Climate change is a thing. Crikey. Who knew?

I’m writing this on the day when the IPCC has issued its latest report to tell us that it is beyond doubt that human activity is driving climate change.

It makes grim reading.

As the Guardian puts it:

“Eight years in the making, authored by the world’s leading climate scientists and approved by 195 national governments, the report confirmed the meaning of the evidence before our eyes: the cumulative impact of human activity since the Industrial Revolution is “unequivocally” causing rapid and potentially catastrophic changes to the climate.”

No shit Sherlock?

Here’s an excerpt from a speech I read recently:

“The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is rising,and the temperature of the earth’s surface is increasing.

“There is now an effective consensus among the world’s leading scientists and serious and well informed people outside the scientific community that there is a discernible human influence on the climate, and a link between the concentration of carbon dioxide and the increase in temperature.”

“Over the next century temperatures might rise by a further 1 to 3.5 degrees centigrade, and that sea levels might rise by between 15 and 95 centimetres. Some of that impact is probably unavoidable, because it results from current emissions.”

“It is an important moment for us. A moment when analysis demonstrates the need for action and solutions.

“If we are all to take responsibility for the future of our planet, then it falls to us to begin to take precautionary action now.”

Who gave this speech? Who could this visionary be?

Was it the view of a politician jumping on the bandwagon in summer 2021 as we head for the COP21 talks in Scotland? An eco-warrior splinter group, demonstrating on the streets? A Think Tank? University research body?

Strangely, no.

It was a speech given by the Chairman of Oil Major BP, at Stanford University in – and this is the good bit – May 1997.

That’s twenty four years ago.

It was followed by a global advertising campaign and lobbying of governments all over the world – not just by enlightened energy companies but by NGOs, science bodies and campaigners of all kinds. For twenty four years.

We have known all of this for decades. Of course we have.

The only people who didn’t know this, were paid not to know it.

That’s what really makes you despair. Because that hasn’t changed either.

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