The Big Q

Questions - Ideas - Scholarship - Debates

Project for Public Interest Media

How does COP27’s loss and damage deal really look to the Global South?

After two weeks of fractious discussions, at the very last minute COP27 came up with an agreement on ‘loss and damage’ – providing financial assistance to poorer nations who are already facing the catastrophic impacts of climate change. But how long will it take for these words to translate into actions?

COP27: Breakthrough? Or an inadequate response to the climate crisis?

For 30 years, developing nations have fought to establish an international fund to pay for the “loss and damage” they suffer as a result of climate change. As the COP27 climate summit in Egypt wrapped up over the weekend, they finally succeeded. While it’s a historic moment, the agreement of loss and damage financing left many details yet to be sorted out. What’s more, many critics have lamented the overall outcome of COP27, saying it falls well short of a sufficient response to the climate crisis.

What should New Zealand do to commit fully to tackling climate change?

We need to invest in clean technologies and circular economies to build a sustainable, diversified economy. And that will also lessen our dependence on carbon-emitting industries, say leading Auckland academics.

Politics & Society

What if China wins?

What if China wins?

A winning China would regain what the Qing Dynasty enjoyed three centuries ago: a central geo-political leadership role among its periphery of tributary states.

COP27: Breakthrough? Or an inadequate response to the climate crisis?

COP27: Breakthrough? Or an inadequate response to the climate crisis?

For 30 years, developing nations have fought to establish an international fund to pay for the “loss and damage” they suffer as a result of climate change. As the COP27 climate summit in Egypt wrapped up over the weekend, they finally succeeded. While it’s a historic moment, the agreement of loss and damage financing left many details yet to be sorted out. What’s more, many critics have lamented the overall outcome of COP27, saying it falls well short of a sufficient response to the climate crisis.

How does COP27’s loss and damage deal really look to the Global South?

How does COP27’s loss and damage deal really look to the Global South?

After two weeks of fractious discussions, at the very last minute COP27 came up with an agreement on ‘loss and damage’ – providing financial assistance to poorer nations who are already facing the catastrophic impacts of climate change. But how long will it take for these words to translate into actions?

Why do social ties matter to climate politics?

Why do social ties matter to climate politics?

Policy-makers frequently fail to communicate scientific knowledge about climate change effectively, with the result that targeted groups often reject potentially useful advice. Our research addressed New Zealand dairy farmers’ perceptions of climate conditions and their perceptions of climate science. Dairy farmer understandings of climate change matter: they are politically influential in the New Zealand context, and farming practice may either exacerbate or mitigate the challenges posed by climate change. Despite being in many ways at the frontline of climate change, New Zealand farmers demonstrate relatively low confidence in the policy-making and scientific agencies that support the agricultural sector. They are often reluctant to accept advice coming from official agencies.

Science & Technology

From farming to fermentation: Could New Zealand ‘brew up’ new foods to reduce agricultural emissions?

From farming to fermentation: Could New Zealand ‘brew up’ new foods to reduce agricultural emissions?

Addressing the problem of New Zealand’s agricultural emissions has mainly focused on technical fixes aimed at reducing methane and nitrous oxide produced by livestock and fertiliser and relying on voluntary agreements with the industry. But these measures may not result in substantial emissions reductions any time soon. Exploring alternatives to conventional farming is therefore timely and urgent. One such alternative with the potential to drastically reduce agricultural emissions – while at the same time helping restore ecological quality – is to use fermentation technology.

How can we address Covid anxiety?

How can we address Covid anxiety?

Listening to other people’s stories is a powerful way to unite people, and instead of belittling anxieties as illogical, addressing fears with understanding can help us design responses which enable all people to experience security in uncertain times, writes Dr Mary Breheny.

Business & Economics

Why do social ties matter to climate politics?

Why do social ties matter to climate politics?

Policy-makers frequently fail to communicate scientific knowledge about climate change effectively, with the result that targeted groups often reject potentially useful advice. Our research addressed New Zealand dairy farmers’ perceptions of climate conditions and their perceptions of climate science. Dairy farmer understandings of climate change matter: they are politically influential in the New Zealand context, and farming practice may either exacerbate or mitigate the challenges posed by climate change. Despite being in many ways at the frontline of climate change, New Zealand farmers demonstrate relatively low confidence in the policy-making and scientific agencies that support the agricultural sector. They are often reluctant to accept advice coming from official agencies.

From farming to fermentation: Could New Zealand ‘brew up’ new foods to reduce agricultural emissions?

From farming to fermentation: Could New Zealand ‘brew up’ new foods to reduce agricultural emissions?

Addressing the problem of New Zealand’s agricultural emissions has mainly focused on technical fixes aimed at reducing methane and nitrous oxide produced by livestock and fertiliser and relying on voluntary agreements with the industry. But these measures may not result in substantial emissions reductions any time soon. Exploring alternatives to conventional farming is therefore timely and urgent. One such alternative with the potential to drastically reduce agricultural emissions – while at the same time helping restore ecological quality – is to use fermentation technology.

Arts & Culture

The fall into the abyss

The fall into the abyss

In April 1909, two waves of massacres shook the province of Adana, located in the southern Anatolia region of modern-day Turkey, killing more than 20,000 Armenians and 2,000 Muslims.

Who are you calling a Nazi?

Who are you calling a Nazi?

While it is all too easy and comfortable to indulge in our Nazi fascination to demonise our enemies, maybe we should still the media chaos just for a moment and reflect. Who are you calling a Nazi? And why?