By Boris Johnson

9:54PM GMT 20 Jan 2013



"The Sun is god!Ē cried JMW Turner as he died, and plenty of other people have thought there was much in his analysis. The Aztecs agreed, and so did the pharaohs of Egypt. We are an arrogant lot these days, and we tend to underestimate the importance of our governor and creator.

We forget that we were once just a clod of cooled-down solar dust; we forget that without the Sun there would have been no photosynthesis, no hydrocarbons ó and that it was the great celestial orb that effectively called life into being on Earth. In so far as we are able to heat our homes or turn on our computers or drive to work it is thanks to the unlocking of energy from the Sun.

As a species, we human beings have become so blind with conceit and self-love that we genuinely believe that the fate of the planet is in our hands ó when the reality is that everything, or almost everything, depends on the behaviour and caprice of the gigantic thermonuclear fireball around which we revolve.

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