We need to respect deep cultural influences newly revealed in the Post Truth Era

The Editor,  The Weekender of the Dominion Post,  Wellington

02 April, 2019

Dear Editor:

Saturday Weekender’s (30/3) Insight article by Andrea Vance is only one of several in the media these days noticing that cultures old and new seem to be at the heart of the narrative of various groups defining ‘who they are’.

Vance casually makes fun of ‘Thor worship’ and points out dangers of it but that begs a deeper discussion of the dangers arisen from our own cultural heritage.

Culture has a big influence in the development of any individual though our ego sometimes hides it from us. (Note that my thesaurus says the antonym of the word ‘culture’ is ‘ignorance’.)

But in times of fundamental change like today, necessitated by climate change and the growing threat of nuclear weapons, unprecedented realizations arise naturally (with extraordinary discomfort!) from that which was hidden.

We should look at institutional manifestations of our cultural history that are dangerous. The media is concentrating now on the racist history of British colonialism.  But there are many manifestations and the most mainstream, hence perhaps the most insidious, is holding economic growth in GDP as the centre of our political and economic planning.  This kind of growth is killing the planet and reveals an international cult mentality much more dangerous than Thor worship.

Richard Keller



Denialism still at the forefront of climate thinking in NZ

The Editor,  The Dominion Post,  Wellington

21 March, 2019

Hello The Dom Post,

PM Ardern has said that climate change is NZ’s current equivalent ‘nuclear free’ issue and that future generations will judge today on that basis. Yet, as Mike Joy pointed out (20 March – lack of urgency) little is being done here in Aotearoa or around the western world. Read the rest of this entry »

Donald Trump’s ‘natural instinct for science’

The Editor,  The Herald,  Auckland

25 October, 2018

Dear Editor:

Responding to the latest IPCC upgrade of the need for action US President Trump has been quoted as saying that he has a ‘natural instinct for science’ in relation to climate change and asserts that scientists are too biased to be trusted.  Say, what? Read the rest of this entry »

“War to end all wars” or “Peace to end all peace”

Sent by post to DomPost, Wellington as part of ‘peace week’ in Wellington.  Also, Sunday Star Times.  Also posted onto St. Andrews on the Terrace website.

Read the rest of this entry »

Climate change denial expressed so well by Trump

The Editor,  The Listener,  Auckland

25 October, 2018

Dear Editor:

It’s easy from the perspective of this country to complain about the fierce denial mentality of Donald Trump on climate change. Read the rest of this entry »

Shock of climate change reality produces denial widely

The Editor,  The Dom Post,  Wellington

13 October, 2018

Dear Editor:

In his rambling diatribe against the apparent racism of NZ First’s so-called ‘Respecting New Zealand Values’ bill, Joel Maxwell (8/10 Dom Post) suggests that people are born racists and must try very hard, and sometimes be lucky as well, to overcome that natural tendency.  Read the rest of this entry »

Why do people who are ‘the people’ appear duped by Trump?

The Editor,  The Progressive Magazine,  Madison, Wisconsin,  USA

July 8, 2018

Hello The Progressive,

Jim Hightower (Apr/May Vox Populist) addresses the provocative, yet inappropriate and lazy, term “populist” when it is used to describe the “angry spasm of discontent” supposedly fueling the Trump politics. Hightower captures the real meaning in the phrase “everybody does better when everybody does better”. Read the rest of this entry »