Saturday, June 12, 2010

SBS want me for a sunbeam

Hi all,
This comment turned up at my blog the other day:
Kyle said...
Hi Paua,

Nice blog! I'm interested in getting in touch with you for a TV program I'm doing. We need lots of articulate climate change skeptics like yourself! Could I send you an email with some of the details? Cheers, Kyle - my email is if you want to touch base.
(I have left the email address as is, because they posted it in a public comments box that I cant edit due to the way Blogger works, and because I am fairly unconcerned by the thought of SBS recieving spam.)

Kyle from Insight then went on to explain in an email that they are going to have a panel of climate scientists (no politicians) and allow an audience of people who aren't climate scientists, but are skeptical or "confused" by climate science, to ask questions of the panel, which they then get to rebut. Nothing like a bit of balance in the media, don't you think?

I will hereby post my reply as follows:

Dear Kyle from Insight,
Thanks for your kind offer, which I must respectfully decline. I don't often talk about several years of my life spent around the documentary film industry, as I like to think I've, y'know, Changed. However, apart from acquainting me with a level of bitchiness not often seen outside of teen movies of the 1980's, I also learnt how to recognise a media set-up when I see one. Given that prior life experience, a passing acquaintance with the program you represent and a clearly stated desire for anonymity, I think you must be out of your cotton-picking mind.
When I first saw your comment on my blog, I must confess I did for a second entertain the notion that you might be working on a novel project out of keeping with the general level of SBS alarmist hysteria. Wishful thinking, and all that. Luckily, gifted with an uncanny ability to use an internet search engine, I soon discovered you were just another petty-echelon research schmo from Insight. I even noticed that you had invited the boys over at a footy lover's forum to contribute to the same show you invited me to contribute to. I thought I was special, Kyle. I also noticed that they invited you, in return, to "suck" their "big, fat hairy balls." Given that I am unencumbered by testicular tissue, I will have to proffer something else instead*.
Sadly, I will be unavailable to contribute to the program described on your web site as being for people "confused by climate science" and will not be able to play the straight-man to your panel of Tim Flannery-esque comedic talent. I think I'm washing my hair that night.
Good luck with the program.

* "Something else" is not what I initially said, but I'm trying very hard to keep my potty mouth in check these days.

Now, in a bid to suspend my utter disbelief, I will consider for a nano-second that the upcoming Insight program may be a great expose of the problems inherent in climate science, but somehow I doubt it. History will show whether I was right or not. If the skeptics come off looking great, then I will heartily apologise to Kyle, and he will be well within his rights to ask me to suck something of his. We're all adults here.
I just have a bad feeling about this, and unfortunately in a bid to get me to contribute, they mentioned someone who has already agreed to appear on the show as a skeptic, I won't say who it is, but I wish them well, and hope to hell they aren't going to end up being an ersatz patsy for the edification of the Flannery's of Australia.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Like Lazarus, only with a worse attitude and better dress sense...

Hi All,
Im back, but probably will only have intermittent posts for the next few weeks because I found myself on the wrong end of a colorectal surgery rotation. Which wasn't meant to be a joke, but the pun was pretty good, now that I read it. I will describe the joys of long, long days, a permanent line across my forehead from a surgical cap and exactly how you stick you finger up someones whotsit in an investigative sense another time.
Right now, I just wanted to poke fun (once again, no pun intended) at the interestingly named "Code Pink" activist group of wimmin..ummm...feminists...sheilas. Apart from possibly breaking a raft of laws that prohibit excessive use of a colour reminiscent of a baboon's arse, they also smack slightly of misinformed opportunisim.
This they did by protesting the latest hippy-horror-de-jour, the Gulf oil spill, by marching on BP's headquarters wearing not much more than strategically placed packing tape (be careful when you take it off, BTW) and the aforementioned simian pink. Whereupon they chanted "BP, what do you say? How many fish did you kill today?". To which I would like to reply, ummm, not as many as you'd think. Y'see, oil often floats, fish don't. Unless they're dead, and thats the thing, if there were millions of dead fish, you would see them from the air, everywhere, because they would be doing the dead-fish putrefactive bob on the surface. Now, some of the oil has probably been emulsified (hence the reports of an alleged underwater plume) but it doesn't take long for it to re-coalesce on the surface, and most larger fish can move quickly enough to get away from the oil, anyway. So there may be some sprat sized fish that get offed by the oil, especially in coastal areas, but it wont represent that much of the total number of the fish that are out there.
The CodePink founder, Madea Benjamin, then went on to state:
“This is the crude awakening that our country is on the wrong track and that we need an energy system that doesn't kill workers, that doesn't destroy our ocean and that works with nature, not against nature,”

That would be nice, and I have seen something like this in action before, but I don't think Madea would like it. Probably because the options available to us down that track seem to wind up with women slaving over wood stoves or spending their days engaged in such career edifying past-times as hauling water. Oh, and puh-lease, dont even begin to talk to me about solar power either, because as anyone who has ever had to live with a 12-volt solar system would know (and I have), its probably less hassle to burn tallow-rush lamps and beat your laundry on a rock by the river.
The BP oil spill is immensely regrettable, for everyone concerned, but somehow I don't think its going to singlehandedly destroy our oceans, or even the bit of ocean that its occurred in. At the end of the day, we either accept the fact that we go without oil and the attendant consequences, or stop the pity-party and deal with the occasional oopsy. It might also reassure readers to know that oil gushers are much like bleeding, and all bleeding stops. Eventually. Even if we did nothing, the oil would lose pressure after awhile and stop. The fish will be fine, a few seabirds and otters will die tragically, much to the continued erections of news photographers and environental activists everywhere, and before long the oil will have mostly broken down and that part of the planet will be back to business as usual. If you dont believe me, then I invite you to read about the Mina Al Ahmadi oil spill during the Gulf War, which remains the biggest oil spill in history, where transects of the affected coral reefs only a few short years later revealed that they had escaped "remarkedly unscathed".
I strap myself in and await your hate mail.