It was a Radio 4 Thought for the Day last week.

Discussion (21)¬

  1. CliffB says:

    One has to admire the rabbi’s chutpah, and his ability to say that with a straight face.

  2. Jesus F Iscariot says:

    God gave us the earth to rule and enjoy.

    He and his mob of upscale customers join me in laughing at Climate Apocalypse and Climate Rebellion.

    We join with the .0001% who belong to Climate Delight. We don’t deny climate change just deny opposing it. We pretend and tell people it’s nonsense. Let’s all use it up orgiastically and die before the hangover the kids will encounter.

  3. jb says:

    Why does everyone keep calling climate change an “existential threat”? My own personal opinion is that it is probably real but probably won’t be as bad as claimed, and won’t even be the most disruptive problem we face in the 21st century. But even if it is as bad as some claim (provided you limit “some” to serious scientists), it won’t even come close to threatening the existence of humanity, or even industrial civilization. In fact if our population were smaller and we didn’t have so many poor people living in low lying coastal areas it wouldn’t even qualify as a major disaster, just a major but drawn out expense to relocate some of our cities and agriculture. There’s no guarantee that humanity will still be around 1000 years from now, but if we aren’t it won’t be climate change that did us in.

  4. MAT says:

    It seems that reliance on science in relation to the climate crisis has the opposite position to what it has when the subject is religion. While citing science as a reason to criticize and mock many people of faith for ignoring science because it questions their beliefs or challenges how they live, it seems fine for some, probably a minority, enlightened people can ignore science because they disagree with it. The arrogance of humanity, religious or not, is sad.

  5. Jim Baerg says:

    Here is an interesting picture of the world after global warming
    However, he wrote it before Ocean Acidification got much publicity, so that would make the post warming world much less pleasant.

  6. Oozoid says:

    I wonder how many of those who insist the government should ignore referendum results because voters are too stupid to know what’s good for them are also those who, when it comes to global warming, insist the government should heed a 16-year-old who bunks school.

  7. RobJFH says:

    Ooh, a new Jesus and Mo! Councillor Khayer Chowdhury will be pleased!

  8. M27Holts says:

    The fact that Radio 4 wont allow non religious voices on TFTD is the acid test. The programme has no place in todays mechanized ethos. It is an anachronism.

  9. M27Holts says:

    And in the referendum, I voted to stay in because I did not have enough data to convince me that britain outside tbe EU would be stronger economically than within the common market (as was). The majoriry of those who voted were almost certainly less informed than I was, a ln/out referendum was a ludicrous idea by Cameron. I think he realises that now…

  10. Laripu says:

    jb – if rising waters was the only problem I’d agree with you.

    However, rising temperatures over a short (non-evolutionary) time scale means that some species, maybe many, will not adapt. So the food chain will be affected. The food chain is already affected by environmental stressors like plastics and pesticides and oil spills.

    Expect many extinctions.

    The many consequences of short time scale rising temperatures can become an existential threat, beyond coastal cities.

  11. Laripu says:

    American former congresswoman (and permanent wingnut) says there will be no existential threat, because after Noah’s flood, god promised us that.


  12. Laripu says:

    Oozoid, the 16 year old who skipped class is not the only voice speaking against the problems we will face due to climate change. If she were, your analysis would be apt, but actually she’s just a a PR person. The opinion she represents is held by




    Since I’m nearly 63, I may live to see some consequences, but probably not the worst of them, more than 50 years from now.

  13. jb says:

    Laripu — If our population was smaller it’s unlikely that food would become a problem. And even if it does become a problem in the real world it still won’t be an “existential” threat, merely a disaster. Humanity isn’t going extinct because of climate change.

  14. Laertes says:

    M27Holts no he doesn’t. I heard his interview in the Freakonomics podcast and he still thinks it was a great idea.

  15. Laripu says:

    jb, ok. But if there’s a collapse of the food chain, you could get a 90% population drop in 100 years. So because of the 10% left it wouldn’t be an existential disaster for the human race. However it would be an existential disaster for human civilization.

    To me, that’s pretty damn terrible anyway.

  16. Dodgy Geezer says:

    The comparison of Climate Change ‘deniers’ with people holding religious views is an odd and, in my view, rather a mistaken one to make.

    You see, science proceeds by making hypotheses and checking them against observations. And there is now quite a lot of observational evidence showing that the belief that Climate Change is an ‘immediate and existential threat’ is wrong. ALL the early model predictions which suggested this are now shown to be greatly exaggerated, and believers in ‘climate change disaster’ have for some time been modifying their theories to suggest that the heat that they require is ‘hiding somewhere’, or that the observations are in some way wrong – exactly the behaviour which you expect of religious sects when their predictions of the end of the world do not come true.

    Very little new ‘evidence’ is actually forthcoming from the IPCC at this time, and there are increasing numbers of papers suggesting natural causes for the recent temperature rises. Most of the stories about CO2 which people pass around come from activists and journalists anxious to support major environmental and lifestyle policy shifts. The science is certainly not ‘settled’ in the way that many politicians seem to think that it is…

  17. Paddy says:

    Climate change is one of those frustrating issues where public understanding of the science has been clouded by politics. There’s a widespread tendency for people to argue in favour of or against doing anything about climate change depending on whether their political views sit on the left or the right, and then to pick a view on what’s actually happening that accords with that.

    Except among scientists, where the overwhelming consensus is that climate change is a problem we absolutely need to do something about. The problem is, some of its most dramatic impacts are too slow and long-term to fit in with the ordinary cycle of planning. Who cares about 1 or 2m of sea level rise in the next hundred years, or more than that again in the following hundred years, when half the world’s population have less than 50 years left to live?

  18. Jim Baerg says:

    Another part of the problem is that the most practical non-carbon energy source is vehemently opposed by people who are lying about it or who believe the lies. Many of those same people claim to be worried about climate change. Just in case I should mention the name of that energy source – nuclear fission.
    Here is a pretty good series of articles on the truth about nuclear.

  19. jb says:

    The oil companies et. al. are not necessarily lying about climate change, in the sense that they are saying things they know to be untrue. I read somewhere that the tobacco executives who fought so hard against the claim that smoking caused cancer were all ferocious smokers themselves. People are really, really, really good at finding reasons to believe things that serve their own interests.

  20. Laripu says:

    jb, great reference to Upton Sinclair. Everyone should read his novel “The Jungle”. It explains a lot about snowball m American culture circa 1905.

  21. Laripu says:

    Aaargggh! Defeated by autocorrect! That should have been:
    It explains a lot about people and American culture circa 1905.


NOTE: This comments section is provided as a friendly place for readers of J&M to talk, to exchange jokes and ideas, to engage in profound philosophical discussion, and to ridicule the sincerely held beliefs of millions. As such, comments of a racist, sexist or homophobic nature will not be tolerated.

If you are posting for the first time, or you change your username and/or email, your comment will be held in moderation until approval. When your first comment is approved, subsequent comments will be published automatically.