The great global warming con.
If you want to con serious amounts of money out of other people, you’ve got to sell them a story and the story you sell, comes in one of two basic flavours.
The first one is the traditional basis of most confidence tricks and at the end of the day, it revolves about their greed. If you’re not a greedy person, you’ll never really get badly conned. The greedier a person is, the more vulnerable they are. You spin them some story, sometimes pointing out how it’s not quite moral or perhaps not even legitimate at all but hey, you can both make some easy money if they’re not going to get too fussy about the thing.
Sometimes, you hand them that obvious opening, which they think only they can see; a way of stiffing you for all the money you were both supposed to be sharing out at the end. That touch is even better in that it gives them an illusory sense of control over the whole situation. They’re the clever puppet masters and you’re the trusting idiot they’re going to rip off. People who think of themselves as good manipulators, tend to have a blind spot for being manipulated themselves and the way you do that is by appearing to hand control over to them.
The second variety of story appeals to the exact opposite of greed and is the one most often used by climate scammers. You take advantage of the better angels of their nature, their altruism, and inveigle them into contributing generously into some scheme, which will be to the eternal relief of some segment of humanity which is suffering almost intolerable woes. It’s a much more flexible scheme in that there are so many more variations on altruism than there are on your basic greed. In contrast to the greed approach, they tend to hand over not only the money but also control of the situation. They’re trusting you to do good with the money.
The big advantage it has over appealing to their greed, is that it doesn’t require what’s called the blow off stage at the end of the con. An ingenious blow off at the end of a con is the mark of an accomplished con man. When people are really expecting to get money in their hand at the end of the scheme, you really have to work hard to convince them that not only has everyone involved lost money, most especially you, but that they’re lucky to have gotten out of it without a jail sentence or even worse. That’s the blow off. Given the sometimes questionable legal ground of the particular con story, the last thing anyone is going to do is talk to the police.
A petty con man isn’t clever enough to pull off that stage, which is why they have to move around a lot. They work a locale, pluck all the local pigeons and move on, because they don’t want to bump into an increasing number of angry marks, all of whom are painfully aware that they’ve been conned and are looking to do some serious payback if they ever see you again.
The altruism con also doesn’t require much in the way of a blow off stage, because whatever money they’ve parted with, they did so just to feel good about helping some other people out; they never seriously check out what happened to the money because they were never expecting any return on it. They’ve already waved goodbye to it. Ultimately, it’s the most cynical exploitation of people because you’re taking ruthless advantage of that most human of things; a tender heart.
The basic story you sell for both of those variations constitute what’s called the hook, and once swallowed, the sting proceeds from there. Which variety is used on a particular mark comes down to how good you are at something called cold reading. People leak appalling amounts of information to complete strangers without a single thought. You meet them, the walk, the talk, the attitudes, the body language; pretty soon, you know which approach they look like they might fall for. In general, it’s the selfish ones, who absolutely know they’re hard-nosed, no-nonsense bastards, who’ll fall for the greed approach more often than not. You let them dominate you, because that relaxes them into their comfort zone where you can really get to work on them.
Global warming is essentially a con. It’s nothing more than cynically extracting money from other people or gaining power and prestige at their expense using those same two types of story. Where it gets confusing at times is in identifying who is the mark and who is the con artist, with the added complication that sometimes they’re all con men busily screwing each other as well as us.
The classic victim is the ordinary person, whose money is being hoovered out of their pockets by soliciting donations or by various overt and covert taxes, which they’re assured will somehow be used to stop the climate changing. A not so obvious victim is the vaguely active green supporters of various flavours, who feel obliged if only because of a social conscience, to support their worst exploiters, who it should be noted live a very comfortable existence that would make lifestyles of the rich and famous blush. Al the Messiah’s personal fortune ballooned from single digit millions to an estimated 400 million within a decade. As Ron Hubbard reputedly said, if you want to get very rich, start a new religion.
All the so-called conservation groups such as Greenpeace and WWF long ago moved out of that original area and into the saving the planet business, because that’s where the really big bucks can be extracted from people and government. They’re avid supporters of any politically correct green causes and simply ignore the obvious environmental damage. Just keep chasing all those big juicy grants and turn a blind eye to inconvenient things like windmills, which chop up rare raptor birds and kill bats by the million.
They’re happy to jump into bed with the most disreputable elements of capitalism like Kenneth Lay’s Enron, just as long as they’re promised a piece of the action. Under cover of saving the environment by taxing the air, they’d all make some serious money. What is truly staggering is not just the number of loose and cooperative alliances between what you’d think are ideological opposed organisations, but the fact that some of them have swallowed the altruism story to such an extent that they seem oblivious to the harm it’s doing to the very people they’re supposed to represent. In some weird Stockholm Syndrome fashion, they’ve become the victims who now actually help out the con men.
The prime and most shameful example of the latter, is the nearly unqualified support lent to the movement by all the major religious bodies. Don’t they know how many of the poor can no longer afford to heat their homes? Don’t they know that a million children a year die or are simply blinded by withholding golden rice? Don’t they know how many millions die in the developing world from malaria because we won’t allow them access to DDT? Don’t they know how many lives could be saved supplying them with drought and disease resistant GM seeds? Don’t they know that switching from growing food staples in favour of growing biofuel crops, has more than doubled prices of basic foods? Don’t they know about the food riots?
There’s not even a pretence of putting people first and the planet second. It’s not the whole story but it’s no wonder that whole sections of churches in the developing word are considering decoupling themselves from what they consider to be out of touch mother churches based in the developed nations. The big issue the churches should be addressing is not female priests or gay cardinals, but the increasingly worse plight of the poor in their own congregations.
We have alarmist scientists quite happy to bend the science whichever way it needs to go, to keep up that rich flow of delicious research funding. We have politicians happy to pretend they believe the scientists and they’re going to save the planet for us, but that’s purely because of the votes it gets them. The scientists know the politicians don’t really believe them but that’s irrelevant, just as long as the money tap stays open.
We have activist climate journalists, who by this stage don’t need to be told what alarmist spin to add to a story and are also content to spike anything contrary that might ratchet down the hysteria. It’s good for circulation and in these changing times, keeping them in a job.
We have second-rate politicians dug into environmental policy setting committees, while at the same time earning fat consultancy fees from companies benefitting from the decisions made. When things get a tad too outrageous and the heat is turned up on them, they retire out of public service to cushy part-time jobs on the boards of the very companies they’ve shilled for. Integrity and conflict of interest are irrelevant at this stage; it’s all about lining their pockets.
The whole scam will be gone in a decade or so but in the meantime, and with one eye nervously on the exit door, the scammers are now putting their best efforts into a blow off phase. Listen carefully around you now, and for the next few years, and you’ll hear the inch wise retractions which somehow don’t count as full-blooded recantations.
The first excuses were changing the nature of the story slightly. Global Warming subtly mutated into Climate Change, which is now being rebadged as Global Climate Disruption. It’s similar to catching a liar out; the lie mutates to cover whatever hole you’ve pointed out to them.
The latest ploy is they were misled by their once omniscient climate models, so you see, it’s all somehow the models’ fault, not theirs. Running neck and neck with that one is a sciency debate about exactly how sensitive the planet is to CO2. The bottom line on that ploy is that the Earth, contrary to everything they’ve been telling us for years, may be largely indifferent to it, so they’re not pushing that one too hard for obvious reasons.
Another contender is the newly discovered concept of scientific uncertainty. The problem with that one is that it’s a bit too embarrassing to admit all those things they were formerly certain about might revert to being uncertain. Welcome to the downside of a unique branch of science that they pronounced for years was absolutely settled.
The latest excuse for the missing heat is a corker though. Previously they’d opined that it was perhaps hiding at the bottom of the world’s oceans but the very latest attempt to explain it is that there’s this hot spot, which no one has ever detected, which mysteriously teleports itself to various locations around the world. I suppose it must be sentient like Mother Gaia; every time they get near to finding and measuring it, it somehow senses them creeping up on it and teleports away. What a little rascal it is. Don’t laugh out there, they seriously expect to be believed.
Unfortunately, the one area where the climate con men differ from their traditional equivalents, is that none of them will ever go to prison. That seems to be a pattern in the climate con. Whatever you do, even things like identity theft, you don’t go to prison. The vague excuse for that is termed noble cause corruption but they sailed clean through that tender notion ages ago.
They’re just well into plain old corruption.
Related articles by Pointman: