Good news


“We were wrong about climate change,” admits IPCC

Shares in BP, ExxonMobil and other oil companies soared 50% when it was revealed earlier today that the speed of climate change has been wildly overestimated.

In a remarkably candid news conference the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has revealed that several years ago it made a major blunder when calculating the speed at which the planet is heating up. A misplaced decimal point has meant that the speed of climate change has been overestimated by a factor of over one thousand. In other words, warming that was expected to take place over a period of twenty years will in fact take around 20,000 years.

“The threat posed by global warming is negligible,” said Dr No-Belpreis, Chief Scientific Advisor to the IPCC. “There is in fact no climate emergency, and we have all the time in the world to wrestle with the problem, which in any case will not get serious for a very long time.”

Revised calculations show that recent floods, hurricanes, earthquakes, droughts and heat waves are due to sunspot activity that is expected to cease early next year.


Giant oilfield discovered in Pacific Ocean

The Dow Jones soared 500 points and the price of oil plunged to $15 a barrel when it was revealed last night that a mega-oilfield had been discovered in the Pacific Ocean. Stretching all the way from the Philippines to the Barents Sea, the oilfield holds the key to solving the world’s energy problems. It was also revealed that the oil is unusually light and sweet, making it less expensive to produce. What’s more, the oil is low in carbon dioxide and methane, meaning it is emission-free and will not add to global warming [not that this is a problem: see previous article – ed.]

Executives of BP, Shell, ExxonMobil and other companies greeted the largest oil discovery ever made by cracking open bottles of champagne. “At last, freedom from dependence on shifty foreigners who don’t like us,” chortled one executive. Share prices in all the major aerospace, auto and oil companies soared 500% … [etc.]


Tony Blair arrested for war crimes

Tony Blair, the former Prime Minister of the United Kingdom, was arrested in Gaza last night and detained pending deportation to The Hague, The Netherlands, where he will be indicted for illegally planning and directing the invasion of Iraq, a country that posed no threat to anyone. His request to share a cell with his old friend George W. Bush, who is also awaiting trial for war crimes, was refused by magistrates.


Chief editor: “I was wrong about Iraq”   

Roger Alton, Chief Editor of The Independent, has admitted that he was wrong to support the invasion of Iraq while he was Chief Editor of The Observer. A tearful, emotional shadow of his former self, Alton admitted that he had been bamboozled by phoney intelligence reports suggesting that Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction and posed a threat to the whole world.

Mr Alton, who is renowned for his curt and colourful response readers’ polite e-mails, is 6 foot 2.


Money really does grow in trees

Deep inside the Amazon basin, scientists are busy trying to penetrate the secrets of a remarkable tree that could hold the key to solving the world’s financial problems. The little studied dolero bush, which grows very quickly and is in bloom all year round, bears rectangular green leaves that bear a remarkable resemblance to the US $1,000 bill. Normally, harvesting this tree would be expected to trigger massive inflation, similar to what happened when Spanish explorers introduced American gold into Europe. However, scientists believe that the tree’s high serotonin content could make it immune from inflation. If they are right, this could translate into the equivalent of a 15% rise in average global GDP and a remarkable 40% in global average income.

Index shares all over the world… [etc. etc. ad nauseam]


ID cards and nuclear deterrent axed in Labour volte-face

New ID cards and a renewal of Trident missile submarines were just two of the items of public expenditure scrapped in the Queen’s speech yesterday. “Because of the economic situation the country simply cannot afford these,” said Prime Minister Gordon Brown. Some of the money saved will go towards investing in renewable power and bailing out the NHS, schools and universities, and increasing the job seekers’ allowance and the old-age pension [what are these? Some explanation needed – ed.]. 

Other sweeping changes in Labour policy include the scrapping of Heathrow’s Runway 3, the destruction of DNA records of all non-criminals and the repeal of all anti-terrorist legislation since 1992. “I think there is a general perception that the executive branch of government has ridden roughshod over human rights in recent years, and it is time to redress the balance,” said Mr Brown. He added: “Prison doesn’t always work [though it might in Blair’s case – ed.].”

With regard to foreign policy, the government will withdraw troops from Iraq and Afghanistan “as soon as logistically possible” (probably in the next few days) and will adopt a neutral stance towards the Israel-Palestine conflict, a tacit admission that the pro-Israeli stance that had prevailed before had failed to deliver peace. 


Classical music makes comeback

For a long time out in the cold, classical music is at last coming back into its own. Record numbers attended the International Composers Institute Expo and Conference, while the final concert, featuring exclusively the music of living composers, was sold out.

“Classic music is definitely ‘in’ and considered quite cool right now,” expo manager Bea Flat-Major said. “The days when classical music was considered ‘wet’ are truly gone. We are all overjoyed that a new symphony by a major British composer is now considered a national event. It is astonishing that only a short while ago the country, or at any rate its press, was obsessed with reality TV, violent videos, the latest antics of film stars and soccer players, welfare scroungers and the war on terror.” 

The recent highly successful flotation of the Royal Opera House, the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Music on the London Stock Exchange are notable signs of classical music’s renewed commercial viability. So great is the demand for classical music that queues of up to a mile long regularly form outside HMV and other CD outlets. The share values of recording companies like Chandos and Etcetera have quadrupled in the last two years. 

But this does not necessarily bode well for the consumer. The shortage of qualified composers could lead to classical music “black-outs” in some parts of the country in coming years. “Composers are already in short supply and if we as a nation are serious about meeting our classical music needs down the road, now is the time to take action,” warns Ms Flat-Major. She added: “Composers of piano concertos, flute quartets and harp duets are especially in demand. Anyone seeking a career that is sustainable, interesting, secure, well paid and in constant demand should definitely consider taking up composing as a profession.”


© 2008 James Chater