Global warming conspiracy
and global warming conspiracy theory
are terms used to refer to the claim that the theory of global warming
is a fraud, perpetuated for financial or ideological reasons. The term conspiracy theory
can be used in a pejorative
manner, and proponents of the claim often refer to a "global warming hoax
" or "global warming fraud
- The suggestion of a conspiracy to promote the theory of global warming was put forward in a 1990 documentary The Greenhouse Conspiracy broadcast by Channel Four in the United Kingdom on 12 August 1990. The program was part of the Equinox series,, and it asserted that scientists critical of global warming theory were denied funding. Although the program title referred to a conspiracy, Patrick Michaels downplayed the idea, saying, "It may not quite add up to a conspiracy, but certainly a coalition of interests has promoted the greenhouse theory; scientists have needed funds, the media a story, and governments a worthy cause".
- Writing in the National Review in 1997, Ron Bailey said, "Militia members are famously worried that black helicopters are practicing maneuvers with blue-helmeted UN troops in a plot to take over America. But the actual peril is more subtle. A small cadre of obscure international bureaucrats are hard at work devising a system of 'global governance' that is slowly gaining control over ordinary Americans' lives. Maurice Strong, a 68-year-old Canadian, is the 'indispensable man' at the center of this creeping UN power grab." Bailey notes that Strong's most prominent and influential role to date was as Chairman of the Earth Summit which gave rise to the UN Framework Convention on Global Climate Change, and asserts that proposals to restrict emissions of greenhouse gases (then under negotiation) would cost the US "$90 billion to $400 billion annually in lost Gross Domestic Product and a loss of between 600,000 and 3.5 million jobs." Bailey alleges Strong's list of contacts includes:
- Bailey remarks "It's not a conspiracy, of course: just a group of like-minded people fighting to save the world from less prescient and more selfish forces -- namely, market forces."
- In a speech given to the US Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works on July 28, 2003, entitled "The Science of Climate Change", Senator James Inhofe (R-Okla) concluded by asking the following question: "With all of the hysteria, all of the fear, all of the phony science, could it be that man-made global warming is the greatest hoax ever perpetrated on the American people?" Inhofe has suggested that supporters of Kyoto such as Jacques Chirac are aiming at global governance.
- * In an article which also quoted Inhofe, the American Free Press stated, "It was an unguarded moment for Chirac. World government is the main goal of the secret Bilderberg group, of which he is a luminary.
- A Washington Post article describing the views of global warming skeptics quotes climatologist William M. Gray as having "his own conspiracy theory," saying, "He has made a list of 15 reasons for the global warming hysteria. The list includes the need to come up with an enemy after the end of the Cold War, and the desire among scientists, government leaders and environmentalists to find a political cause that would enable them to 'organize, propagandize, force conformity and exercise political influence. Big world government could best lead (and control) us to a better world!'" In this article, Gray also cites the ascendancy of Al Gore to the vice presidency as the start of his problems with federal funding. According to him, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration stopped giving him research grants, and so did NASA.
- The March 1, 2007 issue of Whistleblower magazine, a publication of WorldNetDaily, is titled "HYSTERIA: Exposing the secret agenda behind today's obsession with global warming," and asserts that "all the main players –- from politicians and scientists to big corporations and the United Nations –- benefit from instilling fear into billions of human beings over the unproven theory of man-made global warming".
- Commenting on criticism of the Lavoisier Group by Clive Hamilton, the Cooler Heads Coalition notes that "Hamilton accuses the Lavoisier Group of painting the UN's global warming negotiations as "an elaborate conspiracy in which hundreds of climate scientists have twisted their results to support the 'climate change theory' in order to protect their research funding" and adds, "Sounds plausible to us.
- Tim Ball, former professor at the University of Winnipeg, wrote in a February 2007 interview, "You’ve got this incestuous little group that is controlling the whole process both through their publications and the IPCC. I’m not a conspiracy theorist and I hate being even pushed toward that, but I think there is a consensus conspiracy that’s going on."
- The novel State of Fear by Michael Crichton describes a conspiracy by scientists and others to create public panic about global warming. The novel includes 20 pages of footnotes, described by Crichton as providing a factual basis for the non-plotline elements of the story.
Many of those claimed to be participants in a conspiracy to promote global warming theory appear prominently in other conspiracy theories. These include organisations such as
and individuals such as
A number of different, and sometimes contradictory, motives have been claimed for a conspiracy to promote the idea of global warming
- A desire on the part of the United Nations and its supporters to promote a system of world government or global governance. Proponents of this theory frequently stress the role of Maurice Strong.
- A desire on the part of environmentalists to prevent carbon-based industrial development in Africa
- A desire on the part of environmentalists to promote pollution-intensive industrial development in Africa, while reducing industrial output in the United States
- A desire on the part of climate science researchers to attract financial support
- A desire by the government to raise taxes and earn more revenue as with the Global Warming Tax already in California.
- A desire on the part of left-wing political activists to promote an agenda described by Melanie Phillips as a "left-wing, anti-American, anti-west ideology which goes hand in hand with anti-globalisation and the belief that everything done by the industrialised world is wicked. The agenda to cripple this world is revealed by highly questionable assumptions made by climate modellers about likely developments in economics, technology or population movements, which affect emissions and consequent temperature predictions."
- A desire on the part of conservative political leaders including Margaret Thatcher, and Helmut Kohl to promote nuclear power while attracting the political support of Green groups
- A desire on the part of leftwing political leaders to promote socialism:
- According to a critical special contribution written by Lawrie McFarlane in Victoria's Times Colonist, "For socialism, at least in its early form, shared those same instincts -- distrust of private enterprise, animus toward wealth, the urge to proselytize and faith in big government. And like environmentalism, it marched under the banner of a superior morality. (...) Environmentalism is neither religion nor science. It is a political mission, every bit as unquestioning as socialism in its heyday, and offering the same giddy promise to followers: The delicious prospect of being in the right, and better still, running things."
- Czech President Václav Klaus said that "This ideology preaches earth and nature and under the slogans of their protection – similarly to the old Marxists – wants to replace the free and spontaneous evolution of mankind by a sort of central, now global, planning of the whole world"
Statements made or allegedly made by various supporters of climate change policies have been quoted as giving support to the idea that anthropogenic global warming may be used primarily for political purposes.
- According to a critical editorial written by Peter Menzies in the Calgary Herald, Christine Stewart, former Canadian Environment Minister for the Liberal Party of Canada, said in 1998 that "No matter if the science is all phoney, there are collateral environmental benefits.
- According to the 1993 book Science under Siege by Michael Fumento, former US Senator Timothy Wirth, (D-Colo) said that "We've got to ride the global warming issue. Even if the theory of global warming is wrong, we will be doing the right thing – in terms of economic policy and environmental policy..
Critics of claims that scientists and others concerned with global warming are promoting a fraud or hoax have commonly used the term "conspiracy theory" to describe this view. On the other hand, those who describe the scientific consensus on global warming as a "hoax", "fraud" or even "conspiracy" often object to the use of the terms "conspiracy theory" or "conspiracy theorists" to describe them and their views.
- Steve Connor links the terms "hoax" and "conspiracy," saying, "Reading through the technical summary of this draft (IPCC) report, it is clear that no one could go away with the impression that climate change is some conspiratorial hoax by the science establishment, as some would have us believe.
- In a piece headed Crichton's conspiracy theory, Harold Evans described Crichton's theory as being "in the paranoid political style identified by the renowned historian Richard Hofstadter," and went on to suggest that "if you happen to be in the market for a conspiracy theory today, there's a rather more credible one documented by the pressure group Greenpeace," namely the funding by ExxonMobil of groups opposed to the theory of global warming
- Responding to advance publicity for the documentary The Great Global Warming Swindle, George Monbiot described it as "the same old conspiracy theory that we’ve been hearing from the denial industry for the past ten years".
- Responding to the film The Great Global Warming Swindle, UK Secretary of State for Environment, Farming and Rural Affairs, David Miliband presented a rebuttal of the main points of the film and stated "There will always be people with conspiracy theories trying to do down the scientific consensus, and that is part of scientific and democratic debate, but the science of climate change looks like fact to me.
- Also, responding to The Great Global Warming Swindle, John Houghton said, "The most prominent person in the programme was Lord Lawson, former Chancellor of the Exchequer who is not a scientist and who shows little knowledge of the science but who is party to the creation of a conspiracy theory that questions the motives and integrity of the world scientific community, especially as represented by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)."
- Conspiracies requiring large numbers of people to cooperate almost always fall apart due to internal dynamics. The observations offered by skeptics to support any conspiracy theory are inevitably adequately explained as the normal consequences of human nature.
It has been widely observed that the debate over climate change has given rise to "overheated rhetoric" on both sides . Statements that global warming is a "hoax" or "fraud" may, in some cases, be instances of such rhetoric, intended to emphasize a claim that advocates of anthropogenic global warming theory are egregiously wrong, rather than seriously-intended claims of deliberate dishonesty by a large group of scientists and others.
Claims of conspiracy made by supporters of global warming theory
Supporters of global warming theory have similarly accused their opponents of being motivated by financial or ideological interests, and in some cases have used the term "conspiracy" to describe this. According to an article in Reason magazine, US Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt stated in 1998 that, "Oil and coal companies in the United States have joined in a conspiracy to hire pseudoscientists to deny the facts, and then begin raising political arguments that are essentially fraudulent