A Weblog monitoring coverage of environmental issues and science in the UK media. By Professor Emeritus Philip Stott. The aim is to assess whether a subject is being fairly covered by press, radio, and television. Above all, the Weblog will focus on science, but not just on poor science. It will also bring to public notice good science that is being ignored because it may be politically inconvenient.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

"My goodness! Climate changes! And dump those sandwiches.....

One just despairs at the lunacy of it all. Have the Greens gone entirely loopy? The nadir came this morning - before breakfast too - when a claim was made on the increasingly lugubrious Today programme that eating sandwiches is devastating for the environment (you know all those potted shrimps and pastrami 'curlers' destroying the mangrove swamps and tropical rain forests of the world). Lord Sandwich would have been turning in his Wellington Boots and rending his Cardigan.

The Red Queen and AliceWe are all living with Alice Through the Looking Glass:
"'I can't believe that!' said Alice.

'Can't you?' the Queen said in a pitying tone. 'Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.'

Alice laughed. 'There's no use trying,' she said: 'one can't believe impossible things.'

'I daresay you haven't had much practice,' said the Queen. 'When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.'"

[Upper Right: Tenniel's classic drawing of Alice and the Red Queen: image seems to be in the public domain.]

Quite! And what about the mad, mad world of the 'global warmers'? Has it dawned on you that, for the UK, 'global warming', during the last year alone, has been predicted to lead to:

(1) wetter winters;
(2) drier winters;
(3) another Ice Age, with Arctic temperatures all round;
(4) blazing hot Mediterranean summers with deadly droughts, killing thousands;
(5) more species;
(6) fewer species.

So there - six impossible things to believe before breakfast.

May I humbly suggest that everybody just shuts up and gets on with their lives, acknowledging that:

(a) We haven't a fog what will happen with short-term climate change, never mind long-term;
(b) The only truth is that climate will change - as ever; and,
(c) We shall have to adapt to whatever changes come - as ever.

Meanwhile, I hope you all go out this lunchtime and buy some sandwiches. Big, fat ones!

Philip, encouraged, however, by some youthful common sense. Yesterday, I was speaking to 200 sixth formers who seemed far more balanced and sensible in their comments and questions than all the adult Red Queens put together. "A pawn sandwich, Your Majesty?" "No, I'll have a coffee, mate!"

[New counter, June 19, 2006, with loss of some data]

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