This is a guest post by Dr. Benjamin Hale. I’m filing this under humor because I don’t have a category for unintentional humor and/or intentional tragedy.
Explosive, Breaking News!
One of the stranger features about this Copenhagen conference is that so many people involved in the climate debate, from many sides, are all in the same town, all at the same time. Among the people inside and outside of the COP, the skeptic community has come to town.
Yesterday, they held a raucous offsite conference of their own. You can watch some footage from that conference, and a momentary youth protest, here. (You may notice from the video, for instance, that there are very few non-protesters in the room.)
This morning, as I sat down to breakfast wearing my trench coat, sunglasses, and a Groucho Marx nose, my interest was suddenly piqued by a voice over my shoulder.
“Nice to see you, professor.”
Naturally, as a professor, I turned to fix on the voice, wondering who the kind professor in question might be. I had no idea. Moi?
No luck. He was an older gentleman, distinguished looking. I got the sense from the speaker’s deferential tone that he was important. The speaker and the professor then sat down at the table next to me. As I was alone and dressed in my ludicrous disguise, I could not help myself from listening in on their conversation. Turns out, the two were discussing climate change, and their rather pronounced skepticism of it.
What unfolded then, I believe, will go down in history as my first dalliance in secret agency. As the morning continued, questions and conversations morphed into positions, platforms, and condemnations”¦all revealing, I think, a nefarious campaign to sow misunderstanding; a clever trick aimed to confuse even the most astute “believer in science.”
The private breakfast conversation was troubling, offering clear and indisputable evidence of attempts by the highest members of the climate denier community to manipulate the truth, shout down debate, silence dissent, hide data, initiate a political coup, deliberately conflate theoretical terms, isolate and mock the weak, cover up known facts, obfuscate good science, and wimper.
Who, pray tell, was in attendance?
Present at the breakfast were Godtfred H¸pner Petersen, retired professor of marine biology from the University of Copenhagen; several aides from the office of Godfrey Bloom, MEP; Godfrey Bloom, MEP, himself; and then, fifteen minutes into the conversation, the eminent Lord Christopher Monckton, 3rd Viscount Monckton of Brenchley.
Yes, that Lord Monckton. The same buttoned-up gentleman in the video calling climate protesters “Hitler youth.” His wife, or his mistress (or Bloom’s wife, or Bloom’s mistress — one can never be sure nowadays), also joined the cabal.
As it happens, I was sitting at breakfast with my computer open, working on something else. What to do? Oh, what”¦to”¦do?
I flipped the switch on my parabolic microphone.
What follows is a rough transcript from this morning, interspersed with commentary revealing a plot to distort and manipulate. To confirm the identity of those around me, I spoke near the end of the conversation with an aide to Godfrey Bloom. So as not to leave a Googlefootprint that will forever sully her good reputation, I’ll refer to her by her initials, LF. I never bothered to get the names of the other aides. If you write to Bloom’s office, I’m sure she’ll be happy to confirm that that the conversation occurred and that the quotes are true to their utterers. For clarity, I have numbered the quotes. Here, I’ll interpret them for you.
1) LF to Petersen, referring to Monckton’s offer to debate Gore, and Gore’s resistance to this offer: “Refusing debate just shows that there’s something suspicious and fraudulent.”
Indeed, I couldn’t have put it better myself. Refusing to debate does show that there is something suspicious and fraudulent. I hereby make an open invitation to Godfrey Bloom, MEP, or Lord Christopher Monckton, to debate me, a lowly and unintimidating philosophy professor, about Kant’s second critique. I suspect that both Bloom and Monckton are in deep violation of Kantian moral principles. Should they not take me up on my offer to debate about ethics, it is not unreasonable to take the pair as frauds and shams “” no-goodnicks of the highest order. Why else would they not want to debate ethics and morality with me?
2) At one point, reaching across the table, LF handed Petersen a document: “Do you want to see your agenda?” she asked.
This agenda could be nothing less than a political agenda, a secret list of talking points and directives from the right-wing commissariat. Within moments of beginning the breakfast, the context of this discussion was becoming clear: science was getting its marching-orders straight from the political cubicles of the European Parliament. Thanks to my clever disguise and weeks of planning, I had stumbled on irrefutable evidence that politicians in the most powerful global offices were in bed with reputable scientists like Petersen.
3) There was a brief discussion about Godtfred’s first name. “Could it mean ‘freed by God’?” LF asked.
The implication was clear: Prof. Petersen had been freed by god to dispute climate science, only to be thwarted from further publication after having sent a simple letter to members of parliament expressing doubts about climate change (and retiring from academia). What else could it mean?
Indications of church involvement in this conspiracy were becoming clear. Later in the conversation, LF mentioned that both Godtfred Petersen and Godfrey Bloom had etymological roots in divine liberation.
Then, as the conversation grew more intense, it got scarier, injecting overtones of colonialism. Before Bloom and Monckton arrived, LF and Petersen shared an acidic disregard for a nearby “collaborator.”
4) LF nudged Petersen that she always says “that the ‘French brought a bit of civilization to England.’”
Talk about throwing England under the bus! Explosive stuff here.
I learned later that LF was a Belgian, working for a UK MEP. It was evident at this point that her private-most intentions were to usurp control of the UK’s influence in the EU.
5) Opening with discussion of his area of specialization, Prof. Petersen mentioned that he was a fish biologist, that he had retired years ago, and that he was at one point publishing two or three papers per year. One of the unnamed aides asked if Petersen’s specialization “differs from marine biology.”
Simply profound. There was no agreement between the breakfast eaters about Petersen’s most important area of focus. At this point, the edifice of skepticism was beginning to crack. How could there be this much uncertainty among the acolytes of skepticism? He responded politely, “Something like that, it’s related,” willing to twist scientific credibility to score a few political points with the obstreperous aide.
6) “How did you come to form you opinions?,” the same unnamed aide asked.
How did you come to countenance such brash disregard for your facts, little girl?
I daresay I would’ve stood up and been done with the conversation”¦but no. Prof. Petersen had a little fight in him. Bravo, sir! There must have been some payoff for Petersen, as any scientist of integrity would not stand for such ridicule. Opinions? Harrumph!
7) Petersen began to present his evidence of an alternative theory: “The only thing that really matters is the polar night,” he said. “If you know all about the polar night, you know all about high tide and low tide and where you are. At that point, you know something”¦ they will not see the sun again until the beginning of January and then the midnight sun will happen in the summer. That sun will never come above the horizon.”
What you read above is close to verbatim.
I confess; Petersen’s is a compelling theory. Maybe someone like Peter Sinclair would like to take it on. I lost the thread then, as his convoluted numbers-and-science-talk confuses a philosopher like me. Here are a few more snippets:
7b) “If you have an activation of snow in Seattle, you will never get enough heat to compensate for the heat loss during the polar night.”
7c) “It was -15 to -24 in that part of Greenland.”
7d) “The polar night covers the whole part of the globe for six degrees north.”
7e) “Now we have the sun and they have summer.”
Obviously, these deeply decontextualized snippets from his breakfast conversation are alone compelling evidence for Prof. Petersen’s polar caps theory. Can we ignore these decontextualized scraps purloined from a private breakfast conversation? Ought we to? On my read, we mustn’t. We should look at them for what they are, not try to understand them in a broader context.
8 ) Following nicely on the heels of the Greenland discussion, LF asked this clever question: “Given this position of the earth, how come Greenland was Greenland?”
Phew! This is a very difficult question indeed. I waited anxiously for a reply. Clearly, LF is up on the literature (in the philosophy of language). Why was Greenland Greenland? What makes Greenland Greenland? This is my kind of conversation! I had to restrain myself from piping in.
9) “The position of Greenland has always been close to the North Pole,” quickly answered Petersen. “The sea ice will always be in place because of the density.” An aide then snidely remarked how ridiculous it was that they show the polar bear breaking off and floating away. “They always show the polar bear standing on a tiny bit of ice. No way they could float away.” There was laughter.
Yes. Ha ha. That is very funny how they positioned that polar bear to float away on that fake bit of ice.
Then the others began to arrive. A small naked boy with a bugle ran out to announce their presence. Doves fluttered over my head.
10) Lord Monckton came to the table, introducing himself by saying: “Isn’t this climate treaty rather like communism? The similarities are too many for comfort.”
The man has a point. The climate treaty really is a rather like communism. I hadn’t thought of that before. When you bring 34,000 people from all over the world, from all over the political spectrum, to a single location, that is just like communism. When you give them access to the political process, encourage them to engage delegates, and have discussions about integrating justice and human rights into a treaty that will require the consent of all, that is also just like communism. When you think about it, this treaty is very much like a political ideology that proposes that the modes of production be held in common. The resemblances are uncanny.
11) Lord Monckton again, adding: “A lot of people are saying this. The people don’t believe it anymore. Only the ruling class believe this stuff now.”
Yes, m’lord. Do tell. Tell me more about the ruling class. Maybe you could ask the parliament member to your left. I’m sure he’s well read on the plight of the disenfranchised. Or maybe you could just canvass the plebes in Brenchley.
(Cognitive dissonance is a powerful intoxicant.)
12) Lord Monckton’s wife (or Lord Monckton’s mistress, or Bloom’s wife or mistress) noted that when her father was in Copenhagen during the war, there was Nazi propaganda all over the streets; and then added “Now it’s climate change propaganda all over Copenhagen. Frightening. It’s a disgrace, really.”
First let me remark that this was a poignant comment about Nazism, coming on the heels of Monckton’s apt comparison of the climate treaty with communism.
Second, the propaganda everywhere is a total disgrace. The communist nazis have put up more propaganda than you can fathom. Siemans is disgusting. I’m positive that the Gentlelady will do her damnedest to see to it that billboards across Europe be removed immediately.
13) Lord Monckton: “The people who have seen through this conference”¦ at least in those few countries that remain at least a little bit democratic, they will start to lose faith in the politicians.”
I think it’s pretty clear, by this point, that Monckton hates Europeans, as they are not members of democracies. I think any astute reader will agree that these comment’s reveal Monckton’s intentions to muscle in on the plot to overthrow the British government.
14) Getting excited Monckton then said: “We are enough people to start a new party.”
Go for it. Smoking gun stuff here.
15) Bloom: “And that’s probably going to have to happen soon, because we’ve already got the independence party in the UK that doesn’t go along with the climate nonsense. Once people discover that we have a sound scientific case against this”¦ a lot of people will vote for us because nobody else is making sense.
Bloom is on board. Watch out, parliamentarians! The EU doesn’t stand a chance against the buoyed self-importance that will lift this breakfast table over the mountaintops of tyranny.
And then it started to get really interesting.
16) Aide to Monckton: “Should I take the picture?” speaking of Petersen. Monckton to Aide #2 “Can you get out of the picture?”
Bam! Another smoking gun. To really understand how damning this is, you must get a bit of the context. Prof. Petersen was sitting in his chair beside Aide #2. Monckton wanted a picture of Petersen, but concerned about the political implications of showing Petersen beside the Aide, he deliberately fudged the image, crowded out features of the image that he didn’t like, manipulating the scene to portray the picture that would be best for him and his burgeoning insurgency.
That was it for me. I had to leave. It had gotten too dangerous. I took a last sip of coffee and slowly packed up my computer.
The remainder of the conversation revolved around religion and breast cancer, and how Japanese women don’t get breast cancer at the same rate as American women, or something like that. It didn’t make much sense.
There was a time when it was a mark of near insanity to be a conspiracy theorist, but skeptics are fast making an art of the conspiracy theory. They conspire, at breakfasts such as the one you read above, to concoct conspiracy theories. I hope that all readers of this blog will spread word of this hacked breakfast conversation widely. Indeed, it is too explosive not to get attention from the highest levels of the mainstream media. I will soon be posting the full transcript on a secret Russian server.