Sunday 29 June 2008

Supererogation Sunday

Since it is Sunday, here's a word you don't often hear these days - supererogation. It sprang back into my mind, after a long and unremarked absence, as I listened to a radio report on the deliberations of the House of Commons committee on climate change. This committe is pondering the government's Climate Change Bill, which proposes - nay, pledges - a 60 per cent reduction in the UK's carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. You might well think this was quite unrealistic and ludicrous enough to be going on with - but no, not for those fine virtuous MPs assembled in the select committee. Nothing would do but they must raise the figure to an altogether fantastical 80 per cent. What is this if it is not an exercise in competitive virtue, in supererogation? More proof, if any were needed, that belief in climate change has left science - and indeed reason - way behind and is now a matter of quasi/pseudo-religious faith.


  1. "The Latin etymology of “supererogation” is paying out more than is due (super-erogare)." The word should be rescued from obscurity and pasted on every billboard in the land, a grand summing up of the new millennium sceptered isles.
    There was a article in the noos yesterday about an "eco village" that is to be built in Cambridgeshire, original application refused, huge local opposition, new eco edict, government overriding local planning, job done. Tesco building on green field site, liars from Tesco said "no were not", its now an eco green field site", I thought Prescott had been ejected.

  2. The politics of the playground....I'm greener than you are....