WITH COP26 in full swing, it’s been hard for me not to think about climate change a lot recently.

I swing between incredibly depressed to cautiously optimistic that this looming crisis can be averted.

However, I read this week that the radical conclusion the world’s leaders have come to is that “more needs to be done” to tackle this very real existential threat.

Tens of thousands of people flying in from all around the world, putting their minds together and coming up with that.

It’s enough to make you think that the people in charge of saving the world really aren’t up to the job.

That’s the thing I’ve realised recently about conspiracy theories, they are actually quite comforting.

They tend to provide a more pleasant alternate reality for people.

There’s a deadly pandemic going on, killing thousands of people? Nah, they say, it’s no real. The temperature is rising to the point the planet will soon become unlivable? Nah, they say, it’s no really happening.

The thought that the world leaders we see on the telly, the people we vote for, aren’t the ones who are really calling the shots is something a few people I know believe.

Some people say it’s the Illuminati or the New World Order who are REALLY in charge.

That it’s a group of secretive billionaires who pull the strings and orchestrate the world’s affairs to achieve their own nefarious goals.

It gives people some comfort, I think, that Boris Johnson isn’t actually our real leader.

That doddery auld Joe Biden isn’t really in charge of the most powerful nation in the world.

The reality that these people are really our leaders, deemed to be our best and brightest and in charge of steering us through perhaps the biggest threat we’ve ever faced as a species, is more terrifying to me than any secret society ruling

the world.

We could all do a lot more ourselves to try and combat climate change. I think, by and large, we’re all on board with it.

It feels like common sense that if a lot of people do a lot of small things then it’ll all add up and we can maybe offset the worst of the effects of global warming.

I think to myself quite often “I should be doing a lot more”. I should be trying to walk, cycle or get the bus or train more often instead of driving everywhere.

I should be more diligent with recycling, cut down on the amount of plastic bags I use, buy stuff that’s eco-friendly or doesn’t come with a load of unnecessary plastic packaging.

I think surely things will get better and it won’t be the disaster that has been foretold.

I think surely people are ready and willing to make small changes for the good of the planet, nobody is daft enough to think we can just continue the way we’ve been going.

Then, like yesterday, I see a guy sitting in his parked motor reading the paper with his engine running and his exhaust spewing out black plumes of diesel and I think to myself “maybe no”.

I’ve banged on about this before, but the big companies are the ones who really need to sort themselves out with regards to climate


With 100 companies responsible for 71% of greenhouse gas emissions, it’s hard not to feel hopeless and futile as you wash out an empty tin of beans before putting it dutifully in the recycling bin.

While there’s money to be made for these companies by destroying the planet and poisoning the very air we breathe, nothing will be done.

The only way they’ll stop their carry on is if, somehow, saving the world becomes as hugely profitable as killing it already is.

That’s the grim reality of the times we’re living in. I hope to God it changes in our lifetimes.

I read this morning that a global temperature rise of 4C would see much of southern Europe turn to desert as well as putting huge swathes of land underwater around the world, displacing millions upon millions of people.

Greenland and Antarctica would become lush and green and a very pleasant place to live, which it will have to be given the amount of people who will need somewhere to live.

As I stand in the kitchen carefully measuring out exactly one cup’s worth of water to put in the kettle and feeling immense guilt for whatever damage this is doing to the planet, somewhere out there is an oil billionaire popping the cork on a bottle of champagne on a private jet so he can toast the discovery of a new oil field or


The people at the top don’t care about what’s happening but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t.

All the small things we can do will add up – and soon enough they’ll be forced into helping out as well if they can tap into that underutilised part of their soul known as their “conscience”.