NZ Media – missing the main event

A farcical little episode yesterday, in my chosen sport, made me do a bit of thinking abut ‘big pictures’, and why people don’t get them. In that instance, a little group failed to stand back and work out why they are there – or should be there.

The same shortness of cranial application shows up in our reporters, all the time. Take the Bill English renting episode. So what if he pocketed a few grand? I was at a lecture at the same time, which addressed the fact that our planet can support 2 billion people sustainably (but not at our current level) and perhaps 1 billion at our level. There are currently 7 billion here, twice what there were when I was born. Obviously, we should be looking at reducing our population voluntarily, before Mother Nature does it for us – via pandemic, starvation, or war over resources. In that light, the big story should have been that Bill English has 6 kids, a trebling for sure, but in the wrong direction. Follow his example, and the world is demonstrably in the shit withing less than one generation.

A side investigation would be the  – obviously flawed – religious creed he follows, but the real story is that we have a Finance Minister who clearly doesn’t understand numbers (and their consequences) even at a personal level. The good investigation should include whether he is merely misguided, or just a straight-out nutter.

Either way, the philosophy is flawed- provably so – and shouldn’t be anywhere near our top decision-making tables.

Then there was the storm off Newcastle, Australia, a couple of years ago. One vessel washes onto the beach – shock/horror headlines. In passing, they mention that there were 58 ships anchored there, waiting their turn to carry coal to China. One ship in 59 dragging an anchor is merely a statistic. 59 ships waiting to load coal for China is a conveyor belt. That was the real story. Either from the climate change angle, or from the energy angle. Ten years ago, the Australian Minister for Energy stated that there was “coal for 300 years at present rates of usage”. If you work back from current rates of usage, plot the exponential graph that picks up his time and volume, and you get 40 years left, and falling. Exponentially increasing use of a finite resource does that – shortens exponentially as you use it faster. 40 years supply, and dwindling, with or without the climate-change angle, was the real story. Missed completely.

Same with Chin defending his Stadium decision. My 2007 submission to the Annual Plan, absolutely pointed out that the Stadium was  a wrong’un, not because of what it was, or where it was, or what sports could use it – merely because we needed to be throwing our resources at sustainability, before we don’t have the wherewithall to do so. It was sent to several high-up folk at the ODT. Never saw the light of day. The real issue isn’t parking, the Stadium, or even personal, the real issue is the bigger picture, and clearly the media don’t get it.

Spleen vented. Time to enjoy a pleasant Sunday – making new bulkheads (as in, it never had any) for the Paper Tiger, a beach-walk with Jen and the dog, some firewooding, and maybe a bit in the garden. Tally ho


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