Do the best lies contain an element of truth?

It is true and, whether deliberately or not, many policy and political statements nowadays sometimes contain elements of supposition masquerading as fact.

As an undergraduate I was taught to parse statements for those elements that were factually true and those that were either incorrect or purely supposition.  It was one of my favourite exercises and I think it is time we brought it back into all curricula and into our daily thinking.

The following is an excellent example. It heads up Chapter 3 of The Preliminary Report of the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market | Department of the Environment and Energy, a chapter that deals with the transition to a lower emissions economy.

“The transition to a lower emissions economy is underway and cannot be reversed. Ensuring that the transition is smooth will require major investments in assets with long life spans.”

Innocuous?  Not so. This is a case where we have three statements that we can probably accept trying to force our acceptance of a fourth, that we really shouldn’t.

Try parsing it for yourself – and come back Tuesday for my take on this.

Have fun!

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