Today, when the General Secretary of the United Nations, António Guterres, was telling the world that we were on the road to “climate hell,” the most-read story on the BBC News website was about someone I’ve never heard of leaving an ITV programme that I don’t watch. Guterres’ BS (not tiptoeing around the tulips) did not feature anywhere in the top ten. The only story with a climate link was about Just Stup Id activists blocking the M25.
Quoth the BBC:
UN Secretary General António Guterres is next on the stage. “The clock is ticking,” he tells the audience. “We are in the fight of our lives and we are losing. Greenhouse gas emissions keep growing, global temperatures keep rising, and our planet is fast approaching the tipping point that will make climate chaos irreversible. We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot still on the accelerator.”
Seeing that the visitors to the BBC News website preferred to read about how someone called Olivia Attwood had left I’m a Celebrity… rather than their imminent doom, I was reminded of the now-infamous Stuart Kirk and his wise words at the FT’s Moral Money Summit, or whatever it was called:
…Sharon [from Deloitte, in a previous talk] said we are not going to survive, and indeed no-one ran from the room. In fact most of you barely looked up from your mobile phones at the prospect of non-survival.
At about 1:53, but listen to the whole thing.
Then several other people – you don’t really need to know who – got up to say how terrible everything is. Eventually our own Rishi “Considerably Richer Than You” Sunak came on to say that the UK was going to deliver on its £11.6 billion climate finance – whatever that is. He also praised Egyptian President Fattah Al-Sisi, which was an interesting move. I’m not sure what Sunak said about Al-Sisi; Wiki says:
According to Human Rights Watch, Sisi’s government used torture and enforced disappearances against his political opponents and criminal suspects.Wiki
It has to be said that Sunak’s speech – at least as reported by the BBC – was sufficiently vanilla to allow him to avoid saying Ed Milliband-level stupid things. Speaking of Ed, the Beeb’s live reporting said this:
Labour’s shadow climate secretary Ed Miliband is not impressed – describing Sunak as a “fossil fuel PM in a renewable age”. “This is the man who had to be dragged even to go to COP27,” he says on Twitter, calling his speech “vacuous and empty”. “As Sunak preaches about clean energy abroad, he blocks onshore wind at home while giving massive tax breaks to the fossil fuel companies making billions in windfall profits at the expense of working people,” Miliband says.
On Sunday, on the Kuenssberg programme, Ed said several untrue things. He repeated the line that renewables are 9 times cheaper than fossil fuels (inexcusable). 30% of Pakistan was recently underwater thanks to climate change. (Neither assertion was questioned by Kuenssberg, despite this sceptic shouting at the TV.) If memory serves he also fretted about the Maldives (I’m not going to put myself through the trauma of watching it back).
In fact just as alarmist claptrap is firehosed upon the public, the public in turn close their ears and concentrate, not even on watching a pointless programme, but on reading about a pointless programme.
Wait – I’ve just realised what Guterres was on about: