Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Monday, August 23, 2010

Sunday, May 30, 2010

The real reason for the BP oil spill

What can I say? Selfishness isn't bad. Neither is water. We need both to survive. When we have too much of either there starts to be big problems.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The importance of Early Childhood Education

Early Childhood Education(ECE) is set to get more out of reach for families. The government plans to shift the cost for ECE over to providers, who will pass it onto parents. Professional, qualified teachers agree that cutting Early Childhood Education will harm the future of children. "The Government spending on early childhood education may have trebled, but New Zealand still lags behind the OECD average per capita expenditure. If it is reduced further, then quality will suffer." The New Zealand Educational Institute puts it bluntly, "The funding shortfall can only be met by parent fees, or cuts to quality.".

ECE gives children the chance to expand their minds, gain independence, get parents back into work and let children socialise with other children. The brains neural pathways are developed during this stage, their own information super highway. But if this highway isn't built properly it can cause collisions and tears later on in life.  ECE provides an enviornment rich with diversity and information to help them build their world view. Parents are the first teachers and ECE is not there to replace parents. It is there to support the child in building their world and giving parents the time to restructure theres.

"I hate onions! Why does the earth need onions anyway?" - Little girl at the supermarket I went to the other day, building her world.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Michael Laws it's a two-way street

Michael Laws thinks we need the rich more than they need us. The Standard has a post too about his article.

These are the key things I'm going to peck at:
  1. There was no underclass in the 1970s.
  2. A flat tax is true equality.
  3. We need the rich more than we need them, so they deserve more respect.
 1. There was no underclass in the 1970s: Well actually there was. There were people who had little food, little clothes, dirty and uninsulated homes. There were also people dealing with medical issues that doctors couldn't recognise that made it impossible to work. Children were suffering due to a lack of child rights as well. Social problems of the past contribute to an underclass Mr Laws.

2. A flat tax is true equality:
Well yes and no. It will give everyone the same tax regardless of income. But it will take away government revenue. After that the government will either cut services or go into debt. If you cut services you cut stability, things like the welfare system, healthcare system and police. It will increase crime, lead to more suffering and discourage the rich from ever coming to New Zealand. It will cause more inequality in access to healthcare and social services than we have now. If you think the underclass is bad now, wait until you implement a flat tax Mr Laws.

3. We need the rich more than we need them, so they deserve more respect:
As human beings we all deserve respect as a inherited human right. Regardless of income, disability and any kind of status. The rich don't always get their money through hard work or by fairness. The rich don't always provide jobs that people need to work. They don't always pay their taxes and it's a two way street. You can't have a pyramid unless there's a bottom to support it Mr Laws.

On another note, good on you Maori communities up north for defending yourselves from Michael Laws.

Revised: 25 May, 2010, 8:13 PM

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Happy Biodiversity Day!

It's International Biodiversity day today! It's also the year of Biodiveristy. Of course everday is a biodiversity day. So what is it? The UNU university mentions that Biodiversity, "the earth's diversity of habitat and species — is vital for sustainable development, societies, and culture. Yet, like the climate, it is being lost more rapidly than ever before and this loss is most affecting the poor. Unlike climate change, the urgency, scale and impacts of biodiversity loss are poorly understood and the political will to tackle this issue is weak."You can't buy nature as a whole, just what it produces. Nature is not easily replacable.

Biodiversity is important to New Zealand too. As DOC mention: "New Zealand has a vast wealth of unique animals, plants and ecosystems, but we also have one of the highest percentages of threatened species in the world. We have much to lose so we need to do more to protect them."

Biodiversity is important for our food supply as well. It was one of the reasons for the Irish potato famine and it protected rice growers from the grassy stunt virus. 80% ofo ur food comes from 20 plant kinds, however we have 40,000 plants and animals we use as food. Diverse food gives diverse nutrition, which is important for our bodies to stay healthy. For instance Vitamin C that comes from kiwifruit, oranges or even other animals.

A report that's come out of the UN tells us that natures animals, trees and oceans are under threat. It's the third edition of the Global Biodiversity Outlook, which is produced by the Convention on Biological Diversity. The secretary general BAN Ki-Moon has a good summary(p. 3): "[T]he principal pressures leading to biodiversity loss are not just constant but are, in some cases, intensifying... In several important areas, national and international action to support biodiversity is moving in a positive direction. More land and sea areas are being protected, more countries are fighting the serious threat of invasive alien species, and more money is being set aside for implementing the Convention on Biological Diversity. However, these efforts are too often undermined by conflicting policies. To tackle the root causes of biodiversity loss, we must give it higher priority in all areas of decision-making and in all economic sectors."

In the report has been a discussion of tipping points. A point where it's difficult or impossible to recover these ecosystems. They are:

A - The dieback of large areas of the Amazon forest, due to the interactions of climate change, deforestation and fires, with consequences for the global climate, regional rainfall and widespread species extinctions.

B - The shift of many freshwater lakes and other inland water bodies to eutrophic or algae-dominated states, caused by the buildup of nutrients and leading to widespread fish kills and loss of recreational amenities.

C - Multiple collapses of coral reef ecosystems, due to a combination of ocean acidification, warmer water leading to bleaching, overfishing and nutrient pollution; and threatening the livelihoods of hundreds of millions of species directly dependent on coral reef resources.

Biodiversity is something you can get involved in .

“In the long history of humankind (and animal kind, too) those who learned to collaborate and improvise most effectively have prevailed” - Charles Darwin, father of evolution.

Scientists literally built a sarcasm detector

Wow what a wonderful invention to have.