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Daily blogs from the frontlines of the Greenpeace planet down under. 

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  • The bean counters at the Treasury have warned government that failing to reduce pollution in New Zealand could cost the taxpayer an eye watering, economy wrecking $52 billion. And John Key’s government want to keep the public in the dark about it.

    On the eve of the Government delivering yet another broken budget and a seventh consecutive overspend, one of John Key’s ministers yesterday said Treasury should keep the true cost of climate pollution from the public.

    When asked about this figure in Parliament, the reply from Tim Groser was “what Treasury got wrong was that it did not use sufficiently sophisticated software to conceal the redacted information”. In other words, don’t front it to the public.

    The Government is currently running a hurried consultation on what pollution reduction t... Read more >

  • How do systems get unstuck?

    Blogpost by Rex Weyler - May 19, 2015 at 9:51

    Human enterprise appears stuck, like an addict, in habitual behaviour. We have plenty of data alerting us to global heating, declining species, disappearing forests, and rising toxins in our ecosystems. Yet, after decades of efforts to reverse these trends and some notable achievements — whaling moratorium, ocean dumping ban, renewable energy projects — the key trends appear evermore troubling. [1]

    In December, 2014, I attended a gathering hosted by the International Bateson Institute (IBI) and Centro Studi Riabilitzione Neurocognitiva Villa Miari, a clinic for paralysis patients in Schio, Italy. We observed therapeutic methods employed at Centro Studi to help us consider links between these methods and a efforts to address the ecological paralysis apparent in our social systems. "How ... Read more >

  • When industrial food fails us, it's time to change the food system

    Blogpost by Alessandro Saccoccio - May 19, 2015 at 9:49

    The current food system is broken. We all see how industrial and chemical intensive food production impacts on people and farmers, the planet and animals.

    For example, did you know that in 2007, 269 tonnes of pesticides were used in industrial agriculture globally per hour? This is the equivalent of the size of 9 fully loaded (shipping) containers per hour.

    In 2007, 269 tonnes of pesticides were used in industrial agriculture globally per hour.

    Or did you know that roughly one third of the food produced globally is wasted along the supply chain from field to plate? For example, 149,467,642 people could be fed with the food wasted in 1 year in Europe, roughly the population of Germany, Italy and Austria together.

    149,467,642 people could be fed with the food wasted in 1 year in Europe.

    Also, the amount of water used to produce meat and dairy that a person consumes in one year (403,000 liters) is the same as if this person took 17 showers a ... Read more >

  • With the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris at the end of the year, the government has opened a short public consultation on what target New Zealand should set to reduce its climate pollution.

    But it's a sham. Targets without a plan of action are meaningless, and guess what? New Zealand doesn’t have a plan. As things stand, our climate pollution will continue to spiral out of control.

    We need an action plan that we can stick to. In the same way the All Blacks focus on winning by training hard, maintaining a healthy diet and living well, New Zealand needs to kick it’s dirty fossil fuel habit and get in shape for a cleaner, brighter future.  

    The thing with the targets this government seems to like so much is that they happen in the future and can be missed.

    They’re a grand distrac... Read more >

  • Greenpeace India: The price of dissent

    Blogpost by Ashish Fernandes - May 8, 2015 at 11:18

    Greenpeace India

    In less than a month, Greenpeace India is in danger of closing.

    Over the last year, we have born the brunt of repeated attacks. In June 2014, all funds coming from Greenpeace's international office were frozen. Then in January, my colleague Priya Pillai was due to fly to London to meet with British politicians but was prevented from leaving the country. In both cases, the Delhi high court has agreed with us that ministers have misused their authority.

    But just a few weeks ago, the ministry froze most of our domestic bank accounts. As a result, we have no access to the donations made by over 75,000 Indian people who campaign with us for a cleaner environment. We have enough funds to keep paying staff and the rent on our offices for the next month – after that, Greenpeace India may be for... Read more >

  • Today, the Labour party are calling upon the Environment Minister, Nick Smith, to come clean on his plans to take away our right to protect our play areas, the forests we tramp in and the rivers we fish in.

    The Government has long planned to take the hatchet to the environmental gold standard that is the Resource Management Act (RMA) and roll back our environmental safeguards to make way for more intensive and polluting dairying and fracking.

    And they currently want to keep their plans behind closed doors and away from New Zealanders.

    Kauri tree

    Only recently we saw how the government’s efforts to weaken the RMA would have seen the destruction of a 500 year old kauri tree to make way for a driveway. It was a ludicrous decision that was overturned thanks to a massive public outcry and the Titirang... Read more >

  • Last week, a new joint report crafted by the pointy-headed people at Bloomberg and the United Nations has declared that the uptake in clean energy globally has reached 'industrial' scale. Power sources like solar and wind are now more affordable than fossil fuels as investors around the world shift their money away from polluting energies like coal and oil.

    And much of this is happening in the developing world, which is hugely significant because, until now, a long held assumption has been that much of the economic growth in these regions would be heavily reliant on polluting energies.

    This report is not an isolated case either: Almost on a weekly basis more and more leading authorities are confirming that action on climate change is not only necessary but it is already happening. Only la... Read more >

  • And the OSPAR goes to… the Arctic!

    Blogpost by Pilar Marcos - April 28, 2015 at 12:52

    Yes, that is not a typo. The OSPAR Award. A long awaited Award that the Arctic well deserves.

    The Arctic deserves an OSPAR

    But, what is an OSPAR? The OSPAR Convention is an international agreement of 15 European countries (Arctic and non Arctic states) plus the European Union with the power and mandate to protect international waters from environmental harm done by human activities.

    The icy waters around the North Pole are international waters. There is an important extension of those international waters that the OSPAR Commision have now the chance to protect: 232.000 square kilometres, as a matter of fact. A well-deserved Award of protection for the Arctic and a big and much needed reward for the planet.

    The heroes from the movies are the ones capable to make us dream big and believe that we can change the world... Read more >

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