March/April 2015

The discovery of deep trenches under the Totten Glacier, on the east side of Antarctica is not good news. Underwater trenches allow warmer water to get under the ice, leading to increased melting and this is in addition to the continuing collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet. If all the Totten glacier melted, it would raise sea-levels by 3.5 metres all by itself. (Melting all that ice will probably take place over centuries). However “even in this century, the last IPCC [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] report said that if this kind of thing happens, it's going to add several tens of centimetres of sea level rise to their estimate of one metre” according to Dr Tas van Ommen from the Australian Antarctic Division in an ABC article. (

3 E Bike view MarchThat’s why we’re doing our very best at BRCT to foster initiatives that mitigate our carbon emissions. Change in our coastlines and climate is now inevitable and happening. However we can alter that impact by rapidly reducing emissions and by turning to low carbon alternatives. Community wellbeing is about quality of life, and requires economic activity with enough income for everyone, but if some of us are denied even the basics of shelter because of flooding, wellbeing is severely reduced. The good news is that more people are seeking low carbon transport options (see inset photo on left: "Early morning view during E-Bike commute to town"), more people are growing their own food, more people are making their homes warmer and healthier, so we’re not just fatalistically continuing with ‘Business As Usual’ in Blueskin.

Are you interested in what we do and what we have on the go? Our Annual General Meeting will be held this month, on Tuesday the 28th of April in the Blueskin Library Committee Room (from 7pm). We’d love to have you there. Typically after short formalities we have an open discussion over refreshments when we can explore ideas for the future. This is our ‘end of financial year’ event where we reflect on where we’ve been and where we’re headed.

BRCT is pleased to have confirmed Nicola Mutch and Dylan Robertson as new trustees. Both bring to the Trust their love of our place along with their considerable expertise. We move into the 2015-16 year with a strong governance structure, great pro bono support and a network of supporters and friends that makes us confident about the new financial year.

We’re waiting for the release of the DCC's draft Long-Term Plan late March to see what it contains and how we can contribute. We’re doing some important strategic thinking ourselves to help set a long term direction for operations. Look out for the forthcoming publication of our ‘Blueskin and Karitane Food System’ report, which will signal the end of a long research project and hopefully the start of more community action on local food. We continue to receive interest in E-Bikes, energy advice requests, and we’re providing Home Performance Assessments as a service. It's a very busy time for our renewable generation work as well.

BRCT will have a stand at the A&P Show in April so come along and pop in for a chat. If you miss the 12th of April we can always be found in the old dental clinic at Waitati School, call us on 4822 048, email us or just check out this website.  We have a load of free energy resources available.

By Scott Willis