Julia Hartley-Brewer: Don’t Panic About Climate Change: The End Isn’t Nigh
REMEMBER those men who used to wander the streets with placards proclaiming “The End Is Nigh” in big black letters, shouting about how the world is about to be destroyed and how we’ll all go to Hell?
We used to pass by, laugh at the lunacy of the doomsayers, shrug and carry on happily with our own lives. Today, though, the people predicting the end of the world aren’t standing on street corners shouting into the wind, they’re on our TV screens, leading political parties and are even members of the Royal Family. The doomsday cultists have gone mainstream and now anyone who’s anyone is busy predicting the impending green apocalypse.
Prince Harry is just the latest high-profile figure to insist that we must do more to protect our planet or face its imminent destruction.
He confessed last week in an interview in Vogue magazine – guest-edited by his wife Meghan – that the couple plan to have only two children in a bid to save the environment.
It’s a bit rich for a couple who routinely travel by private jet, own a huge house which cost £2.4million of taxpayers’ money to do up and whose wedding cost £32million, to be waxing lyrical about cutting their carbon footprint.
But it isn’t the hypocrisy of these painfully “woke” royals and their celebrity chums that worries me; it’s the fact that so many of them seem to believe the nonsense they spout.
It’s one thing to worry about a changing climate and pollution, to want to do away with single-use plastic bottles and bags, end dumping of waste in our oceans and to move away from fossil fuels to more sustainable forms of energy.
It’s quite another to sign up to the hysterical misery of the eco-lunatics such as Extinction Rebellion who insist that we have only a few years to save our planet from destruction.
If the doomsday cultists are to be believed, every time we take a holiday flight or get in our cars or eat a hamburger, we are killing our planet.
And the birth of a baby dwarfs all of those terrible deeds when it comes to their carbon footprint. Simply by existing, every child is bringing the end of human existence a little bit closer.
What must it be like to wake each morning and think the end is nigh?
How terrifying must it be to spend all day worrying that the human race faces extinction? How miserable must it be to believe that it’s wrong to bring a new life into the world because of an uncertain future on a dying planet?
Frankly, I’m amazed that people like Meghan and Harry can find the where-with-all to even get up in the morning.
It must be utterly grim to have such a pessimistic view of the world, your future and of your fellow human beings.
More importantly however, it is a viewpoint that is also staggeringly at odds with the facts. The world is not about to end – climate change or no climate change. And the Earth’s population is not about to overburden our planet.
Ever since Thomas Malthus published An Essay On The Principle Of Population in 1798, so-called “experts” have been predicting that the world will run out of resources to feed the rising population.
Earth’s population was under one billion in Malthus’s day, yet six and a half billion later, here we are.
Indeed, thanks to human ingenuity – to the Industrial Revolution, advances in agriculture, science and medicine – more of us are living longer and healthier lives than ever before.
The world isn’t going to Hell in a handcart even if the population reaches nine billion.
We have more people for three reasons: first, fewer babies are dying thanks to medical advances.
Secondly, more medical advances mean fewer people are dying of preventable diseases in epidemics. Thirdly, we’re all living longer. Instead of dying at 35, we’re living more than twice as long.
Isn’t that all wonderful? How anyone can claim the rising global population is a bad thing defies belief – and reason.
And YET Prince Harry and Meghan have joined the ranks of the doomsday cultists along with 16-year-old Swedish schoolgirl Greta Thunberg, new global head of the green religion.
This little girl in pigtails is feted as the eco-oracle, with politicians, journalists, celebrities – yes, and royals – hanging on her every word as she predicts catastrophe if we don’t listen to her call to arms.
This is a terrible state of affairs when even the most privileged among us are signed up to the doom and gloom of the eco-cultists, despite all evidence to the contrary.
Truth is, there has never been a better time to be alive, whether you live in a palace or a mud hut.
Our planet will still be here, merrily turning, providing a home to billions, long after Meghan and Harry’s great-great-great-great-grandchildren have been born and this ridiculous doomsday cult has been consigned to the history books.
As we might once have said to the man with his “The End Is Nigh” placard: “Cheer up, mate, it might never happen!”
“We need to create Fear!” That’s what Al Gore said to me [Hans Rosling] at the start of our first conversation about how to teach climate change. — Hans Rosling, Factfulness – Rosling declined Al Gore’s invitation.
I say, plant a tree or a plant and go for a ride.–Bandit