Between 2008 and 2010, Matthew Dentith first joined 95bFM’s Simon Pound, then José Barbosa, on Sunday mornings to talk about conspiracy theories. Listen, as they say, again!
Another fortnight, another radio slot. You’ll have to forgive the lack of posting at the moment; I’m in the midst of an office move and I’m ill (once again). Updating the blog is very much second fiddle at the moment to packing, writing and gazing (with dead, dead eyes) into a monitor.
Anyway, Climate Change. This material really isn’t entirely my own; I’ve cribbed most of it from the International Journal of Inactivism but I feel no guilt because a) it’s good and b) I’ve given credit where credit is due (and, as a late addition, I’ve extrapolated).
Also, beware the Battlestar Galactica spoilers. Sorry, FHG.
The Dentith Files
This week Matthew looks at climate inactivism, the climinati and genealogy.
Have a listen and then have a look at the International Journal of Inactivism.
Climate Inactivism, the Climinati and Genealogy
Frankbi, of the International Journal of Inactivism (frankbi.wordpress.com) has been leading the charge to label Climate Change Skeptics as Inactivists. It’s logical, really; certain skeptics have labelled believers in Climate Change as activists, in part because it denotes people advocating we change our excessive lifestyles (which is very unAmerican) and in part because it taps into a certain meme beloved of Climate Change Skeptics; that modern day environmental activists are just socialist-cum-communist activists of yesteryear.
(Which we could delve into in the show if you want…)
Frankbi’s response is to label the skeptics Inactivists. If activism is bad, he says, then surely inactivism is good, and its rather fitting given what the inactivists want us to do, doom the human race by doing nothing whatsoever to mitigate, halt or reverse anthropogenic climate change.
Anyway, in the last month and a bit the International Journal of Inactivism, dedictated to inactivism, inactivists, inaction, and inactionology, especially with regard to global warming and mitigating it, has been working up a geneology of Climate Change Conspiracy Theories, those theories that claim that the IPCC and the general consensus in the scientific community that Climate Change is real and we are the cause of it, is nothing but an elaborate Conspiracy Theory by, well, sinister architects of doom.
(In an ideal world the Invader Zim â€œDoomâ€ song would go here.)
So, who are these sinister figures and what can be said about them?
The first set of sinister figures are, of course, the US Senate who, under Al Gore, put financial pressure (by way of funding, grants and the like) to ensure that the “right” conclusions were being drawn. This, at least, is one of the many Conspiracy Theories put forward by Dr. Richard Lindzen. Now, Dr. Lindzen is a respected scientist but he does seem to have a bee in his proverbial bonnet about Climate Change. In 1992 he accuses Al Gore and his cronies of pushing an agenda. In 96 he accuses his enemies of incentivising climatologists to produce the new results (a new Humvee for every anthropogenic result, maybe) and in 2006 he simply labels climatologists (of the anthropogenic persuasion) of just being evil, out to scare politicians and the public. These, then, are the climate equivalent of the Gnomes of Zurich, the evil figures who just want to cause mayhem, the Loki figures of our age.
A seemingly more balanced Conspiracy Theory is put forward by Roger Pielke. He thinks that both sides of the Climate Change debate, the activists and the inactivists, are in it for their own good and that by making out that the issue isn’t settled then they can just generate all the more funding for themselves. This turns out to be an even more evil version of Lindzen’s latter Conspiracy Theory. The debate, to Pielke, is settled; there is no Climate Change occurring, but Activists continue to promote the idea that it is to get more funding and, worryingly enough, the Inactivists let them. All Climatologists, in this picture, are potential conspirators and none of them can be trusted, which is problematic since it seems we can’t say the debate is settled after all, giving that we can’t trust the pronouncements of scientists and politcal scientists like Pielke, who gets his information from the scientific community, is either a shill for the conspirators or just as easily fooled by them as you or me.
This Conspiracy Theory got a shot in the arm recently when the Heartland Insitute released its list of 500 scientists critical of anthropogenic climate change. When the scientific backlash started, with people claiming that their work had been misinterpreted, et al, the publisher, Dan Miller, released a statement which included the following:
In the highly politicized debate over climate change, it isn’t surprising that some scientists now regret that their own scholarly work has contradicted key tenets of the alleged “consensus” promoted by Al Gore and other global warming alarmists. I can sympathize with their plight, but I won’t be a party to their self-serving efforts to hide the implications of that research.
(Which means nothing a climatologist can say will persuade Dan Miller that he is wrong about them; nicely unfalsifiable…)
But wait, there’s more.
Did you know that Magaret Thatcher is a communist? Well, Richard S. Courtney, editor of a Coal Mining journal, certainly seems to think so. Thatcher set up the Hadley Centre of Climate Prediction and Research merely to make her view of anthropogenic climate change (she’s for it, which means she thinks it is happening but probably also likes that it is) legit and thus justify her weakening the power of the coal miner unions when she had her stranglehold on the UK. This is Conspiracy Theory can be found elsewhere, such as in the writings of Louis Hissink of the Lavoisier Group. The Lavoisier group has been described as a body devoted to the proposition that basic principles of physics, discovered by among others, the famous French scientist Antoine Lavoisier, cease to apply when they come into conflict with the interests of the Australian coal industry.
Of course, revenge is the best dish served cold and who better to get revenge than the Third World, who have also been blamed for the Climate Conspiracy Theories. Basically, the Third World seek to resurrent the New International Economic Order and make money of rich Western Nations by claiming that their lack of environmental control is destroying the Third World and could they have some money to fix things up, please. The enviromentalists, who are communists, after all, support the Third World kleptocrats as it means the destruction of the American way of life, which is the goal of any proper communist, don’t you know.