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.

Monday, May 29, 2006

Is the EU totally Cnutters?.....

In its infinite wisdom, and with God-like power, the EU has today decreed that we can STOP climate change, and that "YOU CONTROL CLIMATE CHANGE" [BBC Online Europe News, May 29] (I bet you are pleased!)

King Canute (Cnut) I, Canute the Great, Knútr inn ríki, Knud II den Store, Knut den mektige (994/995 – 1035) would most graciously beg to differ:

Canute the Great says otherwise.
[Copyright: Philip Stott, 2006]

Halvard Solness, Ibsen's Master Builder, is alive and well, but he is now constructing mighty towers in the rarified atmosphere of Brussels. Such hubris, however, comes before a mighty fall......

"MRS. SOLNESS AND THE LADIES. [At the same time.] He is falling! He is falling!
[MRS. SOLNESS totters, falls backwards, swooning, and is caught, amid cries and confusion, by the ladies. The crowd in the street breaks down the fence and storms into the garden. At the same time DR. HERDAL, too, rushes down thither. A short pause.

HILDA. [Stares fixedly upwards and says, as if petrified.] My Master Builder.

RAGNAR. [Supports himself, trembling, against the railing.] He must be dashed to pieces--killed on the spot.

ONE OF THE LADIES. [Whilst MRS. SOLNESS is carried into the house.] Run down for the doctor---

RAGNAR. I can't stir a root.....

ANOTHER LADY. Then call to some one!

RAGNAR. [Tries to call out.] How is it? Is he alive?

A VOICE. [Below, in the garden.] Mr. Solness is dead!

OTHER VOICES. [Nearer.] The head is all crushed.--he fell right into the quarry.

HILDA. [Turns to RAGNAR, and says quietly.] I can't see him up there now.

RAGNAR. This is terrible. So, after all, he could not do it.

HILDA. [As if in quiet spell-bound triumph.] But he mounted right to the top. And I heard harps in the air. [Waves her shawl in the air, and shrieks with wild intensity.] My--my Master Builder!"

And Hilda, remember, is the archetypal Green ... so dangerous! Beware the siren voice!

Listen rather to the older wisdom of King Cnut, son of Sweyn Forkbeard and Queen Gunhilda.

Philip, the world has gone completely bonkers. Stopping climate change?!? I ask you. We are tilting at clouds and the cosmos! Much coffee required - urgently.

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

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