In an exceptionally brilliant piece of bluff calling, Professor Andrew Parker of St John’s College at Oxford University trolled the idiotic students at one of the UK’s most prestigious educational establishments.
Two students at St John’s College wrote to Andrew Parker, the principal bursar, this week requesting a meeting to discuss the protesters’ demands, which are that the college “declares a climate emergency and immediately divests from fossil fuels”. They say that the college, the richest in Oxford, has £8 million of its £551 million endowment fund invested in BP and Shell.
Professor Parker responded with a provocative offer. “I am not able to arrange any divestment at short notice,” he wrote. “But I can arrange for the gas central heating in college to be switched off with immediate effect. Please let me know if you support this proposal.”The Times
Oh dear, oh dear, 1.45% of the college endowment fund is invested in evil fossil fuels. HOW DARE YOU?
Apparently the students were not amused with the professor’s response and suggested that he was not taking their concerns seriously enough.
Professor Parker responded to that note saying, “You are right that I am being provocative but I am provoking some clear thinking, I hope. It is all too easy to request others to do things that carry no personal cost to yourself. The question is whether you and others are prepared to make personal sacrifices to achieve the goals of environmental improvement (which I support as a goal).”
How very dare you mock us like that, professor?
So Fergus Green, the organiser of the wider protest, who is studying for a master’s degree in physics and philosophy at Balliol College, got on his high horse and responded, “This is an inappropriate and flippant response by the bursar to what we were hoping would be a mature discussion. It’s January [winter in the UK] and it would be borderline dangerous to switch off the central heating.”
This wonderful exchange beautifully illustrates the shallow thinking of the Gretas of the world, her mates in Extinction Rebellion and the Greens, Labour, NZ First and National politicians here at home.
They are all demanding climate emergencies and zero emissions and zero carbon etc. We even had our very own Captain’s Call. But when it finally bites and the heating and lighting (and powering the internet) is threatened, these very same idiots are going to declare that it is “borderline dangerous.”
And it will be.
It will be catastrophic for millions of people, and someone studying physics at one of the top universities in the world seemingly does not have the intelligence to work this out. Fergus wants a “mature discussion.” Well, come back when you have grown up, Fergus.
This is not about bumper sticker slogans, and the professor’s response illustrates the reality of the situation. Our modern society simply cannot eliminate fossil fuels in the short term (If ever).
There are significant costs to real people associated with turning off the gas (or oil) tap and many people could suffer as a result.
The professor has used the only logical and rational response to those demanding an end to fossil fuels:
If you enjoyed this BFD article please consider sharing it with your friends.