There is no ‘generation’ war

The Editor,  The Sunday Star Times,  Auckland

18 March, 2017

Dear Editor:

Nadine Chalmers-Ross (12 March) says she wants to sort out differences between ‘boomer’ and ‘millennial’ generations, then rips along with the shallow clichés used by those who want to make this a generational war. Is this provocation or ignorance?  Read the rest of this entry »

Response to Ian Apperley on Scoop

Hi Chris:
Glad to see you keep the subject of light rail in the public discussion.  But Ian didn’t say anything about light rail only about flying cars.  Do you think Ian was primarily trying to open a useful discussion about transport (the most important issue facing Wellington), or did Ian have some other priority?

Response to Brian Easton on Pundit on psychology of rationality

Where we need to step up here is to recognize that it is not only psychology (of the individual) at play, but also the sociology of existing within a culture.  Today that is probably more noticeable than usual as we are experiencing fundamental change and fast change to our way of life to an unprecedented degree.  Those kind of things are experienced more at the culture level than the individual.  People, rich and poor, are terrified of the changes mooted by climate change; changes that will effect everyone.  This does not reflect a change “in the way we think.”

Responds to Brian Easton’s Pundit article on Age of Superannuation

Why do we have two plans now, NatSuper and KiwiSaver?  National Super comes out of the general budget, relying on a successful national tax take, and thus establishes itself as an entitlement for all New Zealanders.  KiwiSaver is a threat to that concept in that it is funded by variable earnings from investments.  The fundamental reality of that is to establish a culture of winners and losers.

Since the winners/losers mentality is so fashionable today, in contrast to the need to think cooperatively in a full planet, we can expect it to be pushed with ideological zeal forcing Nat Super to the edge.

‘Globalization’ is a misused term.

16 February, 2017

The Editor,  The Listener,,  Auckland

Dear Editor:

The term ‘globalization’ has been a misused, even cynically used, term since the Sixties when it was proposed as a move away from ‘nationalism’ (read ‘colonialism’) which had produced two world wars in the first half of the 20th century.  Read the rest of this entry »

Gordon Campbell is right about the dairy industry

The Editor,  The Wellingtonian,  Wellington

09 March, 2017

Dear Editor:

It may seem unkind for Gordon Campbell to use the derogatory term ‘genuflecting’ to describe the government’s upholding of the dairy industry’s views on water quality and swimable rivers (“genuflecting upon the export returns from our daily exporters”, March 2, Wellingtonian). But no, rather it is an appropriate term when understood in the broader cultural influences on policy. Read the rest of this entry »

Response to Kathryn Ryan re climate change education/action

A few years back the public in USA was making progress on accepting the reality of climate change.  Then the discussion went further clarifying the deep changes required to work toward a sustainable future and the public acceptance of the reality of climate change went down (down!).
Your guest seems to have missed that.  Better communications is not the answer to dealing with public acceptance of the reality of climate change, though good in its own right.  Our understanding of what is the source of inaction on climate change needs to deepen before we will know what to do about it.
Richard Keller