Tuesday, June 12th 2012, 7:44 AM EDT
Bill Giles, the nation’s favourite weatherman was in no doubt. Britain was burning up. Within 20 years, Dundee would soon be as balmy as Berkshire. France would be virtually uninhabitable, as the Dordogne turned into a desert. So convinced was Bill by the imminent threat of global warming that he was ripping up his English country garden in Oxfordshire and planting olive trees instead. That was back in 1996.
To be fair to Bill, he wasn’t the only one suckered by the great global warming scam, although as a qualified meteorologist he should have known better. For the past 15 years we have been bombarded with ever more hysterical predictions about the momentous effect ‘man-made’ global warming would have on Britain.
There would be grapevines growing in the Pennines; the Midlands would resemble a Grapes of Wrath-style dustbowl; and in Torquay, giant wildebeest would sweep majestically across the veldt . . .
Unfortunately for these alarmists, the weather has continued to have other ideas. If the warmists were right, the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee would have been blessed with continuous, scorching sunshine and half the country wouldn’t be under three feet of water right now.
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Britain’s weather has always been unpredictable. You might have thought they’d have got the message when snow fell in October 2008 on the very day the ‘Climate Change’ Bill was being debated in the House of Commons.
But, then again, you might just as well try to convince an Islamist suicide bomber that if he’s expecting to be greeted in Paradise by 72 virgins, there’s an outside possibility he may be disappointed.
G.K. Chesterton wrote memorably that when people stop believing in God, they don’t believe in nothing, they believe in anything. Never has that been more true than in the case of those who worship at the altar of global warming. Even though temperatures peaked in 1998 [...], the warmists refuse to be deflected from their conviction that the planet is in meltdown.
When it became apparent that temperatures were [not rising], they simply changed the name of their religion from ‘global warming’ to ‘climate change’. The cooler weather was merely a ‘blip’, they declared. Keep planting the olive trees.
Those of us who had the audacity to pour scorn on their new orthodoxy were smeared as ‘deniers’ — no better than Nazi apologists who maintain the Holocaust never happened.
The virulence of their character assassination merely serves to underline the desperation of their dishonest cause. All evidence to the contrary is discarded. Try pointing out that we had ice fairs on the Thames hundreds of years ago and that Britain experienced a well-documented warm period in medieval times and you can expect a torrent of self-righteous abuse.
They’re not interested in history, they’re only interested in the here-and-now, which is why the warmists have no sense of perspective and will brook no argument.
Thus, the recent drought was proof positive that the world will soon run out of water. Yet the fact that it hasn’t stopped raining since is dismissed as statistically irrelevant.
There is, of course, no accounting for any kind of religious fanatic. They are immune to reason and consider any heretic who challenges their sacred tenets to be fundamentally evil.
The central conceit is that everything bad which happens in the world is man-made and only man can do something about it. They refuse to acknowledge that there are forces bigger than themselves at work.
This is abject nonsense. Whenever there has been a man-made disaster, nature has been quick to clean up.
After Saddam Hussein flooded the Persian Gulf with crude oil, we were told the pollution would last two million years. It was all gone in six months.
Similarly, when the BP pipeline burst in the Gulf of Mexico, it was billed as a catastrophe of biblical proportions which would wipe out an entire ecology. Two years later, tourists are back on the beaches and the seafood restaurants are doing a roaring trade
If the great global warming lie was confined to the usual weird beards and dope-addled hippies left over from the Woodstock Generation, none of this would matter much. But ‘climate change’ has been appropriated by big business and big government for their own ends.
Politicians quickly seized on it as a way to expand their own empires, pass new laws and levy an exciting new range of fines and taxes. Here in Britain, Westminster remains in thrall to the green lobby, setting insane targets for carbon reduction, which will destroy what’s left of our manufacturing industry and lead to a serious energy shortage within a few years.
Despite the financial crisis and unsustainable levels of government spending and borrowing, the public sector continues to hire ‘climate change’ advisers and auditors on salaries of up to £65,000.
In the private sector, businesses have spotted a lucrative opportunity to cash in on everything from useless War Of The Worlds wind turbines to state-subsidised solar panels. They are cheered on by the BBC and the Met Office, which continues to get the weather forecast spectacularly wrong while concentrating on its new role combating ‘climate change’. Meanwhile, back on Planet Earth, it’s Flaming June in Britain and it’s still raining.
What, then, became of Bill Giles, one of the original prophets of global warming doom? If you watch daytime TV, you may have spotted Bill advertising a home equity release scheme on behalf of a finance company.
Is he planting olive trees in his garden in Oxfordshire? Er, no. He’s playing golf on a time-share complex somewhere hot.
On the firm’s website, Bill writes: ‘I was delighted when they invited me to appear in their new TV advert, particularly when they offered to fly me to Spain to avoid the cold, wet UK weather!’
Be fair, though, Bill has been proved right about one thing. Yesterday the weather in Dundee was exactly the same as the weather in Berkshire — a balmy 53f (12c) and raining.
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