Here’s a conundrum: is New Zealand even more bonkers about climate change than the South Australia or Melbourne University? I fact-checked the question at cruise-ship ports while on a recent voyage about the Shaky Isles.
New Zealand runs 27 million sheep and six million dairy cows. Perversely, the curators at Wellington’s Te Papa, the country’s national museum, are urging kids to go without meat and/or dairy products three days a week, and to sit in the dark one night a week. In these ways the kids will halt the rising seas of global scorching in 2100.
I arrived at Te Papa at the end of my cruise: my odyssey started at Dunedin’s Public Art Gallery. The nonsense there and at Wellington’s City Gallery was a warm-up for Te Papa’s revelations.
Dunedin’s gallery has been taken over by creatures from the queer-green-Left-Scot push. I had imagined Scot males to be hardy and hairy-legged. However, I’d just missed a Dunedin lecture imported from a Massey University conference, which in turn drew on works from the National Galleries of Scotland. This conference was titled: “Millennium Masculinities: Queers, Pimp Daddies and Lumbersexuals”.
For me, Lumbersexuals are OK – to quote the famous Monty Python sketch,
I cut down trees. I wear high heels,
Suspenders, and a bra.
I wish I’d been a girlie,
Just like my dear Papa.
But sophisticate that I am, Scottish “pimp daddies” threw me. Even my adult daughters looked blank. Dr Google came to my assistance, but be warned: the search engine’s revelation isn’t safe to be clicked on at work.
Nearby was a painting of a scrawny polar bear family done around 1900 by Arthur Wardle (1864-1942), who at 16 began exhibiting at the Royal Academy. He called his polar bear diorama “Where the Ice King Reigns” (the bears were actually reigning over a concrete pen at the London Zoo).
For know-nothing curators, any mention of polar bears inspires captioned rants about climate change, and the Dunedin Gallery experts were in like Flynn:
The polar bear once was the Ice King and the arctic was where he reigned. Now with dwindling food resources and decreasing land area the icy empire of the polar bear is beginning to crumble.
Fact check: Polar bear numbers appear to have quadrupled to 40,000 since the 1960s. Arctic sea ice minima have been stable for the past decade. “Dwindling food resources” my foot.
Our visit to Wellington’s city gallery was a mistake and we fled after 20 minutes. We first met a sculpture set by Michael Parekowhai. It shows a life-size NASA moon astronaut confronting a tiny Maori security guard about 20cm tall. The caption says the NASA patch is “advertising America’s colonisation of the Moon”. The astronaut wears another patch called a Rangatiratanga (Maori sovereignty) “protesting the colonisation of New Zealand”. US villainy must be afoot. Maybe President Trump is inside the astronaut suit. Maybe bacteria on the moon are demanding a self-government treaty?
I’ve been cataloguing the climate follies of Wellington’s Te Papa for a decade without effect. In 2011 I complained about Te Papa’s use of Michael Mann’s flawed 1998 “hockey stick” reconstruction of the past 1000 years temperature. Curator Dr Hamish Campbell replied, “You are perfectly correct: Mann’s ‘hockey stick’ has indeed been substantively discredited.” He hoped to see that exhibit “revisited” within weeks but obviously got shot down by his bosses as the exhibit hung around for years.
If there were snakes in NZ, Te Papa today would be selling their oil. “Innovation nation: The future is green” fibs one display. “Imagine a city like this in 2050,” the caption to a mural of halcyon perfection instructs, “clean, liveable and powered by zero-carbon technology. New Zealand researchers are helping turn sci-fi into sci-fact.”
NZ research, the visitor learns, will fix global warming via
bendy solar film powering everything from smartphones and e-bikes to entire apartment blocks. This film can free us from carbon-based power – and transform life in developing countries. One day it’ll be recyclable too.
NZ-designed “carbon towers” will dispose of aerial CO2, apparently as fast as China and India pump out the CO2 from their coal-and-hell-fired power stations. Te Papa:
See the huge solar-powered towers in the image? They suck carbon dioxide from the air. That CO2 gas – a key cause of climate change – is reused as green energy. What’s inside? The towers are full of sugar-sized crystals. Look solid? They’re actually full of holes, ideal for catching gas…More surface area – more captured CO2.
Wow, how do I invest in this gas-catching breakthrough?
The exhibit shows NZ’s 11 square kilometre territory of Tokelau out in the Pacific, with population of 1350, and says it’s a CO2-free model for the world. Tokelau is
a tiny New Zealand territory confronting climate change head-on…In combating climate change, indigenous views are vital [and very woke these days]. Tokelau is the first nation in the world to run almost entirely on renewable energy … If they can make the change, why can’t we?
Maybe because we’re bigger than Tokelau (pop. 1350) and they don’t need to run trams?
Low-lying Pacific atolls like Tuvalu and Kiribati are growing not drowning, as Russell Skelton’s ABC-RMIT Fact Check bravely but belatedly acknowledged a year ago. That detail has escaped Te Papa’s experts. Instead, they lay it on thick, showing Tokelau people neck-deep in seawater under a label, “Facing climate change head on – Float and hope?”
For some of the Tokelau displays, the word ‘idiotic’ is too mild. “React? Should we battle short-term to cool off and keep the rising waters at bay?” Underneath, curators exhibit a Tokelau fan and a canoe bailer.
The most stirring panel from “Tokelau warriors” reads, “We are not drowning, we are fighting”. This “not drowning but fighting” slogan is a hoary meme cooked up by Greenpeace and trumpeted in 2014 when some islanders did a canoe publicity stunt off Newcastle. The Tokelau show leads to Te Papa’s brave new Kiwi world:
Heat, storms and sea-level rise … Aue! [Mauri for ‘Yikes!’]. Time to kick the doom and gloom and take action. Aotearoa NZ can lead the way to a carbon-zero future.
The mural shows this carbon-free elysium. Kids are told to “raise your hand near the wall to take action”. I raised my hand and a mob of dairy cows shrank to three, under the slogan “Less dairy”. I raised my hand again and a black and white cow did a visible fart, under the heading, “Low gas cows”. I guess it’s hard to depict a cow not doing a fart.
Using e-booths alongside, credulous kids were literally signing e-pledges to “create a carbon-zero NZ” by ticking approved actions. When they ticked enough of them, their pledge flew up to nest on a Tree of Virtue. Here’s some jobs to do, little Kiwi kids:
# Have a light-free night a week (I’m not making that up)
# “Go meat-free three days a week (ditto)
# Go dairy-free three days a week” (ditto)
# Lobby the government for solar panel subsidies (ditto)
# Explore solar water heating for your home (using the advanced cost-benefit algorithms found in every Kiwi kid’s bedroom?)
# Save for solar panels at home
# Use smart plugs to control lights at home
# Use recycled wood for building and renovation (The wharves at Napier and Tauranga are stacked four metres high with export logs, much as our own coal ports are exporting full-on.)
# Buy second-hand goods
# Give away unwanted stuff (to whom?), and
# Plant a tree each year to offset emissions (as if).
When kids have ticked enough of these stupid boxes, they’re conned: “Ka rawe – success! You’ve made a carbon-zero future.”
A different set of panels is headed, “Climate change at your place – most likely effects by region.” These show NZ districts sprinkled with salutary warmist warnings. An icon with a rat’s face indicates where global warming will bring pests (with a hint of bubonic plague). There’s one nasty rat-icon site in the north and two in the south. Maybe the curator threw darts at the map. At a ski resort: “Forget skiing – I’m taking up rock climbing!” Down south, “Better start saving for a water tank. Drought’s the new normal, mate.” Inland spots show “More rain and flooding”. Glaciers melt away. Cyclones whirl. Towns dry up. One thing’s for sure: climate models are crap at regional forecasting even for swathes like SE Australia, let alone micro-towns of NZ.
In its climate show, Te Papa’s sole concession to science, as distinct from brainwashing, is two long-term graphs of CO2 vs temps, sourced to Jean Jouzel, Michael Mann’s 2008 hockey-stick and twice-arrested alarmist James Hansen.[i] The Mann graph purports to disappear the Southern Hemisphere medieval warming – barely 0.2degC above trend vs the 0.8decC rise in the past 100 years. Te Papa’s curators haven’t caught up with the hundreds of studies showing strong and synchronised Medieval warming below the equator on all four continents.[ii]
The above-cited Jean Jouzel is a fine IPCC scientist, I have no doubt. It’s just that five years back, I wrote about him in this way:
A top scientist of the IPCC, Dr Jean Jouzel, is lauding a comic publication which has the heroine gunning down three Santa Clauses in a supermarket with a military assault rifle. The realistically-drawn massacre in Climate Changed by Philippe Squarzoni (Abrams, New York 2014) is meant to symbolise the need to reduce consumerism and CO2 emissions… She opens fire and the Santas scream in death agonies as bullets rip into their bodies, with blood spattering. She continues firing as they start collapsing to the ground, while a stream of ejected shellcases tumble in the foreground and Cokes and Christmas parcels fly in the air. One Santa lifts his right hand as if to shield himself. Their suits are riddled with bullets and gore continues to spout. The bland caption for this bloody mayhem reads: “On the demand side, it’s up to individuals, households, and local communities to evaluate their own needs themselves, with an eye to conservation.”
If Te Papa showcases NZ science, I have concerns. I hope Te Papa merely showcases NZ “climate science” – a mangier mongrel altogether.
Tony Thomas’s hilarious history, The West: An insider’s tale – A romping reporter in Perth’s innocent ’60s is available from Boffins Books, Perth, the Royal WA Historical Society (Nedlands) and online here
[i] Even Hansen rejects the current warming hysteria. He wrote last September: “It’s time for Bernie Sanders to retire. He truly doesn’t get it. India and China have no prayer of phasing out coal without the help of nuclear power. We burned much of their share of the global carbon budget, and yet we refused to help them with modern nuclear power. Thousands of people PER DAY are dying in India from the pollution…. Not only is he killing people in India, he is screwing my grandchildren.”
[ii] For alarmists to maintain their narrative, Medieval Warming has to be characterised as a local and unimportant northern event. The Australian Academy of Science, for example, made that dud claim in its 2010 Climate Change primer and has never corrected or updated it: “Records are sparse in the Southern Hemisphere, but those available indicate little or no correlation with warming in the Northern Hemisphere during the Medieval Warm Period.”