Blogger profile

Rosalind Atkinson

Ros sailed with the Oil Free Seas Flotilla in 2013 and continues to campaign on clean energy, working with Greenpeace to help people imagine and create a future without fossil-fuels. She is currently land-based in Wellington and pursuing post-grad study at Victoria University.

  • A letter to Tangaroa, God of the sea

    Blogpost by Rosalind Atkinson - September 23, 2015 at 16:22

    Tangaroa. Atua of the oceans.

    This is not a structured argument. It's not an informative 101 on fisheries management. It's an apology, and an expression of my own grief, and a love letter. Some humans have forgotten some things.

    For the last few weeks our ship and her crew have been here out at sea, in your rolling domain, visiting longline fishing vessels and documenting the conditions and fishing practices on board. Rusting hulls filled with the frozen bodies of your children. Tuna are hauled aboard, their fins sliced off with deft, expert hands, their hot blood drained, a line threaded through their mouth and gills, their rounded bulk slung into the depths of a freezer. Fishermen work for inhuman stretches of time, reeling in more... and more... and more from your waters. Tuna, sharks,...

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  • On the cusp

    Blogpost by Rosalind Atkinson - September 12, 2014 at 16:18

    “We’re on the cusp of something special,” said one of the men on the TV.

    It’s mysterious. It’s alluring. It leaves just enough to the imagination. Actually, it leaves everything to the imagination. John Key’s repeated election promise during the third leader’s debate on Wednesday night suggests a rosy future, a new era of prosperity and joy, where all dogs can buy takeaways at the hairdresser’s in Foxton. Who wouldn’t want to believe in that?

    By contrast, David Cunliffe’s stance on child poverty was impassioned, but had the misfortune to point to some fundamentally uncomfortable truths; we currently kind of suck at looking after each other and sharing. It’s not pretty, or easy, to look societal failures in the face.

    We hit this same paradox when we try and talk about climate change, or a... Read more >

  • Minister for Conservation of What?

    Blogpost by Rosalind Atkinson - July 29, 2014 at 11:07

    Attendees at the Fish and Game council’s hui earlier this month raised concerns over Conservation Minister Nick Smith’s attempt to reduce their ability to advocate for freshwater quality. The Minister is said to have implied that he would restructure the council unless they became less ‘noisy’ and stopped behaving like a ‘rabid NGO’.

    David Hayes, who’s the president of the Freshwater Anglers Association, said Dr. Smith’s “bullying” implication was that the Fish and Game Council’s advocacy was getting in the way of economic growth. Radio New Zealand reported that Fish and Game chief executive Bryce Johnson confirmed the minister’s hostile attitude. It’s a pretty short-sighted form of economics that thinks destroying fresh water and fisheries is going to lead to increased wellbeing for peo...

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  • #ClimateVoter Question Time

    Blogpost by Rosalind Atkinson - July 25, 2014 at 12:15

    Since launching on the 22nd June Climate Voter has been asking a ‘Question of the Week’ to see what action political parties will take on various climate related issues. This is to let voters decide which policies they want to support going into the election. As we near 25,000 Climate Voters, here’s my take on the answers from the first four questions.

    Part of the reason climate change is such a tricky issue is the difficulty of separating the science and the politics. The science is clear and certain: humans are altering the planet’s climate in scary and unprecedented ways. (If your grumpy uncle tries to tell you it’s volcanoes/sunspots/ locusts/lizard people, set him right using some basic facts like the Guardian’s FAQ).

    It may be hard to face, but the climate is in crisis, and without ... Read more >

  • Over the weekend we visited the National Party’s annual conference, with a special Arctic visitor and a simple question: is climate change on the agenda?

    It’s hard to ignore a polar bear - but that’s exactly what many delegates did. Those who did stop to chat offered a mixed bag of opinions, from a straight “no,” or “it’s a fallacy,” through to Amy Adams (aka the Environment Minister) saying it was not her department.

    Which is worse: senior Ministers acknowledging the problem yet failing to initiate any kind of meaningful action, or party supporters who flatly deny the issue altogether? At least the latter’s words match their (in)actions, whereas it’s embarrassing to hear Ministers agree that it’s a crucial issue, whilst promoting policies that won’t even meet their own emissions targets,...

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