A reader has very kindly transcribed a discussion on BBC Radio 2 on Climate Change. (US readers please note: Chris Evans is one of Britain’s most popular talk show hosts, drawing more than 8 million viewers a week; Moira Stewart is an elegant, much-loved ex-newsreader) (UK readers: no this really isn’t a conversation transcribed from an old Viz episode of The Pathetic Sharks). The show on January 26 was dedicated to “all scientists and their assistants”
Chris Evans (CE) and Moira Stewart (MS) discuss Global Warming.
CE: So, listen, I watched ‘Science under Attack’ last night – this programme, the one presented by Sir Paul Nurse, the new president of the Royal Society. It was both excellent, it was bewildering at the same time – it was all about how scientists are failing to get new facts over, and suffering as a consequence. They’re sort of shouldering some of the blame themselves. Global Warming was the main vehicle used to portray his point: lots of people don’t believe it’s happening despite overwhelming data to suggest that it is. Why do so many hundreds of millions of people believe these very clever and dedicated people are lying? That’s very worrying, isn’t it? Don’t you think?
MS: Yeah, yeah, apparently they haven’t been, but they’re very well meaning and giving us findings…
CE: And you can tell.
MS: But, but, (I didn’t realise until far too late,) back in the Middle Ages, it was very, very warm and whatever. I thought that we peoples were freezing to death. Apparently Britain didn’t get that cold…what I’m trying to say is that there are cycles….
CS: Don’t beat yourself up about that, that you’ve only just cottoned on to the fact. The Earth has warmed and cooled, but the thing is, what they said is that it’s cooling at such an exponential rate now that that’s never happened before, and you know, some people don’t believe that maybe we’re contributing to this. But listen, science apart, right, if you light a fire, your living room warms up, doesn’t it? It’s not rocket science!
MS: Indeed, indeed.
CE: It has to be proven because so much is at stake. Scientists have to prove it for the benefit of the rest of us. But if you look at, you know….what was fascinating by the way, is that NASA spend £2m a year with their satellites looking back down to the Earth, so they send things off to space to try and ensure the future safety of Earth, because all these things back in space looking back down to Earth. But they spend £2m a year studying Global Warming, which I don’t think is that much. It’s so crucial – if you think: Wayne Rooney earns £5m a year. Right, the world spends a third of his wages a year on studying whether or not we’re frying ourselves.
MW: We don’t want to know.
CE: No, we don’t want to know. We’re sticking our head in the sand.
MS: But even in my lifetime, from childhood through to now […]when we were using coal and whatever else […]Britain for instance had a terrible atmosphere and it was…if you blew your nose you got black out of your nostrils because of the fog etc…fog and the smog. And yet now we have cleaner air and a cleaner atmosphere, why aren’t we getting a cooler temperature?