I’m fighting in a war these days. It’s the war that’s being fought between smokers and antismokers. And I’m on the side of the smokers. And we’re currently losing pretty badly. But I think we’ll win in the end. I think we’re going to defeat Tobacco Control. Just not quite yet.
I don’t think most people think they’re in a war. I don’t think most smokers think they’re in a war. Or they don’t want to be fighting in a war. But nobody wants to fight wars. Not even veteran soldiers. But wars break out anyway, regardless of whether anyone wants them or not. And people get sucked into them helplessly. And I got sucked in helplessly too.
The war between smokers and antismokers is like the Spanish Civil War. Mi amiga perdida in Barcelona once told me that it was a war that had divided families, divided towns, divided whole regions of Spain. Brother fought brother, father fought son. And that’s exactly how the war between smokers and antismokers is being fought. But it’s a cold war. Smokers aren’t killing antismokers, and antismokers aren’t killing smokers. Yet I won’t be at all surprised if it becomes a hot war one day: there’s plenty enough anger to go round. They hate us, and we hate them.
There are lots of these sorts of cold wars going on all the time, more or less everywhere. They happen wherever one bunch of people don’t agree with some other bunch of people about something or other. And I’m a non-participant in most of them.
I’m really just an onlooker in the war between climate alarmists and climate sceptics (although I’m inclined to be a sceptic). Because that’s another cold war that’s being fought out, far more publicly than the war between smokers and antismokers. It’s a war that gets reported in newspapers and discussed by pundits on TV, which never happens with the war between smokers and antismokers. That never ever gets publicly discussed at all: it’s a secret war.
I don’t really know who’s winning the climate war. It’s looked to me like the climate alarmists were on a roll for a long time. They seemed to be winning. The media took up their cause. Government after government was lining up to support the alarmists, enacting laws to limit carbon dioxide. But Climategate, in 2009, was a big defeat for the alarmists. And the election in 2016 of climate sceptic Donald Trump was another defeat. But the climate alarmists are very far from being defeated. Al Gore hasn’t thrown in his hand. Neither has Michael Mann. They’re still holding big climate conferences in places like Bali or Copenhagen. They’re still pushing for carbon dioxide restrictions.
But if I’ve been just an onlooker in this war, sitting on the sidelines, eating popcorn in the bleachers, I’m about to get involved in this war. Because for the past few months I’ve been piecing together my own theory of ice ages. It comes at the whole problem down a new track. I look at the problem in a completely different way from both the climate alarmists and the climate sceptics.
For one interesting thing about both the alarmists and the sceptics is that they both have the exact same model of the climate. They use the same physics and the same mathematics. It’s just that they’re disagreed about the importance of carbon dioxide. The alarmists think it’s all important. The sceptics think it’s unimportant. They even say that carbon dioxide is beneficial. They’re really arguing over a small detail. It’s like chefs arguing over how potatoes are best prepared: sliced or mashed. And there’s a war between the slicers and the mashers.
Even though I’m about to get engaged in this war – already am -, it’s not a war that I want to fight. My war is the war between smokers and antismokers. And so I’m interested in who among the climate alarmists and sceptics are also fighting in the war between smokers and antismokers.
And climate sceptic Anthony Watts of Wattsupwiththat is a virulent antismoker. Both his parents died of lung cancer, and he blames their death on smoking. And now he evicts smokers from his comment threads. MJM commented here to say that Watts had written to him demanding that he remove references to smoking in his bio.
So Anthony Watts is a new enemy of mine. He’s someone to put next to Deborah Arnott or Stanton Glantz. He’s conducting his personal war on smoking on the threads of his climate sceptic blog. He’s conflated the two wars together. He conducts them in tandem.
A few months ago I wrote to a few climate sceptics about my new theory. Most of them weren’t interested. Tallbloke is the only one who’s taken any interest in it (and I’m not sure if he’s still interested). The one person I would never have written to is Anthony Watts. One person I never will write to is Anthony Watts.
In fact I think Anthony Watts is fighting on the wrong side. Because antismoking and climate alarmism and the political left seem to go hand in hand. If you’re scared of carbon dioxide you’ll probably be scared of tobacco smoke as well. So Anthony Watts is a bit of an oddball, in my opinion, being antismoker and a climate sceptic.
Anyway, I think that all these various different wars are likely to gradually become conflated together into one big war, with people fighting on one side or other, It’ll be the Left and the antismokers and the climate alarmists and the mashers against the Right and the smokers and the climate sceptics and the slicers.
Rose has turned up something interesting:
David Cameron’s desperate efforts to quit the evil weed have come to nothing, I can reveal – because friends and even his wife are leading him astray. The former PM, who was famously spotted fag-in-hand at last summer’s Wilderness festival, below, tells me: ‘I’m trying to give up smoking all the time.’ Pulling on a Vogue Slim outside the V&A summer party, he adds: ‘I don’t do it very much. Just when my friends lead me astray’.
Tellingly, wife Samantha was also puffing away at the bash.
I think this speaks volumes about David Cameron. He’s too weak-willed to stop smoking. But he blames his friends (and his wife) for it. I’m not in the least bit surprised. The man is a weathervane politician who’ll point whichever way the wind happens to be blowing. He does whatever’s trendiest. He’ll always do whatever everyone else is doing. If there was a fad for skindiving in concrete boots, he’d be an early adopter. And with luck we’d never see him again.