Dr James Hansen – his speech / my critique.

We went along to Jim Hansen’s talk last night – along with 1000 Dunedinites. I guess we expected to learn something. We were disappointed. This is a nice man, a good human being, and I’m sure he’s a great, conscientious scientist.

What he isn’t, is a good speaker. Nor was the power-point up to the game. Sure, it contained the data. Sure, it was simple, and easy to ‘get’. Sure, he got his message across, but only because he had an audience of those who understand. In a hostile environment, he’d have trouble. Maybe I’m wrong, maybe there’s steel behind the smile.

His message strayed into my realm – energy/growth/limits, and (while I understand the need to ‘sugar coat the pill) I dropped it at that point. Dollars on carbon won’t work, because the real cost would stop the very interaction that keeps the dollars going. It’s a parachute/bootstraps scenario. I also don’t think you keep BAU going on renewable energy, although I 100% agree that they are the way to go.I just don’t think BAU is.

We came away thinking that there were 10 people – at least – in Dunedin, capable of doing that talk better (Janni Stephenson, and Jeanette Fitzsimmons both did so, effortlessly, when winding it up). That if that is what the Legislature listened to, then it’s understandable that not much has happened. That he’s right when he says ” no Winston Churchill has appeared”.  The problem is of course, that Churchill wouldn’t have survived the modern media.

And to be honest, Al Gore did as well as one person could – and the continued Jim Mora comments tell you how the don’t-want-to-know brigade reacted to him.

The only hope now – hope? – is that the fiscal system collapses, due to lack of growth-underwriting, before the damage gets too much bigger.The probability is that they would just try again, though. And again.

Sad, that we should be reduced to that. So much for intelligence……


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