CLIMATE change is real and it is happening very fast. The climate of opinion, that is, regarding the rapidly imploding fantasies of the global warming alarmists.
After a decade in which sane commentators have been angered and frustrated by the purblind adherence to the warmist superstition by followers of the Al Gore cult – prominent among them our own esteemed First Minister and President for Life Designate – the whole climate change scam has finally degenerated into a joke, provoking widespread derision.
That has not deterred the climate Gnostics, sustained by their mystical insight into inner truths hidden from sceptics (“deniers” in their language of anathema) and, increasingly, from scientists who have not taken the IPCC shilling. The cultists can rely on the support of politicians since non-existent global warming furnishes the pretext for all-too-existent and exorbitant taxes, which is what the whole myth is all about. Thus, during discussion of the recent floods in the Commons last week, David Cameron was prompted by the Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron to attribute the problem to climate change. The Prime Minister dutifully replied: “Colleagues across the House can argue about whether that is linked to climate change or not. I very much suspect that it is.”
That statement was overdue as it was seven weeks since he had been reported as telling his colleagues “We have to get rid of the green crap”, an exceptionally long period for Dave to entertain a consistent opinion. Unfortunately, Owen Paterson, the Environment Secretary, refused to endorse his leader’s view. Then the Meteorological Office intervened to contradict Dave: “At the moment there’s no evidence to suggest that these storms are more intense because of climate change.” That was a significant development because formerly the Met Office could be counted upon to support climate alarmism. Clearly it is now conscious of reputational damage and is hedging its bets.
It is not alone. Very subtly, unobtrusively, other institutions and individuals are backing away from the discredited orthodoxy of warmism. The process began some time ago when the Royal Society declared its switch to a more neutral stance in the climate debate. Scientists not committed to the cause by financial considerations are growing aware that the imposture is disintegrating so fast it could achieve Piltdown status within their own career spans. It is a measure of the bogus nature of the alleged climate crisis that the last time warming occurred there was a majority Tory government in office under John Major (“Oh, yes!”).
Recently the collapse of the scam has accelerated. The Christmas holiday period was enlivened by the hilarious pantomime “Anthropogenic Global Warming On Ice”, when 52 AGW believers led by Professor Chris Turney embarked on the Russian ship Akademik Shokalsky to study the melting of Antarctic ice. In reality, as they would have known before they set out if they had read Nasa reports, Antarctic sea ice is currently at its largest extent since records began: 19.5 million square kilometres. Their ship became embedded in the ice, as did the Chinese icebreaker sent to rescue them. When their situation became potentially life-threatening, these pioneering climate change gurus experienced the humiliation of having to rely on the leading climate sceptic Anthony Watts and his colleagues for accurate Antarctic weather information to facilitate their rescue by helicopter.
Meanwhile, the United States was in the grip of a “polar vortex”, with temperatures in all 50 states below freezing and a low of –43C recorded in one area. The Niagara Falls froze into stalactites of ice. This was hailed by True Believers as conclusive evidence of global warming – after all, everything is. As a Greenpeace activist famously expressed it: “Global warming can mean colder.” A heatwave, a flood, a drought, a blizzard, an away win by Partick Thistle – all will be determinedly conscripted as “evidence” of man-made climate change. These people are beyond help. The climate imposture is doomed to end not with a bang but a belly-laugh.
What is totally unamusing, however, is the harm these fanatics and complicit politicians have done, raping the landscape with their hideous wind turbines and imposing crippling taxes. Fuel poverty is killing the elderly. Every winter more people die of hypothermia in Scotland than in Finland. Although the climate madness will have the most lethal consequences in the developing world, it also threatens to impoverish Europe. A government study has shown the lifetime cost of meeting “renewables” targets across the EU will be £290 billion, more than a quarter of which will be contributed by the UK. Denmark already has the dubious distinction of being the first country where green taxes account for more than 50 per cent of an electricity bill. It is not global warming that is killing us but its deranged disciples.
• Twitter: @GeraldWarner1