Monthly Archives: December 2009

Copenhagen, how disappointing…

I won’t go on about what didn’t happen at the summit, it’s easy enough to find the details elsewhere. I’m just so disappointed to see yet another example of an absence of leadership in our world today. What is it going to take for our presidents and prime ministers to take a risk and make change to protect our environment? We won’t survive without it. Though I suppose if we don’t then at least the economy will charge on and on… won’t it? Goodness knows that economic growth is the most important thing.

My question is this: How and why has economic growth become the benchmark for every decision regarding climate change? I suppose it’s an addiction of sorts. What gets me is that the whole concept of economic growth seems entirely arbitrary, fictional almost. Every State has become trapped in it’s snowballing cycle, we have to keep growing because every other country is growing. To find balance would be to slip backwards.

The stakes are getting higher and higher, we are gambling our very earth. And I feel powerless to do anything.

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RELEASE: Freerange Vol. 2: Gardening and Violence

It is with much delight that we release the 2nd installment of freerange.  80 pages of new writing and visual design!  Download your own free copy here!

Front_Cover_Freerange_2

More news to come soon, we are re-jigging the format of freerange in 2010 so it will be more frequent and more responsive.

HAPPY READING!

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Guest Post: POOR KNIGHTS RESERVE REVISITED by WADE DOAK

We are very lucky to have a Guest Post from Wade Doak, Wade has published numerous books on his great passion, the underwater world. He has also worked on the television natural history series ‘Wild South’ and ‘Deep Blue’. His titles include Beneath New Zealand Seas (1971), Encounters with Whales and Dolphins (1988), and his diving autobiography, Ocean Planet (1989). Most of Doak’s books are lavishly illustrated with his own photographs.  Please go to www.wadedoak.com for more information.

PoorKnights_1

Jan and I made a trip to the Poor Knights last Monday: a weird day of mists, dense sea fog and scorching sunshine. Although it was howling from the norwest, El Tigre found a series of flat calm anchorages on the east side. And I thought I did not need to take my hat.

We had guests from Canada and Oz who had booked with Dive! Tutukaka and when I inquired when they were due back in port in order to meet them, we were invited to join them for the day.

As has always been our experience on these modern dive boats, the staff are just so utterly exceptional; so obliging to all on board.  Sam, the skipper, did a fantastic job explaining Poor Knights history and what was to be expected at each dive site and with overseas visitors on board, he made us very proud to be kiwis. I was impressed with the hands on, fine tuned details he gave, such as the packhorse crays crawling in the open and the eight lounging stingrays the crew had seen at Frazer’s Landing a few days before. These days people are helped as if on a flight in the first class cabin by all those young folk in the crew.  But running a safe and enjoyable dive operation for so many people is a damned sight harder than caring for a bunch of airline passengers.  Our guests were elderly and received superb attention. For Ling, the Chinese lady, her dearest dream was to go into the vastness of Rikoriko Cave. Despite the jobbly N.W. situation, El Tigre fulfilled that and dozens of cameras clicked, capturing frames of that dream. For a woman in her mid-seventies, taking a kayak trip under those immense towering cliffs just north of Hope Point, helped by dive guide Kieran so sweetly and unobtrusively, was a high.  He even gave her a tow with his kayak on the way back and Sam hauled her aboard with immense strength: clean and jerk. I guess he has done that before.

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The Fire this Time: Copenhagen and the War for the Future

This is some very very good writing taken from this website called WorldChanging.com. Go there and read it.

“That which is unsustainable cannot go on. Unsustainable things that are propped up too long snap and collapse suddenly. Our way of life is unsustainable. The sooner we transform our economy into one that can generate sustainable prosperity, the better off we’ll be, and with every passing day, the risks of catastrophe grow larger and more certain. We need change now.

These shouldn’t be radical statements; they’re all demonstrably true. Yet they cleave right down the middle of what is fast becoming the largest generation gap in at least 40 years, a growing split between people under 30 and people over 60.

When confronted with generational conflict, we naturally tend to see the elders as seasoned and realistic, and the youth as passionate and ethical, and to seek a middle ground of tempered realism. Middle ground is going to become increasingly hard to find in this debate, though. That’s because realism now means very different, incompatible things to the two generations.

And this is what most older observers seem to refuse to understand: The world looks dramatically different if the year 2050 is one you’re likely to be alive to see. To younger people, Copenhagen isn’t some do-gooder meeting; it’s the first major battle in a war for the future. Their future. I’m in my middle years, in between the two groups, yet even I can see that this war is about to get a lot more heated—far more heated than anything we’ve seen in half a century. To younger people, this isn’t just policy, it’s personal.

To be young and aware today is to see your elders burning our civilization down around our ears. To hear scientists tell us we’re in the final countdown, with the risk of runaway climate change (along with the ecosystem collapses and horrific human suffering it will bring) mounting with every day we run business as usual. To hear nearly a chorus of credible voices—from doctors and scientists to retired generals and former bankers— warning that to lose this fight is to lose everything that makes our world livable and gives the future hope.

You wouldn’t think a war could start over such simple ideas.

To be young and aware is to see old people—from the U.S. Senate to Wall Street, from newspaper editorial desks to corporate boardrooms—stalling action on every front, spouting platitudes about “balance,” committing themselves wholeheartedly to actions to be undertaken long after they’ve retired and died. To be told that the world’s scientists are participating in a giant hoax; to be chided for not understanding how the real world works; to be warned that doing the right thing will bankrupt us; to be told that not wanting to melt the ice caps and circle the equator in deserts makes you too radical to take seriously.

To be young and aware is to know you’re being lied to; to know that a bright green future is possible; to know that we can reimagine the world, rebuild our cities, redesign our lives, retool our factories, distribute innovation and creativity and all live in a world that is not only better than the alternative, but much better than the world we have now.

To be young and aware is to suspect that, in the end, the debate about climate action isn’t about substance, but about rich old men trying to squeeze every last dollar, euro, and yen from their investments in outdated industries. It is to agree with the environmentalist Paul Hawken that we have an economy that steals the future, sells it in the present, and calls it GDP. It is to begin to see your elders as cannibals with golf clubs.”

…continue here for more,

but what are your thoughts?

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Trailer Trash

2008-02-29_134703-Treehugger-trailer-densities

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The Tyranny of Home

After a year of traveling and living overseas I’ve recently returned to the city I lived in for about 9 years after finishing high school. I’ve been back periodically since I moved away from the city a few years ago, so its taken me by surprise how disorientating this return to ‘home’ has been.  I’ve had an uncanny sense of deja vu returning this time, as a thousand lost memories  flood over themselves, a mix of unremembered thoughts of events overlapping through past chronologies.  This sense of personal rediscovery is jolted by the strangeness of renegotiating old friendships, as I emotionally recollect previous relationships, sometimes attempting to remember, and others trying to forget.   This weirdness of home seems to be fading as I slip into old routines and comfortable zones, but it still jars against the romantic notions of home I carried while traveling.   No doubt the uncomfortable eye-contact with forgotten acquaintances and sudden discoveries of newness will continue for a while, and once these settle I can return again to romanticizing the mythological freedom of travel.

Despite the environmentalist calls to limit global travel our generation seems enamored with long and frequent trips overseas.  Perhaps we sense that this remarkable privilege may not continue for much longer.  How do other people feel when returning home from travels?

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Reproduction of the Copenhagen Editorial

Well, Copenhagen has begun.  What has been called the most important meeting in human history has started, it will be analysed and discussed to death in the media so I won’t go into anything here apart from reproducing the extraordinary Copenhagen Editorial that has just been published in 56 papers in 45 countries around the world.  It is clear and well written document about the present need for urgency.  Here it is:

Fourteen days to seal history’s judgment on this generation

Today 56 newspapers in 45 countries take the unprecedented step of speaking with one voice through a common editorial. We do so because humanity faces a profound emergency.

Unless we combine to take decisive action, climate change will ravage our planet, and with it our prosperity and security. The dangers have been becoming apparent for a generation. Now the facts have started to speak: 11 of the past 14 years have been the warmest on record, the Arctic ice-cap is melting and last year’s inflamed oil and food prices provide a foretaste of future havoc. In scientific journals the question is no longer whether humans are to blame, but how little time we have got left to limit the damage. Yet so far the world’s response has been feeble and half-hearted.

Climate change has been caused over centuries, has consequences that will endure for all time and our prospects of taming it will be determined in the next 14 days. We call on the representatives of the 192 countries gathered in Copenhagen not to hesitate, not to fall into dispute, not to blame each other but to seize opportunity from the greatest modern failure of politics. This should not be a fight between the rich world and the poor world, or between east and west. Climate change affects everyone, and must be solved by everyone.

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Climate Protest Marches This Saturday the 5th!

Hey Freerangers.  Tomorrow Saturday the 5th of december is MASSIVE day for global marches about Climate Change.  Please check out your local details.  Based on the people who have been visiting this site lately I’ve listed the top 5 cities below.  I’m not going to add more words about how important this is, I think its just time we all did our little bit.

Wellington: Starts 1pm Civic Square then walk to Parliament

Auckland: begins at 1.pm and goes from Albert park up Queen Street to Myers Park

Melbourne: Is there one? Any ideas?

Hong Kong: Theres no protest, but there is an unrelated free fireworks show which looks like fun!

London: 12pm, Grosvenor Square

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