Wednesday, 26 March 2014

The Four Windmills of The Apocalypse

Do you remember Up Pompeii? Frankie Howerd, as Lurcio, regularly encountered a series of unlikely characters who dragged him into their deranged world with increasingly far-fetched but ultimately pedestrian plots, almost always relying on deception and the concealing of truths on pain of death. None of Lurcio’s encounters were met with such dread and derision as those with Senna the Soothsayer. “Woe, woe and thrice woe…”? Well, that’s the climate change lobby, that is.

If you believe an upcoming UN report, Senna was right. In a preview in The Independent the report warns of floods, earthquakes and plagues of locusts. The earth will shake and the seas will boil and death will stalk the land. Wars will be fought for food and world populations, far from rising, will be driven down to Stone Age levels. Kevin Costner will come to be vindicated, even worshipped, as the prophet of Waterworld and the quest to find the mythical Dryland will be man’s final hope for survival. Woe, woe and thrice woe, indeed.

All of which makes me wonder what’s in it for them. Global Warming has become Global Lying or at best Global Fibbing-a-bit. Based on lies, half-truths and projections based on methods few scientists would recognise, the climate change industry actually heralds a coming age of prosperity for many. The report will quantify things they can’t explain and make predictions based on trends they haven’t observed and yet, we’re told, there’s a consensus. Yes, there’s a consensus; there’s a general recognition of a huge market for plausible apocalypse fiction, sold as fact to doom-hungry consumers of bad news.

Populations have moved in response to climate and geographical change for ever. In fact the whole history of man is related to the species’ migration across slowly changing continents and occasionally from fast-changing events. Floods, droughts, earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, mudslides, avalanches and disease have always happened and I’m pretty sure Noah’s little escapade wasn’t the result of too many burnt offerings. Or maybe it was? Maybe The Bible marks the first step in spreading climate change propaganda as a vengeful God blames his flood on the activities of mankind.

But mankind is nothing if not adaptable and the basis for species survival is to exploit niches. Look around you. All those bird choppers, solar panels gleaming from rooftops, condensing boilers, heat pumps, insulation, draught-proofing; climate fear is driving all of that. The Warm Front Scheme,* the Green Deal, the Energy Company Obligation and incentives for ‘green’ industry, there is money to be made. Nobody is going to be around long enough to win the ‘is it – isn’t it?’ climate change debate, but that’s not the point.

The great global warming gold rush is with us now and as with the real gold rush the money is not going to be made by the diggers and grafters, the bent-back prospectors but by those who sell them shovels and blankets. Fuck the planet, they say, it’ll see me and mine out, but there’s gold in tham-thar beliefs. So whether you are peddling newsprint, for or against, or supplying dodgy justifications for the purpose of claiming subsidy, or manufacturing kit for the new eco shrines, there is treasure to be had.

The agricultural and industrial revolutions, the ages of steam and rail and flight and information, all have brought benefits to those willing to accept them and so it is now as we usher in the bright new dawn of Environmental Capitalism. Watch as today’s unwashed protesters suddenly realise they have tales to tell, knowledge to sell and contacts to exploit and turn themselves – even while denying it – into Climate Mercenaries. Just as grizzled old class warriors have become titled lords (“It’s not for me, it’s for Pauline!”) the anti-frackers (gotta love Bez!) will eventually join the ranks of the privileged they profess to despise. Oh fickle fiends, oh weak-willed man, oh woe, oh woe, let’s grab that dough.

The Epilogue (Oh, that bench is cold, madam!) No, listen: So, whether or not you believe in climate change or man’s part in it, governments have fallen wholesale for the scam and it would be a grave error not to recognise it. New times bring new opportunities and you don’t have to be ‘for’ or ‘against’ - nobody is listening to that argument any more - you just have to be ‘with’ it. Now get fracking!

(*Warm Front closed last year but other schemes have taken its place.)

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