If the sight of an 80-year-old undergoing self-flagellation doesn't float your boat, you probably gave BBC1 a miss last night. In his programme Are We Changing Planet Earth? Sir David Attenborough gave himself a sound thrashing for damaging the environment while making all those nature programmes.
Former wannabe president Al Gore is at it too, inviting all Americans to get the flagellation habit by watching An Inconvenient Truth, his new documentary about how we're all to blame for changing the planet.
Both he and Sir David are singing from the same hymn-sheet - and it is the one that harps on about how mankind has sinned by wresting control of the environment from Mother Nature. Its chorus features in the trailer to Gore's film: "Did the planet betray us - or did we betray the planet?"
As a false dichotomy, this is right up there with Dubya's: "You're either with us or against us in the fight against terror." The mere fact that Gore and Attenborough are even around to feel bad shows the central flaw at the heart of their guilt-fests: the idea that we'd all be better off if we left the environment alone.
Left to its own devices, our planet would have long since reverted to its preferred state of the last 40 million years: a frigid Ice Age. Fortunately, a new climatic influence kicked in around 8,000 years ago to stop the Ice Age from reasserting itself. It's called H. sapiens. By indulging in the sinful practices of crop-planting, tree-clearing and biomass-burning, we have boosted levels of greenhouse gases and darkened the surface of our planet, thus increasing the amount of sunlight trapped by the Earth.Of course, we should take care not to over-egg things - but so should the eco-doomsters. Have we changed the planet? You bet. And it's all the better for it.
from the FIRST POSTED
Thursday, October 26, 2006
GLOBAL WARMING HAS SAVED THE WORLD!