Whether one is a fully signed-up advocate of government environmental policies or a confirmed cynic, the issue of climate change starkly highlights the potential for abuse when the state is able to exclusively control every aspect of our lives from cradle to grave.
As a parent, I am already fully aware of the lackadaisical approach of the state to schooling. Without my intervention, the little Puddlecotes' (by no means dull kids) would quite simply not be fully conversant with their times tables. Other kids in their respective classes aren't because the teaching is expected to be done by the parents during homework whilst more important matters are injected at school. Both little Puddlecotes' (taught in different schools within one LEA) can tell you all about Nelson Mandela, the religious festivals of Islam, the number of chemicals in a cigarette, the effects of alcohol on the body (science class), and most of all, environmental issues.
They haven't been taught capital cities yet, though.
In the last couple of months, the boy has been to the town centre on a school trip to pick up litter to help the environment, the girl has come home after a lesson on water preservation with a bag for the toilet cistern. She has also had a lesson whereby the kids were told to write a letter to the local MP asking for measures to save the planet and she keeps turning the heating off after being told that our staying warm kills people in Africa. Similarly, when I last told the boy to turn the light off when he leaves a room, he eagerly said he had been taught about that at school. "It's to cut down on gas in the air, isn't it Daddy?", he enthusiastically volunteered, "No, it's to bloody save money", said I. And don't get me started on the guilt-laden school concert songs, or choice of non-religious carols for the upcoming Christmas play.
By way of consolation, the elder of the two has just started to learn about the Romans.
In the future, we are going to be well-supplied with keen environmentalists, in fact there are already quite a few of them whose voices are going to be heard at Copenhagen before adult ones ... they just won't be very good at adding up, or writing anything more involved than a Facebook status, but why should the state care about that, eh?
However, although the young are droning along nicely, a problem for the all-encompassing state, in the present, is that we grown-ups aren't adhering to their line on the impending ecopalypse. In fact, as we have seen recently, there is increasing scepticism.
Time, then, to introduce another department of the state into the enviro-skirmish.
GPs 'should offer climate change advice to patients'
The Climate and Health Council, a collaboration of worldwide health organisations including the Royal College of Nursing, the Royal College of Physicians and the Royal Society of Medicine, believes there is a direct link between climate change and better health.
The Council has been recently formed to study the health benefits of tackling climate change and promotes a range of ideas from reducing your carbon footprint by driving less and walking more to eating local, less processed food.
Of course, we have encountered the Royal College of Physicians here before, in the form of its current President, Ian Gilmore, a rancid, hysterical, anti-alcohol psychojerk.
So, is this another example of doctors stepping outside the boundaries of the role we pay them for? Well, if government weren't backing them to the hilt, that would perhaps be the case ... but it's not.
Andy Burnham, the Health minister, in support of the Lancet report said: "Climate change can seem a distant, impersonal threat [however] the associated costs to health are a very real and present danger. Health ministers across the globe must act now to highlight the risk global warning poses to the health of our communities."
The entire network of the state's health service, including the man at the top of the tree, has seemingly been called in to add weight to the avalanche of one-sided information on climate change.
Call me old-fashioned, but I tend to think that doctors should teach core subjects in their entirety before moving onto more contentious areas, whilst doctors should fix us when we are broken. And both should leave politics to the politicians.
In the case of the teaching profession, subjects are being bumped from the national curriculum in favour of AGW theology, whilst if doctors have time to extend their remit into environmental science, there are obviously too many of them. Plenty of scope for much-needed cuts, then.
Now, I'm not trying to say that AGW is or isn't happening, or if it is our fault or not (though I have my opinions), but a system whereby the state are able to push their own opinions using a massive unstoppable machine, paid for from taxes we have no option to withhold, used to be called a dictatorship.
Under Labour, it's usually termed 'The right thing to do'.