Minister of Finance
Did you see David Slack’s article this week? I would recommend it to you as he speaks metaphorically about you and your long (to be, retrospectively as it was) career as finance minister. It may seem unrealistic to extrapolate a continuous 25 year rein as Finance Minister in the context of New Zealand politics. But the metaphor is applicable in the sense that the surrealistic denial which is characteristic of our present time, within your Labour government’s time, is bringing us to a time of critical decision making now. Now! Now will determine whether there can be much of a future, much of a real (non-surreal) future politics in New Zealand and the world.
Slack’s reference to the $30B (yes, ‘B’) which your government has yet to commit shows you have at least a chance to make decisions which can put us in the right direction. Rod Oram has today mentioned three positive recent developments, not least of which is the closure of the Tiwai Aluminium smelter in the South. Other opportunities exist and are necessary, such as….
.Funding transport options which trash the total domination of the personal motor car.
.funding a local recycling capability (which, because everyone has to put out the trash and recycling every week -every week!- would bring home the importance of personal national responsibility).
.developing restorative agriculture which would eliminate dairy farming based on feed lots, and encourage plant based diets as well.
There will be others.
The Editor, The Listener, Auckland
25 September, 2019
Hello The Listener,
We have worldwide School Strike for Climate events and at the same time the advent of worldwide Elected Desperadoes distinguished as climate change deniers. Although their climate politics clashes, they together illustrate the intensity of this global moment in human history. Read the rest of this entry »
The Editor, The Sunday Star Times, Auckland
29 July, 2019
London Times columnist Hugo Rifkind (21/07) in his review of the new Netflix documentary, The Great Hack, struggles to understand how Cambridge Analytica (CA) managed to use billions of Facebook data items on Brits and Yanks to change the results of the Trump and Brexit elections. Read the rest of this entry »
The Editor, The Dom Post, Wellington
17 June, 2019
Bob Brockie’s article on claims of the threat of large animal extinction and apathy is short but unnecessarily shallow. He fails to discuss food chains. With hundreds of small plant and animal species disappearing around the globe that must pose a potential threat to the whole of creation, including humans, with an unknown tipping point, yet he seems to dismiss that threat by ignoring it. Continuing loss of habitat is more of a threat than Brockie’s improved technologies can compensate for. They might be appropriate in a zoo context, but conversely living on our planet will best be served by imitating natural systems.
This raises the question of what he is really trying to say about apathy in relation to extinction. Apathy is an old phenomenon but what is strikingly new about our time is the growth of denial. Denial of the severity of climate change has led us into our Post Truth Era. It is important to keep a sharp mind out for evidence of denial and distinguish that from apathy.