Regular readers of my blog will know that I have a tendency to go off on tangents occasionally, usually something to do with my deep-seated animosity towards politicians or modernist architecture.
Well today is no exception and I think I’m going to blow a gasket on this one, so if you’re easily offended, please look at this picture of a nice fluffy bunny instead.
Okay: Climate Change Deniers. WHAT THE F— IS WRONG WITH THESE PEOPLE?? I’m quite a verbose chap, but I’m honestly stuck for words when it comes to these pitiful loons.
So I’ll take it slowly and start with Conspiracy Theorists in general. Conspiracy Theorists used to be mainly confined to their homes – fearful to go outside, jumping at shadows, boring their mum with their crackpot theories about lizards taking over the world (who then, bizarrely, make TV shows about lizards taking over the world). Irritating, but mostly harmless.
Sadly for the rest of us, the internet then came along – and suddenly these Conspiracy Theorists had a platform for communicating with the real world (something they seem to know very little about) from the comfort of their parent’s basement and disseminating their quite mind-bogglingly stupid and ill-informed claptrap around the planet to their fellow barking-mad nutcases.
Psychologists have shown that there is a distinct personality type that consistently goes in for this garbage: idiots.
I’m distrustful of authority because I think everyone in charge of this planet is a complete and utter moron (something for which I have a mountain of evidence). Conspiracy Theorists, on the other hand, unswervingly believe that The Powers That Be are vastly more intelligent than themselves. The funny thing is that this is true – they are. But only as much as Forrest Gump is smarter than Dougal from Father Ted. But then Conspiracy Theorists, by their very nature, believe that anyone who doesn’t mindlessly go along with their pet theory is an idiot (or part of the conspiracy!) so you can’t win.
Now I don’t know what it’s like to be intimidated by a person of superior intelligence (I find them a sheer delight), but I know what it’s like to be intimidated by somebody physically bigger than me, so I can understand the root of the fear and feeling of helplessness that drives these Conspiracy Theorists to grope and squeeze their pet theory much in the manner of Pepé le Pew attempting to romance an rather unlucky cat.
Yes, I get angry that people besmirch the achievements of our species by claiming that aliens built the pyramids or that Neil Armstrong didn’t walk on the moon. But the thing that really gets my goat is way these lone nuts and their bizarre cacophony of recycled, unresearched bulls—t is seen as harmless. It may have been before the internet, but now they have a platform.
Homebrew Conspiracy Theories are no longer harmless. Here’s a few historical examples of the kind of thing that happens when ill-informed lunatics are given a platform:
- Hitler and his cronies start a CONSPIRACY THEORY that World War I was ‘caused by Jews’.
- Senator McCarthy starts a CONSPIRACY THEORY that there are Communist spies hiding in Congress, universities and the film industry.
- A mad imam from Nigeria starts a CONSPIRACY THEORY that polio vaccines are actually poisonous.
- The government of South Africa propagate a CONSPIRACY THEORY that HIV doesn’t lead to Aids.
- George W. Bush starts a CONSPIRACY THEORY that Saddam Hussein has Weapons of Mass Destruction.
What do these five case studies have in common? They all sounded reasonable enough to a fearful and credulous mind, and they were all used to scapegoat, spread disease and/or slaughter. No, I don’t think Conspiracy Theorism is harmless – it’s a religion, taken on faith, with cherry-picked evidence as its holy text and a pre-selected sector of society to demonise.
I don’t want them on my jury unless I’m guilty
And so I come to the Climate Change Deniers. A quick and dirty dig first of all: a demented twittering posh Climate Change Denier of the ‘it’ll all turn out alright in the end what what’ (think George from Blackadder Goes Forth) appeared on the BBC’s Horizon this week attempting to justify his bonkers position to Sir Paul Nurse, Nobel Science Laureate and Chair of The Royal Society.
I didn’t get his name, but I gathered from the interview he worked for The Telegraph and (by his own admission) knew nothing about science. It was actually uncomfortable to watch – like Mohammed Ali in his prime punching seven shades of s— out of a seven year old schoolgirl whose arms are tied behind her back.
But here’s what this ghoulish, cringing cretin of the Telegraph with his “quotation fingers” believes he is up against (I swear I’m not making this up)…
“…the Warmist faith so fervently held and promulgated by the Met Office is exactly the same faith so passionately, unswervingly followed by David Cameron, Chris Huhne, Greg Barker, the Coalition’s energy spokesman in the Lords Lord Marland, and all but five members of the last parliament. And also by the BBC, the Prince of Wales, almost every national newspaper, the European Union, the Royal Society, the New York Times, CNBC, the Obama administration, the Australian and New Zealand governments, your children’s schools, our major universities, our minor universities, the University of East Anglia, your local council… Truly there just aren’t enough bullets!”
Hang on a minute… so ALL of these people and institutions are wrong and a hack journalist with no scientific background is right?? What on Earth am I missing here? Has the world gone completely mad?
When you’re fighting THE MET OFFICE, THE ROYAL SOCIETY and ‘OUR MAJOR (AND MINOR!) UNIVERSITIES’, over their peer-reviewed scientific research you really are punching above your weight.
If Johnnie’s mum really thinks that the entire parade is out of step with her Johnnie, it doesn’t take a genius to see where the error lies.
The Two Possibilities
But their outright stupidity is not what bothers me so much about Climate Change Deniers, it’s the sheer lack of mental capacity to take a breath and think… what if I’m wrong?
There are two possibilities here:
THE CLIMATE SCIENTISTS ARE LYING
THE CLIMATE CHANGE DENIERS ARE WRONG
Okay, so FOR THE SAKE OF ARGUMENT let’s say the possibly of these two outcomes is 50/50. We have two choices: to act on, or ignore, the scientific evidence. Let’s go through what the results will probably be of each action and each possibility.
CHOICE ONE: ACT ON THE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE
What happens if we do what the scientists of the world keep pleading with us to do – massively cut our carbon emissions? It would mean electric cars, renewable energy, recycling and remembering to turn the lights off. It would mean energy companies would have to invest in wind turbines, solar, tidal, hydroelectric and nuclear power. It would mean humans would no longer suffer the indignity (and reduced lifespan) caused by having to work in a coal mine. It would mean oil leaks and spills would be a thing of the past – the Niger delta will come back to life. Pristine wildernesses will be preserved for future generations. Rates of asthma and allergies would decrease. The smog would be lifted from LA, Dhaka and Shanghai. It would also greatly reduce the West’s dependence on the autocratic regimes of the Middle East for energy.
THE SCIENTISTS ARE LYING: If we do all this stuff and then find out we didn’t need to, SO WHAT? Is it not still a step in the right direction? Is not chasing clean INFINITE energy not a worthy goal to set for the sake of our children?
THE CLIMATE CHANGE DENIERS ARE WRONG: Well done, we just SAVED THE HUMAN RACE.
CHOICE TWO: IGNORE THE SCIENTIFIC EVIDENCE
Now what if we do what the Climate Change Deniers keep pleading with us to do and ignore the Met Office, ignore The Royal Society, ignore NASA and ignore the climate scientists of the world’s top universities? We carry on, business as usual, pumping millions of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere year on year until all the oil runs out.
THE SCIENTISTS ARE LYING: The Climate Change Deniers are vindicated. They were right all along! Maybe they’ll have a party or something. They can rest happy in their beds safe in the knowledge that they protected the profits of the major oil companies they don’t even work for and that they saved people from the tyranny of having to recycle stuff. WOOYAY! Meanwhile, hundreds of scientists from all over the world are thrown in jail for being part of a worldwide conspiracy to, er, DO WHAT YOU F—ING MORON? ASK US NICELY TO TURN THE SODDING LIGHTS OFF??
THE CLIMATE CHANGE DENIERS ARE WRONG: WE’RE F–KED. London and New York find themselves 5 metres below sea-level; the Gulf Stream moves north, plunging the UK into arctic-like winters, bankrupting the nation; dozens of island states are wiped off the map along with Bangladesh and the Netherlands. Fish die, cattle drown, food supplies are disrupted, famine, pestilence, war, death, etc.
Putting it out there
So, um, just putting it out there, but since there’s a good chance that not doing anything to reduce our carbon output will cause a thoroughly miserable future for everyone and everything on this planet, and that doing something will be a net benefit even if the scientists are lying… can we, you know, err on the side of caution? What are the scientists asking us to do again? Sacrifice our firstborn?
Oh no, that’s right… they want us to turn the lights off.
I’m not the first person to say this, but WE DON’T HAVE ANOTHER PLANET TO GO TO IF THE CLIMATE CHANGE DENIERS ARE WRONG. Even if you are so naïve, so blitheringly stupid, so horrifically misguided that you truly believe that pretty much every scientist in the world is a corrupt thieving liar (and that politicians, right-wing newspaper columnists and the oil companies are on the straight and narrow!) then surely you can at least concede to me on this one. Where else are you planning to go? Mars?
Actually, I don’t know why I’m bothering being so conciliatory, if you are a Climate Change Denier you probably haven’t bothered to read down this far. But, on the off-chance that you have, please be aware that if you’re wrong and if the governments of the world continue to do sod all to tackle climate change (since it’s not really in their interests IS IT?) then you are part of the greatest crime against humanity since The Holocaust.
In fact, you’re worse than a Holocaust Denier – they had no hand in actually causing the Holocaust, but you have a (very bloodsoaked) hand in causing this one. In short, you are a very very bad person. I cannot fathom how you can sleep soundly at night, I can only imagine that you’re too pig ignorant to understand ramifications of your strange and untenable beliefs.
What if you’re wrong?
You’re not being smart, you’re not being funny, you’re not ‘just playing devil’s advocate’. This isn’t a game – you are gambling with the future of the human race – for WHAT? So climate scientists don’t get any more hand-outs from the government? Does it bother you THAT MUCH? Are you really willing to make that bet? A bet that, if you lose, will spell a lifetime of misery and disaster for your children and grand-children?
But maybe you don’t have kids, or don’t want them. Maybe you think that humans are a virus and we need to cull the numbers. Maybe you would be glad to see nations and cities washed away, refugees starving in camps for the crime of being in the wrong place at the wrong time. But please, don’t dress up your genocidal mania as ‘healthy debate’, it’s not.
All Climate Change Deniers are doing is playing into the hands of the massive energy companies and lazy politicians. They are Neville Chamberlains appeasing the Nazis, waving a piece of paper declaring ‘peace in our time’ when all the evidence is to the contrary. They’re playing with the future of our children and that’s a right that they simply do not have.
So next time you run into a Climate Change Denier, I wouldn’t try to reason with them or even get them to agree with your point of view. Just ask them this one pertinent question:
What if you’re wrong…?