Climate change – the gift that keeps on taking
So, the latest dispatch from the edge of common sense comes courtesy of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and, quelle surprise, things aren't looking great for us here in Ireland.
In fact, according to the IPCC, climate change could lead to losses of €2bn a year to our agricultural sector and we face the possibility of droughts and floods, although presumably not at the same time.
But they are sure that Very Bad Things are going to happen and the only possible answer is to add more taxes to the average household's annual bill. Because you know what? We really aren't paying enough taxes as it is, are we?
I touched on this last week and made the rather obvious and indisputable point that the only way to end world hunger is increased industrialisation and urbanisation. And that, inevitably, will lead to more pollution. So, what is it to be? Clean air or starving babies?
But if the frenzied and typically deranged reaction of some people to that piece was an indication more of their own belligerent confusion and virulently self-righteous ideology, they all seemed to be launched from an incorrect premise, so allow me to clarify things. Let us accept, for starters, that the climate is changing and not for the better. Let us accept, even further, that is indeed man made. Let's forget about, for example, previous ice ages.
In fact, let us forget all about the other contrary evidential nuggets and take Al Gore and Mary Robinson at their word. So, I'm not coming at this from the angle of a 'denier' – that obnoxious misappropriation of a Holocaust term.
Let's assume the current party line is correct – and that's when it gets interesting. Because if we accept all of the above then it actually becomes clear that there is not a single thing that this country can do about it. Our contribution is so infinitesimally minuscule when compared to even the daily output of an average city in China that any new charges and new changes in this country will be a pointless and needless intrusions into our private lives and our pockets.
But it looks there might be more to this new religion, or 'eco-spirituality', than meets the eye. And should we be surprised?
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which represented Ireland at the conference (presumably they either swim or use a rowing boat to attend these meetings) says: "Vulnerable groups in Ireland are likely to require on-going assistance or relocation. There may be movement of peoples to Ireland from Europe and elsewhere, perhaps on a seasonal basis, due to adverse climate conditions."
I have to say, I didn't see that one coming. But how long was it going to take for one neo-faith, climate change, to merge with that other hip orthodoxy, mass immigration?
It shouldn't matter where you stand on the state of our climate, but we should all be aware of the fact that it is now part of a completely different debate. Tellingly, we are informed that not only do we face an influx of climate refugees from Europe, but we also face an influx from 'elsewhere', which presumably means developing countries. And, as we know, it's these very same developing countries who are creating the pollution that got us into this mess in the first place.
But if we're going to marry climate change and immigration into one big, politically toxic ball, is there anything we can do about it?
Well, we should immediately close our borders and finally invest in a proper nuclear power scheme which would make us more self-sufficient than we have ever been.
So the next time you're stuck with a bore droning on about people using the wrong light bulbs, simply remind them that the only solution is rigid immigration control, strict borders and indigenous Irish nuclear power plants.
After all, if we are to take them at their word, then surely that is the only sensible option?
AS A COLUMNIST I... OH, FORGET IT
One of the most depressing aspects of modern life is how the gullible and the credulous still believe in ghosts, ghouls and goblins. Still, anything can survive in a free market, even if it's psychics and mediums selling nonsense and their only crime is relieving silly people of their money. And that's a form of economic Darwinism that's been around forever.
But I was particularly taken by a recent family snapshot which apparently captured the ghost of a child in Cork. Now, these are the kind of interesting photographic anomalies that are thrown up from time to time but, in an age of digital manipulation, most of us remain sceptical. But we would be wrong, because according to medium Sarah Delamere Hurding: "As a psychic, I can assure you that this picture is not photoshopped."
Forgive me, but that is about as reassuring as hearing someone say: "As a stamp collector, I can assure you that this spacecraft is fine."
In other words, not very reassuring at all.
STUPIDITY IS IN THE EYE OF THE BEHOLDER
Not for the first time and probably not for the first time this week, or this morning, or since whenever he last opened his mouth, Jeremy Clarkson once again finds himself in trouble.
Having recently endured ridiculous accusations of racism after referring to a 'slope' on a bridge in Vietnam, he has now attracted the ire of the permanently outraged by naming his dog Didier Dogba, after the Chelsea legend.
And, you've guessed it, because Didier is a black West Highland – the dog, that is, not the player – and the real Didier is black, giving that dog that name is an act of blatant racial provocation.
It's all ridiculous, of course.
Particularly when you consider his cat is called Eichmann and his favourite race horse goes by the name Adolf Hitler Was Right.