Jo Nova, Perth’s resident science (mis)communicator has recently signalled a new direction for her blog, expanding it from climate denial to encompass economics:
Before I wrote about climate science I was writing about the markets.
Just to add some background, we’ve been invested in gold and gold related stocks for ten years. We watched money supply figures and “inflation” statistics and saw the gaping discrepancy. I was writing about gold and the coming financial storm in 2008 for news outlets like The Mining Chronicle before Lehman Bros fell, I was buying and selling gold contracts on the Comex futures exchange for a while too.
This is some explanation for regular readers who might wonder “why” non climate stories will begin to appear. The blog is here to expose deceitful reasoning and poor communication and how they are used against us. In the sense that truth is stranger than fiction, I’ve been lucky enough to come across some extraordinary tales.
This is also a primer for people who think that the economics jargon is not worth the effort. Wait til [sic] you hear what’s been going on.
Carbon is the second largest scam in history.
Which makes one ask, what is the biggest scam in history?
Nova is pushing her blog in a new direction, and of course I’m curious. Over the past months I’ve noted Nova’s rabid contempt for the finance industry. In her view it is “they” who are really behind the “climate scam”.
For some time I was puzzled: generally many sceptics are pro-market (viz such as Matt Ridley author of “The Rational Optimist”).
Still, I was puzzled by this apparent disconnect between the more general concerns for economic growth more “moderate” sceptics have than Nova’s disdain for finance?
In this instance it appears both Nova and her husband – David “Rocket Scientist” Evans – are firm followers of an obscure branch of the “Church of Conspiracy Theory”.
I’ve noted in the past that Nova’s blog attracts a large number of conspiracy theorists.
From what I can tell from the writings of both Jo Nova and her husband David Evans, their objections to the science of climate change is driven by a deeper, more ideological view of the world.
Bear with me as I introduce you to the strange, murky world of “fiat money” conspiracy theory.
Fiat money: here comes the real conspiracy on Nova’s blog
The following 2009 post by Nova caught my attention. Since then I’ve trying to fathom why Nova repeatedly makes connections between climate change and the finance industry:
Carbon credits are a form of fiat currency, yet as calls for carbon trading grow, ironically, another fiat currency collapses—destroying life savings, wiping out jobs, and taking down historic institutions overnight.
Meanwhile, global warming alarmists are asking us to create another fiat currency, this time based on hot air. Large multinational conglomerates are already pouring billions into exchanges and derivatives in anticipation of carbon trading. There are ‘options’ to buy credits in the future.
There’s no longer any evidence that carbon matters much to our climate; and in the unlikely event that carbon might matter, the benefits of trading carbon don’t add up. If the US adopted Obama’s strict 80% reduction in emissions tomorrow, thus transforming the main energy source used by Americans since Columbus, the savings in carbon merely delay the claimed warmer-Armageddon by six years.
Nova belongs seems to belong to the “fiat money” conspiracy school. It’s an obscure branch of conspiracy theory family, and it took me some time to recognise it. However, recent posts on her blog are starting to reveal more about her world view.
Fiat money conspiracy theorists say “Watch out, the ‘general economic collapse’ is coming!”
The term fiat money “derives from the Latin fiat, meaning “let it be done”, as the money is established by government decree.” All modern currencies are “fiat monies including “the euro, and all other reserve currencies, and have been since the Nixon Shock of 1971” when the US abandoned the gold standard 
There is a large, complex and ongoing debate between economists on the role of central banks, money supply and policy. Since 1971 when most countries abandoned the gold standard there has been a small, but dedicated body of cranks and the occasional academic who have called for the the gold standard to be adopted once again.
“Fiat money conspiracy” theorists take their objections a step further and believe governments are issuing “false” or “useless money” in order to control our society.
In the minds of Evans and Nova there is a small cabal of families who have been manipulating money markets for centuries in order to maintain power of society (see below). It’s a conspiracy theory that get’s a lot of traction with fundamentalist Christians and those who believe the Freemasons/Illuminati/Lizard Overlords are manipulating things.
It’s also echoed by others, particularly in the United States. Ultra-conservative Republican, and former Presidential wannabe, Ron Paul is constantly talking about “fiat money” and how it will be used as a tool to create hyper-inflation:
“Hyperinflation favors the people with a lot of money, depending upon their investments.
You see, the very rich will not have trouble getting by. They have hardened investments and extra money to invest in new things. Like land. Like devalued real estate and homes in the aftermath of a bubble pop. They can afford to buy more. Especially if they know how the cards will fall on the table, in advance…
…Let’s say we go through a three year period of turmoil caused by the Fed’s Zimbabwe-style hyperinflation, and at the end of the cycle, they finally stabilize the currency with gold, so the inflation they generated does not spin completely out of control.
After the hyperinflation wave ends:
— A can of Campbell’s vegetable soup costs $7.
– A new five-bedroom suburban home costs $900,000.
But you just bought a new five bedroom home a couple of years ago for $75,000.
You can sell it, or you can rent it to tenants. Either way, you have achieved massive profits.”
Hyper-inflation will be used to reduce the majority of humanity to poverty, thus leaving “those” in power with the only remaining wealth and the ability to fully control the world.
Says one poster on the thread discussing Paul’s article, the elites want to have “have control over all the resources” and their “…end goal is a world banking system, a world government and a world army that keeps the slaves in line so the privileged few can use and abuse them for their own amusement.”
Amongst the conspiracy “community” there is often talk about the coming “general economic collapse”. According to this theory – and it has many forms – an elite will usher in an age of hyper-inflation to impoverish citizens in the developed world. Having achieved this they be in possession of the only real assets (property, gold) and thus have even greater political power.
Depending on the conspiracy these “elites” are either the Freemasons, Fabians or Bliderberg Group.
The gold connection
Of particular concern to fiat money conspiracy theorists is gold. They work very hard to buy and hoard it in the eventuality that economic “Armageddon” is just around the corner. Which is why Nova admits to being “studying gold markets” for years.
As further prove of this, Nova and Evans has set up a company called “Gold Nerds“:
“…GoldNerds focus on the fundamentals of the North American and Australian listed companies that are producing gold or exploring for gold. We live and breathe numbers! The founding members are scientists and engineers who are also investors and monetary historians. The GoldNerds research team is spread across Perth, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Sydney, the US, and Switzerland, and includes ex-stockbrokers, business analysts, accountants, and full time investors.”
Where you can:
- Make money through gold investments.
- Spread the word that gold is the only currency not created out of thin air by governments and banks.
- Meet like-minded people.
But is there really a connection between Nova’s obsession with gold markets and fiat money conspiracies?
Yes, in a 2008 article written by Nova for website “Gold 321” she discusses” just how ominous this is:
This is what the start of hyperinflation would look like.
Because the gold standard was dropped in 1971, money can be effectively created out of thin air. So it is no surprise to find that since September, newly created money has been raining from the sky. (Apparently this rain falls only on banks and a few large financials.)
The scale is unlike anything seen since the US Federal Reserve was formed in 1913. As the weeks progress on, all previous giant distortions shrink to goosebumps as the scale of the graph is redrawn.
What is that Nova fears? Hyper-inflation as a weapon of economic mass destruction. It’s what many subscribers of this particular conspiracy theory fret about. Traditionally gold has been seen as a “defence”:
Representative money and the gold standard protect citizens from hyperinflation and other abuses of monetary policy, as were seen in some countries during the Great Depression. However, they were not without their problems and critics, and so were partially abandoned via the international adoption of the Bretton Woods System. That system eventually collapsed in 1971, at which time nearly all nations had switched to full fiat money.
The darker fringes of those subscribing to fiat money conspiracy usually subscribe to the believe that the “New World Order” is imminent. the site Overlords of Chaos is typical of this school of thought:
Who issues money is perforce both politically and economically a very important question, for control of a nation’s money supply ipso facto brings with it control of that nation’s credit and thus control of that nation.
And the purpose of this?
“…But what is this New World Order Plan? In a nutshell the Plan is this. The Dark Agenda of the secret planners of the New World Order is to reduce the world’s population to a “sustainable” level “in perpetual balance with nature” by a ruthless Population Control Agenda via Population and Reproduction Control. A Mass Culling of the People via Planned Parenthood, toxic adulteration of water and food supplies, release of weaponised man-made viruses, man-made pandemics, mass vaccination campaigns and a planned Third World War. Then, the Dark Agenda will impose upon the drastically reduced world population a global feudal-fascist state with a World Government, World Religion, World Army, World Central Bank, World Currency and a micro-chipped population. In short, to kill 90% of the world’s population and to control all aspects of the human condition and thus rule everyone, everywhere from the cradle to the grave..”
What to make of all this?
I’ve seen the same claims made by posters on Nova’s make similar claims:
- “The general agenda is to depopulate the US, while some of them enrich themselves at our expense…”
- “The actual agenda is to destroy the idea and practice of private property, and hence capitalism…”
- “Australian Nartive Title legislation is part of this diminishment of the concept of private property…”
Comments by regular posters on her recent foray into politics make the same points:
“And agree with you on the world government/fabians etc but one of the things they believe is the world is overpopulated and needs to be reduced to 500 million (from 8 billion plus). I think that they know we are in for a cold time they are just making sure we are not prepared for it and in doing so they will cause the most damage they can. (poster “twawki”)
I’d note not all comments follow that pattern, but the trend towards supporting conspiracy theories is marked.
In the words of Richard Hofstadter who famously characterised this “paranoid style of politics“:
“The enemy is clearly delineated: he is a perfect model of malice, a kind of amoral superman—sinister, ubiquitous, powerful, cruel, sensual, luxury-loving. Unlike the rest of us, the enemy is not caught in the toils of the vast mechanism of history, himself a victim of his past, his desires, his limitations. He wills, indeed he manufactures, the mechanism of history, or tries to deflect the normal course of history in an evil way. He makes crises, starts runs on banks, causes depressions, manufactures disasters, and then enjoys and profits from the misery he has produced. The paranoid’s interpretation of history is distinctly personal: decisive events are not taken as part of the stream of history, but as the consequences of someone’s will. Very often the enemy is held to possess some especially effective source of power: he controls the press; he has unlimited funds; he has a new secret for influencing the mind (brainwashing); he has a special technique for seduction…”
Nova’s support for the extreme fringes of conspiracy theory
At first I thought Nova’s views on “fiat money” where closer to those of libertarians and those of the “Austrian School” of economics who detest any form of government intervention in the market because it gives it too much power. We can have a robust debate on these questions, they remain in the realm of real policy discussion.
However, in another 2009 post Nova cites a paper by her husband on fiat money:
David Evans has written up a paper that describes just what kind of Octopus we are dealing with, and it’s bigger and more insidious than almost anything you can imagine. It’s a long paper, but if you are not aware of how our currencies are created out of thin air, backed by nothing, and why the Global Financial Crisis was not a surprise to those of us watching the money supply, then stand back, hold onto your hats and take a deep breath.
It’s like living in The Matrix.
Nova cites one of her husband’s papers made available from notorious denial think tank, the “Science and Public Policy Institute” (the home of Lord Monckton). At the end of his paper Evans makes the following claims:
“…There are a small number of families who, over the centuries, have amassed wealth through financial rent seeking. They are leading members of the paper aristocracy. For example, the Rothschild’s are the biggest banking family in Europe, and were reputed to own half of all western industry in 1900. That sort of wealth doesn’t just dissipate, because unless the managers are incompetent the wealth tends to concentrate. The banking families don’t work for a living in the normal sense, like the rest of us. They avoid scrutiny and envy by blending in and make themselves invisible. Since they own or influence all sorts of media organizations, it isn’t too hard. There are unsubstantiated rumors and conspiracy theories, but nobody can really credibly say how much wealth and influence they have…
…Perhaps today’s fiat currencies—the US dollar, pound, yen and so on—will go up in smoke in an inflationary crescendo in the next few years, perhaps as planned by the paper aristocracy. Maybe they will reintroduce an asset backed currency. And guess who has all the gold? Those banking families have been salting it away for years. Possibly a global currency, so one cannot escape the predations of the paper aristocracy. This is not just about money, but about power, of course. Anyway, these are only unsubstantiated rumors. We shall see.
This is full-blown conspiracy theory in its most purist form. Like Ron Paul and the more extreme Overlords of Chaos, Evans make the direct link between “manufactured” money and its role as a weapon.
This is not the harmless and charming “Elvis is still alive and living in Florida” kind, but a kind of David Icke “Lizard-people-are-going-to-eat-our-brains!” level of conspiracy theory making.
Nova and Evans seem to believe that the current powers-that-be are intent on using fiat money to exert political control over the global population and have been working towards this end for centuries. As noted, fiat money is a particular obsession of “New World Order” fantasists who believe a shadowy cabal are trying to create a one world government through the UN, IPCC and international treaties.
This is truly the “paranoid style of politics”.
It clearly explains Nova’s rabid hatred of the Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS), which in her eyes is nothing more than a massive scam to create “false wealth” and yet another lever of power to be used by “them”.
Conclusion: we take Evans/Nova seriously why?
It explains a great deal about her and Evans obsessions with banks, money and gold. It also explains why they have to reject climate science.
After all, if it leads to the creation of more fiat money, it therefore must be part of “the conspiracy”.
Which has to prompt one to ask: why do so many people take Nova and Evans seriously?
Why should two extreme conspiracy theorists be given a voice in papers such as The Australian?
I suspect the extent and depth of their conspiracy making is not well understood, as they’ve taken advantage of the “report both sides” of reporting and the conservative press who question climate change for other reasons.
[Edited 9/6/10 for additional comments]