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Triffids are recruited in the global warming debate

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Janet Daley
London Telegraph
Wednesday, Dec 30th, 2009

We should have known that the BBC would make some didactic use of its revival of the great horror story, “Day of the Triffids”. But the public indoctrination message seems to have got a bit confused.

About half way through the first part (shown on BBC1 at primetime on Monday night) we learned that the monstrous, flesh-eating giant plants had, in this incarnation, been deliberately farmed for their oil – a safe alternative fuel which, as the hero explained while trying to extricate one his limbs from the grasp of a rampaging triffid, had “saved us from global warming”.

I don’t know how this struck you but in my household it produced an explosion of hilarity and a chorus of, “Should have taken your chances with the 2 degree temperature rise, mate.”

As I say, I am not at all sure what the real warning of this salutary tale was intended to be: in the final part, the man responsible for the Triffid Solution to Climate Change admits that the hell he has unleashed on the world might not have been such a great idea. With quite breathtaking understatement, he says,  “There are always unintended consequences to everything we do.” I’ll say: in this case, the near-extinction of the human population.

So was this designed to be yet another lesson in climate change awareness: don’t let things go so far that you have to turn to an army of man-eating herbs to save you? Or was it a warning against taking drastic measures against global warming which may have unpredictable risks?

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This article was posted: Wednesday, December 30, 2009 at 5:08 am

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