Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association. New posts: Mondays & Wednesdays.
Rather than persuading us with reason and logic, the World Meteorological Organization has recruited TV weather presenters to deliver pretend weather reports from the year 2050.
As the Reuters news service reported yesterday, the United Nations has launched a new public relations campaign. This is an attempt to call attention to yet another climate meeting, scheduled for the 23rd of this month, at the UN’s headquarters in New York.
The meeting is by invitation only. As per usual, green activist groups (aka “civil society”) have been invited, but the public will be kept out.
Mixed up in all of this is the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Although its name suggests a responsible, professional entity, the WMO is actually a UN body. Evidently, it is also a plaything of UN officials. One need look no further than this PR campaign for evidence of the WMO’s lack of independence and integrity.
On the WMO’s YouTube channel we can currently watch the first of a series of 15 videos. No, that isn’t a typo; the subsequent barrage will be released individually over the next few weeks.
This first video invites us to “witness what could lie ahead.” A WMO press release, meanwhile, tells us these are “imaginary but realistic reports” of what the weather might look like in the year 2050. It says “average global temperatures could rise” dramatically, and that these videos demonstrate “potential scenarios…of what life could be like on a warmer planet” (all italics added).
Real television weathermen and weatherwomen – who are reportedly household names in their respective countries – have volunteered to play-act in this PR campaign. They’ve consented to read scripts of pure fiction.
Yawn. This “let’s gaze into our eco-apocalypse crystal ball and scare the kiddies” has been done already. To death. Back in 1962, Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, employed this trick. Chapter 1 is titled “A Fable for Tomorrow.” It tells of an imaginary “town in the heart of America where all life seemed to live in harmony with its surroundings” until
a strange blight crept over the area and everything began to change. Some evil spell had settled on the community: mysterious maladies swept the flocks of chickens; the cattle and sheep sickened and died. Everywhere was a shadow of death…[children] would be stricken suddenly while at play and die within a few hours.
A.D. 2040. If we were to give this year a name it would be Despair. This is the hopeless world that we have left our children and grandchildren…in summer there is now only searing heat and the certainty that it will get hotter. Seasons exist only in the nostalgic longing of those of us old enough to remember the richness of life…those who cannot find food or shelter from the unrelenting sun are growing sick. Daily, it seems, we face new famines, new droughts, new flooding, as the Earth’s climate inexorably warms.
A year later, World on Fire: Saving an Endangered Earth was published. Written by US Senator George Mitchell (that era’s Al Gore), its second chapter is titled “Two Children in a Future World.” We are invited to journey
into the twenty-first century and meet two children, Luisa and Eric. Luisa lives in Mexico City…about fifty years from now . She looks up at a polluted sky in this future world and sees no sun at all. In all her young life – she is now nine – she has rarely see the sun.
She has heard that Mexico City was once a beautiful place to live. There was plenty of sun once…
A few pages later, we learn that 9-year-old North Dakota resident, Eric, “has quite a different problem with the sun”:
As every kid in North Dakota now knows, when there is no ozone layer in the stratosphere there is nothing to keep out the sun’s ultraviolet radiation…It wasn’t long after the turn of the century that people began getting cancer and dying in epidemic numbers. Since then, kids like Eric just don’t spend their summers under the sun.
Moving right along, in Maurice Strong’s 2000 polemic, Where on Earth are We Going?, something similar occurs. Chapter 1 is titled “Report to the Shareholders.” Dated 2031, it describes the previous decade as “the most devastating in human experience”:
If this were a business, the board of directors would have recommended shutting the doors and padlocking the gates…But of course this is not a business; it is the Prison of Life…
…2030 gave us hitherto unprecedented extremes of weather. Hurricanes, tornadoes and record rainfall took more lives and caused more damage than both world wars of the twentieth century. Much of Florida is now underwater…an estimated 6 million people died as a result of the flooding of the low-lying plains of Bangladesh…
Environmental activists have been writing gothic fiction for decades. Rather than sticking to facts and figures, rather than calmly persuading us with reason and logic, they have – quite openly – made a habit of making stuff up. Weird, macabre stuff. Evil spells. A region without sun. A year called Despair. The Prison of Life.
In that first WMO video, on-screen text declares that “It is time to change course.” This was precisely Carson’s message 52 years ago. And Suzuki’s 24 years ago. And Mitchell’s 23 years ago. And Strong’s, as well, 14 years ago.
Heed our warning! Do what we say – or the dystopian fantasies generated by our strange, fevered imaginations might come true.