News & Politics
New Zealand Listener

New Zealand Listener Issue 5 2020

New Zealand Listener is the country’s most respected general interest magazine, bringing you a wide variety of news, stories, columns, reviews, plus TV listings, every week.

New Zealand
Bauer Media Pty Ltd
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in this issue

3 min.
davos downer

A selective reading of the agenda of the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) latest gathering in Davos, Switzerland, was so woke it might have been mistaken for the Duchess of Sussex’s diary. You could, for example, on just one day have attended sessions entitled Free to Be (LGBTI), Why is Laughter Contagious, The Power of Youth and A History of Feminism in the West. You would have earned your linseed and kale smoothie by then, for sure. But, hang on. This was the WEF, the annual gathering of capitalism’s most prominent leaders who exchange and advance ideas with politicians and academics in interactions that might affect us all. It has become too woolly. This year, with the backdrop of Australia’s fires and the presence of climate activist Greta Thunberg – whose fresh youth brand…

11 min.
climate change and aussie fires

There are no “simple” solutions to global warming or pollution (“Red dawn”, January 25). The answers we have should have been initiated 30-plus years ago. But crisis or not, our response needs to be practical and realistic. First, we need population control. Without that, whatever we do will be obliterated by increasing demand for fossil-based fuels and mounting waste. But I cannot begin to imagine the response if a doctor, for instance, suggested to someone that they should have fewer children. Second, air travel is a major emitter of carbon dioxide, but telling any Antipodean not to fly – either for business or pleasure – would be preposterous, although it might be fine if you live in Europe, North America or China, where most aviation fuel is used and there are alternative…

1 min.
winning caption

Stuart Weekes, Waiheke Island FINALISTS Caption: “A grande dame doubles up with a great Dane.” – Kath Jones, Waikanae Williams: “Oh, no, they’re calling this ‘Trump orange’.” – Peter Charlesworth, Epsom, Auckland Caption: “Tennis stars exchange backhand compliments.” – Kath Jones Caroline Wozniacki: “You’re not seriously going to wear that to the Irish Open, are you?” – Peter Davidson, Riccarton Serena Williams: “Did the line judge just call you Woz-er-name?” – Kath Jones Williams: “Oh, no, I hear there’s a fart tax in New Zealand!” – Robert Morey, Dunedin Williams: “Really, you can smell Rotorua from here?” – Tommy Kapai, Te Puna…

1 min.
quips & quotes

“Whoever is happy will make others happy, too. How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.” – Anne Frank“I’d far rather be happy than right any day.” – Douglas Adams, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy“If you want to be happy, be.” – Leo Tolstoy“Happiness is having a large, loving, close-knit family in another city.” – George Burns“Happiness quite unshared can scarcely be called happiness; it has no taste.”– Charlotte Brontë“All pud things come to an end.” – Sandi Toskvig on leaving the Great British Bake Off“No women were nominated for best director. That’s fewer minorities than in the Donald Trump Cabinet.” – Jimmy Kimmel on the Oscar nominations“There’s no reason women shouldn’t have bigger roles in these movies, except for…

1 min.
10 quick questions

1. True or false? Some UK trains still flush toilet waste directly on to the tracks. ❑ True ❑ False 2. Hansen’s disease is also known by what name? ❑ Leprosy ❑ Tuberculosis ❑ Malaria ❑ Hepatitis C 3. Where on a horse’s body are the fetlocks? ❑ Muzzle ❑ Legs ❑ Flanks ❑ Back 4. How did the American dish “buffalo wings” get its name? ❑ First prepared in Buffalo ❑ Served with buffalo sauce ❑ Originally made from buffalo ❑ Resembles a buffalo’s head 5. In the film Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (1971), which child is the first to suffer a bizarre mishap? ❑ Veruca Salt ❑ Mike Teevee ❑ Augustus Gloop ❑ Violet Beauregarde 6. In which city would you find the La Brea Tar Pits, which preserved the bones of many ancient animals? ❑ Mexico…

3 min.
berlin bland

There’s nothing quite like seeing office workers sharing the morning commute with woozy clubbers. Berlin is world famous for its nightlife, with hundreds of bars that barely close and dozens of dance clubs described as the best on Earth. These lure about three million visitors to the city every year; they bring about €1.5 billion worth of business with them and keep more than 10,000 locals employed. And many of the guests will tell you that, in return, they get this uncanny sense of freedom on Berlin’s dance floors. At Berghain – one of the world’s most famous techno clubs, in an old power plant – just about the only rule is “no cameras”. Anyone and everyone parties here, half-naked or drugged or drunk, or maybe just very high on life and…