Hello, children. Thank you for your long and really quite well-spelled letter asking for lots more power and oodles and oodles more money because you, the governing class of Australia and the world, stand at a Historic Juncture at which, so you tell me, it is your Noble Ambition to Save The Planet.
Ho, ho, ho! Come off it, kiddikins. The Planet was triumphantly Saved 2000 years ago and it does not need to be Saved again.
Your tiny memories are very short. I make allowances for that. So I'll tell you the story of King Canute. He was a wise old King of England 1000 years ago. He had a governing class just like you, boys and girls. They thought that just because they were the elite they could do whatever they felt like.
So the wise King took them down to the seaside and had his throne set up facing the ocean. He reached out his hand and commanded sea level not to rise. The tide came in anyway.
The wise King turned to his startled courtiers and said, "My flatterers, see ye all that the power even of the divinely-anointed King is limited. If even I cannot tell these little waves to stand back, then your own power, too, is small. There is only one God, He Who made the great oceans and holds them in the hollow of His hand. Keep ye then your praises only unto Him, and be humble."
Julia, sweetie, you come from that island where Canute once reigned so wisely. Did you forget his great little lesson? Did you really think that by spending $130 billion reducing the world's carbon dioxide emissions by 0.06% over the next ten years you will make any measurable difference to the world's temperature?
Yes, yes, darling one, I know you want everyone else to do the same as you. But even if all the little children of the world's governing class were silly enough to follow your idea, the cost of preventing just 1 C° of global warming would be $1.5 quadrillion.
Yes, Greggy-weggy, I know the question you're bursting to ask. How many noughts in a quadrillion? Fifteen, actually. Preventing just one-sixth of a degree of global warming, the amount the babies of the IPCC predict will occur over the ten years of your policy, would cost almost 60% of global GDP between now and 2022, or $45,000 for every man, woman and child on Earth, if everyone did it your way, Julia.
And where would all the world's Moms and Pops find the money for Christmas presents for eager little children like yourselves if they had to hand over $45,000 each? Not exactly cost-effective, is it, children?
Hello, Christiana, sweetie. Yes, I know you and Rajendra and Ban-ki and Harrison and all the other children of the world's elite are having a super time making sandcastles in the air along the beach-front at Durban. I've been listening to the lovely little speeches you've all been making about how important you all are because without you The Planet Is Doomed.
No, it isn't Doomed. Not from where Rudolph and I and that nice, clever Lord Monckton are flying. How very endearing it is that nearly all of you seem to think that altering the composition of the air we fly through by just one part in 2000 over the next 100 years will set your little planet on fire. Of course it won't.
You know, you should really listen to His Lordship once his parachute touches down. He knows lots and lots about global warming. He tells me the people who say carbon dioxide makes no difference to global temperatures are wrong. But he also says the kids like you, who say it will make a dangerous difference unless you get oodles and oodles of cash from Santa, are wrong too.