Huntingdonshire man pens climate change version of A Christmas Carol

At his home in Hemingford isPhilip Foster who has written A Climate Carol At his home in Hemingford isPhilip Foster who has written A Climate Carol

Andy Veale
Saturday, December 28, 2013
3:00 PM

Charles Dickens’ classic novel A Christmas Carol has been reworked to promote debate about climate change.

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Rev Philip Foster, who lives in Hemingford Grey, thinks climate change is a load of ‘humbug’ and has written and published A Climate Carol which gives the old story a new twist with the theories he shares about climate change.

A leading member of the campaign to repeal the Climate Change Act – and a Cambridge graduate in natural science, Rev Foster said he began to form his opinions after he read The Sceptical Environmentalist by Professor Bjorn Lomborg. He argues that climate change occurs naturally and is part of a pattern.

They believe that policies to combat climate change cost more than the benefits they produce. The oceans, says Rev Foster, are getting warmer naturally, not because we are burning more fossil fuels. The group believes “pointless” and “expensive” eco schemes eat up public money and increase the price of food, clothes and travel and cause fuel poverty.

In A Climate Carol, Scrooge, an environment correspondent, is visited not by the good of the city raising funds for the poor, but by a charitable trust – Fuel for Africa.

“We are hoping to get the oil and coal in Africa used for generating electricity, for indigenous industry and transport so that they can have clean water, health care and a better standard of living,” they tell the miser.

“Stop there!” said Scrooge. “Are there no wind turbines? Are there no solar panels?”

“Yes there are but they hardly...”,

Scrooge interrupted them: “Climate deniers! Bah! Humbug! Get out of my office!”

And you can guess what happens next: Scrooge is visited by three spirits – the Spirts of Climate Change Past, Present and Future.

The Spirit of Climate Change Past shows him a world after three centuries of cold in which man is weak and malnourished, with poor crops, food scarce and expensive.

Each spirit has its own message, all aimed at persuading Scrooge to the Rev Foster’s way of thinking.

The Spirit of Climate Yet to Come takes Scrooge to a dystopian future where youths attack ‘carbon abusers’ – the older generation whose early lives had been dependent on fossil fuels.

The Rev Foster said: “Our climate is quite beyond human influence. The main influences are the sun’s variability and activity, the lunar orbit, planetary orbits and our varying position in the solar system and in the Galaxy. On the earth, the clouds and ocean currents control the overall temperature (not the other way round) and they respond primarily to these extra-terrestrial influences.”

INFORMATION: Copies of A Climate Carol are available from Rev Foster, email


  • The Rev Foster relies on the opinions of Bjorn Lomborg, who is an eccentric known for his extreme views denying man made climate change. If he had instead read any of the peer-reviewed information published by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change - and read it with an open mind - he would have come to very different conclusions. In particular, the absorption of energy from the sun by extra carbon dioxide is a very simple principle that is easy to understand, so his statement that "The climate is quite beyond human influence" is childish and ignorant. By delaying action to mitigate the effects of climate change we are storing up very serious problems that our children and grandchildren will have to deal with. The Rev Foster should open his mind and be more responsible.

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    Gideon Mitchell

    Sunday, December 29, 2013

  • Good Grief! Why have you given this crackpot column space? Every single study into the costs of mitigation versus adaptation has shown that the 'do-nothing' policy is overwhelmingly the most expensive option. ALL of them. Not that you need a dozen studies to know that a stitch in time saves nine. We are facing the biggest challenge to our global society we have ever faced and then we get this sort of nonsense from an unqualified attention-seeker. Just shamefull. This lunatic should be in an asylum - not embarrassing Huntingdonshire in the eyes of the world.

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    Leslie Graham

    Sunday, December 29, 2013

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