THE GREEN PLANET BLOG - Our World and Environment...

All about conservation, ecology, the environment, climate change, global warming, earth- watch, and new technologies etc.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Wellington City Mayor tests battery electric green bicycle...

Celia Wade-Brown, who last year famously peddled to Wellington Airport to welcome the US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, gave a new battery-powered bicycle a test run around the capital.

She tried out two eZee electric bikes, riding from Island Bay to Oriental Parade.

Wade-Brown said the extra zip in the front wheel would take ten minutes off her commute to the council chambers. It would also have a cosmetic bonus.

 "I usually aim to arrive not red in the face and sweating, but if I was going up some of the hills like Khandallah, this would enable me to arrive looking more mayoral and less sweaty," she said.

Electric Bike Hub director Jace Hobbs, who has been importing the bikes to New Zealand, said electric bikes could go up to 30km per hour.

It comes with a lithium battery which can be recharged by plugging in to the wall and cost between $2300 and $3650 depending on the model, including delivery and GST.

Wade-Brown said riding the electric green bike was "not cheating", but "helping" cyclists face uphill roads and strong winds.

"You'll be peddling at the same level intensity and just go faster. No need to use it downhill.

 "It will make it more accessible for more people of all ages," she said.

Wade-Brown was not planning on treating herself to an eZee, though she was keen to upgrade by getting a battery installed on her bike for $1790.

The bikes were also available at The Bikes Hutt in Upper Hutt.



Blogging along with Pete

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Sunday, September 11, 2011

On the edge of extinction - New Zealand's Archey's frog...

The world’s most important frog lives here in New Zealand. In fact it is not only the most important frog but the most important amphibian in the world.  It is critically endangered with its population in decline. It is beautiful, and more ancient than the Atlantic ocean. It, like many human kiwis, is the quiet type and has amazing patterns on its skin. It is also a great father.

Archey’s Frog is found on the Coromandel Peninsula and near Te Kuiti and it is ranked no. 1 on the EDGE list for amphibians.  Scientists have brought the world a unique scoring system; the world’s mammals and amphibians are scored according to how Evolutionarily Distinct and Globally Endangered (EDGE) they are.
Interestingly, Maori do not appear to have a special name for the different frog species – they are all called ‘pepeke’ (or some variant of that). The frogs here are very small and probably did not elicit much attention.

To give you a comparison with how critically endangered and unique Archey’s frog is, lets compare it to the New Zealand greater short-tailed bat (Mystacina robusta), which is number 4 on the mammal list and is thought to be extinct.

There are no other mammals listed from NZ (not even Maui’s dolphins appear on the list). Blue whales are listed at 74 on the scale. I guess it is because the Maui’s dolphin is not that evolutionarily distinct – but we should not take any less care of them for that matter.

So why isn’t this very beautiful frog one of our iconic species? Well I think it is because it isn’t a CMF – a Charismatic Mega Fauna like a lion, a dolphin or a kiwi. We shouldn’t evaluate how valuable an animal is by how beautiful or ugly it is. But we cannot really help doing that – we are humans and our brains are hard-wired for beauty. But is should be one of our iconic species it is hard enough being green whilst also being small!

New Zealand frogs are quite distinct from all the other frogs in the world and very ancient.



Frog's blog

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