Scientists' manipulated claims of a doomed world are stopping us from getting our wallets out, writes Jim Hopkins.

Christmas spirit yet to register in sales, say worried retailers - News Item.

The cheque book's on idle, it seems, the credit card on hold. We're spooked by the recession, and more besides. We'd rather keep the money, honey, than have a Wii fling. (Why didn't Tiger think of that?).

Someone should explain to our melancholy merchants that people don't spend when they're gloomy. And, boy, are we gloomy. The till's not ringing 'cos the heart's not singing. And the heart's not singing 'cos there's sod all to sing about, sunshine!

We can't even sing about that anymore without some sobbing celeb sanctimoaniously banging on about our bloody carbon footprint.

Memo to Mr Tindall and chums: It's hard to get a tingle in our Jingle Bells when there's a colossally wasteful, doom-on-steroids loath-in happening in Denmark. And tough to get the goodwill going with 30,000 and four hoarse men of the apocalypse screaming "Repent! Repent! The End is Nigh! Last chance to save the planet" at their taxpayer-funded religious rally in wonderful, wonderful Copenhagen.

By the tavern lights, Al Gore serves up frights, to paraphrase a Danny Kaye song.

That's why we're not shopping, Mr T. Because we're numb with despair. Because we feel hopeless, bludgeoned by shonky science and dodgy data into a state of abject grovelment - ashamed of our sinful selves and terrified our delicate little planet is going to hell in a (very hot) handcart.

It isn't and it won't. She's a tough old Mother, Earth. She's endured many truly enormous indignities - the cosmic collision that created our moon, the enormous asteroid that did for the dinosaurs, a rent in the land in Siberia that leaked lava, like blood from a wound, for one million years.

There have been mass extinctions and smaller ones too. There have been ice ages when towering glaciers came so close to the equator they carved the legendary face at the top of the Eiger. There's been (medieval) warm periods when people grew grapes and made wine in England (Shame. Unleash the Temperance Union.) And something dodgy happened several hundred thousand years ago that nearly did for us as well. Probably chimneys, or cars, but we'll never know.

What we do know, thanks to those hackers, is that the show's over. No one's told them in Copenhagen, but it is. Sound science doesn't need fake facts.

When scientists treat information like a cocktail waitress, i.e. something you can fool around with whenever it suits, it's time to break out the bubbly and head for the mall.

Global warming is the death rattle of the baby boomers, a last gasp. It's a final millennial echo of the "peace, love and waterbeds" 60s. We need worry no more.

Though you do have to wonder what prompted these apocalyptics to unleash their millennial hysteria in the middle of our busiest retail season when people should be buying things and maintaining jobs. But if their deeply depressing opening video is any guide, those in Copenhagen would rather have children clinging grimly to trees than finding presents under them. Which makes it hard for retailers to eliminate the negative and accentuate the positive. But they must if we are to unlimber our purses.

Perhaps the Black Caps can help with a win in Napier. Unlikely though, unless the ICC makes underarm bowling compulsory. We sank without trace at the Basin. Against a team who couldn't catch Osama bin Laden if he was edged off a gentle full toss. Seriously, Pakistan dropped more than Tiger Woods' standards.

'Tis odd how everyone's in a tizz about his cheating but no one seems to care about scientists doing exactly the same in relation to a matter of much greater importance. Tiger's fictions affect his family, those fabricated in East Anglia and elsewhere affect all of us.

Alas, as is so often the case, the more trivial a matter is, the more rapt our attention and prurient our interest. Which may well explain why, at the end of a very hard year, the extinguished poet laureate, Sir Jam Hipkins (honour pending) has forsaken his muse and embraced a more venal mistress, joining the burgeoning ranks of news readers, porn stars, nightclub hostesses and lonely hearts who have teed off, so to speak, with Mr Woods. The Laureate's candid confession speaks for itself.

Be still, black heart of darkness
Foul sins must be confessed
On course, in Caddie, this bad laddie
Has brazenly transgressed.
Yes, I've played around with Tiger
Had a threesome, too, with Steve
Scored birdies galore
And then scored some more
In an orgy that none would believe.
And mayhap it didn't happen
But mayhap it did as well
For in these empty days, it's clear
It pays to kiss and tell.
And I'll reveal my lustful trysts
In bunkers and the rough
I'll brand myself a trollop
If I get paid enough.
So here's my sinful story -
Which I'll proud and lewdly holler -
Provided some shocked journalist
Has paid me my top dollar.

Merry Christmas, one all. Let's go for broke.