Now that the British Parliament has finally declared a ‘climate change emergency’, what next? - GulfToday

Now that the British Parliament has finally declared a ‘climate change emergency’, what next?

Mark Steel


A stand-up comedian, radio presenter and Independent columnist.

A stand-up comedian, radio presenter and Independent columnist.

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The photo has been used for illustrative purposes.

This is wonderful news, that at last this country has addressed the threat of climate change, by declaring we’re in an official “climate change emergency”. The government rightly boasts we’re the first country to do this, so that makes us world leaders in combating carbon emissions.

The worry now is that other countries may do the same, which means we won’t be ahead of them anymore, so then we’ll have to make another declaration, that we’re officially “right up climate change sh*t street”, and we’ll be in front again.

You can tell how seriously the government takes this issue, because several of them made comments about last week’s Extinction Rebellion protest. Most of those comments were that the whole thing should be shut down because they were stinky idiot weirdos and “it’s all very well stopping us from destroying every species on the planet but there’s ABSOLUTELY NO NEED to do it in a way that makes me 10 minutes late for my weekly chest-waxing session, so I hope they all catch fire”, but they took the trouble to address them so that’s the main thing.

Maybe, when the asteroid that killed the dinosaurs was hurtling towards Earth, some of the pterodactyls tried to hold a meeting about trying to escape from it, but all the others yelled “get out of our way, we’re in a hurry to get to Debenhams”, and a stegosaurus demanded they were all dispersed with a water cannon.

Some commentators who disagreed with the protesters were more polite, and pointed out they were damaging their own cause by making so much noise and fuss. Because it’s always best, when you’re trying to prevent the destruction of a planet, to do it quietly so no one notices.

Next time, instead of blowing whistles in the road, they could write a poem to the planet that they never send, or make a swan out of paper to stop themselves getting cross.

The 16-year-old Greta Thunberg, spokesperson for the protest, became a star to many people. So it was lucky that several columnists pointed out she was a fraud, because far from being ordinary “her mother performed in the Eurovision Song Contest 10 years ago”. This is crucial information, because it proves she’s from privileged elite stock, as it’s these bastards who have been running the world for too long.

But now we’re in a climate change emergency, so we should sort everything out before long. For example, Michael Gove assured us there’s a “green thread of ambition through Conservative governments”. Proof of this is at the recent climate change debate in parliament, as many as 10 Conservative MPs turned up to it.

That shows what you can achieve once you’ve got ambition. You can imagine a motivational speaker, inspiring followers by saying: “I want you to reach deep down inside yourself, and say out loud: ‘When I believe in something, I will get one person out of 30 to turn up to a debate about it, because I have AMBITION’.”

In the last parliament, only 30 per cent of Tory MPs believed man-made global warming was true, so they’re perfectly placed to prevent a global catastrophe, seeing as less than a third of them believe it’s happening.

If you were in a burning building, it would be so reassuring when the fire brigade arrived, if they battled through the flames and said “I can’t see a fire. That smoke’s just natural”, then went back down the ladder and left you there.

They’ve also displayed their greenness by insisting on the extra runway at Heathrow, which will make it so much easier for ministers to fly to climate change conferences.

But now they are aware that many people do seem a bit concerned about the planet’s imminent demise.

It means we can be thankful that now we’re in an emergency, ministers can make comments such as: “We have made huge strides in reducing our carbon emissions, proposing legislation that means from 2030 all snooker balls will have to be diesel-free (except the pink), making it illegal to travel to a garden centre by rocket, and insisting every fracking company must have a picture of a tree as part of its logo.”

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