had successions of intense storms with record-breaking wind speeds. Wellington was in chaos for days after a ‘one in a century’ storm in June – our third in a decade – … More Why is the weather going mad? Humanity’s limitless stupidity, that’s why
A couple of weeks back I read Firelands, debut dystopian thriller by US author Piper Bayard. To call the book fantastic is an understatement. I was hooked from the first pages, dropping the book I was writing myself, despite looming contract deadline, so I could keep reading. Firelands is set in a post-apocalyptic future where the … More The science of the inevitable Taupo apocalypse
New Zealand has a repute for being clean and green. It isn’t entirely; no twenty-first country can be completely so. But a good deal of it is – including our power, much of which comes from hydro schemes. The bulk of those are in the South Island, where the terrain is well suited to such … More A tribute to New Zealand’s clean, green and mighty engineering
Quakes happen in my city, Wellington, all the time. Little ones. We had one this afternoon, even. We’re shaken, rattled and rolled quite often. Bigger ones, not so much. The last one that sent us diving under tables was in December 2011. My wife and I were in a masonry building when it hit – … More When nature whispers
A few years ago I was introduced to the ‘Caveman Diet’. The theory goes like this. Civilisation is an eye-blink in our history, and we’re not adapted to the things we eat today, which make us ill in consequence. We should be eating the same food that Ugh Ugh the Cave Man scoffed in 35,000 … More Why I don’t like the Caveman Diet
New Zealand’s problem just now is it’s not very green. It’s brown. And yellow. After four summers washed out by relentless rain, 2013 has opened with a one-in-seventy-year drought. Wellington region is especially hit – the municipal water supply is at crisis level. Any external use, even a watering can, is strictly forbidden – and they’re pinging people … More Rain, rain nowhere, and not a drop to drink anyway…