I used to engage often with the climate change debate, Paul Collits wrote, but not so much these days. “I reached a premature and ultimately (disastrously) false conclusion, that facts in this debate would win out.”
In 2018 Collits wrote an article published in the Quadrant describing that, in short, catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (“CAGW”) – global warming caused by humans – is a scam, a confidence trick, and how the climate alarmists pulled it off:
“One of the more useful concepts of modern public policy theory is that of the ‘policy community’, a loose network of actors who share interests and/or beliefs and who together form coalitions, both formal and informal, that end up driving policy outcomes … This is, in effect, how they did it. How they pulled it off.”
Who are they? “They” turns out to be at least eight nodes of a network of true, or maybe, “flag-of-convenience” CAGW believers. Each node has its own compelling reasons for perpetuating the scam:
- the bona fide greenies, political activists who finally have a purpose;
- the grant troughing academics who have built careers and empires on the back of CAGW;
- the climate change money makers;
- the woke corporates;
- the globalist, supranational bureaucrats;
- the deeply concerned, woke individual – the “doctor’s wife”, and indeed often the farmer’s wife, the school teacher or the public servant;
- the politicians;
- the media; and,
- the over-schooled but under-educated, brainwashed millennials.
Together they form perhaps the most powerful network in human history, Collits wrote in 2018.
Yesterday Collits wrote a follow-up article titled ‘Climate Inaction Now!’:
“My earlier conclusion some years back that simply repeating over and over the facts on climate change and pointing out the idiocy of the climate delusion was all that was required to win. That attitude was and is costly, indeed, disastrously, false optimism. Vacating the field was plain dumb. The fight on this one will never end, and the world is, indeed, run by those who turn up.”
So, let’s turn up!
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The climate alarmists’ arguments, to the extent that they could even be called “arguments”, were so threadbare that it hardly seemed worth the effort to refute them. The “argument” consisted of a set of highly contested propositions that all had to be true for the “case” to be compelling for policy-makers. There is no logic trail from the first proposition to the last. With apologies to the Scottish philosopher David Hume, who argued that you cannot derive an “ought” from an “is”, there is no climate “ought” and no climate “is”.
First, there is the assertion that the earth is warming. Second, we have been told that carbon dioxide caused the earth to warm. Then we had the idea that man contributed significantly to increased levels of carbon dioxide. Next came the claim that this increase was dangerous, not benign. Then, we had the insane idea that public policy could do something about all of this. Next, we had the idiot-level, simp argument that we should do something about all of this. And to cap it all off, we had to “fight” climate change with mitigation and not adaptation. Each assertion was, and remains, highly contestable, to put it at its most polite. To be impolite, it is all absolute tosh. As in the infamous Pell case, only one of the pillars had to be proven to be false for the whole edifice to collapse. The earth has not been warming for ages. Recent rises have been natural. Often the recorded temperatures are rigged. Modelling is not evidence of anything (as Don Aitkin once said). The earth has warmed far more in the past, before industrialisation. Man contributes very little CO2 in the greater scheme of things. A slight rise in global temperatures is a good thing. Man has very little capacity for influencing temperatures (outside the urban heat island effect). Certainly, no individual country has. And if everything else were true, the correct strategy would still be adaptation.
These few counterarguments are merely scratching the surface. Highly respected scientists the world over – 97 per cent of climate scientists do NOT believe all the rubbish spouted by the alarmists – have fully debunked climate myths. But, as we shall see, this has been to little effect when pitted against the policy-emoting that defines our age. There is no consensus. It is manufactured. And even if there were a consensus, it would not be “science” as properly understood. The idea that man-made CO2 causes dangerous global warming has the status of mere hypothesis, just like any other scientific theory. It must be endlessly tested and, if disproven, even once, should be thrown into the dustbin of history.
The ”case” amounts to endlessly repeated talking points chanted by apologists for renewable energy, nothing more and nothing less. The alarmist “archipelago” is simply a motley collection of chancers and ideologues united by their desire to crush traditional, reliable energy. The climate alarmists have been able to create that very effective democratic tool called by the political scientists a “policy community”. Or, if you prefer, a bunch of chancers and ideologues.
With benefits. In careers, spin-off companies, academic posts, promotions, a phalanx of public sector positions, banking middle management appointments, and the rest. There is, indeed, good money in climate change. With the lasting benefit of being – in their eyes – on the right side of history. Occupying the moral high ground, with associated abuser rights. Oh, and power by the bucketload. And endless conferences to attend in wonderful locations. King Charles III – it is still a leap to bring myself to say the title – had to be persuaded by his new Prime Minister not to attend COP 27. The real surprise is that, unbelievably, there have been 26 previous COPs! Climate change is the gravy train’s gravy train.
So, we have in the idea of carbon dioxide-as-culprit a busted flush. A naked emperor. An idea without a core. Yet an idea with endless cache.
Here we sit in 2022, with governments across the globe seemingly winning the public’s approval for “climate action now” and something now called “net zero”. We are suddenly confronted by the real threat of civilisation-ending policies. The old phrase of James Burnham’s, “the suicide of the West”, comes to mind. We seem to be sleepwalking back to the stone age. How has this happened? The best guess is that rational argument no longer counts in the determination of public policies. As we destroyed traditional marriage with a “love is love” meme”, we now seem bent on destroying everything else with a “climate emergency” meme. That rational argument no longer counts in public life is a profound conclusion, if correct, and profoundly distressing. There is simply no human future without energy. Does anyone even notice this? Again, it is a case of the slowly boiling frog and the serfdom at the end of Hayek’s road. The victory of the climate nut-jobs has been a deep shock.
Charles Mackay in Extraordinary Popular Delusions and The Madness of Crowds suggested:
“Men, it has been well said, think in herds; it will be seen that they go mad in herds, while they only recover their senses slowly, one by one.”
But we can only come back, one by one, with rational thinking, access to unbiased evidence, real science, open debate, full information, the absence of censorship and scholarly and policy goodwill. There seems to be precious little evidence that the way back is either clear or certain.
No petrol cars by 2030-something? Shivering winters without power? Stifling summers without air-con. The Australian economy decimated. Industries shutting down, or moving to China where, astonishingly, they still build coal-fired power stations by the hundred. This is goon-show territory. Insanity squared. And yet, we all concur. We are sleepwalking into poverty, based on a set on sublimely idiotic assertions without foundation.
Two phrases have crept into the public’s consciousness over the past decade, without any particular (rational) reason for their emergence. They are “climate emergency” and “net zero”. As with the Covid scam, thought by many to be the dress rehearsal for the climate end-game, we have had supra-national organisations, invested corporate actors, queasy politicians caught like rabbits in the headlights conscious of being on the wrong side of history and fearing, above all, their electors, essentially evil, mission-creeped NGOs exceeding their original briefs, media cheer squads, main-chance private equity companies and bemused voters who wouldn’t know a greenhouse gas from a wind farm. It has been a combustible mix, with dire consequences for all of us. Like climate lockdowns. Don’t believe me? Just wait. And it isn’t just China with the (social credit) enforcement tools. Just look at what Trudeau did to the truckers and their supporters in “democratic” Canada when he decided to flex his muscles.
Lost in all of the climate noise has been “the science”, which, no less than three decades ago when the presently proposed policies would have been regarded as preposterous, suggests with compelling and unrefuted evidence, little global warming, minimally influenced by humans, with largely benign consequences and, therefore, the suggestion of the genuinely precautionary principle of doing little and simply keeping a watching brief on developments. The noise of policy-by-emoting blocks out reasonable thinking and science as it is properly conceived.
The recent statement by the United Nations official Melissa Fleming that the UN “owned” the science of climate change, like that of Jacinda Ardern – another climate crusader – which asserted that only government information about Covid was to be counted on as “truth”, might have been expected to be seen widely as jumping the shark. But no, it is only the alt-media and Covid and climate dissidents who see these statements as portending dystopia and, therefore, as worthy of comment.
Further reading: U.N. Communications Official Touts Google Search Partnership: ‘We Own the Science’, National Review, 4 October 2022
Fleming is crystal clear in saying, as was Ardern – we have the right, indeed, the duty, to shut you up if you question the truth as WE see it. No surprise, really. Ardern believes she has the right to change the name of her country (to Aotearoa).
Censorship is simply assumed to be a right of the elites on a range of contemporary issues. But just as effective as censorship is the well-worn strategy of easing certain key phrases – which are no more than contested opinions – into the popular discourse, only as “facts”. It is a bit like labelling people with whom you disagree as “controversial, or, worse, “divisive”. In the wake of the bizarre removal of Andrew Thorburn as one-day-old CEO of the Essendon AFL club, because he is a Christian, we see this tactic in play. Having “divisive” views on abortion now disqualifies you from running a footy club. Hence the endlessly repeated use of terms like “homophobic” as well as portrayals like “divisive” that keeps the debates on particular tracks. Nobody is fact-checking these people, and calling them out for using opinionated, biased terms as if we all agreed they were true. And so, it is with climate change. Just think “denier” to get the picture very quickly.
Further reading: My faith is not tolerated or permitted, Thorburn says, The Australian, 4 October 2022
It is all about narrative construction and maintenance, and the climate brigade are best-in-show at this task. Their use of the full range of the bullshitter’s toolset has been phenomenal and sustained over time against all comers.
It can be seen, then, that despite the lack of a factual base for the headline claims of the alarmist archipelago, they have deployed many weapons, and deployed them very effectively, if deviously. On the other side, alas, the much-needed strategy of getting real scientific thinking about global warming into public policy debate is yet to be devised. This is the core task for those of us that still want industry, cars, warm homes and jobs in 2040.
A mass campaign is needed.
Lots of “climate inaction now” t-shirts and posters. A street presence. We need to fight the enemy on its terms. Emote back, and forget sober, rational, scientific approaches. A snappy catch-cry would help. One that pokes fun, and dares to speak the unspeakable. Like Climate Inaction Now! We wouldn’t dare say that? They bank on this, with their intimidation. Those who see the climate scam for what it is have been pathetically silent and inert. Absent some urgency on the part of club sensible, we will wake up one day not too far from now to a dystopia of stone age, pre-industrial age life where all that we have gained will be lost. We will own nothing, and we will be happy!
I realise that climate sceptics and fellow travellers do not generally wear protest t-shirts nor display posters. That, of course, is precisely the problem. Having lost just about every policy fight going since 1970 and having ceded both the high ground and all of the embedded positions that matter in the institutions that have been so successfully been captured, we face a simple choice. Go home and watch tele, or fight the hard battles, every day, till we take back positions long given up. As Nigel Farage and others say, holding the present ground is no longer good enough, and even that we do not do well. Our own (supposed) side has been infiltrated by fifth columnists like Matt Kean, and these are allowed to run over the top of supposed conservatives like Dominic Perrottet, and just about every other Liberal still standing. This also disarms the dissidents. Massively. It is fighting with one hand tied, when your own (supposed) side has joined the enemy.
My earlier conclusion some years back that simply repeating over and over the facts on climate change and pointing out the idiocy of the climate delusion was all that was required to win. That attitude was and is costly, indeed, disastrously, false optimism. Vacating the field was plain dumb. The fight on this one will never end, and the world is, indeed, run by those who turn up. Just like Greta Tintin Thunberg. And Bill Gates. And what’s his name, the Bond Villain Guy in Germany. And all of the CEOs of private equity companies like Black Rock and Vanguard. And other companies many people have never heard of. They play for keeps. We play tiddlywinks. And we claim shock when we wake up someday to find that the world we once knew and cherished no longer exists. And the climate war is the one that matters most, now.
About the Author
Paul Collits is a freelance writer and independent scholar and researcher. He has worked in regional economic development analysis, policy and practice for over 20 years, in universities, State parliament, local and State government and in consulting. His longer career of 30 years has also included working in research and analysis in government at the national level, industry and politics. You can subscribe to Paul’s Newsletter on Substack HERE.
Featured image: The Myth That the Polar Bear Population Is Declining, FEE, 9 September 2019
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