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Thread: Be a green kiwi

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    Default Be a green kiwi

    Be a green Kiwi - have fewer kids
    08 December 2006
    By PAUL GORMAN

    Kiwi families should consider limiting the number of children they have to reduce environmental damage from our affluent lifestyles, say green advocates.

    Lobby group Sustainable Wellington Net says families should have two or fewer children, an idea that has upset the Catholic Church.

    The suggestion - one among a raft of proposals from green groups that want to ensure New Zealanders use the country's natural resources carefully - was serious, Sustainable Wellington Net co-ordinator Mike Ennis said. "Long-term, it's a thing about world population."

    Family size made a dramatic difference in Western countries because of their greater use of natural resources per person, he said. "It's about the ecological footprint of a family."

    Catholic Church spokewoman Lyndsay Freer said the church supported efforts to live more sustainably but capping family size went against its teachings.

    "There are all kinds of ways of living sustainably and being ecologically friendly. But we would say this takes away one of the most basic freedoms, for a married couple to have a family of the size of their choice."

    Bank of New Zealand chief economist Tony Alexander had no time for the theories of the "deep greens".

    "Bugger the economist's view. I've got five children. As an economist, one can point out that if you have fewer children your demands on the world's resources will be less.But, ultimately, this is where the deep greens' argument becomes unstuck because the planet would be better without any humans on it."

    The economy needed the contributions that larger families could make, he said.

    -The Press
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    NZ environment at 'tipping point'
    09 December 2006
    By MATTHEW TORBIT

    A think-tank report has taken a swipe at the Government for failing the environment.

    The Code Green report, issued by independent business think-tank Providence Report group, says New Zealand's standard of living is being eroded because of inaction from policymakers - who have pushed the environment to "tipping point".

    Report co-author Sandy Callister said New Zealand was being left behind by the rest of the world in implementing environmentally friendly policies. It was time to enforce compulsory pollution taxes and bring in incentives to change behaviour.

    Dr Callister and her fellow directors interviewed about 70 New Zealanders from scientific, political, agricultural and business backgrounds for the report. Code Green's target market is large companies which want to gain an understanding of environmental issues and the opportunities these create.

    Dr Callister said action needed to be taken now to prevent an environmental crash.
    Climate Change Minister David Parker said "several important planks" in the Government's vision for tackling climate change would be released in the next fortnight.
    - The Dominion Post
    Mother Bear

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    Default Re: Be a green kiwi

    South Island waters unsafe for swimmers
    09 December 2006
    By DEBBIE JAMIESON

    New Zealand is failing to live up to its clean, green image, with many popular waterways so badly contaminated they are too dangerous for recreational use, experts say.

    They say a fast-growing population discharging sewage into lakes, rivers and coastlines, a massive intensification of agricultural land use and over-allocation of water in recent years are eroding the quality of the country's waterways at an alarming level.

    An Environment Ministry report reveals that about half of New Zealand's monitored lakes are under pressure from intensive land use.

    Fish and Game New Zealand water spokesman Neil Deans said the deterioration of South Island waterways in the past 10 years was devastating. "Dirty and brown" would be a more accurate description of lowland rivers than "clean and green", he said.

    The intensification of farming is the main culprit, putting increased stock, fertiliser, nutrients and sediment run-off into waterways. With it comes bacterial nasties such as campylobacter, salmonella, cryptosporidium and giardia as well as the possibility of toxic algal blooms.

    Some substances can take decades to disperse. Nitrogen in soil can take more than 60 years to seep into groundwater. The New Zealand Water and Wastes Association has estimated the country needs to spend up to $22 billion over the next decade to protect its waterways.

    Tourism Industry Association of New Zealand chief executive Fiona Luhrs said the industry was watching environmental issues closely. "The environmental message is going to be that much more important, and I think expectations of international visitors are going up all the time," she said. "The challenge for us and the country is to keep on top of these issues and address them."

    Regional councils throughout the South Island released their first summer monitoring results for popular swimming and recreational use sites this week, with strong messages to avoid some contaminated areas.

    The Avon-Heathcote Estuary returned a poor reading, meaning it is generally not suitable for swimming.Near the sewage outlet at Humphreys Drive, the quality was listed as very poor, meaning swimming should be avoided because there are direct discharges of faecal material.

    Environment Canterbury (ECan) coastal water-quality scientist Lesley Bolton-Ritchie said that would probably change significantly once the sewage discharge was moved 3km out to sea in 2009.

    Further north, there have been new concerns over contamination levels at Waimairi Beach, along Pegasus Bay. Although it was still considered acceptable for swimming, an investigation would be launched.

    ECan surface water-quality scientist Shirley Hayward said the Ashburton River had major problems, with a sewage discharge point below State Highway 1 and high levels of nesting gulls depositing waste further upstream. Similar problems were experienced at picnic areas with ducks at the Groynes and gulls at the Waimakariri River mouth.

    Some of the worst problems were from agricultural run-off, as seen at the Selwyn River mouth and Evans Crossing on the popular Pareora River near Timaru. "The issue there is cattle too close to the waterway," Hayward said. "It has improved, but it's still not what we would like for contact recreation."

    She said general rules to follow included not swimming in rivers for 48 hours after heavy rainfall and going inland, where the water might be colder but was likely to be safer. "The further inland you are, there's simply less intensive land use, human population and farming activities," she said. "Generally, the water quality is a lot better."

    The Tasman District Council and the Otago Regional Council gave all popular swimming spots a clean bill of health, while the West Coast Regional Council identified danger points at the Orowaiti River and Lagoon at Westport, Hokitika Beach, and the Buller River at Marrs Beach.

    In Southland, recreational users are advised not to use the lower Oreti River, the Aparima River at Thornbury, near Riverton, the Waikaia River at Waikaia, north-west of Gore, and the Mataura River at Gore.

    - The Press
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    Environmental report card suggests we need to clean up our act
    5:00AM Saturday April 14, 2007
    By Geoff Cumming


    Cows and pollution are two factors that need to be addressed as the pressure increases to clean up the environment. Photo / Wairarapa Times-Age

    So you thought the global warming debate was fought and won by the likes of Al Gore and the weight of scientific opinion. Turns out it's just the firestarter to the war at home.

    A broader battle is in store, pitching the Government and environmentalists against motorists, dairy farmers, foresters and electricity generators, fought with weapons such as emissions trading, polluter-pays, fuel taxes and price rises - measures which could begin next year.

    It's about much more than climate change. A stocktake of our environment by the OECD shows that, even without global warming, tough measures are needed to reverse some depressing trends.

    The OECD environmental performance review, examining progress in the 10 years since the first review in 1996, slipped under most radars when it was released at Easter. While New Zealand has made advances, the review sends a clear message that our lighthanded approach to environmental protection is not enough.

    More here .
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

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