The night was dark, and
deep snow covered the road. I drove into the
compound of the National Institute for the
Monitoring of Global Warming. Massive floodlights
illuminated the car park as if it were day,
whilst electrical heating beneath the tarmac
melted the snow and maintained the air above at
room temperature. I parked by rows of huge, gas-guzzling,
staff owned four by fours and walked to reception.
Its hot in
here, I said to the receptionist as I
removed my jacket.
Ill open a few
windows to let some heat out, she responded
as she phoned Professor John Greenhouse to
announce my arrival.
I had known John since
joining the Department for the Environment. The
research by the NIMGW had long been the
cornerstone of the government environmental
policy that it was my role to draft.
interested in your new research, I said to
John as I sat down in his office. I must
admit, however, Im puzzled.
He passed me a scotch.
This place. I
gestured around me. Its the most
energy inefficient establishment Ive ever
visited and yet youre monitoring
laughed, our carbon footprint is enormous.
He pointed from the window to a distant glow.
Were burning fossil fuels over there,
just for the fun of it.
Why?' I asked.
John handed me a copy of
the report I had come to collect. Read it,
he said. Weve analysed all the data
on global warming and run the most sophisticated
simulations in the world. He poured himself
a drink and sat down. Weve confirmed
the situation is hopeless.
What? I replied.
The current gradual
warming will continue for another two years, at
most, he explained, then catastrophic
climate change will end all life on Earth. Theres
nothing we can do about it, now. A few energy
saving light bulbs and a bit of extra fuel tax
wont have any effect its too late.
He pointed to the report. Hence our
I glanced at the report.
What are your recommendations?
To stop worrying and
have a bloody good time, John clarified.
We might as well burn as much fuel as we
like to go where we want, start eating the most
delicious of the endangered species and have sex
with who we fancy, when we like the
apocalypse will get us now long before AIDS can.
He offered me a cigarette. Ive
started smoking again, would you like one
or perhaps some crack cocaine?
That cant be
government policy,' I gasped, thered
Oh God, yes, he
agreed. You cant tell the public. The
poor buggers must keep recycling and bolting
solar panels and wind turbines to their roofs
keep em busy and give em hope.
Critically, we dont want the fundamentalist
Christians finding out.
Why them in
particular?' I queried.
Well, as the world is
really going to end, I, for one, dont want
to hear the sanctimonious bastards keep saying:
We told you so!
I left the NIMGW deep in
thought. So many women to seduce, so many
irritating colleagues and acquaintances to murder
and so little time.