Our Common Good

New Zealand’s High Court on Friday dismissed a challenge launched by climate change sceptics against a government research agency’s finding that the temperature had risen in the past century.

The court backed the science that led the National Institute of Water and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) to conclude that New Zealand’s climate warmed almost one degree Celsius (1.8 degrees Fahrenheit) between 1909 and 2009.

New Zealand Climate Science Education Trust, a private body that rejects the argument that human activity has caused global warming, went to court alleging NIWA’s methodology was flawed and its findings were not peer reviewed.

Best part:

Venning ordered the trust to pay NIWA’s costs.

theseaflower:

sustainable-sam:

New Zealand Grants a River the Rights of Personhood

Reblogging this again because New Zealand just granted a river the rights of personhood people. 

theseaflower:

sustainable-sam:

New Zealand Grants a River the Rights of Personhood

Reblogging this again because New Zealand just granted a river the rights of personhood people. 

Weird….

The heartbroken wife of a politician who secretly acted as a sperm donor behind her back says he has left her to be with babies conceived with other women.

Speaking from her home in the United States, Kathy Johnson says her husband Bill has returned to live in New Zealand where he donated sperm to at least 10 women without her knowledge.

[…]

A candidate for the Republican nomination to be governor of the state in 2009, Mr Johnson campaigned on a political platform opposing gay marriage. A number of the women he donated to are in committed civil unions with gay partners.

Mrs Johnson said she had fought for five months to save her marriage but could not break her husband’s fixation on the babies he had biologically fathered.

christinealexandra:

It’s a sad story with a happy twist. Blue penguins in New Zealand have been soaked with oil after a container ship ran aground near the east coast of the country’s North Island earlier this month. New Zealand’s Environment Minister Nick Smith has described the oil spill as the nation’s “most significant maritime environmental disaster.” 

In their oil-soaked state, the birds shouldn’t preen themselves because their feathers are contaminated. They also need help staying warm before and after rescue workers do what they can to clean them up.

So Skeinz, a knitting shop in Napier, New Zealand, put out a call for knitters to make little sweaters for penguins in need. And boy, have knitters around the world responded. One blog post from the folks at Skeinz.com ran under the headline “It’s raining jumpers.”  Another ran with the headline “We have Critical Mass” — but Skeinz is still encouraging determined knitters to send their handiwork along to “keep stocks available for the Wildlife Rescue Team to draw from if required.”

Want to make an adorable sweater for a penguin in a pinch? You can find specifications — (for instance, they must be made of 100 percent wool yarn, and they must be just the right size) — as well as an address to send your creations, here.

millsandcontainers:

The ship, which has spilled hundreds of tons of oil off the New Zealand coast, has developed a serious structural crack.

millsandcontainers:

Authorities prepare for the worst environmental disaster in the country’s history after MV Rena runs aground on Bay of Plenty reef near port of Tauranga


Administrative Compensation for Medical Injuries: Lessons from Three Foreign Systems

By Michelle M. Mello, Allen Kachalia, and David M. Studdert
The Commonwealth Fund, July 2011

[…]

Our medical liability system is very expensive, highly inefficient, extremely adversarial thereby inflicting much emotional pain on all involved, and leaves most individuals with medical injury uncompensated. It is a very lousy system. This report describes far better systems in three other nations, providing very valuable lessons for the United States.

There are two important stumbling blocks if we were to decide to adopt a more rational liability system based on these models. First, these nations demonstrate greater social solidarity than the United States, such as having other social insurance programs (health care, disability, unemployment) obviating the need for for filing as many medical injury claims.