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Climate change briefing "a propaganda stunt"

Climate change briefing "a propaganda stunt"

Investigate magazine’s editor Ian Wishart has accused the Ministry for the Environment of staging a propaganda stunt masquerading as a media briefing on climate change today.

The Ministry hosted a briefing for dozens of journalists from around the country attended by the country’s top climate scientists, but Ian Wishart says one of his correspondents was banned from the briefing, and he himself was blocked by Ministry staff after asking two challenging questions.

“It is a gross abuse of media freedom for the Government and its agencies to dictate to a media organization who can and cannot come to a briefing as the magazine’s accredited representative. I don’t care if they don’t like our choice of correspondent – it’s our choice, not theirs, and the media accreditation belongs to the media organization, not individuals. This is shifting control of story writing from editors to the state, and it must end now.

“The Ministry rolled out four scientists who bamboozled assembled journalists with powerpoint slides for 50 minutes and then only allowed limited questioning, on arguably the biggest issue facing the planet, it was a disgrace,” says Wishart, whose book on climate change, Air Con, has become an international bestseller.

“NIWA’s chief climate scientist David Wratt has told public meetings my book is wrong without specifying where, and Climate Change Minister Nick Smith has trotted out a Royal Society paper that contains science ten years out of date to try and debunk peer reviewed studies published in 2009 and published in Air Con, but when I dared to ask two questions at today’s news conference I was shut down. They don’t tolerate dissent.

“Organisers have now told me my questions were too difficult for New Zealand’s top climate scientists to answer. That should send warning bells ringing for all New Zealanders. These people are asking us to trust them that they know what they are talking about, but today’s presentation was woefully out of date and inaccurate, provably so.”

Wishart says the briefing was a choreographed “propaganda stunt” whose organizers clearly didn’t want tough questions asked at.

For more, see an extended commentary here



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