International Journal of Inactivism (now supplanted by Decoding SwiftHack)

2008/05/24

In Soviet Russia, Margaret Thatcher votes for You!

cite as: F. Bi. 2008. In Soviet Russia, Margaret Thatcher votes for You! Intl. J. Inact., 1:49–50

Another day, another climate conspiracy theory! Well, actually it’s another line of theories within the big happy family of theories…

Apparently, it started in 1999, when “Dr.” Richard Courtney claimed that UK ex-Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher touted the global warming theory in order to gain international fame, to maintain Britain’s unpopular nuclear infrastructure, and to weaken the power of coal miner unions while she was at it; and that she created the Hadley Centre for Climate Prediction and Research in order to make her international campaign look “credible”.

Next in the family tree came Philip Stott’s 2001 Wall Street Journal commentary, in which it was stated that the Right wanted to bust unions and promote nuclear energy, and that “Britain’s Hadley Center […] was established at the personal instigation of […] Margaret Thatcher”, with no explicit link between the two.

By 2005, when the conspiracy theory entered Louis Hissink‘s brain, the Hadley Centre wasn’t created mainly to boost Thatcher’s international credibility, and the breaking up of coal miner unions wasn’t just a side effect of this campaign. To Hissink, the union-busting was the very raison d’être of the Hadley Centre, and global warming was just “another issue” which the Centre had to keep itself busy with, after it had accomplished its union-busting goal.

Which of these conspiracy theories is true then? Well, as any card-carrying inactivist will tell you, each and every one of them is absolutely true! And while you’re at it, be sure to click on the left diagram to check out the latest version of the climate conspiracy genealogy…

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7 Comments »

  1. Cheers, Frank. Good find!

    Mind you, anyone who lived in Britain in Thatcher’s years will tell you that she started he spell as PM with a hatred of the miners (a bit like GWB invading Iraq to make up for his father’s failure to do so). As a scientist, her only achievement seems to have been a method of injecting more air into ice cream (more air, fluffier texture, less cost), and her enthusiasm for nuclear power had everything to do with supporting a creaking nuclear weapon infrastructure. The Hadley Centre was pro bono, to all intents and purposes (unless you are Martin Durkin, Courtney, et al)

    Comment by The Tuatara — 2008/05/24 @ 09:55 | Reply

  2. The Tuatara:

    Thanks! By the way, you almost made me believe in one of the conspiracy theories, though I’m not sure which one. 🙂

    “As a scientist, her only achievement seems to have been a method of injecting more air into ice cream (more air, fluffier texture, less cost)”

    Well, it’s a minor achievement, but at least it’s real. 🙂 🙂

    Comment by frankbi — 2008/05/24 @ 13:36 | Reply

  3. […] in the case of climate conspiracy theories, it does seem that some people are this dumb: they actually promote several incompatible theories […]

    Pingback by An angry letter, a petition, and…? « International Journal of Inactivism — 2008/05/25 @ 05:22 | Reply

  4. Hi Frank

    Thanks for chasing this one down…the thing that got my attention with the Thatcher theory was that it seems to be more of an argument against conspiracy theories…ie it is, as you allude above, incompatible with the AGW as a leftist plot theory which seems to dominate the discussion mostly, hence my surprise to hear it was referenced in TGGWSwindle.

    An irony (or perhaps just an error) in the theory is that Thatchers politics signed the deathknell for nuclear power by the simple act of creating an electricity market, thus removing the subsidies.

    Are there any students of Thatchers Britain out there that can have a look at Courtney’s stuff and tell us what she actually said or did?

    Apart from that it seems amazing what can be achieved with a BSc in Chemistry….

    Bi Frank

    Andrew

    Comment by Andrew H — 2008/05/26 @ 00:45 | Reply

  5. Andrew:

    “ie it is, as you allude above, incompatible with the AGW as a leftist plot theory which seems to dominate the discussion mostly, hence my surprise to hear it was referenced in TGGWSwindle.”

    Perhaps it’s a token effort to make themselves look like they’re in the middle: as in, the eco-terrorists are on the left, the extreme Thatcherites are on the right, and we’re just good nonpartisan folk who know the Truth. It’s sort of hinted at in Stott’s commentary.

    “Are there any students of Thatchers Britain out there that can have a look at Courtney’s stuff and tell us what she actually said or did?”

    I’ll second that request. 🙂

    Thanks!

    Comment by frankbi — 2008/05/26 @ 04:31 | Reply

  6. I was born a couple of years before Thatcher came to power, so am no expert on the 1980’s, and they seem an odd decade, insofar as hardly anyone will actually talk about them or make any sensible suggestions based upon what you can learn from that decade.
    And there is much to learn.
    But anyway, I have a book called “The dirty man of Europe” (By Chris Rose), about the UK’s environmental record in the 1980’s.
    Yes, we were worse than most other countries.

    The way the author writes it, it seems that the UK was by 1988 putting out a lot of hot air regarding CO2, so in that respect it may be that setting up the Hadley centre was as much a matter of trying to look good as to actually do anything useful.
    There is more to say, but it doesn’t mention the HAdley centre.

    Comment by guthrie — 2008/05/26 @ 23:06 | Reply

  7. […] today I added 3 theories into the great genealogy of climate conspiracy theories: Roy Spencer’s Feb 2007 theory in the New York Post, Spencer’s Mar 2007 theory in his […]

    Pingback by eSkeptic is a mock-epic « International Journal of Inactivism — 2008/06/06 @ 21:13 | Reply


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