Hi Dave, me again. Just thought that I’d flag up a couple of potential problems for you, as we both know that forward planning doesn’t appear to be one of your strengths. Sorry to be a nuisance and all that, but there are a few dark clouds on the horizon. I know that you’re a busy chap, so I’ll just dive straight in, in no particular order.
A thoroughly bad sort, I’m sure we both agree. Personally, I’d go further—I’d say he was a raving loony fascist. You might be thinking that I’m being a little harsh, but I stand by my words.
Now, the thing is, Dave, the raving loony fascist has a bit of a shot at becoming the next president of one of our ex-colonies. You might think the notion is far fetched, but the thing is the Cousins Across the Pond do have some sort of democracy—I hear they actually have two elected chambers. Everything bigger and better in America, eh Dave? I mean, we get by very well with one elected chamber, and although it was a sad day when the Aristos lost the right to ignore the oiks in that elected chamber, we soon made up for it by flogging-off titles, so the right sort of chaps (and chapesses) could sit and pontificate for days on end, on full expenses. I digress—the Cousins do have a democracy of sorts, which means that there is an electorate. Now we both know how thoroughly unreliable an animal an electorate can be, don’t we, Dave? Just cast your mind back to May—the month, not the woman in the large heels, she’s the Home Secretary. See my point? I mean, there you were, doing the decent thing and writing a resignation speech, and the unreliable blighters went and elected you, with a working majority. If you need further convincing, the bloody socialists have just won a by-election, despite everybody saying that Comrade Corbin had made them unelectable. You just can’t trust the electorate, can you? Ever since we abolished rotten boroughs in a misguided attempt to make the elected chamber vaguely representative of what the unwashed masses thought they wanted, the country’s been going to the dogs. Anyway, the thing is, the raving loony fascist just might get elected, which could potentially cause a number of problems. Again, in no particular order, these include:
- May—the woman in the big heels, not the month—might start insisting that we ban all Americans from visiting this country, as they are obviously all mentally unhinged, gun-toting sociopathic maniacs who couldn’t figure out what the hell was going on. She might well be correct in that assertion, but it would play havoc with the Special Relationship. You remember, that thing which means they send us stuff they think we might like, food, ships, aircraft—the odd bit of loose change so we can all go out of a Saturday night and have a good time—then tell us that it was actually a loan, and we owe them a gazillion dollars, starting from yesterday. I know, I know, we make our own ships and George told you that we had a bit of spare cash lying around at the moment, but we haven’t made a decent aircraft since the Sopwith Camel went out of production in 1919, and you’ve just announced that we’re going to bomb some more people—no wait, it was the same people but in a different place, and we were going to bomb them more often—anyway, it means we’re going to need some working aircraft, which will cost money.
- Refugees. No, not that lot in Calais that keep trying to avoid paying the fare across and get run over by trains, there’s only a few million of them—no, I’m talking about potentially 100 million Americans, all claiming political asylum because the raving loony fascist has been elected. And I guarantee you that they will all be mentioning the Special Relationship, the 17-18 war, and the 41-45 one as well. They’ll all want to own guns, have bigger cars—and they’ll drive up the price of the few remaining decent titles. It just doesn’t bear thinking about, but you’d better start. I tell you, each and every one of them will be claiming British ancestors, apologising for being rude to George 111, apologising for not being able to make a decent harbour of tea, swearing allegiance to Brenda, and demanding to be let in.
My God man, there could be a civil war. California trying to secede from the Union. No, Dave, please try and keep up, I’m not talking about Comrade Corbin again, I’m talking about a real, honest to goodness civil war. Now, I’m sure your ex best pal, Lord Ashcroft, could tell you that there is money to be made in civil wars—or he would if he were still talking to you. It could prove to be very profitable, but just keep in mind that we must not get directly involved. Nobody has ever thanked anybody for getting involved in their civil war—remember that—do not get involved in somebody else’s civil war. It is OK to flog them arms, ammunition and other stuff, but you must remain strictly neutral and sell to both sides. Repeat after me, the former colony is a jolly big place and we couldn’t make enough boots to put on the ground, let alone have people wearing the boots as well.
Right then, Dave, that’s enough to be going on with about the former colony’s political machinations. I now want to draw your attention to something else.
I know that you noticed it has been raining a bit up North (that far-off place of which we normally wish to know very little)—you made rather a good speech about it on your recent visit, promising them extra-galoshes, flood defences and even relief from paying tax for a while—we will spend whatever it takes, you said—I do hope you cleared all that with George first, you know how touchy he can be about money. Be that as it may—no, not that woman or the month—you need to understand a couple of things about Climate Change. Don’t worry, Dave, it’s really very, very simple. You see, Climate Change basically means that it rains a lot. Got that? Good. Now, I’ll take this slowly, but do stop me if you get lost.
If we’re in an Ice Age, the rain freezes, and so do we. If we’re in a period when the planet—that’s the lump of rock that we live on, Dave—is being a Greenhouse planet, then it gets bloody hot and steamy, the ice melts and we all drown. Still with me? Excellent, well done. I want to make one more point, Dave. It involves a bit of history, but we’ll take it in easy stages.
Creationists and Intelligent Design adherents not withstanding, this planet has been in existence for about four billion years, give or take the odd millennium. It has been inhabitable for about three billion years—that’s when microbes first appeared. What? Oh all right then, that’s when Back Benchers and Ian Duncan Smith first appeared. Since that time, scientists—clever buggers in white coats, most of them from Grammar Schools, or latterly, Comprehensives—have determined, don’t ask me exactly how, it’s far too complicated, that there have been about two hundred major climate change events. They say that for 85% of the 3 billion years that IDS and other Microbes have been around, this was a Greenhouse planet. 10% of the time it was a frozen snowball, and the other 5% of the time it was changing from being in one of those categories into the other. Now, I’m not a scientist, or a statistician. I have difficulty with Game Theory, or the Laws of Probability, or even sometimes tying my shoelaces, so I admit that I could be wrong in what I am about to say. It seems to me that if the clever buggers in white coats are correct, then we weren’t around for 199 out of the 200 occasions that the climate changed, ergo, IT’S NOT OUR FAULT. There’s no point in wringing our hands over carbon emissions, because not only are we not going to agree on targets, it will most likely have no effect if we did agree, and achieved them. We are wasting time, emulating King Canute, who tried—and failed— to stop the tide coming in. We will not prevent climate change, so we’d better figure out how to live with it, and quick.
Now don’t get me wrong, Dave. I remember being told about the infamous London ‘pea-souper’ fogs, when tens of thousands of people died prematurely from lung disease. I remember seeing the Los Angeles Smog, and hearing about how it raised the temperature in the Los Angeles basin, and also cause respiratory problems. Nobody wants pollution—although there is some evidence that having clean air means that the heat from the Sun can warm the oceans more effectively, meaning that storms become more severe because they are gaining energy from those self-same warm oceans—no, you’re right, forget I said that. Much too complicated. How can I put this, then?
What you should have said during your visit up North, was bugger the flood defences, let this be a lesson to us all. What we need to do is move towns up to the tops of the hills rather than having them nestle in the flood plains below the hills. There is a reason why flood plains are called flood plains—and the fact that we’ve spent the last forty years building houses on them doesn’t alter the fact that they flood when it rains a lot—and if you remember how I started this explanation, it’s going to be raining a lot, Dave. And the winds will blow—which means that onshore wind farms will be able to supply the power that we need to keep the pumps working–with the added benefit that there will be no carbon emissions (if that turns out to have any bearing on the problem) and no pollution. And it will never run out.
What’s that? Yes, I know that people don’t like onshore wind farms—come to that they don’t like solar panel farms, fracking or the next-door neighbours. Tell them that they like electricity, so they can sod off. Harsh?—OK tell them that you’re going to build the onshore wind farms on the flood plains. Sooner or later, they will become offshore wind farms, and then they’ll become wave turbines, because they’ll be under water. That should keep everybody happy—except Greenpeace—they’re never happy about anything. What? Worried that might make you unelectable? That’s what you were told about Comrade Corbin.
And one last thing—don’t send all the shovels up North, we’re going to have to start moving up into the hills as well.