Imagine there's no climate change
Tom Harris, member of Parliament and former minister, asks us to 'imagine if the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change announced tomorrow that “we got it wrong – climate change isn’t caused by man. Sorry about that. As you were.”'
His point, such as it is, is that this would make most people happy, but it would make some environmentalists very unhappy, "because for them, the fight against global warming has another aim: the defeat of capitalism, of economic growth, of prosperity". This is because some environmentalists are rich and hate poor people etc etc.
I expect that these same environmentalists will sneer that "imagine if this thing which is true were not true" is not a very solid foundation for an argument. And nor is "I agree with Fraser Nelson".
But I think we should brush aside these trifling criticisms. For this is a deeply brilliant and subtle form of analysis, with wider applications for other political issues:
For example, if scientists announced tomorrow that they had invented a real life Tardis and everyone who wanted could have one, then most people would be very happy. But Tom Harris would be unhappy, because there would be no need for Heathrow Airport to have a third runway as everyone would just travel round in their Tardises instead of flying to or from Heathrow.
Or if it turned out that money did actually grow on trees, and that everyone could have their own money tree, then most people would be happy, but James Purnell would be unhappy because it would mean poor people would not be forced to work for their benefits.
Or imagine if capitalism actually did guarantee economic growth and prosperity for all...but now we're just getting ridiculous.