Here's a preview of the first chapter and an outline of other chapters from next month's report: Finding Ecological Justice. - Claire
It's been a long year. This is coming soon - Finding Ecological Justice in New Zealand (November 2017). Some time between now and then I'll post a chapter from it. - Claire
Our precious landscapes and rivers and living things are not tradeable, fungible products. Industry is moving fast in lobbying for the inappropriate use of biodiversity offsets, and regulators are letting it happen.
"I have come to expect agnotology from industry but it makes me angry when it comes from 'public servants'. I'm especially angry when a dedicated group of young people are undermined by the ministry tasked to support them. It is especially galling when you consider that the toxic legacy of freshwater pollution spun and denied by the ministry will most impact these young people."
Mike Joy summarises MFE environment reporting techniques, that are shifting the ecological and human health baselines against which our waters' state of health is measured.
“The problem with human activities is that they are taking the clothes off the planet.”
In a guest post, ecologist Dr Manu Bird compares New Zealand's ineffective and outdated Wildlife Act 1953 with other leading countries' laws, and the 'convenient truths' we're being told, and argues for urgent change.
This is a fantastic piece from Jedediah Purdy in The Atlantic: a backgrounder on environmental justice and environmentalism that is American, but very worth your time.
Exciting news from Landcare Research: evidence from economic modelling, that wide riparian setbacks have more benefits than costs, even when not counting the multiple ecological benefits.
No longer any excuse for not making a riparian strategy central in climate, water and biodiversity priorities.
"When I was a child and we used to visit relatives in the South Island, there would be buckets of whitebait and the fritters were as big as our dinner plates. And I wince when I hear talkback callers tell me of the days when they used whitebait as fertiliser for their gardens. Those days are long gone."
Whitebait absolutely must be protected, says Kerre McIvor.
I don't post everything here that happens in the news, but today has been a good day. - Claire
I wanted to write about the new eco-justice stories.
The first in what we hope will be a regular series of views on this and that. Next time: the RMA.
The Māori Council is asking the Waitangi Tribunal to establish what rights Māori have to fresh water. Māori Council chairman Sir Eddie Durie said he disagreed with Prime Minister John Key's stance that no-one owns water.
"In our view everyone owns the water... What we're trying to do in this hearing and by this process is to gain recognition for the fact everybody has an interest in water, everybody has an interest in ensuring that water is passed on to the next generation and future generations in the best condition we can possibly manage."
Whitebait are the juveniles of five different native freshwater fish species, mostly found only in New Zealand. Four of the five species have the same threat ranking as some species of kiwi. Kyleisha Foote and Pierce McNie call for stopping the commercial harvest, so that future generations of ordinary New Zealanders can continue to enjoy them.
Five things you can do in five minutes to help.
Pukeko take eco-justice matters into their own hands... ?
"The pukekos strike just before dawn, leaving hundreds of destroyed cabbages and a market gardener in despair." Commercial gardener Brent Treleaven had to relinquish part of his market garden to the pukeko.
Claims of dams' economic and environmental benefits are rarely balanced by coverage of the truth of the far more numerous adverse environmental impacts - and worse economic outcomes, as well.
"Unlike the few paragraphs taken to unravel the loose thinking of dam salespeople, thousands of words would be required to detail the long list of negative ecological impacts. So instead, let me point to a recent peer-reviewed scientific paper, published in a top freshwater journal that reviewed 165 scientific papers on dam impacts and found that 92 per cent of them reported declining or negative ecological measures as a result of dams." Mike Joy writes.
New Zealand Geographic feature on the longfin eel. Featuring gems such as this, from earthmoving contractor Gary Pilcher: "When a blocked drain is holding up production, I don't give a fat rat's arse about the eels. I don't care," and the sadness of Lake Manapouri: "'What we're finding,' says Brunton, 'is that more than 40 per cent of these girls don't find the natural outlet, and end up as mince meat.'"