Screened as part of NZIFF 2014
Since 1990, when the National government set a target of 20% reduction within ten years, our greenhouse gas emissions have burgeoned. Alister Barry’s film identifies the forces arrayed against the scientists, activists and successive ministers for environment and climate change who tried, over the next 20 years, to reduce New Zealand’s contribution to the global crisis. No one in New Zealand makes more judicious use of the TV archive than Alister Barry, separating the news and current affairs footage from the clutter of broadcast and reasserting its value as permanent record. The parade of climate change deniers he unearths, claiming and being granted their ‘equal time’, may engender tears of rage in rational viewers. And, as any lobbyist knows, a bunch of riled-up farmers protesting a ‘fart tax’ on Queen Street or running a tractor up the steps of Parliament House will not be deflected by mere science. In new interviews, scientists, activists and officials add their commentaries. Three former ministers – Simon Upton, David Parker and a forthright, embattled Pete Hodgson – provide incisive, illuminating accounts. The truth is more inconvenient than ever.