Today is the day when, in lieu of their gap-year jackarooing in Australia or eating magic mushroom omelette in Bali, Climate Camp protesters named Xan, Freddie, Minty, Tigger, Pidge, and Twig will run riot through London’s business district in protest at the outrageous, disgusting capitalist system that enabled Daddy to put them so cruelly, harshly and disgracefully through Eton, Westminster and St Mary’s, Calne.
More gag-inducingly still it is the day when dozens of celebrities will gather at The Tate Modern Gallery, London (NB – always remember to use that definite article: it does so annoy Nicholas Serota) to sign up for a wonderfully meaningless new eco campaign backed by the Guardian called 10: 10.
The campaign is the brainchild of Franny Armstrong, whose recent eco-movie The Age Of Stupid is so unsophisticated it makes An Inconvenient Truth look like Tarkovsky, and is indeed now widely recognised as the second most lame, risibly awful and toe-curlingly emetic movie in British cinematic history after Love Actually.
It calls for everyone to help save the world by reducing their carbon footprint by 10 per cent in 2010. So far the roster of luvvies who have signed up to the scheme includes Radio 1 DJ Sara Cox, chefs Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, Delia Smith and Ruth Rogers, screenwriter Richard Curtis, directors Richard Eyre and Mike Figgis, designers Nicole Farhi and Vivienne Westwood, TV presenter Kevin McCloud and actors including Samantha Morton, Jason Isaacs, Pete Postlethwaite, Colin Firth and Tamsin Greig.
What I like about these lists is that they give you an instant aide-memoire of all the celebrity pillocks whose broadcasts/recipes/duff plays and movies/clothes/building programmes you need never bother with again. (Shame about Antony Beevor, who is also mysteriously on the list. I was rather looking forward to reading his take on the Battle of the Bulge).
“But so what if this bunch of ocean-going knobs wish to burnish their egos and salvage their consciences by pledging to cut the odd weekend trip to Bora Bora here and plant the odd carbon-neutralising mango forest there? Who are we to judge?” I hear some of you asking.
And up to a point I’d agree with you. The thought that I shall be 10 per cent less likely to have any of these dorks sitting next to me on an EasyJet flight to Palma any time during 2010 is indeed of considerable comfort in these dark times. The problem is, I can’t get out of my head the much more urgent and terrifying story on the front of today’s Telegraph. The one predicting massive power cuts across Britain within ten years.
To anyone who reads Christopher Booker these dire predictions of 1970s-style black-outs are hardly news. Booker – and others – have been warning for years about the inevitable consequences of the upcoming “energy gap” and successive governments failure to fill it by commissioning more (preferably nuclear) power stations.
The only thing that surprises me about this long-running scandal is why it hasn’t been on the front page pretty much every other day for the past decade. Clearly, the prospect of the world’s fifth largest economic power being imminently reduced to rationing electricity, perhaps even limiting its industrial output – as in the Seventies – to a three-day week represents a major disaster for Britain. A disaster, it should be noted, of far greater effect and magnitude than anything which has so far happened to this country as a result of “climate change”.
So why haven’t we heard more about it? Why hasn’t the population – or at least the influential chattering class section of it – been galvanised into urging the Government to stop equivocating and come up with a half-way decent energy policy?
Why do you think? Because partly thanks to the attention-grabbing antics of idiots like the ones mentioned above, our politicians – not just Labour ones, but pretty much the whole of Cameron’s “progressive conservatives”, more’s the pity – have been encouraged to take their eye off the ball, and bleat piously about “alternative energy sources” and reducing carbon emissions instead.
Power cuts (and the energy gap) represent a clear and present danger to Britain and her economy. ‘Climate change’ does not. Unless we get our priorities right very soon, we’re all going to be in deep, deep trouble. And no amount of impassioned protesting by environmentally conscious ex-public-school-children or bien-pensant celebrities will be able to get us out of the hole that they personally did so much to help dig.