James Rus­sell

El­e­ment ed­i­tor

Element - - News -

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.

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