Dear Quadrant Online: I am 50 years old. Some of my little friends say there is no Climate Change. My friend Wayne says, ‘If you see it in Quadrant it’s so.’ Please tell me the truth; is there a Climate Change?
Julia Gillard, The Lodge, Canberra
Julia, your little friends are wrong. They have been affected by the scepticism of a sceptical age. They do not believe except what they see. They think that nothing can be which is not comprehensible by their little minds. All minds, Julia, whether they be politicians’, or children’s, are little.
In this great universe of ours man is a mere insect, an ant, in his intellect, as compared with the boundless world about him, as measured by the CSIRO, NASA and the University of East Anglia which alone have the intelligence capable of grasping the whole of truth and knowledge.
Yes, Julia, there is Climate Change. It exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound in your government to give to our life its highest beauty and joy. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no changes to the climate. It would be as dreary as if there were no people smugglers. There would be no Greens’ support, no Treasury modelling, no IPCC, no Tim Flannery to make tolerable your political existence. We should have no enjoyment, except in the nonsense of Question Time and the sight of your ministers in photo opportunities. The eternal light with which childhood fills your world would be extinguished.
Not believe in Climate Change!
You might as well not believe in opinion polls! You might get Greg Combet to hire men to watch all the chimneys all the year to catch the CO2, but even if they did not see it coming out, what would that prove? Nobody sees CO2, but that is no sign that there is no CO2 damaging the world. The most dangerous things in the world are those that neither children nor politicians can see.
Did you ever see fairies dancing on the Lodge lawn? Of course not, but that’s no proof that they are not there. Only scientists can conceive or imagine all the horrors there are unseen and unseeable in the world – melting glaciers, rising oceans, dying reefs.
You may tear apart the baby’s rattle and see what makes the noise inside, but there is a veil covering the unseen world of climate which not the strongest man, nor even the united strength of all the strongest men that ever lived, could tear apart. Only faith, ideology, romance and Ross Garnaut can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond.
Is it all real? Ah, Julia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.
No Climate Change! Thank God! It lives, and lives forever. A thousand years from now, Julia, nay, ten times ten thousand years from now, it will continue to make glad the hearts of politicians in their childhood.