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I’d be a believer too if I thought I’d be up for billions in grants, cars, holidays, Swiss bank accounts.

There are vast amounts of money to be made in being victims of climate change.

So it’s no wonder the President of the Maldives and the chief negotiater for Tuvalu (who lives in New South Wales) are sobbing about how the greedy West has caused sea levels to rise, destroying their tiny, vulnerable countries.

But hey, a cookie a few billion dollars will make us feel better.

The sobbing and hand-wringing is despite the fact that there has been no increase in global mean temperature over the last fifteeen years, and no sea level rise in Tuvalu or the Maldives for the last thirty years.

You just have to have faith. Name it and claim it, brothers and sisters! Hallelujah!

It’s all perfectly rational – if money or approval is your goal.

What is lacking at Copenhagen is rationality not motivated by self-interest – either a desire for cash, or for for world recognition as a really cool guy, the bloke who saved the day, the man who stayed up all night to work for a solution, the chap who really ought to be the next Secretary General.

Global warming fervour is often compared with religious faith. I have made that comparison myself. But this is unfair to religious leaders.

When I was a parish priest I regularly told parishioners, ‘Don’t take my word for what I tell you – do your own research, check, read, ask questions.’

The only reason to believe anything is because it is true. And decisions about what is true need to be made on the basis of evidence, not feelings or desires.

This is the exact opposite of what is required to be considered a true climate believer. Questions are not welcomed. Those who doubt are cast into the outer darkness and denounced as deniers.

Environmental journalist and rational person Phelim McAleer was told by one Copenhagen participant to ‘get out while you still can’ and was later assaulted during a live television interview.

In a paroxysm of self-parody, Kevin Rudd told Copenhagen participants and world leaders (about 50 of them, anyway) that he fears a ‘triumph of form over substance … a triumph of inaction over action’ and that history would judge them if they failed.

I agree on both counts.

A triumph of form, of easy compliance, of the desire to appear noble and statesman-like, over real hard headed science and rational discussion of the issues is exactly what is to be feared.

And history will certainly judge leaders who failed to ask questions about whether the science of global warming was sufficiently well grounded to justify desperate promises of billions of dollars, and hurried decisions to limit the use of cheap fuels on which most of the world’s wealth depends.

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