Blogs

The Urban Environment

AUT Professor Grant Schofield talks about urban design and health, especially physical activity, reducing sedentary behaviour.

George Monbiot – The Mendacity of Hope

If this article, while insightful doesn't lift your spirits, then try visiting Rob Hopkin's blog at www.transitionculture.org, where he regularly and consistently posts articles about the great work people like you are doing, all over the world.

 


 

The summits which promise to save the world keep us dangling, not mobilising.

By George Monbiot, published in the Guardian 19th June 2012

Worn down by hope. That’s the predicament of those who have sought to defend the earth’s living systems. Every time governments meet to discuss the environmental crisis, we are told that this is the “make or break summit”, upon which the future of the world depends. The talks might have failed before, but this time the light of reason will descend upon the world.

We know it’s rubbish, but we allow our hopes to be raised, only to witness 190 nations arguing through the night over the use of the subjunctive in paragraph 286. We know that at the end of this process the UN secretary-general, whose job obliges him to talk nonsense in an impressive number of languages, will explain that the unresolved issues (namely all of them) will be settled at next year’s summit. Yet still we hope for something better.

This week’s earth summit in Rio de Janeiro is a ghost of the glad, confident meeting 20 years ago. By now, the leaders who gathered in the same city in 1992 told us, the world’s environmental problems were to have been solved. But all they have generated is more meetings, which will continue until the delegates, surrounded by rising waters, have eaten the last rare dove, exquisitely presented with an olive leaf roulade. The biosphere, that world leaders promised to protect, is in a far worse state than it was 20 years ago(1). Is it not time to recognise that they have failed?

Hemp Building - Appropriate Technology

UK based building products and systems developer, Lime Technology are the market leaders in the development of lime and hemp based, low carbon building products. Touted to sequester 110 kg's of CO2 per cubic meter this is definitaly an appropriate technology for the current ecological and economic climate. The health benefits to people and planet are far too valuable to ignore.

Due to its amazing adaptability hemp can be grown without herbicides or pesticides close to the building markets thus reducing its footprint further.

Now that http://www.facebook.com/WaikatoHempProject are growing Industrial Hemp in the Waikato we may see some of this technology bless our shores in the near future.

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Guy McPherson in Lower Hutt

 

Visit by Prof Guy McPherson

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The 'Middle Island' Ferry

Dick Smith and Sam Johnson at important Queenstown event

 

Dick Smith has been quite outspoken about his views on energy and population, so this event could be an opportunity to have some open honest discussion, on important topics. If you know people in the Queenstown area, please let them know about this.

An Afternoon with Dick Smith & Sam Johnson

hosted by Rod Oram

September 14th, 2012

 

Dick Smith at the ruinsDon’t miss out on an amazing afternoon hearing Dick Smith talk in Queenstown. Dick Smith is one of Australasia’s most progressive business leaders having founded Dick Smith Electronics, Australian Geographic Magazine, and Dick Smith Foods. Come along to hear him talk about what drives him as a leading entrepreneur and what he sees as the challenges and opportunities for the future.

 

 

 

Sam sitting under a tree wearing an NZ 'heart' CHCH teeHe will be joined by Sam Johnson, an inspiring and action-orientated young New Zealander who is best known for initiating the Student Volunteer Army in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquakes. One of their current projects is The Concert: A Concerted Effort where youth are asked to volunteer 4 hours of their time in return for a free ticket to the best concert the South Island has seen!

 

 

 

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Atamai Village – Are We There Yet?

Transition Towns and Atamai – Common Goal, Different Approach

The Transition Towns movement is about adapting existing communities to the impending challenges of climate change and energy descent, and the resulting economic and social disruption these challenges are already beginning to create in various parts of the world.   One of the challenges for the Transition Towns movement is whether changes to existing communities can o » Read more

Making better decisions - or making decisions better - with Loomio

For the last four months a team of volunteers has been working on a piece of free software called Loomio, which I think has huge potential to help grassroots groups increase their positive impact in the community.

Loomio is a free open-source web application that helps groups make better decisions together, and remarkably there is nothing else like it. The team is operating on a not-for-profit and open-source basis, and the aim over the coming two months is to get the software to the stage where it can be given away to non-profit groups, with support for how to use it.

If they can get a little bit of support, to put some food on the tables of the programmers, they'll be able to provide this free tool to groups like Transition Towns. They're now in the last few days of a PledgeMe* campaign, to raise enough money to allow two core volunteers to devote all of their time to this project for the next two months.

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AskShareGive - a website that does just that!

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