Who needs pompous scientists with annoying graphs when we have Matt Hancock to solve the climate crisis?

The health secretary’s strategy for the election in 2060 is to win by five votes to three among the eight people left alive after the apocalypse

Mark Steel
Thursday 16 January 2020 17:19
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Matt Hancock tells public to carry on flying despite climate crisis

The issue of climate change can be complicated, so it’s encouraging that minister Matt Hancock was able to explain what to do about it with a simple answer.

He was asked if we should reduce the number of flights we take, and said: “No.”

At last here’s someone who can talk about the complexities of the environment with words we can understand, instead of pompous scientists, who try to convince us to fly less with annoying graphs and pictures of Greenland.

He went on to give a scientific explanation for his theory. “Because,” he said, “for many people, connectivity is important.”

This is a strong point, and would be even stronger if the argument of climate scientists was that people should take less flights because there’s no need to go anywhere.

He gave an excellent example, saying: “Take flights to the Scilly Isles. It takes a long time to get to the Scilly Isles if you’re not in an aeroplane.”

This is an excellent point, because it isn’t possible to reduce the number of flights in the world, anywhere, without leaving people in the Scilly Isles stranded like Tom Hanks in Castaway. That’s ecologists for you, the heartless bastards.

It’s all very well for Greta Thunberg to go on and on all day about people in the Scilly Isles ruining the planet with their incessant trips backwards and forwards to Penzance, but I’d like to see her try to go all that way by boat.

Hancock must have been responding to the International Panel on Climate Change Report, that stated: “Greenhouse gases are likely to rise by a further 3.4 per cent by 2030, according to current models based on existing data relating to melting ice caps, unless the population of the Scilly Isles stops buzzing about like bluebottles, the carbon-emitting wankers.”

At least he’s more on top of it than Dominic Raab, who wasn’t aware there was an English Channel. He’s probably already called Matt Hancock, and told him the solution to the problem is to drive to the Scilly Isles.

Hancock went on to explain air travel definitely won’t add to climate change, because, “electric planes are a potential in the not too distant future”. So that’s it, sorted. The carbon emissions of planes don’t add to the amount of carbon emissions, because different planes, as yet uninvented, but which might exist in the not too distant future, won’t emit carbon. As he’s health secretary, he should also tell us it’s fine to smoke Capstan full strength cigarettes all day, as there’s a potential for us all to have electric lungs in the not too distant future.

The current estimate from engineers is electric planes could be used on some short-haul routes by 2035. Many reports suggest we have to end carbon emissions completely by then, to keep the planet habitable, which means there’s every chance the electric planes will be available for long-haul flights just a few years after the human race has died out, so what is there to worry about?

Hancock seems to be as responsible as most world leaders in combatting the threat to our existence. For example, Australian prime minister Scott Morrison destroyed the argument of scientists who warn about the danger of fossil fuels, when he took a piece of coal into parliament and said: “I’m not scared of this.” At last here was some common sense, in the same way you might take a hair off a dead lion into parliament and say: “I’m not scared of this,” thus proving it’s safe to let lions wander round the city centre.

And Donald Trump won’t meekly back down to the climate’s demands, because he’s prepared to stand up to it. Before this year’s election he’ll announce: “I’ve spoken to the climate, and let me tell you, it’s ready to do a deal. It was tough but it’s ready, it’s a great deal, a terrific deal, you know I spoke to our policemen, I love our policemen, they told me they love snow, this deal’s going to get us a lot of snow.”

One problem is climate change scientists are seen as part of the “elite”, telling us ordinary people what to do. And you can understand why so many people are sick of being dictated to by powerful global bullies such as Swedish teenagers with their hair in plaits, so it’s no wonder the everyday working-class oil company executive and common Saudi prince have had enough.

So the British government is simply appealing to hard-working families, who don’t have time for daft middle-class issues such as whether we all die.

Matt Hancock should make a more complete statement, saying: “The UK weather service announced this week that 2019 was the second-hottest year on record, and the last 10 years the hottest decade on record, and this was driven by man-made carbon emissions. But they don’t know nothing, along with Nasa and people who spent the last 40 years studying Alaska. Bollocks to all of them because my mate Terry knows someone at the council and says it’s all made up by Attenborough, so he can make programmes about polar bears.”

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And this is all part of the strategy for winning the election in 2060, by five votes to three among the eight people left alive (all three on the losing side will stand to be the next Labour leader).

So maybe the best hope for the environment is to get Dominic Raab to convince the government how serious climate change is. Because if he goes down to Dover he’ll say: “Oh my God, where’s all the land gone? There was never a sea there before, it must be rising, Extinction Rebellion are right.”

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