Maureen Pugh’s manmade climate change denial denial was itself manmade – and the man who made it was BlueChris. James Elliott recaps a heady week of 180s.
Friday – phew! We made it! Some people thought we were going to reach the end of the world before we reached the end of this week. They were expecting storm clouds to be followed by clouds of locusts and whatever else is supposed to signal the end of days, like say Elton John announcing yet another farewell tour.
I myself thought that the world was ending at 6.40am on Wednesday morning. That was when my alarm went off, precisely five minutes after the forecast sunrise. Only I opened the curtains to complete and utter darkness. As Kate Hawkesby would have said, “Where are you, sun?” Where indeed? Is the sun allowed to be fashionably late? Or was I becoming a sun sceptic? Was the apocalypse underway and if so how should I dress for it? As it turned out, it was none of these things, just an overcast morning.
The clouds soon parted and the sun was where it was supposed to be. It transpires that there are some forecasts you can definitely trust, like those for the sunrise and the sunset. And, you can definitely trust a forecast that a cyclone is going to hit when all the weather forecast services you can look at tell you that a cyclone’s going to hit, post maps with an image of a large cyclone that’s going to hit, and even show you live tracking of a cyclone that’s definitely going to hit.
Simon O’Connor is no longer hosting ‘Jesus for NZ’ at Parliament for the same reason he won’t be hosting a canapés, petrol and matches event for ‘Arsonists for Auckland’.
I think my fears of a midweek apocalypse were heightened by publicity for the unfortunately named ‘Winds of Change’ event that Team Blue’s Simon O’Connor was going to host for ‘Jesus for NZ’ at Parliament next week. Was going to host, is no longer going to host, maybe, possibly, perhaps because it wouldn’t be a great look to host a group at Parliament who had this to say about that same Parliament:
“Our Parliament has indeed been desecrated and the foul stench of dismissive arrogance from those responsible has reached the highest heaven … Their days are numbered!”
So, Simon O’Connor is no longer hosting ‘Jesus for NZ’ at Parliament for the same reason he won’t be hosting a canapés, petrol and matches event for ‘Arsonists for Auckland’.
Even BlueChris was forced to comment on what should have been more accurately called the ‘Jesus for NZ, except for some Parliamentarians’ event. He said, “I believe strongly in the separation of church and state”, answering a question that no one was actually asking, but good to know. That was Monday for Team Blue. Tuesday was worse.
On Tuesday there was a question that was most definitely asked of a Team Blue player, and most definitely shouldn’t have been answered in the way that it was. Maureen Pugh was asked by the media if she believed in manmade climate change. This was not a trick question. Any politician worth his, her or their salt should relish being asked such a question. It’s like batting in the final of the cricket World Cup. It’s the last ball of the match, the scores are tied and you’re on 99 needing just one run to reach your century and win the World Cup – and the bowler bowls a rank floating full toss outside off stump. The hardest thing to do is not swat it to the boundary for glory. And that’s what Maureen Pugh did. She swatted the ball back onto her own stumps and then impaled herself on them, causing one of the bails to fly off and lodge itself in the eye of the Team Blue captain standing at the non-striker’s end.
Pugh went on to say later: “These are my words. I have been not instructed to say this”. You can find this clip online, it’s the number one Google search result for “hostage video”.
To recap, the full toss question was “Do you believe in manmade climate change?”. And the stump-impaling, ball-in-the-eye-lodging answer was that she hadn’t seen the evidence, amounting to a refusal to say whether she believed in manmade climate change.
It’s fair to say BlueChris was not impressed. Only a day earlier on Monday he had said “If you’re a climate denier or climate minimalist, you’ve got to give it up”. On Tuesday morning BlueChris said he would be speaking with Pugh and giving her some books to read. She must be a world class speed reader because just a few hours later on Tuesday afternoon she had apparently digested those books enabling her to deny her previous denial in these terms:
“I accept the scientific consensus that human-induced climate change is real”.
She went on to say later: “These are my words. I have been not instructed to say this”. You can find this clip online, it’s the number one Google search result for “hostage video”.
I’ve seen the evidence on this issue and I’m a denier that Pugh’s manmade climate change denial denial came about in the manner she has claimed. In fact it’s fairly straightforward to accept the conclusion that Pugh’s manmade climate change denial denial was itself manmade, and the man who made it was BlueChris.
Little wonder then that BlueChris fluffed some of his lines when interviewed by Guyon Espiner on RNZ on Wednesday morning. RedChris was fluffing some of his own lines about the Cyclone Gabrielle response but it was hard for BlueChris to score some points about the cyclone clean-up when he was preoccupied with his own clean-up in the Team Blue dressing room.
Have a peaceful weekend.