Peter Tatchell, militant gay rights activist from the 1980s is reinventing himself as a Green Party Parliamentary Candidate for Oxford East. On commentissimplyabsurd, he writes today about a looming global oxygen shortage.
Compared to prehistoric times, the level of oxygen in the earth’s atmosphere has declined by over a third and in polluted cities the decline may be more than 50%. This change in the makeup of the air we breathe has potentially serious implications for our health. Indeed, it could ultimately threaten the survival of human life on earth, according to Roddy Newman, who is drafting a new book, The Oxygen Crisis.
We read this and found ourselves short of breath. But only because we couldn’t stop laughing. And who the hell is Roddy Newman anyway? Tatchell concludes,
Scaremongering? I don’t think so. A reason for doomsaying? Not yet. What is needed is an authoritative evidence-based investigation to ascertain current oxygen levels and what consequences, if any, there are for the long-term wellbeing of our species – and, indeed, of all species.
Green is not in fact merely the new pink. It is the new blue, yellow, black, brown… whatever. It is the colour chosen by anyone who ever nailed their colours to the mast, and found that, over the years, they’ve faded, and now find the need to reinvent themselves.
Still, Tatchell is not the maddest ever high-profile lunatic that the Greens have given a home to. In the early days of the party, David Icke, former footballer and sports TV presenter was their spokesman. Until this happened in 1991
Icke’s views lead to the end of his relationship with the Green Party. The humiliation he suffered after the interview didn’t help what appeared to be a process of separation, not just from the Greens, but reality itself. Still, he reinvented himself as the son of god, and conspiracy theorist second to none, and sold a few books on the way, so it’s hard to have too much sympathy for him.
In the comments section, Tatchell replies to the jibes he surely deserves,
I am coming at this issue from a commonsense perspective, based on some evidence. It is more a case of queries on my part, rather than grand assertions. Raising these issues seem plausible and reasonable to me. Please advise if and how I am mistaken.
The article above was not written as another doomsday scenario. Even if there is a danger from oxygen depletion it is still quiet a long way off. Moreover, I am a great believer that we humans can create solutions to problems – whether those problems are human-made or natural cycles.
Commonsense? Evidence? The ‘evidence’ that Tatchell claims to be in possession of misses something which barely needs repeating here. Air is 21% oxygen. There’s loads of it. And there’s nothing commonsensical about worrying about the end of it. That ought to have given him cause to pause before writing this nonsense. As it happens, it shows exactly how thoroughly you need to ‘understand the issues’ before creating a public role for yourself as somebody who is going to ‘save the planet’. His colleague, ‘Dr’ Caroline Lucas has no firmer grip on the science, yet wheels out similar factoids as incontrovertible evidence for her party’s policies. This group seeks public office, and influences the direction of public policy. As lunatics they provide some good laughs, but the reality is that they are, more often than not, taken seriously.
How has it come to pass that people wearing end-is-nigh sandwich boards have been given such credibility? This question cannot be answered just by looking at environmentalists or environmentalism alone. The answer must lie outside of environmentalism, otherwise we must give these lunatics credit for taking over the asylum that they do not deserve. After all, it is neither popularity nor intellectual power which has swept them to prominence.