Sometimes, climate science denialists make stuff up. Sometimes, their distinct lack of scepticism has them pushing around fake quotes.
I’ve written about that for DeSmogBlog, where I tracked down the source of some of the most popular “quote mining” that goes on.
Here’s one example. On the website of One Nation, is a page that claims to reveal that environmental sustainability issues from the United Nations under the Agenda 21 banner is not a non-binding set of recommendations, but is instead “just communism resurrected in a new guise.” Agenda 21 is a whole world of conspiracy theorising.
On the One Nation page, is this quote:
At the U.N. Summit at Rio in 1992, the Conference Secretary-General, Maurice Strong, said “Isn’t the only hope for this planet that the industrialized civilization collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?”
The suggestion, clearly, is that Strong had a secret plot to destroy industrialised civilisation. Bang to rights?
If you put that quote into your favourite search engine, you’ll find it reproduced on hundreds of pages. The problem is, though, that Maurice Strong did not say those words at that conference.
A couple of years earlier, Strong gave a long-form interview with a Canadian journalist where he talked about the plot of a novel he fancied writing one day.
That’s what Strong was talking about, when he said those words. No sinister plot. No secretive communist plan. But rather, an idea for a novel.
No surprise though that One Nation is running with it, given their climate and environment “policy” is straight out of the conspiratorial grey matter of former senator and current One Nation candidate for Ipswich, Malcolm Roberts.
UPDATE: Former Tony Abbott business advisor Maurice Newman also used the fake quote in this column in The Australian in 2015.