web analytics

Book review: Eaarth

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, May 28th, 2017 - 3 comments
Categories: climate change, Conservation, disaster, sustainability - Tags: , ,

Last Sunday I recycled an old book review. Here’s another one from the vaults.


I’ve recently finished “Eaarth”, by Bill McKibben (of 350.org). It focuses on the the effect of climate change on the planet and how we should be preparing for the future. It doesn’t pull any punches.

Chapter 1: A New World. This chapter starts by noting the climatic stability that we have enjoyed for the last 10,000 years. Stability that has allowed the the development of human civilisation, with its grand cities, agriculture, and specialised culture. A world that was captured in the famous 1968 photo (from Apollo-8) of the Earth from space.

But we no longer live on that planet. In the four decades since, that earth has changed in profound ways, was that have taken us out of the sweet spot where humans so long thrived. We’re every day less like the oasis and more like the desert. The world hasn’t ended, but the world as we know it has — even if we don’t quite know it yet. We imagine that we live back on that old planet, that the disturbances we see around us are the old random and freakish kind. But they’re not. It’s a different place. A different planet. It needs a new name. Eaarth.

McKibben makes the case for the changed planet in example after example, meticulously researched and referenced. A random selection:

So far humans, by burning fossil fuel, have raised the temperature of the planet nearly a degree Celsius … A NASA study in December 2008 fiund that warming on that scale was enough to trigger a 45 percet increase in the thunderheads above the ocean … In fact, total global rainfall is increasing 1.5 percent a decade. …

Or consider the white and frozen top of the planet. Arctic ice has been melting slowly for two decades…

… a U.S. government team studying the tropics recently concluded that by the standard meteorological definition, they have expanded by more than two degrees of latitude north and south since 1980 — “a further 8.5 million square miles of the earth are now experiencing a tropical climate”. …

A new Nepalese study found temperatures rising a tenth of a degree annually in the Himalayas. … across the region the great ice sheets are already shrinking fast…

It’s not just the Himalayas. In the spring of 2009, researchers arriving in Bolivia found that the eighteen-thousand-year-old Chacaltaya Glacue glacier is “gone, completely melted away …

But lay aside the hurricanes and wreckage. Just concentrate for a minute on how the sea is changing. … Even most oceanographers were shocked a few years ago when researchers began noticing that the seas were acidifying as they absorbed some some of the carbon dioxide we’ve poured in to the atmosphere. …

Summing up:

Don’t let your eyes glaze over at this parade of statistics (and many more to follow). These should come as body blows, as sickening thuds. The Holocene is staggered, and the only world that humans have known is suddenly reeling. I am not describing what will happen if we don’t take action, or warning of some future threat. This is the current inventory: more thunder, more lightening, less ice. Name a major feature of the earth’s surface an you’ll find a massive change.

On the fact that we have recognised, far too late, that 350ppm is the safe limit for CO2 in the atmosphere:

We can, if we’re very lucky and very committed, eventually get the number back down below 350. … But even so, great damage will have been done along the way, on land and in the sea. …

We’re not, in other words, going to get back the planet we used to have, the one on which our civilisation developed. We’re like the guy who ate steak for dinner every night and let his cholesterol top 300 and had the heart attack. Now he dines on Lipitor and walks on the treadmill, but half his heart is dead issue. We’re like the guy who smoked for forty years and then he had a stroke. He doesn’t smoke any more, but the left side of his body doesn’t work either.

There’s plenty more of the same in the first chapter, all of it well referenced to original sources, but I think you get the idea. It’s a depressing read.

Chapter 2: High Tide. The focus of this chapter is the end of growth. It can’t go on, we’re hitting the wall.

But now — now that we’re stuck between a played out rock and a hot place — it’s time to think with special clarity about the future. On a new planet growth may be the one big habit we finally must break.

In a solid blow to the mainstream Green position, McKibben doesn’t see “green growth” as a viable alternative.

If we had started 20 years ago, when we first knew about global warming, and when we had the first hints of peak oil, such a plan might have made sense. … But it’s not going to happen fast enough to ward off enormous change. I don’t think the growth can rise to occasion; I think the system has met its match. We no longer possess the margin we’d require for another huge leap forward, certainly not fast enough to preserve the planet we used to live on.

That is a dark thing to say, and un-American, so I will try to make the case carefully. In the first place: this kind of transformation is a big job. Even in normal times, even on the old planet, the transition from one source of energy to another took many decades. …

Wherever we turn, we always bump their heads against the same bottom line: it’s expensive, and it takes a long time to even try to replace our fossil fuel system.

And that’s on the old planet. What we need to talk about now is what it’s like to make massive change on the new one, where we’re suddenly running out of fossil fuel and dealing with a spooky, erratic climate.

McKibben goes on to discuss aspects of the problem that relate particularly to America (huge amounts of infrastructure, such as the national road and bridge network, which is already run down), and those that are truly global:

And the fact that so much of the world remains so poor is also one of the biggest obstacles to actually doing something about the climate. Just as we come into this crisis with an infrastructure deficit and an overhang of debt, so we also suffer from a justice deficit that will slow any attempt at action.

We have seen this all play out at Copenhagen, with a major split between “developing” and “developed” nations.

So the obvious replacement for Plan A — for the now vain hope that the rest of the world can emulate us and messily grow its way into lives of relative comfort and security — is a Plan B, a grand bargain where the global North decides to share with the global South. And in return the South agrees to develop on a different, cleaner path. … Everybody knows this will have to be the eventual bargain, and everybody has spent twenty years trying to game the talks.

And if the “talks” never get it done?

Four major studies in the past two years from centrist organisations in the United States and Europe have concluded that “a warmer planet could find itself more often at war.” Each report “predicted starkly similar problems: gunfire over land and natural resources as once bountiful soil turns to desert and coastlines slip below the sea.” The experts also expected violent storms to topple weak governments — which makes a certain amount of sense to those of us who watched George W. Bush begin his descent in the polls after he bumbled the response to Katrina.

Fortunately we’ve just about reached the bottom of the book’s deep wells of depression. Time to start digging ourselves out.

The second half of this book is based on the premise that we can build durable and even relatively graceful ways to inhabit this new planet.

Chapter 3: Backing Off. McKibben’s ambitions for the future are practical and modest. “That we might choose instead to try to manage our descent”, “that we might aim for a relatively graceful decline”. Doesn’t sound very inspiring does it.

We recoil when faced with a future different from the one we imagine. And it’s hard to brace ourselves for the jump to a new world when we still, kind of, live in the old one. So we tell ourselves that scientists may be overstating our environmental woes, or that because the stock market has climbed back from its lows we’ll soon be back to the old growth economy. As we’ve seen, though, scientists are far more guilty of understatement than exaggeration, and our economic troubles are intersecting with our ecological ones in ways that put us hard up against the limits of growth. This book has been dedicated so far to the idea that we’re in very deep trouble. Now we must try to figure out how to survive what is coming at us. And that survival begins with words. …

So here are my candidates the words that may help us think usefully about the future.
Durable
Sturdy
Stable
Hardy
Robust

… The project we’re now undertaking — maintenance, graceful decline, hunkering down, holding on against the storm — requires a different scale. Instead of continents and vast nations, we need to think about states, about towns, about neighbourhoods, about blocks. … We need to scale back, to go to ground. We need to take what wealth we have left and figure out how we’re going to use it, not to spin the wheel one more time but to slow the wheel down. We need to choose safety instead of risk, and we need to do it quickly, even at the sacrifice of growth. … It’s not just people in poorer nations who are exposed to the elements now, but all of us. We’ve got to make our society safer, and that means making them smaller. It means, since we live on a different planet, a different kind of civilisation.

Distributed networks are more robust than centralised systems. We need to distribute knowledge, skills, resources, agriculture, production and distribution, into communities.

Community may suffer from overuse more sorely than any word in the dictionary. Politicians left and right sprinkle it through their remarks the way a bad Chinese restaurant uses MSG, to mask the lack of wholesome ingredients. But we need to rescue it: we need to make sure that community will become, on this tough new planet, one of the most prosaic terms in the lexicon, like hoe or bicycle or computer. Access to endless amounts of cheap energy made us rich, and wrecked our climate, and it also made us the first people on earth who had no practical need of our neighbours.

Much of the rest of the chapter reviews local community initiatives, such as Transition Towns, farmers’ markets, and local currencies. The last quote I’ll take from this chapter relates to politics:

It’s not at all clear whether a farmers’ market, or a local neighbourhood crime watch, or a community-owned windmill is a liberal or conservative project. It’s some of both. Mostly it’s some of neither — our politics, like our highways, were built for an era of endless growth. Karl Marx as much as Adam Smith thought we’d end up in a material paradise; Richard Nixon and Nikita Khrushchev sparred over whose system will produce better kitchen appliances. In the age now dawning, our hopes will shift and our ideologies will shift with them.

Chapter 4: Lightly, Carefully, Gracefully. What are the essentials for our future? “In order: food, energy, and — yes — the Internet”. Modern agriculture is massively dependent on oil, both to make the fertiliser that increases yields, and to run the machinery, transportation and refrigeration systems that harvests, processes and distributes foodstuffs.

It takes the equivalent of 400 gallons of oil annually to feed an American, and that’s before packaging, refrigeration, and cooking. In 1940, our food system produced 2.3 calories of food energy for every calorie of fossil fuel consumed. Now … “it takes ten calories of fossil energy to produce a single calorie of modern supermarket food. Put another way, when we eat from the industrial food system, we’re eating oil and spewing greenhouse gases.”

With peak oil and climate change, neither side of this equation is sustainable. But the work on an alternative approach is under way everywhere. After reviewing a range of case studies McKibben sums up:

So it’s unsettling (but also the first unambiguously good news this book has to offer) to learn that serious people have begun to rethink small-scale agriculture, perhaps just in time to help us deal with the strains of our new planet. In the last ten years academics and researchers have begun figuring out what some farmers have known for a long time; it’s possible to produce lots of food on relatively small farms with little or nothing in the way of synthetic fertiliser or chemicals.

So there will be dinner, if we are resourceful and clever, and if more of us are willing to do the work of farming, and if we build the kind of community institutions that make us more resilient, less vulnerable. It won’t be easy; as flood, drought, and pests spread, we’ll be pressed to keep up. And it won’t work every-place; even the best double-dug community-backed garden still needs water. I don’t know what Las Vegas will do. But many places may still produce enough calories.

What about energy?

First: … We need to cut our fossil fuel use by a factor of twenty over the next few decades. …

Second: it would be nice to replace at least some of that fossil fuel with something else, so that we’re not returned entirely to a world of manual labour …

Third: there’s no easy way out.

Nuclear, biofuels, solar, wind, there is no single viable replacement. It has to be a mixture of conservation, reduced demand (e.g. through less transportation of locally produced food), and local generation and storage methods (the smart grid). “So no silver bullet — but maybe enough silver buckshot if we gather it carefully”.

And that brings us to the last of McKibben’s three key factors for the future.

The Internet may be precisely the tool we need; it’s as if it came along just in time, a deus ex machina to make our next evolution bearable. …

You could make a purely functional argument for the environmental value of the Internet, of course. If you have a computer, you can set up, say, a ride-sharing system that lets people coordinate their commutes or pick up a stranger on the way to the market. Or you can log onto the Freecycle network and find a way not to buy something. The Internet can take waste — that empty seat next to the driver, that old Ping-Pong table — and convert it into something useful.

But I’m thinking less tangibly. It’s not so much the ride to town; it’s the ride somewhere else entirely, into one of the millions of destinations that the net provides. … Mostly, though, it’s decentralised … That decentralisation will be crucial, because all of a sudden we will need vast amounts of information, very little of which can actually come from New York or Los Angeles.

McKibben also stresses the Internet for entertainment, and as a vital tool for combating the downsides of a future where the boundaries of our world are shrinking.

Which is why, if I had my finger on the switch, I’d keep the juice flowing to the Internet even if I had to turn off everything else. We need cultures … that work for everyone, so that women aren’t made servants again in our culture, or condemned to languish forever as secondary citizens in other places. The Net is the one solvent we can still afford… It will need to be the window left ajar in our communities so new ideas can blow in and old prejudices blow out.

Most of the remainder of this final chapter is spent describing the creation of 350.org, and the way that the Net was used to mobilise a community of volunteers all around the globe. Here are the closing words of the book:

The momentum of the heating, and the momentum of the economy that powers it, can’t be turned off quickly enough to prevent hideous damage. But we will keep fighting, in the hope that we can limit the damage. And in the process, with many others fighting similar battles, we will help build the architecture for the world that comes next, the dispersed and localised societies that can survive the damage we can no longer prevent. Eaarth represents the deepest of human failures. But we still must live on the world we’ve created — lightly, carefully, gracefully.

In closing. Everyone should read this book. (Climate change deniers should be forced to copy it out longhand in red crayon, complete with the 25 pages of references, twice.) I’m hugely impressed with the depth and the breadth of the research that has gone in to it, and also with the clarity with which McKibben has thought about the future that he describes. My only major criticism is that the treatment of energy in the future (Chapter 4) is scanty, and doesn’t really address the serious problems raised earlier on this very issue (Chapter 3). Yes it’s a profoundly depressing book, but the smack in the emotional solar plexus is one that we all (in the “developed” world) deserve.

Time to face up and take our medicine. Change is coming, and the future will not resemble the present. If you can accept that fundamental premise, then Eaarth is a hopeful book too. It is hopeful because it is brutally honest. There’s no sugar coating the pill, no false optimism. It sets out the problems that we face, and it sets out what are probably our best strategies for preparing for the future. Having read Eaarth I feel the way I imagine one feels after hearing a comprehensive diagnosis of cancer. The news isn’t good, but at least I know the odds. It’s something to work with.

3 comments on “Book review: Eaarth”

  1. Bill 1

    Hmm. Might have to grab a copy.

    I’ve been looking at 350.org of late and been impressed. I’m only saying that, because as people around here know, I don’t get easily impressed by groups that coalesce around issues of AGW.

    I agree with him when he suggests we need to take what wealth we have left and figure out how we’re going to use it… – a “commonwealth of humanity” that might offer us a way out from this apparent cul-de-sac.

    I just quietly wondering if he means that to apply at the level of the individual as well as at an intra – society/nation level? Is he signposting that those who have accumulated –
    eg, the ‘middle class’ – need to ‘give it away’? That they need to take whatever individual wealth they have, convert it and communalise it, as much for their own sake as that of those around them? That’s how I want to read it, but like I say at the top, I might have to grab a copy, and then I’ll better see if that’s actually inferred or whether I’m just running on wishful thinking.

  2. Draco T Bastard 2

    And, as just reported in the news, the US has refused to sign up to any climate change agreements. time to do to them what they’ve been doing to the rest of the world for decades – stop all trade and diplomatic connections with them.

    We can no longer afford their greed so we need to cut it off.

  3. Molly 3

    Have a few of McKibben’s books, got more of them after reading Eaarth.

    Worth the read. Enough is another that looks at the importance of discussion reduction of energy use.

Recent Comments

Recent Posts

  • Report into Iain Lees-Galloway’s expenditure
    A report undertaken by Ministerial Services into Iain Lees-Galloway’s ministerial expenditure has found no evidence of any inappropriate transactions or spending. Ministerial Services undertook a line by line review of all his expenditure, including staff and spouse expenses for the period 1 January 2019 to 30 June 2020.  “I commissioned ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    6 hours ago
  • Managed isolation charges to start 11 August
    Managed isolation charges for returnees will come into force from 12.01am Tuesday 11th August, after they passed their last cabinet milestone today, Housing Minister Megan Woods said. “The new charging system balances the rights of New Zealanders to return home and helps reduce pressure on the managed isolation and quarantine ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    10 hours ago
  • Update on New Zealand and the Cook Islands travel bubble
    The Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern and the Prime Minister of the Cook Islands Henry Puna have welcomed the completion of phase one in the establishment of a travel bubble between New Zealand and the Cook Island. Negotiations on the text of an ‘Arrangement to Facilitate Quarantine-Free Travel ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    12 hours ago
  • One-stop ‘jobs and training’ shop goes live
    The Government has launched a new online, phone and onsite service to help New Zealanders connect to a range of employment support and products for workers and businesses affected by COVID-19, announced Minister of Education Chris Hipkins and Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni. Connected.govt.nz is a one-stop-shop for jobseekers, ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    14 hours ago
  • MSD security guards to be paid Living Wage
    Security guards contracted to the Ministry of Social Development will be paid at least the Living Wage from next month supporting the Government’s commitment towards fair pay and employment conditions, announced Minister for  Social Development Carmel Sepuloni.   “MSD was  among the first government agencies to pay its employees the living ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    18 hours ago
  • New strategy to ensure nature thrives
    The Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage today launched Te Mana o te Taiao, the Aotearoa New Zealand Biodiversity Strategy - a way forward that envisions Aotearoa New Zealand as a place where ecosystems are healthy and resilient, and people embrace the natural world. “Many of New Zealand’s plants and wildlife species ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Provider Languages Fund will support Pacific Wellbeing approach
    “Pacific languages, cultures and identity are essential to the health, wellbeing and lifetime success of our Pacific peoples and their communities in Aotearoa. The strength and resilience of Pacific Aotearoa is not only vital to their own prosperity but integral to the prosperity of all New Zealanders, and is particularly ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • COVID-19: More funding for schools and boost to construction sector
    ·       $38 million to help schools cover unexpected costs related to COVID-19 ·       $69 million upgrade for online learning ·       $107 million contingency funding to support school construction suppliers facing additional costs due to the lockdown. The Government is releasing $214 million from the COVID-19 response and recovery fund to ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Stay safe on the tracks – Rail Safety Week
    Despite the Government installing safety upgrades around the country, people should still take care around rail crossings, said Transport Minister Phil Twyford launching Rail Safety Week. Phil Twyford said installing safety infrastructure is crucial, but we are encouraging people to be more careful around trains too. “We’re making good progress ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    19 hours ago
  • Government backs Manawatū social housing project
    The Government is providing a cash injection to help Palmerston North City Council complete a programme to provide 78 social housing units for vulnerable tenants. The $4.7 million to build 28 units in the Papaioea Place redevelopment comes from the $3 billion set aside for infrastructure in the Government’s COVID-19 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    23 hours ago
  • Major funding boost for Predator Free Banks Peninsula
    A pest free Banks Peninsula/Te Pātaka o Rākaihautū is one step closer with a $5.11 million boost to accelerate this project and create jobs, announced Conservation Minister Eugenie Sage in Canterbury today. “This is a game changer for this ambitious project to restore the native wildlife and plants on Ōtautahi/Christchurch’s doorstep ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • Major investment for indoor sports in Hawke’s Bay
    A Government grant of $6.4 million will expand the Pettigrew Arena in Taradale with new indoor courts of national standard. “The project is likely to take 18 months with approximately 300 people employed through the process,” Grant Robertson said. “The expansion will increase the indoor court space up to 11 ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    2 days ago
  • New infrastructure for Far North tourist town
    The Far North tourist destination of Mangonui is to receive Government funding to improve waterfront infrastructure, open up access to the harbour and improve water quality, Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones has announced. A total of $6.5 million from the $3 billion set aside in the COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Government remains committed to Women’s Cricket World Cup
    The Government has re-affirmed its commitment to supporting the hosting of the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup, which the ICC has delayed from 2021 to 2022. “This is obviously a disappointing decision for cricket players and fans around the world and for the White Ferns and their supporters here at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Green light for Te Awa River Ride in $220m nationwide cycleways investment
    Cyclists and walkers will now have a safer way to get around Taupō, Tūrangi, and between Hamilton and Cambridge, with funding for shared paths and Te Awa River Ride, Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter announced today. “The Te Awa River Ride is the latest part of massive growth ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Six major ‘shovel-ready’ cycleways funded in Christchurch
    Six major cycle routes will be completed in Christchurch thanks to funding from the Government’s investment in shovel-ready infrastructure as part of the COVID-19 recovery Associate Minister of Transport Julie Anne Genter announced today. $125 million will be invested to kick-start construction and fund the completion of the following cycleway ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • New Police facilities for Whanganui
    Plans are underway for a brand new state-of-the-art hub for Whanganui’s justice and social agencies, following confirmation the ageing Whanganui Central Police Station is to be replaced. Police Minister Stuart Nash has announced $25 million in new infrastructure spending to improve facilities for the wider community, and for staff who ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Relativity adjustment for Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu
    An adjustment payment has been made to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu under the relativity mechanisms in their 1995 and 1997 Treaty of Waitangi settlements, Minister for Treaty of Waitangi Negotiations Andrew Little announced today. The latest payments to Waikato-Tainui and Ngāi Tahu are $2,700,000 and $2,600,000 respectively to ensure the ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    3 days ago
  • Auckland rail upgrades pick up steam
    Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Transport Minister Phil Twyford today kicked off the start of the Auckland NZ Upgrade Programme rail projects which will support over 400 jobs and help unlock our biggest city. Both ministers marked the start of enabling works on the third main rail line project ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • PGF support for Wairoa creates jobs
    The Provincial Growth Fund (PGF) investment of $3.78 million in Wairoa will create much needed economic stimulus and jobs, Under-Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau announced today. PGF projects announced today include: $200,000 loan to Nuhaka Kiwifruit Holdings Ltd (operated by Pine Valley Orchard Ltd) to increase the productivity ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Public and Māori housing to trial renewable energy technology
    Tenants in public and Māori housing may be benefiting from their own affordable renewable energy in future – a fund to trial renewable energy technology for public and Māori housing has today been announced by Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods and Associate Minister for Housing (Māori Housing) Nanaia Mahuta. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • $2.7m for Hokianga infrastructure
    Hokianga will receive $2.7 million to redevelop four of its wharves and upgrade its water supply, Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones has announced. Far North District Council will receive $1.8 million from the Provincial Growth Fund for the work on the wharves. “The work will include the construction of ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New fund to support housing and construction sector
    A $350 million Residential Development Response Fund is being established to support the residential construction sector and to minimise the economic impact from COVID-19, the Housing Minister Dr Megan Woods has announced. “The Residential Development Response Fund will help to progress stalled or at-risk developments that support our broader housing ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Government investment to boost Auckland’s community recycling network
    As part of a broader plan to divert waste from landfill, the Government today announced $10.67 million for new infrastructure as part of the Resource Recovery Network across the Auckland region. “This key investment in Auckland’s community recycling network is part of the Government’s Infrastructure Reference Group ‘shovel ready’ projects ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Te Papa transformation starts at Cameron Road
    The Government is investing $45 million in the first stage of an ambitious urban development project for Tauranga that will employ up to 250 people and help the region grow, Urban Development Minister Phil Twyford announced today. Phil Twyford says the funding has been allocated out of the $3 billion ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Low-emissions options for heavy transport a step closer
    Getting low-emission trucks on the road is a step closer with investment in infrastructure to support hydrogen vehicles, the Energy and Resources Minister Megan Woods has announced. The Infrastructure Reference Group has provisionally approved $20 million for New Plymouth company Hiringa Energy to establish a nationwide network of hydrogen-fuelling stations. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • New training centre to upskill workers
    A new trades training centre to upskill the local workforce will be built in the South Waikato town of Tokoroa through funding from the Government’s COVID-19 Response and Recovery Fund, Education Minister Chris Hipkins and Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones have announced. The Government will contribute $10.84 million from ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Subsequent children legislation to change
    The Government has agreed to repeal part of the Oranga Tamariki Act subsequent children provisions, Minister for Children Tracey Martin announced today. “There are times when children need to go into care for their safety – the safety and care of children must always be paramount,” Minister Martin said. “But ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding to expand mental health support for Pacific peoples
    A $1.5 million boost to grow primary mental health and addiction services for Pacific peoples in Auckland, Hamilton and Canterbury will lead to better outcomes for Pacific communities, Associate Health Minister Jenny Salesa says.  Pasifika Futures has received funding to expand services through The Fono, Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest by ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    4 days ago
  • Funding boost for sustainable food and fibre production
    Twenty-two projects to boost the sustainability and climate resilience of New Zealand’s food and fibres sector have been announced today by Agriculture Minister Damien O’Connor. The $18m funding will deliver practical knowledge to help farmers and growers use their land more sustainably, meet environmental targets, remain prosperous, and better understand ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Mature Workers Toolkit launched on business.govt.nz
    Employment Minister Willie Jackson welcomes an initiative that assists employers to get mature workers into New Zealand small businesses. The disadvantages that older people face in the workplace was highlighted in the whole of Government Employment Strategy.  In order to address this, a Mature Workers Toolkit has been developed and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Trans-Tasman cooperation in a COVID-19 world
    New Zealand and Australia reaffirmed today the need for the closest possible collaboration as they tackle a global environment shaped by COVID-19, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters said. “In these challenging times, our close collaboration with Australia is more vital than ever,” said Mr Peters. Mr Peters and his Australian ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Pike recovery efforts now in unexplored territory
    The recovery and forensic examination of the loader driven by survivor Russell Smith means the underground team are now moving into an area of the Pike River Mine that has not been seen since the explosion, Minister Responsible for Pike River Re-entry Andrew Little said. “The fifth and last robot ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Government confirms CovidCard trial to go ahead
    The Government has confirmed a community-wide trial of CovidCard technology as it explores options for COVID-19 contact tracing. “Effective contact tracing is a vital part of the COVID-19 response,” Minister of Health Chris Hipkins said. “While manual processes remain the critical component for contact tracing, we know digital solutions can ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Enhanced process for iwi aquaculture assets
    The government is proposing changes to aquaculture legislation to improve the process for allocating and transferring aquaculture assets to iwi. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash has introduced the Maori Commercial Aquaculture Claims Settlement Amendment Bill to Parliament. It proposes a limited new discretionary power for Te Ohu Kaimoana Trustee Limited (ToKM). ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Bill introduced to fix National’s Family Court reform failures
    The Minister of Justice has today introduced the Family Court (Supporting Children in Court) Legislation Bill – the next step in the ongoing programme of work to fix the failed 2014 Family Court reforms led by then Justice Minister Judith Collins.  The Bill arises from the report of the Independent ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • DOC takes action to adapt to climate change
    A new Department of Conservation (DOC) action plan tackles the impacts of climate change on New Zealand’s biodiversity and DOC managed infrastructure including tracks, huts and cultural heritage. Minister of Conservation Eugenie Sage says extreme weather events around the country have really brought home our vulnerability to changing weather patterns. ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Reduced international Antarctic season commences
    A heavily scaled back international Antarctic season will commence this week, Foreign Affairs Minister Winston Peters and Research, Science and Innovation Minister Megan Woods have confirmed. “Antarctica is the only continent that is COVID-19 free,” Mr Peters said. “Throughout the global pandemic, essential operations and long-term science have continued at ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • New high performance sports hub for Upper Hutt
    The Government is providing up to $30 million to help fund the NZ Campus of Innovation and Sport in Upper Hutt - an investment that will create 244 jobs. “The sports hub is designed to be a world-leading shared service for a range of sports, offering the level of facilities ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago
  • Govt keeps projects on road to completion
    Transport Minister Phil Twyford announced today transport projects currently in construction will continue at pace due to extra Government support for transport projects to mitigate the impact of COVID-19. To keep the $16.9 billion 2018-21 National Land Transport Programme going the Government has allocated funding from the COVID Response and ...
    BeehiveBy beehive.govt.nz
    5 days ago