Chair: Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to this third annual meeting of the Committee for Perpetuating the Climate Change Hoax. It’s a real pleasure to see so many familiar faces here, and I know some of you have travelled a long way to be here. But it’s also wonderful to welcome some new members to the inner sanctum of this diabolical conspiracy.
Before we start, can I just mention a few housekeeping matters? Remember, this is a secret and sinister organisation of scientists devoted to deceiving the general public on climate change, so if you would turn your cellphones off that would be much appreciated.
I’ve also been asked to point out the exits in the event of an emergency. If we should be raided by a heroic group of libertarians bent on exposing our sordid lies to the world, you should immediately exit the building via the doors to the rear of the room. There is an assembly point in the underground chamber below us, and fires will be lit by priests in sacred robes to help you find your way there.
Our first session will go for two hours; then we’ll break for tea, coffee, biscuits, and the blood of virgins. Lunch will be served at twelve-thirty and will last for one hour. In the afternoon we’ll break out into separate cabals, and then we’ll later reunite as a group in order to consolidate into one document all the lies we’ve concocted during the day.
Now that those formalities have been attended to, let’s get to work. You will have an agenda on the tables in front of you, and we have also distributed to each of you a booklet setting out the latest lies and deceptions about climate change.
So if nobody has any questions, we’ll crack on and work through the material.
Dr. Obsidian: Yes, er, excuse me, I have a question.
Chair: Yes, Dr. Obsidian?
Dr. Obsidian: Well… it’s just that… I mean… why are we here?
Professor Avocado: Oh for God’s sake! We’re scientists, not philosophers! What sort of question is that?
Dr. Schlachtenheimer: No, Dr Obsidian’s question isn’t purely philosophical, and evolutionary science provides a compelling and clear answer to his question. Allow me to demonstrate—
Professor Avocado: Rubbish! Don’t confuse the how with the why. Dr Obsidian seeks an answer to deeper questions, such as the reason for our existence, and whether there is a god. This is hardly the forum for such questions.
Dr. Obsidian: Actually, I meant why are we meeting here? Why does this organisation exist? I’ve been coming along to these meetings for the last two years. Don’t get me wrong, the catering is smashing and I love the free pens. But why are we trying to fool everyone about climate change?
[collective sighs and tutting]
Chair: Dr. Obsidian, really, I’m most disappointed in you. Do I have to remind you how much money we have tied up in this fraud? How much we have to gain financially through perpetuating this climate change hoax?
Dr. Obsidian: But that’s the thing. That’s what doesn’t make any sense to me. What money? If you mean all that government and industry funding, well we’re not exactly drowning in money, are we?
Chair: We discussed this last year. We’re on the cusp of something truly marvellous. If we, the scientific community, hold the line for just another year or two, governments and big business will be forced to invest tens of billions of dollars into R&D projects to mitigate the threat of climate change. Think of the money, fellow conspirators!
Dr. Obsidian: But wouldn’t a lot of that money still be spent on scientific projects anyway, even if this hoax didn’t exist? Take the fossil fuel industry, which we claim contributes to global warming. If nobody thought fossil fuels were a threat to the environment, wouldn’t they just invest more money in fossil fuel R&D? Remember, these oil companies have staggeringly huge budgets.
Chair: Dr Obsidian, that’s quite enough nonsense from you. Will you please take your seat? Now, ladies and gentlemen, if you will turn to page twelve of the report…
Dr. Obsidian: I won’t be quiet! This makes no sense. Please tell me again what we’re doing here. Surely it’s not about the money.
Professor Avocado: Of course it’s about the money! The climate change hoax is the biggest fraud ever committed against the people of this planet, and it’s a fraud that will make us all rich. Rich, I tell you!
Dr. Obsidian: But I can make much more money working in one of the industries that we say are causing global warming. Most of us here are badly-paid employees of government agencies or public bodies.
Professor Avocado: Yes, for now we are. But we have only just begun. We’ve frightened them into throwing millions of dollars at this pretend problem, but if we ratchet up the fear a few more levels we can gouge even more out of these imbeciles. Don’t you want to be the guy living in a palatial mansion with a vast garage full of European cars? Don’t you want to be the guy spending your leisure time reclining on a lounger by the pool while your serving staff bring you cocktails and attend to your every whim?
Dr. Schlachtenheimer: I think I met that guy once. He works for BP.
Dr. Obsidian: How many of us here got into science for the money? How many?
I certainly didn’t. We each have our own motivations, but for me it was the quest for knowledge, the search for truth. I love what I do because I get to find out how the world works. The pay is terrible, but I don’t really care.
Dr. Schlachtenheimer: I agree! Forget the money. I like the prestige that being a published author brings. When I walk into a bar and engage an attractive woman in conversation, she will eventually ask me what I do for a living. ‘I’m a published author, baby’, I tell her ‘Perhaps you’ve read my latest work, An Analysis of Conceptual Frameworks for Patterns of Climate Change Variability in Sub-Saharan Africa. It’s been cited in all the journals.’
Then I usually ask her to buy me a drink, because I’m broke, and by that time she has fled the scene. But I don’t care, because I’m a published author. Nobody can take that away from me!
Dr. Foo: That was your work? I thought it was total garbage. Your findings were erroneous, and the assumptions you made failed to take into account Webster and Bloch’s 2006 paper on climate change variability, published in the New England Journal of Climate Science.
Dr. Schlachtenheimer: Webster and Bloch were wrong. Horribly wrong, dammit! A plague on both their houses. And how dare you attack me in front of my peers!
Dr. Obsidian: And that’s the other thing I was going to mention. How are we meant to pull off this fraud of the century while we continue to argue amongst ourselves? There’s nothing we scientists love more than to prove each other wrong. So surely someone in our group is going to point out that our climate change data is all rigged. This committee represents the interests of thousands of climate scientists. How can we hope to keep this hoax going while hundreds, if not thousands of them, are itching for the opportunity to discredit our false data?
Chair: I’ve heard enough of this dangerous talk. Sit down!
Dr. Schlachtenheimer: Let Dr. Obsidian finish! Shame! Shame!
Chair: Order! Order! [as the meeting erupts in chaos] I’m surprised at you all. Surprised and disappointed. Have you taken leave of your senses? Have you forgotten the vows you took? We all signed a solemn pledge, and we sealed it with blood. On that dark night, in that chamber deep and hollow, we gave sacrifice and drank deep, and we sang our sacred songs. Or do those undertakings mean nothing to you now?
Dr. Schlachtenheimer: I missed that event. I had a conference in Frankfurt that weekend, and I couldn’t make it.
Dr. Flink: I attended, but I had my fingers crossed the whole time.
Professor Hambulababa: Sacred songs? Blood sacrifices? Pagan superstitious nonsense! I won’t be bound by such anti-scientific mumbo-jumbo.
Professor Avocado: But the money! The money! We’re so close to getting governments to take drastic action on climate change. So close…
Dr. Obsidian: No we’re not. We’re competing against oil companies and billionaires who have much more money than us, and who are determined to do little or nothing about the problem. And because governments are too timid to take any meaningful action on climate change, many in the general public have grown apathetic about the whole problem. We’re losing the battle, even as the Earth continues to warm.
Chair: But it isn’t warming. Have you forgotten that this is all a hoax?
Dr. Schlachtenheimer: But what if it isn’t a hoax?
Chair: But it is.
Dr. Schlachtenheimer: But what if it isn’t?
Chair: I don’t understand you.
Dr. Schlachtenheimer: Haven’t we agreed that we derive absolutely no benefit from perpetuating the climate change hoax? And yet here we are with all of our scientific papers showing the existence of climate change. All I’m saying is maybe it’s not a hoax.
Chair: But it has to be! Why would all those oil billionaires lie to us? Are you suggesting that our planet really could be in trouble?
Dr. Schlachtenheimer: It might be. The modelling work I have done, in collaboration with a number of my colleagues, suggests the existence of a problem. This hoax has been remarkably easy for me to go along with, because it is entirely consistent with the work I have been doing.
Dr. Flink: That was also my experience.
Dr. Obsidian: And mine.
[a general murmuring of assent throughout the group]
I say we take a vote. All in favour of disbanding this committee say “aye”.
All except the Chair and Dr. Avocado: Aye!
Chair: Wait a minute! That’s not the process we follow! All motions for debate must be submitted to the Motions Sub-Committee for inclusion into the agenda at least five working days before the date of the meeting! In addition, each motion must be seconded by a financial member before a vote can be taken. It’s in our committee rules!
Dr. Obsidian: To hell with your rules!
Professor Avocado: Let’s not be too hasty. If we disband this committee, what nefarious conspiracies will we scientists have left to work on? What lies will be left for us to spread?
Dr. Obsidian: How about the evolution lie? We must never let the public know we secretly planted all those fossils.
Dr. Flink: We could continue to claim that homeopathy is a pseudoscience, and that vaccines don’t cause autism. We’ve finally got some of the fools believing us.
Dr. Schlachtenheimer: I have a whole team of scientists working with the United States government to find ways of asserting mind-control over the population. We’ve done some wonderful work with chemtrails and adding fluoride to water, but we can always use more conspirators.
Professor Hambulababa: I’m really not bothered. have plenty of work on as it is. The Flat Earth Society is closing in on us, and we can’t generate fake evidence fast enough.
Chair: Well then, it seems that this committee can serve no further useful purpose. So let’s adjourn this meeting early and go downstairs for some blood sacrifices and depraved orgies. This meeting is closed!