It’s never a happy business when one has, reluctantly, to report that an esteemed newspaper columnist who also happens to be a friend has made a complete prat of himself in print. But such is my sad duty regarding the following article by the Times’s resident restaurant critic, snark and roisterer, Giles Coren – who has mysteriously, belatedly decided to take a firm and apparently very angry position on the thing they call ‘Climate Change’. (Hat tip: R Southward)
Right, there is something that is going to have to stop right this second, and that is people making jokes about “If the globe is warming up then where did all this snow come from, eh? Eh? Tell me that?” Because it is driving me crazy.
And when I say “people”, I mean mostly columnists, cartoonists and comedians. I know there is nothing else to write about at the moment (God help me, I’m writing about people writing about the snow) and I grant that it was a nice little coincidence that the Copenhagen summit happened just as it started snowing, but please, people, stop making jokes about the weather in relation to climate change. Stop pretending to be surprised that you had to put a scarf and hat on this morning when the world is supposed to be warming up. The two things are not related. Nobody who understands the science is claiming that global warming (if it happens) is going to make Britain hotter in the long run.
You hear me? Nobody is saying that, not the bleeding-heartedest, most climate-credulous ladyboy Yakult-drinker in Islington. It will do the opposite. Global warming will in the end interfere with the ocean currents, knock out the Gulf Stream, and remove the protection we have from the icy Nordic weather that is our due, as sharers of the same latitude as Siberia. Britain will get colder. So this joke about the weather just isn’t there.
He goes on:
I appreciate how enjoyable it is for middle-aged rightwingers, who think that climate change (along with racial prejudice, gender inequality and Aids) is a lefty invention by softies on Camden Council, to make a mockery of it every time there is any sort of weather at all, but it is driving me absolutely insane.
If you don’t understand it, DON’T TALK ABOUT IT!
Judging by some of the 200 or so piquant comments he received below from better-informed (and, of course, almost universally sceptical) readers, Giles may now be wondering whether he ought to have taken his own excellent advice more seriously.
I particularly like this one from Geoff Miller:
One fantastic consequence of a frozen UK is that I suspect the population would go into freefall. People will flee to the Med, Pakistan, Arabia and so on.
Once more Britain will be inhabited by tribes of fearsome redheads rather than hordes of Metrosexuals, Marxists and Beardies .
And not a Marcus Brigstocke in sight.