Northern Ireland may have been spared the absolute worst of the weather this year (though the last couple of days have been bad) but the South West of England and South Wales have been extremely badly affected with the Somerset Levels heavily flooded. Then more recently the Thames Valley has been affected. Whether this flooding is actually worse than previous years has been disputed and the suggestion (made on Question Time on Thursday night) that the media only started to get interested when areas near London were affected.
There are many explanations for these floods varying from lack of dredging to climate change (not necessarily mutually exclusive) via (somewhat surreally and not entirely Biblically) gay marriage. A number of solutions have been proffered. One of them is that of the Green Party who have proposed a ten point plan.
Most of it is pretty worthy, a bit dull and nebulous. The most interesting and controversial, however, has been:
Get rid of any cabinet Ministers or senior governmental advisors who refuse to accept the scientific consensus on climate change or who won’t take the risks to the UK seriously.
On the BBC the leader of the Green Party (Natalie Bennett) as surreally as Mr. Silvester (he of gay marriage as the cause of flooding) claimed that even those advisers with no connection to environmental issues should be sacked if they do not accept climate change. The BBC suggested the Chief Veterinary and Chief Medical Officers as posts unrelated to climate change and Ms. Bennett repeated her position.
Brendan O’Neill in the Daily Telegraph has pointed to the obvious parallel with McCarthyism and has suggested
Perhaps we should ask every aspiring civil servant, “Are you now or have you ever been a climate-change sceptic?”
Many on the right have accused the Greens of being Watermelons (green on the outside red on the inside). This seems more a case of slightly pathetic fluffy totalitarianism – a sort of Vegetarian Stalinism (pathetic only because it will never happen: if it were possible it would be quite sinister). It conjures up the idea of re-education camps for climate change sceptics. Presumably these would have to be in Brighton (centre of British Greenness) and would be a colder slightly naff (and much gayer) version of Guantanamo Bay run by Inquisitor in chief George Monbiot?
Personally my concern is that if the Green’s plan is implemented we need to ensure the climate change credentials of the Master of the Queen’s Music and the Poet Laureate: imagine if they were deniers?