December 1, 2010
Some of you may be looking out of your windows right now and think that the white stuff floating down from the sky is snow. It is not, of course. What the white stuff actually is the purely imaginary creation of your false consciousness. You see it because you want to see it; because in your evil, selfish, refusing-to-change-your-pampered-Western-lifestyle way you think it offers proof that man-made global warming doesn’t exist.
How can I be so sure? Well, even if you were to discount what the experts at the Met Office are telling us about this being the hottest year since at least the Holocene Optimum, the experts’ expert tells us so.
Who is the experts’ expert?
Why shame on you for not knowing!
His name is Dr David Viner, he used to work at Britain’s world-renowned Climatic Research Unit at the famed University of East Anglia, and in 2000 in the Independent he made the expert prediction that snow would soon become a “rare and exciting event”.
“Children just aren’t going to know what snow is,” he said.
Well some of you cynics may scoff, but I for one am glad that we live in a caring, nurturing Steve Hilton and David Cameron style society which takes care of weapons-grade pillocks and throws more public money at them rather than one of those horrid, efficient Margaret Thatcher and Ronald Reagan type one where people are answerable for their idiocies and don’t get bailed out with taxpayer’s cash.
That’s why I’m delighted to remind those of you who don’t know that Dr David “Nostradamus” Viner now has a plum job, funded by you and me, running a £10 million scheme at the British Council to raise awareness of global warming among young people abroad.
I’m even more delighted to report that as a man of conviction, he has not allowed a few awkward winters get in the way of his pet theory. Earlier this year – ie last godawful winter, not this godawful one – he told the Daily Mail that he stood by his 2000 prediction:
‘We’ve had three weeks of relatively cold weather, and that doesn’t change anything.
‘This winter is just a little cooler than average, and I still think that snow will become an increasingly rare event.’
And while we’re on the subject of expert experts, a reader (pls remind me who you are so I can hat tip you) kindly draws my attention to a side project of Professor Kevin Anderson, director of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change. Professor Anderson, you’ll recall, was the expert extensively quoted in the Telegraph yesterday arguing that the only way to save the world from the evils of man made global warming was by sharply reining in our decadent Western lifestyles and introducing 1940s style rationing.
Prof Anderson, I note, is a non-executive director of Greenstone Carbon Management, which makes a pretty penny advising clients including Eversheds, Clifford Chance, Fujitsu, Henderson Global Investors, Ocado,and Virgin UK on how to reduce their carbon emissions. Since Greenstone’s function would be entirely redundant were it not for a regulatory climate whose existence owes itself the supposedly independent scientific expertise of research organisations like the Tyndall Centre, you can see why Professor Anderson got his job.
I hope Professor Anderson is properly remunerated for his expert expertise. It’s another of the things I really like about Coalition Britain: as men of the world, people like David Cameron understand that money is far too valuable to let ghastly tradesmen, vulgar entrepreneurs and other sweaty self-employed people get their filthy hands on too much of it. The job of government, the Whiggish Cameron and his crew fully understand, is to ensure that the economy remains just another form of political patronage. “Climate change” keeps money with the right people; the government’s people; people like Dr David Viner and Professor Kevin Anderson and that is entirely as it should be.
UPDATE: I’ve just had an email from Kevin Anderson about his role at Greenstone
My comment simply refers to my position in Greenstone. I DO NOT take any money other than basic expenses (2nd class train) from Greenstone. I spoke on Five Live yesterday evening and was offered £80 – which is being donated directly from the BBC to our research funds where it will likely be used by Tyndall PhD researchers. Over the past few years I have led on about £250k of consultancy along with giving talks for which a fee was proffered. As far as I am aware (a genuine and very rare exception may have occurred – the world isn’t perfect) I have taken none of this money. I broadly hold to your view about ‘elites’ taking money for all sorts of things that in my view they should not be remunerated. I take a view that I should survive on my very good salary (around £60k) and not accept additional funds and I try to persuade those around me to do so also. I can assure you, however much you may disagree with my analysis and conclusions on climate change, I am not working in this area to make more than my salary, and I can also advise you that since working in this area my quality of life has suffered as I make some reasonable effort to reduce my emissions. This has had (and is having) serious family, friends and work repercussions – but I think it is important those committed to the findings of their analysis should broadly abide by what they are requesting others to do.
I must say I’m quite seriously impressed with this. It goes without saying that I continue to think the cause Professor Anderson is fighting for is one of the most monstrous con tricks in history and that the damage the campaigning of institutions like the Tyndall Centre will do politically, economically, socially and indeed environmentally is almost incalculable. But I salute his integrity. Unlike, say, Al Gore, it sounds as if Prof Anderson walks the walk as well as talks the talk. I am glad to set the record straight on his finances and I’m really sorry to have maligned him on that score.
We’re on totally the opposite sides of the fence Prof Anderson and I think you’re a ruddy menace. But after what you’ve told me just now about “elites” – and your not-as-disgusting-as-I’d-imagined salary – I also think you’re a kindred spirit. Professor Anderson, you have just gone from being this column’s hate figure to Hero Of The Week.