Afternoons – my Panel critique

Yesterday, I pulled off to the side of the road, and bunged off a grumpy text to Jim Mora, during a Panel discussion.  This is my follow-up email. Hopefully it’s self-explanatory:

Jim – I thought your Panel discussion yesterday (particularly about the ETS) was deficient.

Firstly – and as usual – your personal bias showed through clearly – as it has ever since your denigration of Gore’s travel and living habits, a long time ago.

Secondly, your choice of Muriel Newman as the ring-in. If you’re going to choose folk like her, you have to choose equal numbers of antidote. To fail to do so, is for your programme to exhibit the bias you do. (I appreciate you have a problem there, our society is skewed a long way from addressing reality at the moment, so your pool is inevitably skewed too).

Joanne Black, for instance, once opined “I think that the problem is that we’ve got too many people – too much population”. Well, Joanne, flip-side if you please. What is too many people, if not too few resources? What other quantification ot ‘too’ is there?
Then follow it through, Joanne. If wealth (growth, GDP, ‘the economy’, call it what you will) needs to be underwritten by extraction of those resources? We’ve already established there aren’t enough, but wait, there’s more.
If banks charge interest on every go-round (the initial loan comes back when spent and is essentially neutral, unless linked to pounds-of-flesh/resources) then every go-round has to be bigger, to repay the interest.
Clearly that had to hit the wall in a finite system.
Clearly, the Achilles heel was goint to be the PEAK RATE OF SUPPLY OF ENERGY. (not, note, the end of supply, but the point at which exponentially-increasing demand cound no longer be matched).
Meaning that, on average, all ‘investment’ from here on in, has to return a declining average.
Yes, you can like energy straight-line to wealth. (I have a graph from 1975, when I firsh started thinking of such things).
Meaning the end of the fiscal system you did up your house under, Joanne. Did you take out a mortgage for it I wonder? Without investigating whether there was energy-supply time to repay it?

Newman is a paid tout for that process which concentrates an ever-greater percentage of the (finite, remember) available and potential ‘wealth’, in fewer and fewer hands. Given the point we are now at re limits, it was entirely predictable that we would see this lobby carving into ‘the commons’ (DoC mining, grazing, ECAN water, aquaculture space and energy (all food-chains are an energy transfer – if a cheetah expends more chasing a rabbit that the rabbit contains, the cheetah dies) , the move to limit/own public service, etc etc.
Their presence is actually an indication that the limits to growth are here, or approaching.
(also entirely predictable – the carve-up is into a finite-and-dwindling stock, so cannot sate an exponential demand).

When a lobbyist repeats ‘serious’, you ought to get her to defend her comments. It’s a failure from the Chair, to reinforce them.

Your failure to introduce her as what she is, is mirrored by Kathryn Ryan. She consistently uses Matthew Hooten as a yin/yang panellist. He is actually a Newman-like tout, and for the mining industry at that. Worse, Brownlee junior works for him! (Talk about looking to a post-Parliamentary future). She doesn’t announce him for what he is. She’s been told too……

I sum it all up as ‘Ponsonby denial’, entirely legitimate individually (we can all hold opinions, falsely-based or not, as individuals) but not for the media.
You lot are charged with examining and exposing truths.
No more, no less.

You all aspire to mansions and easy living, all consume, and all seem comfortable in borrowing (and it ain’t from the past that we borrow, is it?) from the future, to do so. And baulk at addressing the ramifications head-on.

That’s an insult to your kids, those of your peers, and mine.

Denial (and examining obesity/smoking/RWC/investment/anything micro, without the overarch is denial, or at the very least obfuscation/skew) would only be a legitimate approach from the media, if there were no hope – a meteor arriving tomorrow, for instance.
In this case, there is a legitimate approach, although we are probably fatally late in activating it.

Hackneyed spin/skew aside, it is called ‘Sustainability’. Some of us are a long way down the track, should you lot ever let the debate happen. (google: ODT Murray Grimwood Jennie Upton).

There is a historical prescedent to this media-dropping-the-ball thing: Douglas Reed’s ‘Insanity Fair (Jonathan Cape, 1938). It has a lot of lessons – worth every scribe reading twice.

It sums up in a comment you once emailed me. “You can’t know that”.
Only, Jim, if people in your position don’t tell me.
And people like me expect you to tell us the truth – even if it’s inconvenient.

Murray Grimwood
(alias Powerdownkiwi).

ps:    when IQ’s were in vogue, mine ran 142. It’ isn’t that, but it’s adequate. I can ‘know that’, and I’ve spent more than three decades learning ‘that’.


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