They must be actors on a soundstage! Yeah, that’s the ticket!
I know, the headline is provocative. But it is earned, my friends, because of this bananas bit of bullshit Rep. Paul Ryan came up with:
Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) said Wednesday that “climate change occurs no matter what,” but that the EPA’s recent efforts to reduce emissions from existing power plants are “outside of the confines of the law,” and “an excuse to grow government, raise taxes and slow down economic growth.”
Speaking at a breakfast hosted by the Christian Science Monitor in Washington, Rep. Ryan said that he would argue that the “federal government, with all its tax and regulatory schemes” can’t do anything about climate change. He said that what climate regulations “end up doing is making the U.S. economy less competitive.”
Climate change denialism is so widespread and sadly socially acceptable that it’s sometimes easy to forget that a) it’s a conspiracy theory and b) it’s one that’s so wackadoodle it makes the claim that NASA faked the moon landing seem reasonable. After all, the pull of a faked moon landing, you probably only need to have a few hundred co-conspirators, maybe 1,000 at most. Nearly impossible, unless you’re Beyoncé and the goal is to simply keep your secret album from getting mentioned in the press before you drop it. But at least the moon landing conspiracy theory assumes everyone works for one institution.
But the scope of what climate change denialists argue is happening is well beyond that. You have to assume that thousands upon thousands of scientists from a diverse range of nations are conspiring, with their diverse governments no less, to hoodwink the public with a scientific theory that any moron can easily verify is true by considering what happens to the inside of a car on a hot summer day. Let’s be clear: It is not possible to get that many people with so many competing interests together to pull a hoax like that. It can’t be done. If you’ve ever tried to get 15 people together for a dinner party, you should know that organizing a conspiracy that would literally have to involve millions of people keeping their mouths shut is impossible. Not just hard. Impossible.
That this is perhaps the most idiotic conspiracy theory of all time is even more evident when you consider what Ryan claims are the goals of this international conspiracy of millions of people to bullshit you about climate change. “The design is to put coal out of business,” and “I see an excuse to grow government, raise taxes, and slow down economic growth.” Why would a huge international cabal of millions of people want to slow down economic growth? Because they’re haters? Because they don’t like making money? Are the Elders of Zion involved in this? What does this even mean?
At least people who believe that a conspiracy killed JFK or that a conspiracy faked the moon landing attribute motivations to their conspirators that make sense. This doesn’t make even the tiniest bit of sense. I mean, if coal is so harmless, why would anyone have a problem with it? Did their mothers die by choking on a piece of coal? It makes no sense.
The widespread belief in the climate change conspiracy theory is possibly the best evidence of all time that people often believe shit because they want to, even if giving it a moment’s thought—just half a moment, really—would show you that you have to have a brain made of dryer lint and boogers to think that your theory makes any sense at all.