Mike Welsh

S&M: Climate change – Everybody talks about the weather but…

climate change
Image: Flicker/Kris Krug

…nobody does anything about it.


Most people accept that the Irish smartarse Oscar Wilde coined the phrase, “Everyone talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it”.

While Wilde is also responsible for the cynical and snobbish, “Conversation about the weather is the last refuge of the unimaginative”, it was another wise-guy, Mark Twain, who authored the pithy take on a topic about which everyone talks but does nothing.

Twain, reportedly, once complained about spending a cold winter San Francisco “in the summer”.


But when from the “dawning of the age of Aquarius” in that cold summer in the city first “let the Sunshine in”, motivating creative folk the world over to have “thunder in their hearts”, “to walk on sunshine”, “chase and catch the wind”, stand, sing, cry, dance and even get naked in the rain (which was sometimes hard and once purple), no one has topped Twain’s astute observation of humanity’s apathy to all things meteorological.

Dylan got close with the emerging anthem…”Blowin in the wind”.

Radio shock jocks publicly froth at the mouth while privately offering prayers of thanks to the heavens for this godsend, which is the hysterical “Climate Change” debate. Al Gore’s pot-stirring doco An Inconvenient Truth got the right goat on the issue.

And he had the temerity to almost beat Dubya to the White House.

He had to be dealt with.

Climate change, or global warming, is the number one topic (“Julia Gillards” come and go but the weather keeps on giving) guaranteed to get the punters banging the talk-back lines. All the SJ has to do is to mockingly suggest “torrential rain in the Philippines, blizzards in Europe and scorching conditions down under WTF??”

The clipboard and white coat brigade is evenly divided on the hot topic of climate.

Shock-jocks get climate change deniers on air to pooh pooh or demonstrate (with twisted facts and figures) how distorted data is polluting the already-muddied waters of the climate change debate.

There is a very fine line between twisting and distorting and muddied and polluted. It’s how adroitly you use the facts and how “expertly” your hand-picked expert presents them.

“Everybody talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it” still rings true after all these years.

And Twain’s weather forecast, it appears, was spot on.


Mike Welsh

Mike Welsh is a multi award winning Commercial Radio talk-back radio host,documentary maker,magazine columnist and blogger and is based in Canberra. Mike is the Editor of TBS Boomers, our hand selected section for Aussie Baby Boomers.

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