One can be forgiven for taking issue with new British Prime Minister Gordon Brown using his Washington Post op-ed today, coinciding with a visit to Camp David, to elevate climate change on par with the existential threat of nuclear proliferation and the scourge of poverty — what with climate change having never not been a reality for Mankind, who have for centuries proved with each generation a greater ability to adapt and otherwise deal with it. Specifically, he writes:
It is these [common] ideas that bind us and give us strength to work together to face down every challenge ahead — from the danger of nuclear proliferation, global poverty and climate change to, today, the biggest single and immediate challenge the world has to defeat: global terrorism that is hostile and hateful to all the values we share.
Still, amen brother. As such, however, Brown also implicitly slaps down the alarmist insistence that “climate change” — in this decade of no warming , most such hyperbole avoids “global warming” in favor of the safer, but still hysterical in this context, catch-all — “…is the most severe problem we are facing today – more serious even than the threat of terrorism.” That particular spin on the “greatest threat” hysteria belongs to HMG’s Chief Science Advisor under Brown’s predecessor Tony Blair,* aped by Bill Clinton’s “climate change is more remote than terror but a more profound threat to the future of the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren I hope all of you have because it’s the only thing that we face today that has the power to remove the preconditions of civilized society.” Hmmm, might want to read the papers, Mr. President.
Given that Blair, while in office, not only “gagged” King (much as Gore adviser and well-endowed John Kerry enthusiast James Hanson of NASA was “gagged”…to the tune of providing 1,400 interviews) for his incessant peddling of this comparison, but also sought to gently walk it back, the lesson in all of this is that the unelected are free to engage in such reckless rhetoric. Those who are or wish to in the future be subject to voters’ approval know that the public ain’t buying and, though tolerant of quite a lot from their political leaders, in this age where we are constantly reminded of demonstrable grave threats won’t take too kindly to such frivolity.
[*Sir David "is continuing his duties under Prime Minister Gordon Brown until the end of the year. He will then become president of the British Association for the Advancement of Science for 2008." Can't make this stuff up.]