Climategate was a conspiracy by ‘fossil-fuel-industry front groups, paid attack dogs, & conservative media outlets,’ claims Michael ‘Hockey Stick’ Mann in his latest potboiler The New Climate War.
I do hope the rest of his book isn’t as inaccurate as this ludicrous, paranoid statement. Certainly, as one who was intimately involved in the Climategate – a dump of emails which showed the climate science Establishment in a highly dubious light – I can certify that Mann is talking utter nonsense here.
First, ‘Climategate’. In his book, Mann tells us that ‘even the name’ Climategate was the product of a ‘carefully crafted narrative.’
Yeah, right. I popularised the name by writing the article that made it go viral. No craft and very little care went into choosing the name, as I wrote in my (highly prophetic) book Watermelons: How Environmentalists Are Killing the Planet, Destroying the Economy and Stealing Your Children’s Future.
Though I was the first journalist to christen the story ‘Climategate’, I want to stress in all modesty that I was not the first person. That honour went to an Australian commenter on WUWT [Watts Up With That] called Bulldust, who wrote: ‘Hmm how long before this is dubbed Climategate?’ All I did was to pick up his ball and run with it. Looking back, Mark Steyn’s ‘Warmergate’ was infinitely more clever but it arrived just a little too late in the day to gain the traction it deserved.
This is how we roll on the climate sceptical side of the argument. Contra Mann’s claim we are not funded by ‘fossil-fuel-industry front groups’ because, shamingly and disgustingly – as anyone familiar with the workings of companies like Shell and BP will know – they are far too busy trying to greenwash their image and to dissociate themselves from so-called ‘climate deniers.’
For a period Shell actually sponsored the environment pages of the Guardian, while BP tried to rebrand itself ‘Beyond Petroleum’, boasting in its brochures about how much it was embracing wind energy.
What Michael Mann is engaging in here is a classic projection technique used by Marxists and fascists alike: accuse your enemies of the sins of which you yourself are guilty.
There is no conspiracy among climate sceptics – a rag tag bunch of ornery individuals (mainly bloggers and retired scientists) who just want to get the truth out there by whatever means they can in a world increasingly controlled by the Climate Industrial Complex.
But there is most definitely what I call a ‘concatenation of mutual interests’ in the vast and well-funded climate alarmism machine, which ranges from shyster politicians eager to virtue-signal their greenery, to green/left NGOs trying to boost donations by ramping up the scare narrative, to dodgy scientists producing fashionable junk in return for grants, to crony capitalists on the renewables bandwagon.
Here is Michael Mann’s paranoid vision of how climate sceptics operate.
Using online bots and trolls, manipulating social media and Internet search engines, the enemy has deployed the sort of cyber-weaponry honed during the 2016 US presidential election. They are the same tactics that gave us a climate-change-denying US president in Donald Trump. Malice, hatred, jealousy, fear, rage, bigotry, all of the most base, reptilian brain impulses – corporate polluters and their allies have waged a campaign to tap into all of that seeking to sow division within the climate movement while generating fear and outrage on the part of their “base” – the disaffected right.
If only we were as powerful and dangerous as Mann pretends then maybe we would have won the argument by now. Solar and bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes would have been abandoned; nuclear, coal, oil and shale gas would be thriving; and millions of households in Texas and beyond would not currently be freezing their nuts off…