My inbox can always be relied upon for a good dose of surrealism. Out toasting the Herald’s 150 years in business last Wednesday week, I missed the 3 News bulletin. So when an email popped up alerting me to that day’s public denial of human-induced climate change by Ministers Brownlee and English, I sought out the clip.
There they were, walking out of the house one by one into the same question: “Do you believe in humaninduced climate change?’ Brownlee labelled it an “interesting prospect” and English called it ‘extreme’. Then Climate Change Minister Tim Groser ambled out and made them look like right muppets when he answered: “Absolutely – I think the evidence for this is overwhelming.”
On Twitter, @Xeronema was the wittiest: “Gerry Brownlee and Bill English, co-ministers of cognitive dissonance.”
But back to my inbox. Not two minutes later – bing! – another one arrives – this time an invitation to one of the so-called ‘Auckland Conversations’ featuring Professor Sir Peter Gluckman, chief science advisor to the Prime Minister, who is to speak on anthropogenic climate change and its likely effects on New Zealand (December 12, Aotea Centre, Auckland).
The press release said policy makers can find climate change ‘difficult to navigate’. An exercise in understatement.