Explain me to me re Climate Change Hoax

As I surf the blogosphere and read about climate change, I see many, many comments about a "climate change hoax" or fraud (examples: here, here, here, and lots of other places).

Whenever I read this I take pause and wonder hard about me. I've spent almost twenty years now working to reduce the risks of climate change. If the whole thing is a hoax, then I'm either actively participating in it or I've been bamboozled by the hoaxers. If it really is a hoax, then I can't explain me. Could someone please explain me to me?

Let's take the first one: that I'm participating in it. I don't recall ever being contacted by anyone--not Al Gore or any of his people, not the UN, not the National Academy of Sciences, not Nicholas Stern. Not anyone. No one has ever talked to me about helping to perpetuate any kind of fraud or hoax. I guess a true cynic would claim that I am lying, and I suppose I can't prove that I'm not. You'll just have to take my word for it. Nonetheless, I've had the pleasure of working with scores and scores of others in the environmental field, and not a single one has ever mentioned they were part of a hoax or fraud. Nor have any of them mentioned being contacted by any of the aforementioned or anyone else to take part in this elaborate hoax. In all my years, I've never come across someone rubbing their hands together saying, "bwa-ha-ha" in a conspiratorial tone. Who are these hoaxers?

Maybe I'm just going along with the hoax because I'm profiting from the illusion of climate change. That's a common accusation, often directed at Al Gore. Same problem as before when it comes to me, though. When I examine myself, it doesn't add up. I've got an MBA from a top tier business school. I could make a lot more money in management consulting or any of a number of fields. In truth, I have actually made a lot less money over the last couple of decades by focusing my career on this issue. Clearly, money is not my motive. I don't know about Al Gore; but again, he's never gotten in touch with me to help him out or share in his profits. So what's in it for me?

And I think about James Hansen. He's a government employee. He isn't being paid any more to push for strong action on climate. What's his motivation? He's not profiting; there's certainly lots of work he could do on other issues; and he even put his job at risk during the Bush administration. I don't get it. If there's some sort of hoax or fraud afoot, what's in it for him?

Investments? I don't know about James Hansen, but speaking for myself, I haven't yet set up my portfolio in a way that would take advantage of economic changes being affected by climate change and the actions to fend it off. I probably should, but I haven't up to now. So I'm not currently profiting. So money's not my motive. Explain me to me.

Many of these commenters also put forth the claim that we environmentalists are seeking to control the world, set up an oppressive world government that will deny their liberties and tax all their money away in the process. Yet when I examine myself, I find myself agreeing with them: I don't particularly care to pay unnecessary taxes, and I'm not a fan of oppressive government, either--nor do I have any interest in trying to take away people's personal liberties (I am, after all, a person, too; and I like my personal liberties). So if that is our goal, why am I doing it? Explain me to me.

So if I'm not actively part of the hoax, then I must be some sort of brainwashed supplicant to the cause. I've been bamboozled by the hoaxers! However, I examine myself again, and I find that a difficult argument to believe. I've never sent money to Nigeria nor been fooled by other hoaxes or scams. Perhaps I'm self-deluded and really am brainwashed, but why would it be only on this one single issue? If I'm brainwashable, then one would think others would take advantage of me. After all, there are scams everywhere all the time, yet I've never fallen victim to any of them.

And how about those scores of colleagues, friends and coworkers also working on the cause? Have they all been brainwashed, too? Yet most of them are very smart, if not brilliant. It's difficult for me to believe that they've all somehow been fooled by a secret and elaborate hoax of unknown origin.

So this whole idea of climate change being a hoax or fraud intended to create an oppressive world government and destroy our economy and freedoms is very difficult to reconcile with me. I can't explain me to me. If you believe that climate change is a fraud or hoax, please help me understand how I fit in.

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