No-one can accuse the Hot-Air Brigade of displaying much common sense, although one has to respect their determination in the desperate scramble for publicity, book-deals, Oscars and shed-loads of public funding. They prefer to avoid proper science, and when challenged (as, for instance, by the recent Channel 4 film "The Great Global Warming Swindle") quickly resort to name-calling and sneers of "Oh, his opinions don't count because he's a discredited scientist" - though just what this really means is hard to tell. How does a scientist become "discredited"? Who does the "discrediting"?
One response to the film went along the lines of "These ideas have been around for years - there was nothing new in this film". I wonder how they feel about gravity - that's been around for quite a while but it still seems to be working OK.
The lunacy of some scientists' pronouncements about Global Warming reached new heights this week when it was announced that new proposals had been made to combat climate change. James Lovelock, inventor of the Gaia theory who predicted Global Cooling thirty years ago but is managing to swim with the tide nevertheless, told MPs at the House of Commons this week that we would be lucky if "20% of us survived imminent climatic disaster", a view apparently not shared by the IPCC who keep watering down their prophecies of doom.
Lovelock is now proposing to pollute the stratosphere with sulphur, either by scattering it from airliners or shooting it up with rockets, in the hope it will reflect sunlight back into space and cool us all down. Twenty years ago, of course, we were damning sulphur as the principle cause of acid rain that was killing our forests.
Other scientists are suggesting a fleet of thousands of "yachts" that would roam the oceans, pumping up seawater and spraying it into the air to create artificial clouds to reflect sunlight. They think that these vessels can be powered by the wind, but given the newly-revealed shortcomings of wind farms it seems likely that good old fossil fuels would probably play a part, thus presumably adding to the problem.
A professor at Arizona University is proposing fleets of tiny reflective satellites, to be inserted into orbit between the earth and the sun. His ideas are supported by Nasa, and he claims that although it would cost trillions of dollars, "If Greenland starts to melt then the damage from rising sea levels will be far greater than that. Such projects could be a very good investment". Even the scientifically-illiterate GOS can spot a couple of flaws in this argument - one, aren't we told that Greenland is already melting? And two, how does the Mad Professor plan to get the satellites up there - by the power of thought alone, or by burning millions of tons of chemical rocket-fuel into the atmosphere?
Another professor from Columbia University has designed a 100-foot tall artificial tree to clean CO2 out of the air by passing it through filters of sodium hydroxide. He doesn't say how the trees would be powered. Perhaps little green men from Mars have told him how to harness the power of blind optimism.
All pretty loony, huh? But don't panic, our own Science Correspondent, C**** S*****, has a much less extreme solution to the problem - banning lettuce. He writes …
"I would like to ask for your help to make lettuce extinct.
In this age of Global Warming, lettuce is responsible for much of the problem. It is grown in polytunnels (made from petrochemicals) that have to be heated, and then flown vast distances in order to lurk on your plate. It is not a food and has no nutritional value but does impoverish the soil it is grown in and needs vast quantities of water - all to enable pubs and restaurants to put a large plate in front of you covered with lettuce instead of food.
I know that the Global Warming argument will not cut much iceberg with many of you (including the GOS himself)(You're right - it won't. GOS) because you take pride in the size of your carbon footprint. If it can be seen from space then great! If Randy can say to Yuri in the International Space Station "I see he has gone on holiday to Orlando again" so much the better.
I would ask you to consider Ghengis Khan. He created the greatest empire in the ancient world and DNA shows about one in three of us can call him great-great-great granddad. All this was achieved on mares' milk and raw meat. He would punish offenders by erecting sharpened spikes and lowering those who displeased him onto the spike via a downward-facing orifice and allowing body-weight to draw the body down. The process took about 3 days and must have been very uncomfortable (Great cure for constipation, though - GOS). You can be sure that if his kitchen-slave said, as he handed Ghengis his My Little Pony Lunch Box, "It's pitta bread with Tofu and Lettuce. It is Cos!" the spike would be up his fundament in a brace of shakes.
Finally, you are what you eat and what you eat with lettuce is slime.
Consider the primary consumers of lettuce, slugs and snails. Slime mostly, both of them. Keep some lettuce for a while and its true nature will out. It tries to look like food but can't keep it up for long. When you eat it, it reverts to its true form in your gut and fills you with slime. So join me in my campaign to consign this aberration to the compost bin of history."
A lettuce, our Science Correspondent, and two of his friends
The GOS says: Sounds good to me. In fact, compared to spouting yachts, reflective satellites, clouds of sulphur and artificial trees, it's bloody brilliant!
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