Telling ‘Noble Lies’ About Climate Change Will Backfire

Former U.S. Congressman and long-standing president of United Nations Foundation Timothy Wirth spelled out this strategy in 1998 when he said,

What we've got to do in energy conservation is try to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, to have approached global warming as if it is real means energy conservation, so we will be doing the right thing anyway in terms of economic policy and environmental policy.

Christine Stewart, the Liberal environment minister who negotiated in Kyoto on Canada's behalf, went even further, asserting,

No matter if the science is all phony, there are collateral environmental benefits...climate change provides the greatest chance to bring about justice and equality in the world.

There are undoubtedly many advocates of such objectives who doubt, or are agnostic about, human-caused climate change. However, they see benefits to promoting, or at least going along with, the climate scare because it furthers their objectives in other fields that they regard as beneficial to society.  One of Canada’s top climate modellers said in private communications that, even though he did not believe that today’s computerized climate models made reliable forecasts, he would continue to promote them as if they did because he thought this would encourage the expansion of nuclear power, which he supported.

But this seemingly pragmatic approach is a slippery slope.

As the mistakes in the science backing man-made climate concerns become increasingly apparent, the primary rationale used by governments, environmental groups, and the press for energy conservation and other sensible actions evaporates. It is like teaching a child to behave well because Santa will otherwise cross them off his list. When they discover that they have been lied to about Santa, their behavior may quickly deteriorate. Similarly, the public naturally become cynical about conserving energy and protecting nature when they realize that they have been misled about climate change, currently the primary justification for environmentally conscious behaviour. Crying wolf over a non-issue eventually erodes public confidence in authorities and the reputation of sensible environmentalism and even science itself is damaged.

Earth Hour, observed across the world on March 29, is a case in point. The event was created by World Wide Fund for Nature, Australia, working with American advertising company Leo Burnett Worldwide to increase awareness about the supposed climate crisis. Many people who normally would support energy conservation oppose Earth Hour because they recognize the climate scare to be unfounded. Some even intentionally increase their energy consumption during Earth Hour, partly as an act of defiance and partly to focus attention on the importance of inexpensive energy to our civilization. The International Climate Science Coalition has called for Earth Hour to be replaced with Energy Hour and carried out for the right reasons: to promote energy policy that will keep the lights on.

Telling the Noble Lie that the science of climate change is "settled" so as to encourage moving quickly on "solutions" is also counterproductive. If the science is so certain, the public are bound to eventually ask, why should we fund climate research at all? We supposed know what the future holds in store for us, so public funding of climate research can be terminated. In reality, the science is so immature that we do not even know if warming or cooling lies ahead. So continuing climate research is important if we are to eventually develop the tools we need to predict climate change so as to prepare for whatever nature throws at us next.

The lie that we know the future of the climate and how to control it has resulted in a situation where, of the approximately $1 billion a day spent on climate finance across the world, only 6% goes to helping real people today adapt to the climate threats they are facing, however caused. The rest goes to the vain goal of trying to control the climate to be experienced by people yet to be born. People from across the political spectrum are starting to realize the immorality of such an approach.

Finally, the current focus on the impossible objective of "stopping climate change" has obscured the fact that we do indeed face a long-term energy crisis. It is that, as world usage of hydrocarbon fuels—coal, oil and natural gas—continues to rise, such inexpensive and plentiful sources of power will eventually become increasingly scarce and so more and more expensive. Planning for such a scenario requires that we engage in carefully planned, long-term research, not only to continue to improve the way we use hydrocarbon fuels, but also to develop alternatives that someday may actually be cost effective. Irrespective of the validity of climate change theories, there are good reasons to develop alternative sources of energy, but climate concerns is certainly not one of them.

Yet, because of the current obsession with lessening CO2 emissions to solve the supposed climate crisis, billions of dollars are wasted on useless projects such as CCS and the widespread deployment of unsustainable technologies such as wind power. This impoverishes society, making us less able to afford the important research effort we need to eventually develop sustainable alternatives that actually have the potential to enhance long-term energy security.

In the long run, the climate scare will be revealed as the most expensive hoax in the history of science. Statements such as that by Hedegaard, why not create a world we like, with a climate we like -- while we still have time?” will be seen as ridiculous and opportunistic.

Scientists and others who knew this but promoted the deception for what they considered good reasons will be disgraced. Then no one will believe them when wolves really are at our doors.