"Global warming is not only the number one environmental challenge we face today, but one of the most important issues facing all of humanity." Thus sayeth the Lord. Actually, thus sayeth Leonardo Decapitate his arse in relation to an eco-film, 11th Hour, which he's producing and narrating. Leo is no faux environmentalist, the man drives a hybrid Toyota Prius for crying out loud. In Hollywood it takes guts and disregard for one's street cred not to drive a gas guzzling SUV. The man is for real. What confuses me though is why global warming is the greatest threat to humanity. Earlier this week, I was watching the Daily Politics, when Damien Lewis came on to tell us about the lack of access to water in Bolivia being an evil. I also seem to remember the actress, Emma Thompson, say "AIDS is the greatest threat to face the human race ever."
This is whence the confusion stems. Will I die of AIDS after a stroll in the dark on Clapham Common? Will the hairs in my nostrils freeze over in the cold snap ironically caused by global warming. Will I die for lack of Evian from the French Alps? Will I die because my muslim neighbour comes into my house for a cuppa, and then squeezes the red button just as the toast pops up? What exactly is going to kill us all? Perhaps, I'm foolish for listening to celebrities. What the hell do they know? They might be the authority on if black is going to be the new pink in 2009, or if Neil Armstrong wore the wrong shade of white for the moon landings. But threats to humanity? Nah.
Well, the scaremongering endorsment (you can't just endorse Pepsi these days) isn't just a celebrity phenomenon, it is also the so-called intellectuals. The debate about what's going to kill is all is conducted in hyberbole, we're all going to die. Bjorn Lomborg says global warming, global shwarming, his opponents shout, "you lie". Nelson Mandela says AIDS is the real threat, Rumsfeld says it's the War on Terror. Economists say China is the greatest threat (but one we must embrace). Who should be believed?
Not to diminish the small matters of AIDS, and another ice age, but the greatest threat to the planet today is all that saliva coming out of the mouths of people talking about the greatest threat to the world today. We will surely drown in all that spittle. And we won't be able to build Waterworld á la Kevin Costner, not because it'll flop, but because spittle is too viscous, and one can't really swim in it. You don't believe me? Just look out of your window. Can you see that the streets have turned to saliva? Scared? You should be.