While reading yet another wing-nut’s explanation of global climate change as a conspiracy perpetrated by the world’s climate scientists, it occurred to me that this actually presents an interesting alternative to the usual lines of battle in the debate. Rather than arguing the validity of the science itself, we might instead compare the relative likelihood of the competing conspiracies.
In one corner are the 30,000 or so climate scientists around the world conspiring to create a false crisis, a hoax. Their motive is revenge. Tired of low-paying academic jobs, they seek economic chaos, expecting wealth and power in the aftermath due to their superior command of dystopian science-fiction futures.
In the other corner are several hundred oil company executives and the politicians, talking-heads and ‘scientists’ they own, doing what they do best: conspiring to steal as much as they can for as long as it takes to turn the United States into a third-world country.
It almost goes without saying that a secret conspiracy between 30,000 people is fundamentally impossible, whereas there are known historical and ongoing conspiracies between the oil companies and their minions in the government and media.
One might also apply that aspect of Occam’s razor as to the unnecessary multiplication or creation of unknown entities. None of the academic research scientists I know is in it for the money, and the ones interested in power seem satisfied with their department chair.