Sunday, November 20, 2011
Taking the piss out of wind
Should we care that Prince Phillip has declared wind farms "useless", as retailed by the Sunday Telegraph and now the Daily Mail? Does it make any difference?
Certainly, at one level, it doesn't matter at all – it is just huge fun, especially with Dad stuffing Charlie Boy and his enthusiasm for all things green.
But in other ways it does matter a great deal. It is one of those "writing on the wall" moments, where the Duke articulates that which is believed by the majority of people.
And while that will have no immediate effect, it makes it that much more difficult for politicians to pursue their green obsessions, and for campaigners to claim popular support. The Duke will have given aid and comfort to those who oppose them, branding as he has done people who back them as believing in a "fairy tale".
Such things matter in this class-ridden society, where the Royal Family is still a powerful part of the establishment. Taking the piss out of windmills now has royal approval. Things will never be the same again.
But in general, the Duke is part of a broader trend. Booker writes today in his column of the conclusion of a new IPCC report, which states that, over the next few decades, "climate change signals are expected to be relatively small compared to natural climate variability".
In plain English, Booker himself concludes, that means the great scare story is over. And, indeed it is it. Pronouncements by the IPCC and fellow warmists which even recently gained maximum headlines now barely ripple the surface of the media, editors long since having decided that public interest has evaporated.
And it is that, more than anything, which does for the scare. For a scare to exert is effect, people must actually be scared. When the subject is greeted with indifference, the discussion confined to a limited number of specialist blogs and journals, it has nowhere to go.
But there is another factor. Only a few years ago, the European Union was still in an expansionist phase, and saw in global warming a topic which could help it promote its political ends. But with the EU itself now going through an existential crisis, it has neither time nor energy to devote to the scare, and has lost such an amount of authority that its support is not the asset it once was.
With the campaign thus weakened, it then really does matter that the Royal piss-taker should now strike. The wind movement is weaker now than it was yesterday and, in months to come, will be even weaker. There are still fortunes being wasted, but there is now possibly an end in sight.