“He blasphemeth!” The world of banking and extraneous hordes of woke and politically correct enforcers were reduced to biblical outrage after Stuart Kirk, Head of Responsible Investment at HSBC Asset Management, suggested at a Financial Times event that the financial perils posed by climate change might have been exaggerated. Within minutes, the scribes and pharisees on Twitter were tearing their beards and rending their garments in derangement at the articulation of this heresy.

Kirk, naturally, has been suspended pending an investigation. Surely a banking executive of his seniority ought to have known that questioning, objective reasoning and – worst of all – debate, have no place in today’s financial system.

His kind of free-range thinking belongs to the dinosaur past of corporate finance, to the insensitive delusions promoted by dead white men such as Adam Smith or Milton Friedman. It almost suggests that the purpose of a financial institution is to make profits, rather than to socially engineer society.