Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Lovely, darling, caring Emma Thompson has read a poem asking Shell to stop murdering polar bears

An absolute masterpiece!

Scientists seem unable to agree on whether polar bear numbers are increasing or decreasing. Scientists seem unable to agree on what causes global warming. Scientists are definitely unable to agree on whether our planet is due to warm slightly between now and the end of the century or whether there's going to be a catastrophic increase in temperatures resulting in the sea-level rising by up to 30 feet. But actors and "green" activists just know that, whatever the silly old facts might be, commercial companies must stop extracting fossil fuels from Mother Earth, because it's like rape or something, and, besides, if we just all join hands and wish really hard, Gaea will magically produce all the energy the world (and Emma Thompson's granddaughter) needs without Nature being exploited by greedy businessmen out for a quick buck (unlike actors, who presumably appear in films for free). And Emma Thompson wouldn't be forced to read doggerel on camera to make Shell executives come to their senses and realise what harm they're doing to the planet.

I actually saw lovely Emma in tears on television this afternoon while channel-hopping in search of US Open Tennis highlights. I had to press the "mute" button on the remote, because I was eating and didn't want to be sick. But I tracked down the story on MSN, and here it is, with one or two of my own observations in brackets:
A bus-sized polar bear and Emma Thompson have joined a week-long protest against Arctic drilling at Shell’s headquarters in London.
The British actor visited the Arctic last year and said that she had got out of bed at 4am on Wednesday (ah, bless!) to take part in the protest because of the risk of climate change to her grandchildren and the threat posed to the polar region’s fragile environment by drilling.
“Shell haven’t been listening. Shell have ignored the science. They want to drill in the Arctic up to the year 2030. (So?) It seems to me a monumental act of selfishness and greed. We cannot go on extracting oil in the way that we have,” she said. (Why not?)
Greenpeace has been staging a protest for several weeks outside the oil and gas company’s offices on Southbank, attracting top classical musicians to play ‘requiems to the Arctic’ and the support of celebrities including Charlotte Church. (Oh God, I think I really am going to be sick.)
Thompson was critical of president Obama (shome mishtake shurely?) who is in Alaska this week (not another bloody holiday!) warning of the risks from global warming in the region (oh, I see), but has faced criticism from environmentalists for approving Shell’s drilling in the Chukchi sea.
“I’m afraid he’s done what we and politicians been doing for the last few decades. To pay lip service to dangers of climate change and make little alterations, but not accepting that the big picture is that we’ll have to transition into a whole different way of living.” (Thank you for that Professor Thompson – damn, if only we’d listened to left-wing actors earlier, the world wouldn't be in such an unholy mess!)
She added that to ensure the world was liveable and to avoid dangerous warming, people needed to “get the fuck involved” and take part in protests such as the one today. (Or maybe you should just shut the fuck up and let us ordinary folk fucking well decide exactly what the fuck we should or should not fucking do because many of us can actually fucking read and adduce the fucking evidence for ourselves and don’t see why we should take fucking orders from some fucking self-regarding, jumped up fucking leftie thespian fuck.)
The migration crisis that Europe is currently facing would be seen as relatively minor, she said, compared to the movement of people if some of the worst climate change scenarios came to pass. (Yes, but they won’t, you see – the worst-case scenario for me right now is that my son will be run over on his way home from work, my wife will accidentally burn the house down and I’ll die of a massive heart-attack, all within the next two hours. Could happen, of course, but it’s just a bit, you know, unlikely. Planning the rest of my day on the assumption that we could all be dead by dinner would be rather silly, I think.)
“You think we’ve got problems with that now, with what’s going on in Syria and Calais? Wait until climate change really takes hold. It will make this look like a cakewalk.” (And you know this, how, exactly? Because a lot of extremely eminent scientists, politicians and commentators don’t agree with you. But then, of course, they didn’t star in Nanny McPhee, so what would they know?)
Greenpeace said that six of its activists were locked to the three tonne puppet polar bear, dubbed Aurora after the northern lights, and they would be staying outside Shell’s HQ until the end of September when the Arctic drilling window closes. (I suggest someone shoves a real polar bear in there with them, so that it can express its gratitude.)
Patrick Earls, an activist with the group, said: “We’re a determined bunch and spirits are high.” (That’s good to know – because your emotions are obviously the most important aspect of all this.) Thompson is due to read a poem about greed and selfishness this morning. (Followed, one presumes, by one about stupidity, narcissism and self-importance.)


  1. Oh dear. No really. Oh dear. I am not sure even Blog Laureate Mr Zephyr Zodiac could top that. And doesn't she have a degree in English from Cambridge? Where is F.R. Leavis when you need him? I remember a chap at school called Philpott who penned a protest poem at 16, the first lines of which were "Bam Bam Bam in Vietnam". At least that scanned and rhymed.

    I have been prepared to overlook the fact that she called her daughter Gaia and her general "look at me I'm a bit of a right on lefty"-ness because her screenplay for Sense and Sensibility once made Jane Austen more accessible to my children. But this is the poetic equivalent of the Donald Trump haircut and I wish I hadn't seen either. I challenge you to read it at your next Pass on a Poem. Now that would be worth seeing.

    1. Brave chap, Philpott - I remember him once refusing to be cowed by some Gallic oaf brandishing a flick-knife at a bunch of 13-year old English schoolboys in Dinard. While the rest of us backed off nervously from this thug and his gang, Philphott held his ground and refused to budge. Disconcerted by this display of bulldog spirit, the leering French bully and his minions eventually slunk off, looking like the damned cowards they undoubtedly were. Philpott evidently displayed the same level of courage when it came to composing poetry. Can you remember the rest of it?

      As for dear, dear Emma - how can you spend three years studying English at the best university in the world (at that time, at least) with an ear made entirely of tin? Or is it meant to be the sort of hilariously naff doggerel we've come to associate with William Topaz MacGonagall? As she's bound to be a friend of darling, clever Benjamin Zephyr Zodiac, I suggest she asks him for a few tips (of the poetry-writing sort, I mean).

  2. I don't think there was much more of the Philpott poem. He may have thought he had said it all in the first line, which was written on his school satchel. Sandy Morrison and I speculated at the time that the next line might have been 'Mass hysteria in Nigeria'.

    1. An outbreak of listeria in Liberia?

      Blast! I suspect posterity has lost something really rather special.

  3. Bad news for Emma, I'm afraid. MASSIVE GLOBAL COOLING process discovered as Paris climate deal looms.

    It seems that there's something called isoprene (not a shampoo) and that it can be produced abiotically. Which no-one knew before.

    But, no biology required, the oceans are producing 3½ megatons of isoprene p.a. In addition to the biologically produced 1.9 megatons that we all knew about.

    Not knowing it was there, the 3½ megatons aforesaid didn't figure in any climate models. Add them in, and the cooling effect is material.

    Well, quite big, actually.

    In fact, they may account for the constant, unchanging, obstinately fixed temperatures we've been living in during the past 15 years of sweltering global warming.

    By Christmas Emma may well be fronting an appeal for central heating for polar bears.

  4. Fascinating! In ten years time, Greenpeace will no doubt be furiously complaining that greedy oil companies are depleting the world's isoprene resources, the Pope will be demanding that we spend trillions on isoprene production just in case we run out of the stuff, and Our Emma will be reciting poetic paeans to Gaia's holy, healing substance.