This week on Green Desk, Bronwyn talked about climate anxiety with Michael Apathy, a psychotherapist, ecotherapist and activist from Lucid Psychotherapy in Christchurch. The American Psychological Association defines climate anxiety as "a chronic fear of environmental doom". As predictions for the future of our planet grow increasingly dire, this fear manifests itself for many in a range of emotions from grief to anger. Michael talks about how he encourages his clients to deal with these emotions in a productive way, our collective amnesia when it comes to the climate, and how we cope with multiple, overlapping crises.
He started by explaining ecotherapy which, despite having been around for a number of years in the professions of counselling, psychology and psychotherapy, is still not well defined.
This week on The Green Desk, Bronwyn Wilde spoke to Dr Kēpa Morgan about mauri modelling - a framework for decision-making which measures sustainability trends. Unlike a purely economic view of sustainability, the model recognises four dimensions of wellbeing, environmental, cultural, social and economic. Kēpa first invented the mauri-o-meter in his 2008 thesis about municipal waste water management, but since then it has been applied throughout the country to a number of ecosystems, including the clean-up following the Rena oil spill. Bronwyn and Kēpa spoke about the model, how it compliments and even improves on western science, and why we value certain knowledge over others.
He began by shedding some light on the concept of "mauri".
This week on the Green Desk, Bronwyn spoke to Tessa Clarke, the co-founder of the mobile app, Olio, which helps to mitigate household waste by allowing people to give their excess food and other items to their neighbours.
The app began the United Kingdom, but it has now spread throughout the world, including here in New Zealand where food waste is very much a prevalent social, economic and environmental issue. Every year, kiwis waste almost 160,000 tonnes of food, contributing 325,000 tonnes of Co2 emissions. Meanwhile, around 10% of people in New Zealand are experiencing food insecurity.
Tessa begins by discussing this mulit-pronged effect of food wastage.
This week Bronwyn spoke to Dr Daniel Hikuroa, a senior lecturer at the Te Wānanga o Waipapa, Māori Studies, at the University of Auckland who has just been appointed the UNESCO Commissioner for Culture for Aotearoa, New Zealand. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation was founded in 1946, and New Zealand was the second country to ratify the constitution. It mission is to build peace, eradicate poverty and foster sustainable development and intercultural dialogue through education, sciences and culture.
Hikuroa will replace the previous comissioner, Arapata Hakiwai, and hold the postition for three years. Bronwyn spoke to him about his expertise that he brings to the table, as well as his aspirations for the role.
Bronwyn speaks to Kevin Moran from Save Our Springs about Te Waikoropupū Springs which are currently the subject of a Water Conservation Order being challenged in the Environment Court.
Located close to Takaka in Golden Bay, these freshwater springs are the largest in New Zealand and contain some of the clearest water found in the world. The iconic blue-tinted waters are recognised as a wāhi tapu by the Māori Heritage Council and are of great cultural and spiritual significance to local iwi Ngāti Tama, Te Ātiawa and Ngāti Rarua.
In 2017, Ngāti Tama and Andrew Yuill applied for a Water Conservation Order, however the special tribunal's recommendatory report was not published until the 17th of March this year. In response, ten parties have lodged further proceedings in the Environment Court, some believing the tribunal's report was too strict and others, not restrictive enough.
Save Our Springs is among those appearing in court later this year, calling for improvements to the draft order.
Today on the Green Desk, Bronnie speaks to Liam Prince, co-founder of Takeaway Throwaways, an organisation seeking to ban single use disposable plastic service ware for food and drink and replace them with reusable alternatives. The closure of cafes during Alert Level 4 meant that more than 20 million takeaway coffee cups that would have otherwise gone to the landfill were avoided. However, with businesses reopening under Alert Levels 3 and 2, many have been hesitant to bring in their reusable cups. Takeaway Throwaways have been vocal in dispelling hygiene myths around BYO reusable containers, and that was the topic of today’s interview.
You can Takeaway Throwaways on Facebook, Instagram, or check out their website - www.takeawaythrowaways.nz - and sign their petition to ban the use of single use plastic serviceware.
Today on the Greendesk Bronnie spoke to representatives from School Strikes for Climate New Zealand about their online strike event this Friday. May 15th will be the fourth time New Zealand youths will strike, inspired by Swedish teengager GretaThunberg’s “Friday’s for Future” movement. Coco Lovatt from Avondale College and Oli Morphew from Wellington Girls’ College were both involved with the historical strikes last September which saw 170,000 people take to the streets nationwide.
You can join the online strike this Friday May 15th by going along to their Facebook event. They are also encouraging people to sign their open letter to the government to adopt a Green Covid Response, and also the Greenpeace petition to the same effect.
Today on the Green Desk Bronnie spoke to Philip Solaris, the CEO of Xcraft, a company who develop UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) for environmental and humanitarian use in New Zealand and the Pacific. As well as drones, they have more recently begun work on unmanned seacraft, one of which, named Proteus, was the topic of the interview. Along with its many functions for emergency rescue and scientific data collection, it also has the ability to identify and report illegal fishing vessels. Solaris begins by talking about the difficulties posed by fisheries regulation.
Last week the Ministry for the Environment released “Our Freshwater 2020” a report highlighting the declining state of our rivers, lakes, streams and catchments. An update on the 2017 report, this release emphasizes the significance and urgency of the situation. It identifies four common threats to freshwater: habitat changes, pollution, water use and climate change.
Bronwyn picks out some highlights from the report, as well as reactions from Forest & Bird, Fish & Game, Choose Clean Water, Federated Farmers and Ministers Eugenie Sage, James Shaw and David Parker.
Last week, Oscar Perress was able to talk to Samuel Miller McDonald, a journalist, writer and student currently based in the UK for his studies at Oxford. Though talking for over an hour, their discussion around Covid-19 can be understood as a discussion on a need for systems change.
Miller McDonald’s studies are focussed in Climate and Energy Politics, so a large section of their discussion was around conceptualising a response to the climate crisis from how our world has reacted and responded to Covid-19. Oscar started by asking Miller McDonald for his intial reaction to the global response to Covid-19 and what we need to take from it to start a response to the climate crisis.