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HARD NEWS 13/07/01 - Y Not?

Approved: kiwifruit
Subject: HARD NEWS 13/07/01 - Y Not?

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GOOD DAY MEDIAPHILES ... so the health system's running out of money, the seas are rising, Mobil's still a bunch of pricks and John Banks wants to be Mayor of Auckland. Oh well. At least the Christine Rankin trial's over.

And while the judge pens what we are promised will be a highly literate decision, it's time to hand out the Rankin media awards.

Well, everyone had a go, but the top gong - The Golden Earring if you will - goes to a late runner; Finlay McDonald in the Listener for his extremely droll editorial, Oh Dear. That was the headline, not a comment. Although I did coincidentally exclaim "oh dear!" when I finished reading it, having laughed out loud no fewer than four times.

In more dutiful vein, I admired Rosemary McLeod's column, which stood out from a packed field in the Sunday Star Times in advancing what might be called the low self-esteem theory.

The most tedious column was written by the award-winning John Roughan of the Herald, who holds tight to the fantasy that WINZ was a "life consultancy" that would have changed the lives of its clients if only those lefties in Wellington hadn't sabotaged it. Oh really ...

The perviest paper of all was, of course, The Dominion, whose editor never saw a tit or a bum he didn't think was fit for print. And the People's Voice award goes to the bFM listener who pointed out to Mikey this week that, as all right-thinking men will know, Suzy Cato is much sexier than Christine Rankin anyway.

So where does that leave us? Sitting around waiting for the earth to get warmer, I guess. While our end of an OECD report on energy policy urged us to forge ahead on greenhouse gas policy and a meeting of climate scientists in Amsterdam reached worrying conclusions ... we fudged. Minister Pete Hodgson said we'd wait till next year to put policy behind our commitment to Kyoto - but apparently this is different from what the US and Australia have done and we're still on board, honest.

Even this was too much for Act MP Gerry Eckhoff, who claimed this week that, quote: "Climatologists are refuting the claims of pseudo-scientists, showing that global warming is a product of a natural cycle. Yet Mr Hodgson is determined to make New Zealanders pay for his doomsday fantasies."

So there's nothing to worry about, then? Well, it's true, there are dissenters on global warming. Even some of the researchers who think there's an issue aren't sure that it's doomsday.

But really ... let's look at the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which has been studying the issue since it was set up by the United Nations Environment Programme and the World Meteorological Organisation in 1988.

Its most recent report, Climate Change 2001, is the work of 122 main authors and 515 contributing authors. Another 420 scientists were involved in reviewing the evidence. The report says that global warming is a serious environmental and economic risk that threatens to wipe out not only productive land but one or two small nations. That it will last for generations even if action is taken now.

Gerry Eckhoff - who is quite obviously a bloody genius himself - believes that these are all "pseudoscientists". If you ever needed proof of the gross intellectual conveniences that go on at that end of the political spectrum, there it is.

Imagine if two young men set out on a noble mission to make, in their own words, "a New Zealand TV show that wasn't complete shit". Imagine if they called it Back of the Y Masterpiece Television. And then imagine that an international organisation devoted to the health and welfare of decent young folk said "hey, we own that letter of the alphabet!"

I can exclusively reveal that that is precisely what has happened. TVNZ has received a legal letter claiming that Back of the Y's flagrant use of the 25th letter of the alphabet would smear the reputation of the YMCA, and demanding that it never go to air.

My advice is that Back of the Y has absolutely nada to do with the Young Men's Christian Association and is in fact something to do with, quote, "going down on a lady" - and we all know there's nothing wrong with that.

This isn't the reason that Back of the Y suddenly disappeared from the schedules last week - the YMCA's letter only arrived this Wednesday. And it doesn't add up to Big Bad TVNZ either. There appears to be a will over at Hobson Street to get the thing to air so people can actually see it before they are appalled and offended. So supportive and nurturing is the environment that my source referred to Geoff Steven as "a good bloke", which may be a record.

Anyway, seeing as there's nothing on TV, you might as well go the hell out. My picks from a very full slate of urban entertainment would be: Freak Nasty in from Australia at Fu tonight; the mighty Black Seeds up from Wellington at the King's Arms tomorrow and Cloudboy all the way from Dunedin at Galatos the same night. Add in any number of top turntable-troublers and you can only conclude that it's a lively old town out there.

So best of luck to the Kiwis as they contrive to upset the Kangaroos in Wellington - and, yes, you do need the new Sola Rosa album - G'bye!


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