Richard North, 01/11/2021  

The above is an annotated handout photo made available by the Quirinal Press Office. It shows Italian President Sergio Mattarella (at the far side of the table) as he delivers a speech during an official dinner on the occasion of the G20, Rome, Italy, 30 October 2021.

At the table, feasting on salmon and sea bass are some of the same people – prime minister Johnson and Prince Charles included – who have now jetted off to Glasgow to lecture us plebs about changing our lifestyles in order to save the planet.

Those same people, in their 400 private jets, will – according to the Daily Record - produce more global warming gas than 1,600 Scots burn through in a year, although they will be vastly out-competed by president Biden.

His grotesque 85-vehicle cavalcade thundering through the streets of Rome was remarkable enough, but few people realise that some of the gleaming black limousines have been flown over from the United States in a USAF C-17 cargo jet, in order to convey the president to his final destinations.

No doubt there are practical reasons for all that we have seen, but the behaviour takes on different optics when these people seek to intrude into our daily lives in such a dramatic fashion that is required by their "net zero" policies.

Since they plan to curtail our freedoms and impoverish us all, for the sake of their half-baked "green" ideology, they should be conscious of the need to set an example. There was no need for a gala dinner at the end of the G20 conference and to have held one at all smacks of reckless extravagance.

After a decade of "austerity", public moods are changing. What might have been acceptable once (barely) now reeks of hypocrisy. That the festive diners didn't realise this goes to show how out of touch they really are. If ever there was a Marie Antoinette moment, this was it.

Yet, such is the power of this secular religion that we are supposed to accept the hypocrisy of the gilded elites. We are even supposed to hang on the words of a the new climate elite, represented by the Swedish teenage, Greta Thunberg, whose forebear is part of the climate royalty who just happened to play a key role in the creation of her religion.

Before he died, Booker actually saw some relief in his own demise in that he no longer wanted to be part of a world that elevated a teenage girl to the status of a global guru, lauded by statesmen, politicians and scientists with all the fervour of a second coming.

For my own part, I am 73. I have a PhD and a lifetime of experience of practical politics. I have been studying the politics of global warming for longer than this girl has existed on this planet. Thus, I wonder if those who are so keen to give this creature a platform have the first inkling of how offensive it is to be lectured by her.

She happily claims that, sometimes you need to anger people, and in this she has certainly succeeded – but not for the reasons she thinks. This girl has nothing to say that I want to hear, and I most strongly object to her being allowed to promote her brand of climate worship.

Much the same, of course, applies to Johnson. From the very start, this man has been totally unfit for office; as a congenital liar, nothing he says can be trusted. He has spent his career talking down climate change and just because he has embraced climate worship with the zeal of a convert is no more reason to trust his judgement than we ever did.

This, I don't think enough people really understand. Johnson is tarnished goods. The very fact that he supports a cause is good enough reason in itself for opposing it. His attachment to the irrational and ill-conceived policy of "net zero" is simply more evidence of his unfitness for office.

But then, of course, we have the "scientific consensus", with its partner-in-crime, "peer review", in the face of which we are supposed to bow down and give obeisance, suspending all critical judgement.

Yet I met both these demi-gods in 1988 – long before little Greta was born. Then, exploiting the ignorance of junior health minister Edwina Currie, the scientific establishment – on the basis of scientific fraud written up in the Lancet - managed to convince her and through her the nation that most egg production was infected with salmonella.

This was something which was not true and scientifically improbable, but I had to go to San Francisco to find a scientist honest enough to say so. In the meantime, the "scientist" who made the running was a specialist in antibiotic resistance by the name of Richard Lacey, a professor of medical microbiology from Leeds Medical School, who had no experience of food microbiology, egg production nor food safety.

Yet, despite having researched the subject to the nth-degree, from my position as a food safety expert, I found my views on breakfast television dismissed with the sneer: who are you, Mr North, (as I was then) to dispute what Professor Lacey says?

Thus, while I am most certainly not a climate scientist, reinforced by my own PhD studies, I have a better grasp of the politics of science than most – and a healthy distrust of consensus and peer review. And if ever there was an issue dominated by the politics, climate science is it.

This is a domain where we are endlessly told that the Arctic ice is shrinking, and was set to disappear completely in the summer by as early as 2015, yet seems to be undergoing a cyclical renaissance. The same models would have the Antarctic warming up, when the region has just undergone its coldest period since records begun.

This is the domain of the climate modellers, some of whom bend their models to create new facts, and none of whom are able accurately to predict future temperatures. As time passes, they are forever having to go back and adjust their models retrospectively to conform with real-world observations.

Almost every model, it would seem, exaggerates past and (therefore) future warming, while lurid predictions of Armageddon sustain a crisis atmosphere, supported by a prime minister repeating the "one minute to midnight" schtick, which is simply not supported by the facts.

Yet even if the science was "settled" which, of course, it isn't and can't be – not least evidenced by the vast disparity of the climate models on offer – the policy response to the perceived threats is entirely political. It is not for scientists to instruct us on how we deal with their claims, any more than it is for generals to tell us when to go to war. These are political decisions.

And here, there can be no valid dispute that Johnson's "net zero" policy is entirely a political construct. It is for us, therefore, to decide on how we respond, and in a (supposed) democracy, the response should be defined in a democratic manner, with the informed consent of the people.

This is especially the case when the policy is self-evidently flawed, will fail to achieve its political purpose and will weaken this country economically and physically. And for those who insist that there is "no alternative" response to the perceived threat, one has to point out that the alternative to committing suicide is to not commit suicide.

Here, though, is the great divide, where there are those who walk amongst us who most certainly are not democrats. The right to be consulted by our political masters by way of a referendum is deemed to be a "manifestation of the populist right's belligerent scepticism".

This is why our petition is so important. It is a step in the assertion of our right as a people to be consulted by our political masters, and the further right to exercise a veto on the aspirations of government, if the majority deems that necessary.

It really is quite remarkable, therefore, how so many people are so passive in the exercise of their rights, and are quick to expend energy on expounding their views on why a course of action is fruitless.

In general – simply on the basis that there are more of us than there are of them – we have more power than most people appreciate. But we only have power if we choose to exercise it. As I said in an earlier piece, though, we cannot leave it too long.

Also published on Turbulent Times.

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