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Global boiling? Don’t be ridiculous

It’s time to stand up to the eco-fearmongering of our medieval elites.

Brendan O'Neill

Brendan O'Neill
chief political writer

Topics Science & Tech World

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And just like that we’ve entered a new epoch. ‘The era of global warming has ended, the era of global boiling has arrived’, decreed UN chief António Guterres last week. It’s hard to know what’s worse: the hubris and arrogance of this globalist official who imagines he has the right to declare the start of an entire new age, or the servile compliance of the media elites who lapped up his deranged edict about the coming heat death of Earth. ‘Era of global boiling has arrived and it is terrifying’, said the front page of the Guardian, as if Guterres’s word was gospel, his every utterance a divine truth. We urgently need to throw the waters of reason on this delirious talk of a ‘boiling’ planet.

Guterres issued his neo-papal bull about the boiling of our world in response to the heatwaves that have hit some countries over the past two weeks. ‘Climate change is here [and] it is terrifying’, he said. We see ‘families running from the flames [and] workers collapsing in scorching heat’ and ‘it is just the beginning’, he said, doing his best impersonation of a 1st-century millenarian crackpot. In fact, forget ‘climate change’, he said. Forget ‘global warming’, too. What we’re witnessing is a boiling. It all brings to mind the Book of Job which warned that the serpent Leviathan would cause the seas to ‘boil like a cauldron’. Leviathan’s back, only we call him climate change now.

The obsequious speed with which the media turned Guterres’s commandment into frontpage news was extraordinary. They behaved less like reporters than like the slavish scribes of this secular god and his delusional visions. ‘World entering “era of global boiling”’, cried the Independent, and we ‘know who is responsible’. No prizes for guessing who that is. It’s you, me and the rest of our pesky species. It always is. ‘Planet is boiling’, one headline breezily declared, confirming that Guterres’s fearful phrase, his propagandistic line no doubt drawn up with the aid of spin doctors in some UN backroom, is already being christened as fact.

Almost instantly, media outlets started lecturing readers on how they might help to put a halt to the coming evaporation of our planet. SBS in Australia advised us to ‘Reduce meat intake’, ‘Stop driving cars’ and ‘Cut down on flights’. In short, stop all the fun stuff; make sacrifices to appease nature’s angry gods. Even self-styled radicals made themselves mouthpieces of the UN’s medieval sermonising. Novara Media instantly embraced ‘global boiling’ as an apt metaphor for the arsonist impact humanity has had on Earth. Scratch a Marxist these days, find a Malthusian.

Can’t we have just a little critical thinking on the idea of ‘global boiling’? The first thing a rational mind ought to note is that boiling is when liquid turns into vapour. Sorry to be pedantic, but I think the meaning of words is important. Does anyone really believe our planet is now so fantastically hot that lakes and rivers and seas will shortly start to evaporate? If you don’t – and you shouldn’t, because it’s baloney – then you should not use a phrase like ‘global boiling’. Indeed, one professor of climate physics rebuked Guterres, mildly, of course, for starting to ‘depart from the underlying scientific evidence’. Indeed. Earth is not boiling, and we shouldn’t say that it is.

There are other reasons to be sceptical of the boiling hysteria. Yes, the weather is hot in parts of Europe, but there have been heatwaves throughout history, long before the dawn of industry. What’s more, the Greek government says that most of the 667 fires it has experienced over the sweaty past fortnight were started ‘by human hand’. So those ferocious flames gleefully described by our green elites as Mother Nature’s punishment of mankind were mainly the handiwork of arsonists. Then there’s the fact that cold weather kills far more people than hot weather. Will the chilly winter months, in which numerous old people will perish, be described by Guterres and his apostles as a global freezing, a New Ice Age? Of course not. There are no propaganda points, no opportunities for modernity-bashing, in fearmongering over cold weather.

Let’s be clear: ‘global boiling’ is not a factual or scientific phrase. Rather, it represents yet another ramping up of the green politics of fear. It’s the latest addition to the already fat dictionary of eco-dread. Economic inflation isn’t the only problem we face today – there’s threat inflation, too. The catastrophism of climate change in particular is puffed up on pretty much a weekly basis. This is why we’ve gone from climate change to climate crisis to climate emergency. And it’s why we’re now going from global warming to global boiling. Language is used to terrorise the masses, to snap us out of our supposed apathetic coolness on the issue of climate change and force us to agree with the cranky elites that the end really is nigh, and it’s our fault.

As the Washington Post said in its coverage of the ‘global boiling’ edict, apocalyptic superlatives can be ‘useful in underlining the importance of [this] issue’. This is a familiar tactic of eco-propagandists. A few years ago, Extinction Rebellion protested outside the offices of the New York Times to put pressure on it to dump the passive phrase ‘climate change’ in preference for the panic-inducing ‘climate emergency’. ‘Linguistic experts’ have cheered the media’s embrace of catastrophic language because apparently fretful terminology can help to ‘convey to the public an increasingly urgent threat’. They’re trying to manipulate us. They are using the grammar of Armageddon to cajole us into compliance with the green narrative and its demands for sacrifice in everyday life. As I argue in my new book, A Heretic’s Manifesto, they want to ‘coerce us into the realm of doom by making us think less about “climate change” and more about climate chaos, climate disaster, even climate apocalypse’.

It is imperative that we resist this linguistic authoritarianism. ‘Global boiling’ isn’t only a ridiculous phrase – it is also an insult to truth, reason and us. That such a fact-lite, post-scientific, hysterical phrase has been used by the UN, the activist set and the media elites is a reminder that they see the rest of us, the little people, as malleable creatures to be marched this way and that by scary words and warnings of a hellish future. It’s boiling anger we should feel, for this arrogant crusade of emotional manipulation.

Brendan O’Neill is spiked’s chief political writer and host of the spiked podcast, The Brendan O’Neill Show. Subscribe to the podcast here. His new book – A Heretic’s Manifesto: Essays on the Unsayable – is available to order on Amazon UK and Amazon US now. And find Brendan on Instagram: @burntoakboy

Picture by: Getty.

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Topics Science & Tech World

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