Suppose that all the fuss about the climate is a climate change hoax.
Suppose that none of it is true.
The greenhouse gases, the warming, the global warming effects, they are all a beat up by vested interests including the politicians and the media.
Imagine for a moment that the smug look on the faces of the climate change skeptics are there because it is all a myth.
And consider this question: What if it's not emissions?
If it's not emissions then
This is quite a list that amounts to a mighty high pile of face saving. If it's not emissions a lot of people will be embarrassed beyond belief for much emotional energy and credibility has been invested in its truth.
Except that all this will be quickly forgotten as we return to business as usual.
Because those who claim the climate change hoax, that climate change does not exist or is natural and not something we should pay attention to, are really saying that we should carry on as we have been for the past 200 years.
And you can see why they would want this.
During this time, right across the world, the average trend has been for
Clearly there are places where these benefits have not happened or have been slow to develop. We live in a world of extreme inequality where both poverty and wealth are pervasive.
But overall things are better than they were.
The proof is that there are now 7 billion of us, that's six times more people than were alive at the start of the 1800s.
As a species we have been extraordinarily successful.
Admitting to anthropogenic climate change is saying that all this has been at a cost.
It is inevitable that there will be vocal opposition to both the concept of climate change and the mechanisms put in place (taxes, trading schemes, technologies) to tackle the problem.
And one way to oppose is simply to deny it exists at all.
Few of the believers want to contemplate the question: What if it's not emissions?
Because if it's not emissions then:
Nobody wants to be wrong, especially if the admission weakens your position or comes at a cost. But saving face is not why climate change cannot be a hoax.
It is also nothing to do with the facts. We do know climate changes and that it is changing now. All that we know about the history of the earth and the evolution of life is that change has been a constant theme and important driver of innovation. Change disrupts but it also creates opportunity and the steady increase in biological diversity over evolutionary time is the result.
Claims of climate change myths are confounded by the evidence and the known drivers from wobbles in the earths orbit [Milankovich cycles] to solar wind and mobile continents. Greenhouses gases are just another driver.
And here is a more esoteric reason.
Climate change cannot be a hoax because we must use it to change ourselves.
Climate change action is the start of unusual business. A secure future requires that we respond to the size of our footprint on the earth positively, with smart, decisive and thoughtful action.
So even if it is not emissions and it really is a climate change hoax, what the process of attempting to understand and deal with a global scale issue has done is provide us with some of the tools to manage global change.
And whether it is climate or not, 7 billion people are changing the globe.