Guardian eco-journalist Graham Readfearn celebrates his 50th Planet Oz post with a “selection of great comedy moments in climate change” including clips from Ali G, John Oliver and The Onion.
Hilariously Readfearn seems unaware that some of the jokes are on him: check out the first Onion clip in which Christian groups argue that Biblical Armageddon should be taught alongside Global Warming in classrooms as an “alternative” theory as to how we are doomed and are all going to die horribly:
This is a brilliant bit of satire, apparently lost on Readfearn (and I’m not sure about some of the other clips either….), because part of what passes as climate change education really does involve scaring little children as a public policy.
Don’t believe me? Consider that Al Gore’s An Inconvenient Truth– a political propaganda fim made by a VP on the campaign trail- was distributed to every high school in the UK to form part of the geography syllabus, a decision that resulted in legal action against the British government by a concerned parent whose complaints were partly held up in court.
The effects of exposing school children to tales of apocalyptic doom in science classes are explored in the opening scenes of Lomborg’s response to AIT, Cool It!:
School children are interviewed and show their drawings of sea levels rising, countries getting swamped, animals dying, people drowning. “And when do you think all this might happen?” Lomborg asks one of the children
“You never know- it could even happen tomorrow.”
Is this scare-mongering for political purposes really OK? I don’t think so, and comparing climate apocalypse with Biblical teachings of apocalypse brings to mind Dawkins’ famous “religion is child abuse” claims. It is really really not cool to scare children with adult End of Days fantasies, be they Biblical- or Climate- induced.
I showed Lomborg’s film to my students last year and one of them came to complain to me how manipulative it was. Apparently the irony of this was as lost on this student as the Onion’s irony was lost on Readfearn in the Guardian.
Climate alarmism seems to have produced a warped and bizarre sense of humour in its subscribers. I’m surprised Readfearn didn’t include the infamous 10:10 No Pressure video in his list, surly the most non-funny climate comedy sketches ever: