Meet the Green Taskforce

Have you posted your voting papers yet? One more day to go – see how your candidates rank on climate change.

Robert Gibb is one of the founders and co-leaders of the Green Taskforce, active out of the All Saints’ Parish in Palmerston North. The Green Taskforce have distributed the Common Climate Network questionnaire to candidates running for Palmerston North City Council, Horizons Regional Council, and also to Mayoral candidates for councils in the Horizons region.

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Climate news sources

Guest article by Caroline Eddy

Recently I heard an interview with Greta Thunburg during which she was asked to name the one thing she would like people to do, to address climate change. Her answer was not that we should all get out of our cars or avoid air travel (although I’m sure she would encourage these too!), but rather she urged people to become better informed. We need to know what we’re dealing with to take action most effectively!

If you’re thinking about how to keep up to date, or looking for resources to share with others, the following are some suggested sources of climate news. Of course, this definitely isn’t a comprehensive list – we’d love to hear your recommendations!

For introductory information, The Climate Reality Project is a great place to start. It has clear and simple resources covering the basics of climate change, including a section called Climate 101, as well as fact sheets on different climate related topics, for example, how climate is impacting public health.

If you’re looking for regular news from a global perspective, The Race to Zero Emissions by Akshat Rathi is a really balanced, interesting read. You can sign up for the weekly newsletter on the Quartz website, here. It follows progress in technologies and shifts in politics around the world, looking at the good and the not-so-good in the fight against climate change.

The Guardian does an excellent job of holding governments and corporations to account over environmental issues, and its weekly Green Light email, which focuses on climate change, is definitely worth subscribing to. You can sign up here.

Climate Home News also reports on climate news from around the world, covering the political, economic, social and natural impacts of climate change.

Here at home, Carbon News is a long-standing, comprehensive source of New Zealand news covering government policy, carbon markets and sustainably business.

Other New Zealand media outlets have significantly increased their coverage of climate change over the last year. Stuff’s Quick Save the Planet section was launched late last year and often features stories about the likely impacts around New Zealand.

Newsroom commentator Rod Oram covers climate change with a business focus, looking at changes required across different sectors of the economy. In addition, Newsroom recently launched a new section on its website called GreenRoom focusing on environmental issues, with Eloise Gibson and Marc Daalder providing good coverage.

New Zealand Herald has also stepped up coverage as part of the Covering Climate Now week last month and Jamie Morton is always readable.  

If you’re interested in more specialized coverage of technology, the Clean Technica newsletter comes out daily covering developments in EVs and clean technology with the latest on topics such as batteries, solar panels and storage systems.

And finally, if recent news from the United Nations summit left you feeling despondent about the pace at which nations are tackling the problem, the C40 network is a coalition of major cities around the world that seem to be getting on with the job a bit quicker – it can be heartening to follow their efforts and progress.

What can I do about climate change?

Back in June, one of our team went to a screening of Fools and Dreamers, by Happen Films, the story of one man’s vision to regenerate the Hinewai Nature Reserve, on Canterbury’s Banks Peninsula. The film has now been released on YouTube and you can watch it on their site.

Audiences at the Q&A in Wellington were asking what else they can do to take action on climate change. We have seen this at any number of other events when climate change is discussed – people always want to know what they can do to make a difference.

So we have put together some slides that might help. You are welcome to re-use these as you see fit, please just attribute them to the Common Climate Network and include a link to this website.

You can download the slides and see the notes for more information.

Get in touch if you have got any suggestions or additions.

More ideas here:

Ordinary conversations

Guest article by Caroline Eddy

Over the course of the last year the news about climate change seemed to get exponentially worse. Despite years of international agreements designed to limit our greenhouse gas emissions, they had in fact continued to rise, as had the frequency of dire reports being issued by the UN and others. It seemed like high time to pay more attention.

As I started to become better informed, one of the first things that occurred to me was that strangely few people around me were talking about this enormous and urgent problem.  

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Transition to a low carbon future… how will New Zealand do it?

Guest article by Suraya Casey.

Thanks to my friend at Access Radio Taranaki who couldn’t use her ticket, I was lucky to spend 9 and 10 May 2019 at the Just Transition Summit. It was a gathering of politicians, union, business and community leaders to talk about how New Zealand can meet its greenhouse gas emission reduction targets by 2050, in a way that is raises standards of work and life among everyone in our communities.

Continue reading “Transition to a low carbon future… how will New Zealand do it?”

The cure for climate grief… is action

Last night I got together with a few people who are concerned about climate change and want to take action.

This all started with our own sense of climate grief and sense of loss at what is happening to the natural world. For me, it was watching an episode of Blue Planet with polar bears struggling to find food.

It will be different for the others, but we’ve all had our own tipping point, when we realise that change is happening now, not at some future point, and there is an urgent need to take action.

Alayna said “My nana used to say, if you feel blue, go for a walk”. And Jo chimed in with “You can’t feel sad if you hum”. As we all know, nanas are the ultimate source of wisdom. So action is the antidote for us. And perhaps, from time to time, humming.

Around the table we have diverse skills, in communications, climate science and organisation. We all have networks and relationships, and above all the motivation to act. We thrashed out some ideas for how we could create the right environment for local governments to take climate action. Watch this space for details.

If you want to get involved, follow the Common Climate Facebook page and join the Climate Change Communicators group.

As Margaret Mead put it so well, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world… It is the only thing that ever has.”

Thanks to our mates at the Radiant Earth Foundation for the image above.