Last week's heatwave set new records for temperatures in the UK. It was an uncomfortable and oppressive couple of days. The transport system was badly affected and we even saw wildfires on the edge of London in Essex. This all led to some serious discussions about the changing climate and the way weather systems are altering.
The sudden newsworthiness of climate change as the mounting evidence becomes harder to ignore reminds me of the central message of AS Byatt's book called Ragnarok (which I blogged about ten years ago!)
In the book's preface, Byatt explicitly links her retelling of the myths to climate change and compares the failure to act to prevent disaster as akin to the gods mucking about and wasting time even though they all knew their prophesied doom was drawing near. The gods' attempts to ignore reality just made their destruction more inevitable.
As I said earlier this year, reality tends to win against rhetoric. The planet is going to get hotter no matter how many lies are told by right wing politicians who are guided by their donors or grifters masquerading as 'sceptics'. Climate change is happening now whether people believe in it or not. In the same way that coronaviruses don't respect anyone's firmly held opinions about whether or not they are dangerous, the damage done to the climate isn't prevented by how many people decide they don't believe in it.
Ultimately there will come a point when the people who have been spreading the climate scepticism propaganda will be shown to have known that it was true all along, in exactly the same way that Big Tobacco knew that cigarette smoking caused cancer while still denying any links.
The climate sceptics may even get away with it if there is no longer a functioning human society. Who will call them to account after the apocalypse?
There was nobody left to ask the gods why they didn't do more to stop Ragnarok.