Gwynne Dyer – shame on you.

Gwynne Dyer is a good journalist. Good big-picture grasp of the humanities, politics, ramifications.

He has built a deserved reputation amongst the lesser levels of journalism, of usually being right.

I have read his book, and went to his lecture……but alarm bells were ringing at the Q&A session afterwards.

“I like who we are”, he said. Well, Mother Nature doesn’t give a rat’s bottom for our self-appreciation, and physics is unmoved by wishful thinking. Someone who understands physics (and exponential maths) should take him aside, explain some realities.

The piece they used in the ODT today, will just help the already-skewed grasp of the issue amongst journo’s. No doubt there will be some giggles round the smoko room at the ODT – Dene Mackenzie (he who omitted the ‘100/barrel’ comment from Bollard’s recent speech) Simon Cunliffe (who, if I read it right, peddles optimism with an ecumenical driver) and Murray (your letter received and the contents noted- not) Kirkness – a growth believer, I’m guessing.

It’s so frustrating – to try and get a message – a fairly easily understood message at that, and defensible as in PhD defense) – out through these people is impossible. If it’s not what they – and I include Dyer in ‘they’ – want to hear, it doesn’t surface. It’s been astounding.

Dyer includes a description of exponential growth in his spiel, actually ‘gets’ the cherry-picking, and the low-grade of what is left. Either he doesn’t know that without energy, there is no economic activity (money is dependent on fossil energy) or he does. If he does, he’ll know that beyond ‘peak cherry-picked energy’, growth – global average – can’t happen. Assuming he knows, he’s making the unpalatable palatable. For my part, I think that’s the wrong approach now. Maybe in the ’70’s and ’80’s, but too late now.

I think we should treat folk as adults, tell them the truth, and see if they rise to the occasion. This wee missive will only encourage Business as Usual. Perhaps understandable if there weren’t a chance of doing something, but there is. Even if there weren’t, it’s better to try. Better to attempt to address reality, than to avert your eyes and pretend it’s not happening.

My kids grew out of that before they went to school. Time Gwynne Dyer did too.

see his spiel at odtonline – opinions – Gwynne Dyer


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