Biggest Crisis or biggest Conspiracy in history?

Arguing with Denialists lately has me realising that the choice isn’t that great.

It seems, according to the Denialist anyway, one has to choose between either believing in either global warming, which is one of the largest crisis to confront civilisation, or believe in the biggest conspiracy in human history.

If it is a conspiracy, it’s not a very good one.

  • The scientists involved keep publishing their work, and it keeps evolving and changing as it refines minor points.
  • In other words, it looks like the normal process of science learning, not a tidy, orchestrated, polished and finalised scientific myth ready to be pushed on the public as a complete package.
  • The scientists and governments that are supposedly in on the conspiracy can’t agree on anything! Copenhagen is a joke, and nothing will come of it but more hot air. The Valkyrie operation to assassinate Hitler and take over Germany had an objective and plan. Sure the plan had some hiccups in execution, but originally the goal and operation were agreed on by the players before the operation was underway. Seriously, does climate change look anything like that?
  • The conspiracy theory meme would have you accept that thousands of scientists around the world have agreed to co-operate to defraud the world on the future direction of our civilisation. You would have to believe that no young climatologist wants to make their name in history as the climatologist that disproved global warming by thoroughly disproving it in the peer-reviewed literature. According to Scientific American’s latest podcast (7 Answers to Climate Contrarian NONSENSE), it would be incredibly tempting for a climatologist to make it if they could really disprove global warming.

No, I don’t believe in the conspiracy hype. Conspiracies usually bust open at some point because human beings are just no clever enough or co-ordinated or loyal enough to the one cause to not let something slip.

But I find myself hoping it is a conspiracy because our world leaders are comprehensively failing to deal with this crisis. If it is, it would be wonderful! It would mean that the world was preparing to wean off fossil fuels before peak coal. It would mean Shai Agassi’s electric cars were thought of to deal with the phoney crisis of global warming, to arrive just in time to help alleviate peak oil (somewhat). It would mean the glaciers were not really retreating, and that these were all photo-shopped images and lies. It would mean no water wars were imminent. It would mean we could use a little coal-to-liquids to give us more time to solve peak oil.

But mainly, it would mean we had one less threat to civilisation, and that we could then focus on dealing with the rest. Because the rest are real, and very problematic. Peak fossil fuels is almost here, freshwater is a real issue around the globe, peak metals occurs this century, overpopulation continues, biodiversity is being lost due to habitat destruction and the introduction of plague species, toxins and endocrine disruptors are gradually shifting the male/female balance across the globe, and free ecosystem services are gradually breaking down. There would still be plenty to take action over if global warming were not true. Yet sadly it is. And worse, I fear many Americans have been taken in by the false charges of “Conspiracy” as Denialists twist messages in the ‘Climategate emails’ and take them out of context.

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