Global warming 'feedback loop'
Air conditioning is very greenhouse gas-intensive, which contributes to the warming of the planet, which causes more people use air conditioning. This from the Guardian: "There are just over 1 billion single-room air conditioning units in the world right now — about one for every seven people on earth. Numerous reports have projected that by 2050 there are likely to be more than 4.5b, making them as ubiquitous as the mobile phone is today. The US already uses as much electricity for air conditioning each year as the UK uses in total. The IEA projects that as the rest of the world reaches similar levels, air conditioning will use about 13 per cent of all electricity worldwide, and produce 2b tonnes of CO2 a year — about the same amount as India, the world's third-largest emitter, produces today. All of these reports note the awful irony of this feedback loop: warmer temperatures lead to more air conditioning; more air conditioning leads to warmer temperatures. The problem posed by air conditioning resembles, in miniature, the problem we face in tackling the climate crisis. The solutions that we reach for most easily only bind us closer to the original problem."
Plastic not fantastic
A reader writes: "While we all do our best to limit plastic usage, it seems Foodstuffs' Pak'nSave's suppliers T&G are happy to buck the trend by importing fruit in large plastic boxes. The box in the photo weighs 570 grams, equivalent to 120 old-style supermarket plastic bags, or 1400 plastic straws."
Six superannuitants stranded at Sunnyvale
A huge thank you to the bemused young man who came to the rescue of six superannuitants at Sunnyvale Station late last Tuesday night. We had been enjoying ourselves in Auckland and had overshot our station on the last train home. With no return train, we would have found it difficult to get back to our cars at that time of night had this amazing young adult not given us a lift back to the previous station to pick up our cars. After a long day at work, he was polite, humorous and would not accept any payment. We talked on the way back and he painted a gloomy picture of his future saying he was finding it near impossible to buy a house and feared he would be working into his 80s. New Zealand is so lucky to have people like this young man – generous, hardworking and friendly. We can not afford to lose them. We must look after them. They truly are our future. So Jacinda – please give this man a loan. He's deserving, charitable, a true Westie and, for his partner at least, a definite keeper.