It’s time to vote

The election in New Zealand is a week away. Who are you going to vote for? It is hard for many people to choose because the choices are so underwhelming. There is not enough real substance in any of the rhetoric and there is negligible vision for positive, systemic change. Instead there is too much muddling, niggling … Read more

Should there be an automation tax?

An article entitled “Robots could threaten up to half New Zealand’s jobs in next 20 years” highlights yet another problem with our economies. The problem is that workers are losing the ability to find jobs because of the greed inherent in a system that focuses on financial returns for a small minority rather than the well-being of the whole of … Read more

Fairer flying

Flying is bad for the environment and a major driver of climate change. The number of flights is forecast to more than double over the next few decades, making the problem worse. Flying is the fastest growing cause of climate change. However the majority of flights are taken by a very small and rich proportion of the population. In the UK 15% of all people – the frequent flyers – take over 70% of all flights.

The benefits of adult education

Keep learning, Adult education

Adult education is a very good way to help sustain and improve society; it is relatively low cost and can easily be justified by it’s many benefits. However, in recent years government funding for adult education courses has plummeted. In 2009 the Tertiary Education Minister Steven Joyce said that although adult education courses benefited students, it was a question of … Read more

Taxing times

These are taxing times but our tax system promotes unsustainability and social inequity. We need radical tax reform to address the issues of externalisation of costs, increasing income gap and environmental degradation. The benefits of tax Taxes are an enforced way of sharing. Even though most people complain about having to pay taxes most realise … Read more

Green Growth

Isn’t that an oxymoron? The Green Growth Advisory Group were asked to report to the Government on how to develop green economic growth, especially through increased exports. ‘Green growth’ is an oxymoron. A positive trade balance certainly increases economic growth but there is no such thing as green economic growth. There is also no point … Read more

Book review: The Spirit Level

The Spirit Level written by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett argues that almost every social problem common in developed societies – reduced life expectancy, child mortality, child well-being, drugs, crime, homicide rates, mental illness and obesity – has a single root cause, inequality of income and wealth. They measure equality (or inequality) as the difference … Read more

Suck it and see

A recent opinion piece on the Celsias website called “Fracking in Canterbury – No Compulsion to Publicly Notify and No Need to Consider Seismic Effect” highlights several issues that concern sustainability generally. The “suck it and see” attitude Just because a technology is available doesn’t mean it has to be introduced. Unfortunately the development of … Read more