Sustainable Living – climate change and transport

Six people attended the course this week, which meant we could work in two groups of three for a quiz. The results of this revealed my ignorance of the causes of climate change – more Inexcusable Ignorance (see an earlier post). I don’t even know the properties of all those greenhouse gases. A course in basic science is needed.

I guess I was feeling smug about biking into town. No more. I learnt that NZ is in the top 5 of OECD countries in its production of emissions per capita.

One frightening graph the tutor presented shows the UK’s emissions going down while NZ’s are going up. How can this be? The decrease in the UK’s emissions can be traced back to when their Climate Change Committee began to keep data. However, these Guardian articles may present a less rosy picture. Here, The Climate Change Commission, is only just getting underway with Rod Carr, former vice-chancellor of the University of Canterbury as Commissioner.

Really, all we could do was consider supporting organisations which are working to make companies and governments take responsibility. Fat chance. NZ’s reduction in emissions is pitiful. Submissions were recently called for by organisations such as NZ Forest and Bird for the govt. biodiversity strategy. Scientists have commented on the proposed strategy. It’s complicated.

Next then, was to look at what we can do personally. Once again, young people are encouraged to lead the way in this government initiative.

We talked about our own personal actions such as re-using and repairing instead of replacing, avoiding car travel where possible, op-shopping, avoiding plastic packaging, growing our own vegetables, and eating plant-based food.

It is an enormous pleasure to share your own produce with family and friends.

Raspberries picked this afternoon. The apples may not be ready to eat – they fell from the tree when I was planting beetroot underneath (‘helped’ by the chooks).