I recently learnt that a couple of the spods who’d been developing financial forecasts at FTP Bank - the rocket scientists, so to speak - had gone over to the ‘dark side’. Driven by their 'consciences' (no less) they’d decided to channel the mathematical expertise once tailored to predicting market movements into the building of climate change models.
Presumably they intend to exploit the very mathematical methods that didn't foresee impending market catastrophe to prove that another catastrophe - an environmental one - is in fact inevitable. Does that make sense?
Now, I know that it’s not the done thing to question climate change. Like Islam, it is the one area that we lovers of free speech approach with trepidation. I’m by no means faint hearted. I’m a Cambridge boxing blue. But in a room full of tree huggers, even I might be reluctant to question these climate dogmas. Eco-folk throw bottles and custard pies and launch verbal abuse at anyone who is less than convinced that the world is eco-buggered.
But I have to ask: Why does the bourgeoisie reject the bad old computer models used in market trading, claiming them to be esoteric and misleading, but readily accept those of climate science, though they are no less impenetrable?
Of course the Monbiots of this world claim that climate change ‘deniers’ have room temperature IQs. So what are we to make of the likes of Heather Mills, or Gwen Stefani or Cindy Crawford who are eco-fanatics? Perhaps these celebs have hidden genius; perhaps they knock out bucket loads of statistical models before breakfast… on their computers. Maybe they spend their free time discussing quantum mechanics and astro-physics. (Of course, such is their respect for the big names of science that they maintain their copies of ‘Brief History of Time’ in mint condition!).
The fact is that many simple folk, celebs included, accept science as unquestioningly as worshipers do religion. Quote a bundle of incomprehensible stats, bombard people with equations and they will stare at them with fascination, scratch their chins and say, “Ooh… really, that’s amazing. I had no idea.” (They still don't.)
Indeed science, like faith, is rather a useful marketing tool. Put it another way, where there’s science there’s brass. Those rocket scientists that left FTP to join the green movement did so I suspect because they really thought: that’s where the money is right now. Of course with the financial markets turning round, these spods might well return to the ‘golden goose’. We’ll see.
It all rather leaves me wondering whether the scientists that juggle such numbers have any more insight into 'saving the planet' than the vacuous little brand consultants that produced that inane 10:10 logo… Another attempt, it appears, to whip up unbending support for some shallow new green initiative that the public does not understand and that a bunch of politicians cynically rally behind to show they care. 10:10? Always makes me think of Herge’s boy reporter.