June/July 2015

The ‘Age of Stupid’ seems more relevant now, than when the 2009 film was released. (If you haven’t seen it, do. Should BRCT put on another showing?). Extreme flood events in Dunedin, Hokitika and the Lower North Island, and high seas flooding the Wellington & Kapiti coast, all within a few weeks… The Ministry for the Environment’s discussion document on New Zealand’s Climate Change Target (released in mid-May for consultation) counted the cost of lowering emissions, without counting the cost of not lowering emissions. Now of course, we can start to measure the cost of these extreme events, because they’re happening and we have to pay for them. A warmer climate is a wetter climate, more prone to extreme weather events, as we’re experiencing.

There is much to do to prepare for our uncertain future. At BRCT, this important work is our focus via our various projects. We work to strengthen our community in the immediate, mid and long-term future, and this past month we’ve been actively engaged with our main project, the wind development. We’ve also been busy in the Home Performance Assessment programme and have begun selling and supplying insulation to people who want to manage their own insulation with affordable quality Mammoth insulation from Inzone. Over this past month and until the end of September we’re also working closely with the Public Health Association to help ensure their 2015 conference is a carbon neutral event and to spread the word regarding the many opportunities we have to lower emissions. Investigations into a local and affordable firewood supply continue and we are looking at how we can support developing electric transport infrastructure. In response to a request for rail transport during snow events, we’re seeking information from the relevant organisations – and we have a desk available to anyone who wants to volunteer some assistance on the rail or low carbon transport projects (just pop in if interested).

From the operations team we want to congratulate administrator extraordinaire Anne McLean on her new job, which alas means we’ll see less of her at BRCT. I’m already missing being dragged into line! In the past month we’ve had a visit from Nicole Masters from Integrity Soils, we made a submission on NZ’s Climate Change Target and we’ve published the Blueskin and Karitane Food System report (these last two are available online at www.brct.org.nz). We’re planning a couple of events in September to highlight food initiatives, in conjunction with the Blueskin Market, and of course there’s BRCT’s Grass Roots Gig with the unique Delaney Davidson (and other acts we’re keeping under wraps) scheduled for the 19th September at the Long Beach Hall. Tickets will be available from the BRCT office from the 15th of July. As a local charitable organisation we depend largely on grants and donations. Currently we are fundraising to replace our aging computers so staff and volunteers can work efficiently. If you would like to make a donation to assist our work you can do so in the following ways: Email BRCT at office@brct.org.nz, or Donate using internet banking via our website. Donations are tax deductible so please make sure we have your name and address.

Ex 'Minister of Transport' for Blueskin, Peter Dowden features in the Cuppa Tea blog with reflexions that should stimulate discussion. The BRCT office is in the old dental clinic at Waitati School, tel: 4822048 , or just check out our website (www.brct.org.nz).

By Scott Willis