Prat watch #6: My coup runneth over

By Gareth Renowden 04/04/2012


Courtesy of the ever-helpful NZ Climate “Science” Coalition — you know, the guys who take money from American think tanks and found “charities” to sue scientists — I stumble on a remarkable exposition of the world view to which they subscribe. Apparently, “Climate criminals almost took control of the whole world by deception, a grand fraud. Money has changed hands on a vast scale due to a bunch of easily-dispelled untruths.” Really? Here’s another sample:

The supporters of the theory of manmade global warming are […] an intellectual upper class of wordsmiths, who regulate and pontificate rather than produce real stuff. There is little demand in the economy for their skills, so they would command only modest rewards for their labor in the marketplace. Arguably they are a class of parasites enriching themselves at the expense of producers, because they are rewarded out of proportion to the value they create–value as determined not by themselves, but by voluntary transactions in the marketplace.

Yes folks, those of us who would like some meaningful action on climate change are the “regulating class” according to a penetrating new analysis by Australian denialist Dr David Evans. And we’re bent on world domination…

Evans’ report, Climate Coup – The Politics, is a follow-up to his earlier Climate Coup – The Science [PDF], which purports to destroy the scientific case for action to reduce carbon emissions. It does no such thing, of course1, but it sets the stage for Evans’ political argument2. And what an argument! Here’s Evans on the UN climate conference in Copenhagen in 2009:

Never in the field of human administration would so much power have been transferred by so many to so few. This was a narrowly averted global coup, an attempt to seize a great deal of power by stealth without the knowledge or explicit consent of the world’s people. It can only have been kept silent with the active support of the world’s media.

Positively Moncktonian, that analysis, and just as barmy. Here’s his array of the forces lined up in the argument:

Believers: UN (including the IPCC), Western governments, major banks and finance houses, NGO’s and Greenies, totalitarian leftists, government-funded scientists, academia, renewables corporations, mainstream news media

Doubters: Independently-funded scientists, private sector middle class, amateurs (from amore , the Latin for love)

How strange that he couldn’t find room in his list of doubters for the big oil companies that did so much to kick start the campaign against action on climate change, or the mining companies that funded so much of the opposition to Australia’s emissions legislation. He finds no place to mention the Murdoch media, always keen to present the “doubters” views3, or to ruminate on Fox News in the USA.

In the end, Evans assures us, everything’s going to be all right:

While there will be warming due to our emissions of CO2, the climate models exaggerate and the warming will only be mild. In the tropics it will have almost no effect, while elsewhere it will be equivalent to moving a few tens of kilometers closer to the equator. There are much larger natural forces on our climate at play, and it is they and not our puny CO2 that drives the planet’s temperature.

There’s no danger from warming, only from “the grab for absolute power by those who already govern [and] have grown tired of democracy and would like to do away with it.”

The whole thing is, of course, risible4, but I think it should be taken at least slightly seriously as an example of a worldview common amongst those who do not believe in the need for action on climate change. Worldview is an important determinant of attitudes and how facts are evaluated, but when it is as extreme and as divorced from reality as that portrayed by Evans, then there can be little hope of any constructive dialogue. There is no “debate” to be had with a propagandising ideologue, however much they might clamour for one.

[Perry Como]

  1. It’s composed mainly of misdirection, misrepresentation and cherry-picking: I leave it as an exercise for the reader to spot the flaws.
  2. One wonders if they would not be better presented the other way round, because it would seem likely that politics is driving his view of the science.
  3. For a recent example, see this piece by Neil Perry at The Conversation. But then what else would Evans expect from “academia”…
  4. Which is exactly what Evans would suggest I would say.