Thursday, February 28, 2013

Tell Me Why

Much to my surprise, for the past few days I’ve been carrying on a twitter conversation with The Enemy – someone who doesn’t accept the validity of climate science. A climate change denier. The conversation has been civil, and incredibly informative as I’ve learned that denying climate science is akin to an extreme religion or cult. Arguing with a climate science denier is every bit as frustrating as arguing with a priest about the existence of god. Ironically, science deniers have used the same kind of vocabulary to describe those who oppose them – like me.

Climate Change Alarmists, as we are often called, have one advantage over the deniers. It is science, an endeavour which in its purest form has no purpose other than to explain the world in which we live. Science – good science – has no agenda, no ulterior motive. It exists for its own sake. The denial of science is the opposite: it must be driven by a belief or a cause or a fear. Without a driver, denying science is pointless.

Enter the Galileo Movement, a group so boorishly proud of their climate conspiracy theories, that they alienated their most high profile adviser, arch-denier Andrew Bolt. They retain the patronage of Alan Jones though, and have tried to style themselves as a legitimate organisation with an interest in promoting scientific debate. That image lasts about as long as it takes to glance through their website.

The Galileo Movement's Purpose & Aims, from their website
 The Galileo Movement is nothing more than a far right lobby group that vehemently opposes climate change and the science which proves its existence. In fact, much of their activity on social media is around provoking those who are “climate change apologists” – another name for us. Earlier this week, they took aim at the Sydney Morning Herald’s Environment Editor for posting a mildly humourous image related to climate change.

The Gallileo Movement’s twitter operator shot back with

After repeated requests for @bencubby to produce empirical evidence of AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming), this is the best he could come up with!
That’s where I ignored the first law of twitter: Don’t feed the trolls. I engaged. I responded to the tweet above in defence of Ben Cubby. As we know, individuals like Alan Jones and Andrew Bolt, and the organisations they associate with, pretend to encourage meaningful debate, but in reality, they reject all dissenting opinions. My challenge (see below) to explain their theories was not taken well.

In fact, I haven’t heard from @GalileoMovement since their tweet in which they refer to “BS AGW”. Their position on climate change is articulated in those five letters, and my challenge was ignored. Not everyone ignored it though.

Welcome to the debate, @JWSpry, a tweeter with no biography, but a consistent history. Google him – we’ll assume it’s a male as his twitter avatar is of a man –and you’ll find the following quote over and over again:

After spending $50 billion on science research, no one able to point to a single piece of empirical evidence that man-made CO2 has significant effect on climate.

We don’t know of Mr Spry’s relationship with the Gallileo Movement, but it’s obvious that Mr Spry is a devotee of their theories, at the very least. He chose to respond in the middle of the night to the challenge I issued to the Galileo Movement, with the following series of tweets. This is the order in which they were received.
1. #AGW ‘scare’ product of 70/80’s Environment movements pushing ‘sustainability’ to limit pop(ulation) & economic growth

2. Ultimate aim is global control via regs and taxation under guise of enviro scare – easy if people willingly servile

3. “The threat of environmental crisis will be the international disaster key 2 unlock New World Order.” Gorbachev

4. One power grp behind #AGW “The Club of Rome” (Gorbachev member) Book “Limits of Growth”

5. “not hard to imagine climate problem driving political evolution toward global gov ovr long term” IPCC Pachauri

6. No empirical evidence exists proving man’s extra CO2 cause any GW that paused in 1996

7. Article by Larry Bell worth an ‘objective’ read for further insite [sic] into #AGW hysteria

It was all the standard climate change denier waffle, with a couple of references, including one from that pinnacle of accuracy, Wikipedia, and even a graph with no source. Had I been awake when I read these emails at about 6am, I would’ve laughed. I certainly wouldn’t have responded.

But respond I did. I wanted to know more, not necessarily about their conspiracy theories and group paranoia, but about what drives these attitudes. What was the purpose of this massive global conspiracy, who would benefit from it, and what would be the ultimate goal.

All credit to Mr Spry who has taken time to re-educate me by explaining that the conspiracy belongs to the United Nations and the Government elite “who don’t trust stewardship of Earth w. Democratic nations.” Once again, there’s nothing new here. We know that extreme climate change denial involves this incredible conspiracy by the UN to take over the world and redistribute the wealth, turning the planet into a big blue ball of socialist equality and general bliss: a sort of Brave New World, but with sunrises and daisies and burbling streams in place of the bad bits.

Mr Spry goes on to cite the Rio+20 United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development in June last year as a rallying cry for one planet (global governance) where the United Nations represented the voice of humanity against the voices of sovereign states, big polluters, and other world powers. Mr Spry is afraid that the one world government will give the United Nations – a body of people unelected individuals representing separate countries – the power to determine the distribution of consumables.

Aaaaahhhhh, now I get it.

Climate Change will ultimately change the balance of power away from the wealthy, towards…something else. Probably socialism.

There’s been another stream of tweets from Mr Spry, emphasising the intrinsic good will of humanity, and introducing me to something called Agenda 21 – there’s a 20 minute Youtube video about Agenda 21, posted by…The John Birch Society.

But before we get there, consider this: it’s all about money and power. Only money and power. Of course, if climate science is right, and the deniers are wrong, there won’t be much left to spend their money on, and that New World Order that they’re so afraid of will still be achieved, but through revolution rather than global control.

The Climate Science Deniers' Continuum

Follow me on Twitter (@SalPiracha). We still have to look at the John Birch Society. I'll tweet a link to the next blog post as soon as its available.

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