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Members' Papers

These documents have been written by ESR members and friends, but do not necessarily represent ESR's views.

Other documents, under the heading of "Position Papers" state ESR's viewpoints, with the intention of providing useful guidance on particular topics.

Climate Change - Is New Zealand ready for it?

Peter Whitmore, ESR member, discusses the state of New Zealand's readiness for climate change, with particular reference to the continuing use of large quantities of coal at the Huntly power station.  Alternatives are readily available for electricity generation.  His Paper can be read here as a PDF file.

The Kiwi Bottle Drive

New Zealand’s grass roots campaign
for the re-introduction of bottle deposits

A Container Deposit Scheme (CDS) would recycle an extra 750 million beverage containers each year, create over 2,000 new jobs and reduce the impact of plastic on our oceans.

Yet the packaging industry continues to undermine the public’s desire and the political will for change.  What can we do to ensure New Zealand catches up with other countries that are leading the way on reducing single-use packaging and the harm it causes?

The PowerPoint slides of this lecture are here as a PDF file.

Warren Snow is the Manager of the Entrust Foundation which sets up Zero Waste initiatives that help build local economies and community resilience.

This lecture was given on Wednesday 20 June 2018,at the Auckland University of Technology School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical Sciences, 34 St Paul Street, Auckland.

High Expectations for the Climate Commission;
Will Government's action push us fast enough?

Immediately after the March 2018 annual general meeting of Engineers for Social Responsibility Inc, a seminar was presented, covering the issues behind the push for the establishment of a Climate Change Commission.  Speakers included:
 - Alan Mark:  Introduction: NZ's Climate Change Programme
 - Dugald MacTavish: Meeting the GHG Target: the Stabilisation Wedge
 - Bob Lloyd:  The Transport Sector
 - Janet Stephenson:  The Industrial Sector,  the Energy Sector
 - Hugh Campbell:  The Land Use Sector
 - Nathan Surendran:  The Waste Sector
 - Lisa Ellis: Ethical and Social Aspects.

An Adobe PDF file of the PowerPoint presentation can be viewed here.

Anthropogenic global warming -
Climate change: the cause, the process and the effect.
This was the title of a lecture by Jeff Foley to an ESR meeting in Auckland in September 2017.  The commentary text and powerpoint slides are available online here.  The filename convention is:

   CcAgw                        Climate change – Anthropogenic global warming

   (P1C); (P2P); (P3E)    Part 1 Cause; Part 2 Process; Part 3 Effect.

   2017v10                      Version year and month (2017v10 is October 2017).

Information may be copied and re-used, but please acknowledge the source.

Tamaki Campus

Save the buildings and save the climate
  Save the climate and save the planet.
  The built environment is the main cause of climate change
 and offers the
easiest opportunities for necessary change.
  The only truly sustainable building is the one you do not build.
    The next most sustainable building is the one you do not demolish.
There is no point in recycling plastic bags and milk bottles
  if we are going to send our living buildings off to landfill.
More ...  (PDF  851kB)

Auckland's Transport System for a Fast-changing World

Ross Rutherford gave his personal perspective on the planning and development of Auckland’s transport system to better equip Auckland to be a successful 21st century world city.  He identified changes needed in current thinking, planning and funding to meet present and future challenges.  These include making better use of the existing transport network, and better preparing Auckland for a future where fossil fuels prices reflect carbon emissions and sustainability is once again a prime objective.   More (PDF 3.6 MB)

Restoration of Electric Power Supply to Faseu Village,
Morobe Province, Papua New Guinea

The Registered Trust “Friends of Faseu” seeks funding support for a rural electricity project in Papua New Guinea.  The project involves the repair and restoration of a small hydro electric plant and the associated electrical distribution system supplying community facilities at Faseu, a village in the mountains of the Huon Peninsula in the Morobe Province.  The system commenced operation in December 2005, but suffered major damage due to flood and landslip approximately two years later.   More  (PDF 265kB) ...

Energy vs. Climate - defining the problem
            From Steve Goldthorpe
(15 August 2013)

Steve Goldthorpe, Convener of The Sustainable Energy Forum Inc, spoke to the Auckland Branch of Engineers for Sustainability on 15 August.  He pays particular attention to methane emissions, particularly those arising from fracking.

 Here is the PDF file of his PowerPoint presentation.  Steve has included his Presenter notes which can be viewed by clicking on the pop-up icon where it appears in the top left corner of a slide, eg on Slide 1.

Goldthorpe ESR 130815.pdf  1.27 MB


Fronting up to our deteriorating world  From Dugald MacTavish  (14 November 2011)

A little group of us down in Otago were worried that we always seem to be fighting rear guard actions.  We wanted to propose something a bit more proactive and searching.  The result is this attached political Appeal for people to use at candidates’ meetings etc pre-election.  It is being developed further with the intention of using it as the basis
for a petition to parliament.

I also thought some ESR members might be interested.  If any one decides to use it then we would be pleased to know how it goes.  
More …

Contact Dugald MacTavish


Taming the Debt Monster  by John Peet  (12 November 2011)

Financial markets around the world are trying to adjust to the momentous stresses evident in the US and Europe. In NZ, economic forecasts don’t look particularly good.  Debt and interest payments will increase as a result of more borrowing, but the borrowing will allow economic growth and that is what we all want, isn’t it?

Will these policies work?  There are two sides to a response to that question.  Side A says economic growth is undermining the very ecological systems that not only support life on the planet but also are the foundation of the economy, and for that reason it is not sustainable.  Side B says
failure to grow the economy risks social and political instability. Both are probably correct.

This creates a dilemma.  More...

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