Well, the IPCC has cast itself as Peter Pan and Wendy, against the foe of innocence and loveliness, the Captain Hook, the Climate Change Denier.
The worst of the argument now raging is that the planet’s population is cited as the biggest problem: the industrial revolution and its concomitant advances have given the greatest increase in world population every observed and this has in turn increased our dependency on “greenhouse” or “carbon equivalent” gasses said to be contributing to climate change (I note I rarely hear the phrase ‘global warming’ or ‘greenhouse effect’ anymore). This hypothesis, though, holds within it something rotten, which is never publicly acknowledged, at least by politicians: that there are too many people. In turn, we must reason from this that since the Earth cannot sustain such huge numbers, in order to save it – and consequently some of the humans who depend upon it – this population must decrease. And from there it is only a small step to enforcing birth control, sterilisation, abortion and the like. And from that, only another, tiny step to rounding up undesirable populations and sacrificing them for “the greater good”.
Gordon Brown, the Queen’s Prime Minister, described those of us with any doubts about the validity or voracity of the interpretation of the data or the models used in producing ‘forecasts’ (the Met Office is unable, using its modelling programmes, to predict what the weather will be next Wednesday, never mind in one hundred years), or as to whether climate change is as significant a threat as is understood generally, or that it has anything particular to do with the activities of Man, as an “anti-change…anti-reform…anti-science…flat Earth group”. He certainly does know how to use argument to come out on top in a debate, doesn’t he? For myself, I am not aware of belonging to any group. I do not drive a car, nor travel very often or very far by aeroplane; I do not burn my central heating very much, neither to I leave lights switched on or run large luxurious baths; I do not eat a great deal of meat, neither do I avoid doing my recycling. I am, in every way, a person who has always attempted to live according to the teaching of the Christian faith in respect of creation so far as is possible in a fallen world. Yet I am unconvinced about “climate change” and so have felt the sharp edge of the Fifeman’s tongue.
It seems to me that politicians should look first of all to themselves. They appear to be convinced about climate change. Let them live then as if they were. And once they have begun to do so, it might be an easier pill for us to swallow to do the same. But in the meantime, while the great gothic edifice of the Houses of Parliament is lit every night from end to end; while the banks and the tower-blocks, and the glass fronted offices of the City glow brightly through all the hours of darkness; while, yes, our cathedrals and flood lit until dawn; while public servants are ferried to ministerial appointments in large cars or in the first class compartments of railway trains; while the lights are on in the Ministry of Defence all day on a Saturday, I will not personally trouble to be burning my single lightbulb, while typing on my laptop with a blanket to keep off the cold, until this unearthly hour.