Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Between scares

Are the tranzies jumping ship? Little Louise must have been weeping in her cups as she wrote this one ... and does that mean that the Dr Pachauri is also "largely irrelevant"? If so, that is something of a comedown from being master of the universe.

The very fact that the question is being asked, however, tends to confirm that the heat is going out of the global warming debate (to coin an unfortunate phrase). Apart from the committed protagonists on both sides, who increasingly take on the aspect of those learned academics who got so excited about angels dancing on heads of pins, the subject has virtually dropped out of the public domain. As an issue, it is dying of boredom.

Needless to say, the Greenies are casting about for a substitute. They have latched on to "biodiversity" as an interim scare - all part of the "Agenda 21" catalogue - but this has neither the same dramatic quotient nor anything like the same revenue-making potential.

We are almost getting to the situation where we will be seeing unemployed environmentalists walking the streets. As with unemployed actors who describe themselves as "between jobs", one might expect them to admit to being "between scares".

That said, we are not out of the woods, by a long chalk. The terminal phase of a full-blown scare is the regulatory phase, where laws are made to deal with with supposed threats highlighted by the original scare. This is most often where the effects are lasting and where real expense is involved. We are still dealing with the aftermath of the food scares of the late 1980s and early 1990s.

And that, of course, is where we stand now - with the Climate Change Act still in force, and ridiculous EU measures aplenty distorting public policy. They will actually outlast the scare. Such measures always do.

Thus, while we are picking out way through the snowdrifts, and bartering gold bars for rock salt, we will still be burdened by those espensive laws which our gifted legislators brought to us as their contribution to saving the planet.

But even now, somewhere, there are groups plotting and scheming, wanting to be the progenitors of the next scare - whatever that might be. And there will always be ranks of legislators willing to do their part, and protect the grateful public from yet another peril.

Would that the real truth could emerge, that the greatest threat to our health and wealth on this planet is idiot politicians, of which there seems an unending supply.