Global warming is happening and it’s my fault. That’s the political and scientific consensus at present.
I say my fault because I drive to work, heat my house and wash using hot water, all of which give me a larger carbon footprint than the average penguin. Not, it should be noted, larger than a South American cow, although that’s another story.
OK, so everyone says I must trade in my diesel van for a milk float and turn the central heating down, fit solar panels and erect a windmill.
I wonder whether all this potential eco-action would do more for my conscience than the future of the planet?
Anyway, I heard something very strange on the radio the other day: Mr Neil McGregor of the British Museum presenting a history of the world in one hundred objects. Fascinating listening and thinking – well done BBC.
The object in question was a pestle, said to be around 10,000 years old, and evidence that at that time we moved from hunter gathering to a more settled farming life style.
Mr McGregor then stated that at this point in history the climate warmed by around 7 degrees in one hundred years and sea levels rose by 5 meters. Britain became an island and America was lost for thousands of years. Given that I only started driving in 1986 we need another culprit.
The following seems to me a perfectly plausible theory.
When the earth started to warm, penguins and polar bears from all over the globe converged on a rapidly melting ice sheet now known as Copenhagen.
I feel sure they must have decided, as we have, that global warming is caused by too much gas and to remedy this, they passed a law stating that emissions must be drastically reduced.
They did not, however, allow for the law of unintended consequences. Three weeks later, hundreds of thousands of penguins and polar bears exploded, releasing an enormous volume of gas into the atmosphere and tipping global warming into overdrive.
Very few penguins and polar bears survived, those that did blamed each other for the catastrophe, and after much fighting divided the last remaining habitable areas between them.