Sherelle Jacobs is right to warn that ‘climate change is complex’ even while Sir David Attenborough’s warnings, in ‘onomatopoeically crumbly prose’, echo in our heads, and visions of Australian bush fires and other disasters are held up by the BBC as warnings of climate apocalypse; she is also right to be sceptical about ‘the world’s elite’ descending on Davos, a ‘luxury ski resort’, arriving ‘in their private jets to discuss global warming’ and how to ‘“save the planet”’ over ‘pan-seared Indonesian soy cutlets cooked by a celebrity vegan chef flown in from Canada’, while being lectured by 17-year-old climate campaigner Greta Thunberg, who ‘rattled off Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change figures’ on ‘requisite cuts in carbon emissions’ (‘Beware the consensus of Davos doom-mongers’, Telegraph, January 23, 2020).

The BBC seems to think that if they bombard us with images of natural disasters – whose causes are equally ‘complex’ – as yet more evidence of a ‘climate emergency’ we will finally capitulate and agree to the draconian measures that environmentalists say are needed to ‘avert disaster’. And yet if, by their own actions – and more importantly, inaction – the richest and most powerful world figures do not seem to believe in this ‘emergency’, why should those who are expected to bear the brunt of their ‘solutions’, like going vegan, abandoning our cars and air travel and giving up the dream of having children?

Elsewhere, the Government’s climate advisory body has recommended that reaching net zero carbon emissions by 2050 will ‘require a “fundamental” shift in the way Britain’s land is utilised’, chiefly by ‘mass tree planting, bio crops and less red meat’, although ‘[f]orestry could be included in a carbon trading scheme, for example, meaning the carbon sequestered by the forest could be sold to airlines and fossil fuel providers to offset their emissions’, with related costs ‘passed on to consumers through higher air fares’; and when the rush to veganism slows – numbers rose from 150,000 to 600,000 between 2006 and 2018, but may reach a plateau  – future governments ‘may need to consider regulation or pricing’ to bring meat consumption ‘down to 50 per cent if other measures to limit greenhouse gases are not effective’ (‘How landscape of Britain will change in fight to save planet’, Telegraph, January 23, 2020).

And yet if reforestation is the answer to climate change, the deforestation carried out by the Anglo-Saxons must have been at the root (pun intended) of the problem, and the ‘climate emergency’ that has still not arrived must have started with them denuding Essex of most of its trees. Of course, we are told that the proposed forest expansion could be ‘swapped’ for the carbon emitted by road and air travel; we are also tempted with the vision of profits to be made from ‘going green’ – but only with hefty public subsidies for ‘renewable energy’ like windmills, which do not turn all the time, and when they do, turn rather too fast, while mangling the seabirds they are supposed to help save.

But having faced the public with an apocalyptic vision of changes so drastic that civilisation would go backwards and life would again become ‘nasty, brutish and short’, they suddenly show us how it could be averted simply by buying new things – like the electric cars that at present, because of their impracticalities, very few people want. In this regard, vegan capitalists must be congratulated for pioneering the novel marketing approach of selling people food not on the basis of what the packet contains but of what the packet does not contain – meat, eggs, milk, fish, containing all the nutritional elements necessary for good health; indeed, judging by what strict vegans will not eat, it may be better for animal welfare – if not human welfare – to throw away the contents and eat the cardboard box. And what with everyone being surrounded by trees, there will be plenty of wood to spare for cardboard packaging, as well as wooden clogs and rickshaws to transport us to the nearest group of huts – weather and rising sea levels permitting of course.

Ms Jacobs is right to warn against ‘the consensus of Davos doom-mongers’; historically, world leaders have sacrificed their peoples in wars that were at least necessary for the people’s security; the real danger lies in world leaders agreeing not to fight each other, but to combine against the people of the world, seeking other ways to curb their numbers. Now it seems the favoured method is DIY population control – getting the people to curb their own numbers through fear of the future.

But not all world leaders are signed up to this new approach, notably Russia and also China – no slouch when it comes to curbing its own population – and when we have impoverished our own people, beggared our economies and bled our defence structures dry, they will be waiting to curb ours in more direct ways. And yet the elites of Davos must be given credit for attempting a remarkable feat: the rich teaching the poor how to be mean. But when the taxpayers run out, so will the taxpayer subsidies; and even the rich may start to feel the pinch.