Skip to main content

Anthropogenic climate change is a politically motivated hoax... discuss.

Engagement Director

I read the above statement online a few weeks ago and it got my back up, so I wrote about it

The statement can be broken down into two components. Firstly, that climate change is anthropogenic, that it is human induced. Secondly that this is a politically motivated hoax. In order to assess the first component, we need to understand that multiple studies published in peer-reviewed scientific journals show that over 97% of actively publishing climate scientists agree that increasing global temperatures over the past century are extremely likely to be anthropogenic. Increasing atmospheric concentrations of greenhouses gases correlate almost exactly with observed warming. It is possible that dissenters will argue increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases are an  effect ,  not a cause, of warming, as has been observed in ice cores dating back millennia. However, analysis of carbon isotopes in atmospheric CO 2  show that observed increases cannot have come from naturally occurring sources such as oceans since the  13 C/ 12 C isotopes are decreasing in concentration (the lighter carbon isotopes preferred by nature) rather than increasing, and that a parallel increase in O concentrations should also be observed. However, the opposite is observed; declining concentrations of O suggest oxidation of carbon (predominantly from the burning of fossil fuels). Increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases are not only linked to the burning of fossil fuels but also to production of the food we eat. It is believed that up to 37% of greenhouse gas emission can be attributed to food systems. Consumption of red meat, pork and poultry has seen orders of magnitude increase over the last three decades and with it increases in methane emission, particularly from the beef industry. 


The second component, that climate change is a politically motivated hoax, brings into question the credibility of this statement. Throughout history, often the simplest explanations are the most likely. Take the increasingly widespread sightings of unidentified flying objects in the 1950s and 1960s as an example. Did pilots and observers on the ground see flying saucer shaped objects with flashing lights? Yes, undoubtably. Were these the spacecraft of intelligent extra-terrestrials trying to make contact with us on Earth? There is little evidence to suggest this was the case, so whilst possible, they were probably not. For climate change, It seems in-credible for governments across the globe to be secretly collaborating to generate false data, persuade the vast majority of the scientific community to do the same, and to hope that strong and independent thinkers in society think that the data and rhetoric they are being fed is not based on fact. In addition, as we observe the effects of climate change; glacial melting, changing migrations patterns of animals, changing activity of plants, and increasing frequency of extreme weather events, the motive of hoax-creating governments comes into question.  Why  would political institutions be motivated to make the human race believe that it was at fault for rising temperatures? Perhaps to achieve global dominance? Or to assert ultimate control over its people? To support Keynesian spending that stimulates the economy and justifies an expansion of government? These are all possible explanations. However, objective thinkers, I hope, will take comfort in knowing that whilst possible, these explanations are not probable, and when dealing with a powerful political-scientific complex, probability is a useful arbiter. 


If independently gathered data, peer-reviewed scientific journals, and the unlikelihood that billions of people have been fooled is not convincing enough, it is unlikely that any reasoned argument will change the mind of the author of the opening statement. In any case, consuming a finite resource, such as fossil fuels, will support the expansion of global economies for only so long. If a transition to renewable energy sources and technologies that limit natural resource depletion also bring about a reduction in atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations, and with it a reduction in global temperatures, then this debate could finally be put to rest by, what would be, the greatest experiment in human history.