Sunday, December 17, 2006



Here's a bit of Christmas cheer. Planet Earth is not, contrary to Nicholas Stern, Al Gore and acolytes, ending in a boil-up. In fact as Roger and Me, and a few our friends were saying over a champers and strawberry breakfast just today "things have never looked better, especially since I married the fabulously wealthy Rog."
This has been confirmed in a book by acclaimed American economist Indur Goklany entitled The Improving State of Deborah's World

In this country it will be dismissed as rubbish, especially by those on the extreme left, but in a sensible analysis Goklany shows that global warming is in reality a fantastic opportunity to embrace the long summers of our childhood. Sure it may get warmer "exacerbating existing problems, such as malaria, coastal flooding and habitat loss" but this will be compensated by opportunities "to wear colourful bikinis and enjoy iced tea for longer periods of the the year."
Personally I doubt the veracity of the global warming doom-saying. Sure there have been an extraordinary number of ice-bergs floating past Lyttleton freighters and many hurricanes and floods but I, for one, was known in our district as the flood baby. Born in February 1953, when central Hawke's Bay roads were washed out my mother was like Mrs Elephant on Noah's Ark when it came to getting to a maternity hospital. No one, on either occasion, mentioned global warming!

And speaking of babies, Goklany's book says it's never been a better time to grow up poor. There's been a dramatic rise in living standards for these kids. Sure, growing up in colourful Soweto or in the vibrant slums of Mombai may be squalid, and sentence you to an early death from AIDS, but there was never a time like now when you could watch The Apprentice free-to-air or thrill at the prospect of a visit from Bono or Madonna at any-time involving a photo-op or even a celebrity adoption.

And if you want proof here's some statistics: in poor countries, the daily intake of calories per person has increased by 38 per cent since the 1960s to an average of 2666 calories per day. Now doesn't that make you oh-so-suspicious of all those photos of waifs from Darfur and the Congo? I mean what are they doing with the calories? Selling them on the stock exchange? Everyone knows how fashionable it is for kids these days to throw-up their breakfast so they can get on the cover of Pavement Magazine but hell someone needs to take the parents of those kids to task.

This book, from the previews I have seen, should be required reading for every New Zealand politician over their Christmas break. Roger and Me, (or is that Roger and I?) will be reading it together on boxing day after we feed the left-over turkey to the cats.

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