BILL MCQUARRIE PHOTO                                Agree or disagree with Bill McQuarrie’s North Island Rising column? Email a letter to editor@northislandgazette.com and we will publish it online and in print.

BILL MCQUARRIE PHOTO Agree or disagree with Bill McQuarrie’s North Island Rising column? Email a letter to editor@northislandgazette.com and we will publish it online and in print.

North Island Rising: Manmade climate change

“Climate change? I thought it was just a tax grabbing hoax.”

Recently and in one of those coffee shop conversations, I was asked what I thought would happen if my opinion on climate change was eventually proven wrong.

“Being the devil’s advocate”, my friend began, “let’s suppose that everything you believed to be true about climate change is proven wrong. Within the decade we learn that manmade climate change was indeed a myth.”

Now everyone knows that starting a question with that devil’s advocate opening line, is the equivalent of saying, I’m right, you’re wrong and I won’t be changing my mind anytime soon.

However, it was a good question and acknowledging that ‘gotcha’ kind of smile on his face, I explained that quite honestly, I’d look pretty foolish. In fact, some might even consider me – although he was kind enough not to use the word – an idiot for being taken in by all that ‘fake science’.

I admitted to not only looking stupid but in the years ahead, acknowledged my grandchildren would roll their eyes in disbelief when they heard stories of their gullible grandfather.

The world would again be a safe and secure place and the result of my being wrong would be nothing more than personal embarrassment. I had been played for a fool, fallen victim to a conspiracy, a plot masterfully and secretly prepared by over 90% of the world’s scientists.

The obvious purpose behind this highly organized, scientific criminal enterprise was to allow governments to (carbon) tax their citizens. A tax grab, as it is often described.

Those scientists were a sneaky bunch and so clearly big friends of government. They even deflected suspicion by convincing a conservative prime minister to ban publication of their reports, destroy old research records and slash their research and operating budgets.

These guys were good and considering there were tens of thousands of them involved in the conspiracy, they also knew how to keep a secret.

Then I asked my friend what would happen if he was wrong and manmade climate change really did exist? Would the consequences of his being wrong differ from mine?

I got that awkward, sideways glance as he considered my question. Obviously there would be a big difference and personal embarrassment at getting it wrong would be the very least of our problems.

Famine, flooding, wildfires, storms like we had never before experienced, loss of life, hundreds of millions of desperately starving climate refugees, civil unrest and 97 per cent of the world’s scientific community saying, ‘but we tried to warn you’.

Given the consequences, the safe bet is to put the arguments off to the side. You don’t have to believe but neither do you have to stand in the way of those who do and are working on the planet’s insurance policy.

Right or wrong, why take the chance? Do nothing or stand in the way and the tombstone of our local economy, your job and possibly your life will likely read…” Climate change? I thought it was just a tax grabbing hoax.”

Bill McQuarrie is a former publisher, photojournalist and entrepreneur.

Semi-retired and now living in Port McNeill, you can follow him on Instagram #mcriderbc or reach him at bill@northislandrising.com