Friday, September 7, 2007

The Gallery Bleats

Like excited school-children the press gallery has rushed off to APEC and begun filing stories about grown-up things like the war in Iraq and climate change.

Already we've had these bizarre reports based on the premise that just because the US President says nuclear power is a valid response to climate change then we should forget our anti-nuclear stance and adopt it too.

I suppose when you live in a cupboard in parliament writing stories about corridor gossip and MP's hijinks that might seem like weighty journalism. But anyone who has spent any time looking at New Zealand's energy situation or climate change problems its obviously pure shit.

Nobody in their right mind is proposing nuclear power for New Zealand because there are far too many cheaper and easier alternatives. You only have to look at a Lonely Planet Guide Book for five minutes to see that in this country geothermal energy is a far safer way of heating up water to spin a turbine than burning radioactive chemicals.

But of course what its really all about is drawing the distinction between the United States and Australia with New Zealand into starker relief. For the US and Australia nuclear power is a very sensible alternative to their current practice of burning tonnes of coal to generate electricity. It is far cleaner and far safer. It even emits less (yes less) radioactivity.

The same goes for the Iraq situation. The US is the biggest military power in the world by a factor of about five. Australia is the biggest military power in this region by about the same factor. New Zealand simply doesn't register. We are a wart on the backside of the flea on an elephant when it comes to strategic importance.

None of this however gets reported. What makes the news is that Helen is out of step with America and Australia - as if that is in any way unusual.

Sadly our press gallery have once again demonstrated that they have an apalling lack of understanding of the world and the editors that put them there are obviously even less informed. So much for mainstream media.

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