The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
Friday's Chorus: Penny wise and pound foolish

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Friday's Chorus: Penny wise and pound foolish

Vic Uni cuts geophysics, geographic data science & geography courses to save $22m & repay debt, while Govt, councils, financiers & regulators can't find skilled staff for 2023's $18b climate task
Photo: Lynn Grieveson / The Kākā

TL;DR: In the middle of a climate emergency and in a city prone to earthquakes, Victoria University of Wellington announced yesterday it would stop teaching geophysics, geographic information science and physical geography to save $22 million a year and repay debt.

Climate change damage in Aotearoa this year is already estimated at up to $18 billion and we’re still in September. Employers say they can’t find enough staff with the right skills to assess, plan, fund and repair climate change and quake damage. So ending education on earth sciences in the city where most of that work is done seems counter-productive at best.

News elsewhere this morning:

  • A state of emergency was declared in storm-hit Southland overnight, firefighters are battling blazes in the Mackenzie District and the temperature in Wairoa hit an all-time record-high of 28.8 degrees celcius yesterday, which are the sort of extreme and damaging climate events that scientists have said are made more frequent and destructive because of fossil fuel burning;

  • National plans to release its fiscal plans less than a week before voting starts, although it has said it will over $3 billion of climate emergency response money for tax cuts and has pledged money-saving cuts thousands of jobs in the likes of MBIE, MfE, Treasury, MPI, MSD, Health and Education, where climate crisis plans and responses are currently being planned and delivered;

  • Russia, the world’s second-largest exporter of diesel and shipping fuel oil, banned diesel exports overnight because of shortages and high prices at home, which threatens to send another pulse of inflation through the global economy; and,

  • Rupert Murdoch has handed over his top jobs at News Corp and Fox to son Lachlan, but says he is ‘robust health’ and will still ‘stay involved in the contest of ideas,’ in which News and Fox have contested climate change science and the risks economy-slowing and socially-divisive widening of income and wealth inequality are things worth addressing.

‘Let’s stop teaching earth science to save $$$ & repay debt’

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The Kākā by Bernard Hickey
The latest daily snapshot of the news, detail, insight and analysis on geo-politics, the global economy, business, markets and the local political economy for citizens and decision-makers of Aotearoa-NZ.