Lloyd Geering Finlay Macdonald RNZ interview

I remember the discussions at home, about Lloyd Geering. Us being Presbys at the time, Mum seriously so, Dad going through the motions, but a Deacon, leader of the Boys Brigade, part of the Mens Club……

Dad had already arrived at the place Geering had just gotten to – not surprising, Dad’s intellect in those days was well into Mensa territory. He and I had discussed this, and it was instrumental in me not getting ‘confirmed’ at Bible Class. Simply, we agreed with Geering that there was a probable historical character, entirely human, who dropped some wise sayings into the cauldron of his times.

So what? George Bernard Shaw, Mark Twain, Alvin Toffer, Ghandi, – the list of those who would pontify is long. History shows up the ones who pontified correctly, of course…..

When society morphs, cases such as the Geering one are part of the upheaval, as was Kent State, and my boss compaining that my hair was too long. The folk I admire, are the ones who see clearly, with long vision, and hold fast. Kenneth Deffeyes, M.King Hubbert, and their kind, often ridiculed, never taking their eyes off the ball.

What was special for me, in the Macdonald interview, wasn’t so much the Geering intellect (hasn’t lost much, eh?) but the comparison with Finlay. Geering gets the fact – has obviously long gotten the fact – that if we can’t duck-shove responsibility onto some mythical deity, then we have to shoulder it ourselves.

In life, this process is called ‘growing’ up. Another word for which is ‘maturing’.

What I heard, was an immature society, represented by the interviewer, asking questions of a mature thinker. Maybe Finlay was cleverly drawing his subject out. Maybe.

I don’t think so. I see Macdonald as I see David Cunliffe, David Parker, as a kind of ‘intellectual left’. That they link with folk like Curran is a historical accident coming from the dark satanic mills via Kurow. (Two generations back, my Gdad was part of that crowd, Granny was a friend of ‘Nordy’ till she died).

What Geering said, when he stated that the Green movement was the new religion, was essentially that we are having to take responsibility for ourselves, and our actions.

Macdonald to me, doesn’t do/get that. He compartmentalises ‘the environment’, as if it is just another equally-weighted sound-byte. Just another topic. On to the next.

What Geering was saying, is way beyond that. He is pointing out that the responsibility for handing on the planet, is in our hands. That doesn’t sit with a western consumption lifestyle – left or right. Those concepts are from a bygone era, where the poor and the rich fought over the cake. Now, we have to nurture the cake itself. No point in having a share of something doomed.

Which is the continued media failure – they continually go ‘from the left and from the right’, constantly have a Macdonalfd up against a Laws, and think themselves balanced. 97% of scientists think we are driving Climate Change, 3% presumably don’t. The media set up a he said/she said, and think they’re being ‘balanced’. They’re not, what they’re saying is that this is a 50/50 debate. That, media, is a lie. Interestingly, suggest something like that to them, and they react like cornered kittens……

In a way, of course, we have to be thankful that we get to hear Geering at all, and of course it is via the media. My question, is whether Finlay understood what Lloyd was saying. Understood that he (Finlay) is continuing to degrade a planet held in trust for our grandchildren and great grandchildren, as Geering put it.

I doubt it. If you grasp that point, you concentrate of the sinking, not the ownership of the deckchairs. Geering was pointing out the bigger picture. A big intellect, a brave man, good citizen. We’d be the poorer without him, we are poorer with a media who seem unable to listen to him, or to understand what he is saying.


One Response

  1. Hullo Murrayg1. I was tuned into RAdio National that evening while driving and took in some of the discussion; I was impressed by Sir LG especially in his understanding of Dawkins’ agenda and Lovelock’s views. I need to find out more of the LG philosophy – where should I start?

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