'Wie stoppen wir das?' asks the cover of this week's COP26 edition of Der Spiegel, beneath an image of a cracked, desiccated, sick-looking Earth with a chunk bitten out of it. 'Der Planet kollabiert,' it declares, as if this were a matter of undisputed fact rather than hysterical conjecture.

As with Der Spiegel, so it goes with every other mainstream media publication. From the New York Times to the Times (of London), the message is the same: the world is doomed; it's all our fault; this latest UN-sponsored climate conference in Glasgow, Scotland, is quite literally our last chance to save the planet.

Imagine how much money you would need to buy that level of saturation publicity! Actually, it's impossible. The human brain cannot conceive of such numbers. But I did try asking Benny Peiser (formerly of the German Green party, now of the climate sceptical Global Warming Policy Foundation) to try to put a figure on the annual global expenditure of the Climate Industrial Complex.

"Seven quadrillion?" he said, plucking a figure from the air and only half joking. "And where would you begin? The salaries of all the academics pushing the global warming agenda; the government departments administering it; the taxpayer subsidies poured into it; the companies investing in it..." The sums involved are so eye-wateringly, unprecedentedly vast that they simply defy calculation.

And there you have the fundamental problem with the global warming industry: it has now grown so large it is simply too big to fail. Impervious to logic, reason, or any kind of cost benefit analysis, the climate gravy train is a behemoth which crushes all before it; and which drowns out with its shrill wailings the voices of sensible, decent, informed scientists who want to debate the issue with common sense, proportion and factual evidence.

Over the years, I've spoken to many of these dissenters: physicists William Happer and Richard Lindzen; rocket scientist Fred Singer; geologist Ian Plimer. All of them are, or were, distinguished experts at the very top of their game; all of them shunned and marginalised by their colleagues and institutions, and largely ignored by the media, because their message of hope simply doesn't accord with the fashionable doomsday narrative.

What is that message of hope? Very simply, it is that 'global warming' (or 'climate change', or 'climate chaos': they keep changing the terminology) is not a real problem. It exists, as a threat, only in deeply suspect computer modelled projections, most of which have since been falsified by observed reality.

The same goes for the rest of the litany of oft-publicised 'environmental' menaces: drowning polar bears; sinking Pacific islands; melting glaciers; suicidal walruses; the dying Great Barrier Reef; the Pacific garbage patch; ocean acidification; disappearing polar ice caps; unprecedented forest fires; species extinction; and so on. Not a single one of these scare stories stands up to scrutiny. They are all merely green propaganda whose purpose is to generate a climate of fear among the general public, which in turn will enable vested interests to profit handsomely from the very expensive solutions to these imaginary problems.

I have been covering this massive scandal - the biggest scientific fraud in history - for nearly two decades now. And what never fails to surprise and horrify me is just how resilient the Big Lie is. When, for example, in 2009 I helped break the Climategate scandal (which caught the scientists at the heart of the global warming industry flagrantly engaged in all manner of dirty tricks and deception), I imagined that the weight of evidence would put an end to this egregious scam.

But the perpetrators of this fraud are as shameless as they are devious. They also have massively powerful institutional backing - from business, government, and the mainstream media. For example, the BBC recently broadcast a drama about Climategate. But instead of showing the main culprit as a fraudster prostituting climate science for a political agenda, it depicted him as a hero, unfairly harassed by vile, know-nothing journalists for the crime of doing his job.

Over the last few years, the truth on climate has been all but buried by a massive, media gaslighting operation - in which a pigtailed, autistic school drop out called Greta is treated with the reverence accorded saints, while serious scientists who've dedicated their whole careers investigating this stuff are dismissed as ignorant cranks.

Even five years ago, I found it easy enough to place in national newspapers climate sceptical stories about, say, the destructive pointlessness of expensive, unreliable, ugly wind farms ('bat-chomping, bird-slicing eco-crucifixes', as I prefer to call them). But those days are over. In the UK, editors have now been frightened off by endless vexatious complaints by green activists to IPSO (the press regulatory body which often finds in favour of the complainants). Also, as their sales fall, they are increasingly reliant on state advertising: since the Covid crisis, the UK government has become the biggest media advertiser. And since Prime Minister Boris Johnson's government, like most of its Western counterparts, is heavily pushing the green agenda, so, dutifully does the bought-and-paid-for press.

Johnson himself used to be a fairly outspoken climate sceptic. In his days as a newspaper columnist, he would frequently mock the absurdities of hairshirt green ideologues. In 2013, for example, he noted that wind farms were so feeble they 'couldn't pull the skin off a rice pudding.'

However, since becoming Prime Minister - and presumably getting his instructions from the globalist elite which is really behind the green agenda - he has swiftly changed his tune. His opening COP26 speech was a model of the kind of half-baked factoids and bedwetting inanity the Climate Industrial Complex just loves to promulgate.

He began by repudiating the Industrial Revolution (probably the main reason Britain is so prosperous and without which Boris's middle class father could never have afforded to educate his sons at a fancy private school like Eton), comparing its 'pistons and turbines and furnaces and engines' to a 'doomsday device' in a James Bond movie, its 'red digital clock' ticking down remorselessly to 'a detonation that will end human life as we know it.'

This is arrant piffle, as Johnson well knows. But that's not really the point. The COP summits are nothing more than theatre - staged events designed to gull ordinary people into believing that when Big Government hits them with more green taxes, forces them to use costly renewable energy, takes away their diesel and electric cars, bans them from flying, that it's all being done for the noble purpose of saving the planet.

But this just isn't true. The real purpose of the eco agenda is the same as it has always been: to feed the greed of a parasitical Malthusian elite which despises ordinary people and which, masking its bad intentions behind a cloak of environmental righteousness, uses green issues as a way of expanding and entrenching its power. This is why they turn up at these planet-saving events in their squadrons of carbon-belching private jets and their fleets of limousines: because they want us to know how little they care for our good opinion; to remind us that we are the little people and that they are our masters now.

Perhaps the most important thing everyone should realise when they read all the depressing headlines inspired by COP26 is that the truth is the polar opposite of the one presented by politicians, scientists and media hysterics. The world is not dying but is in rude health: additional CO2 levels are causing ‘global greening’ - an increase in vegetation on desert margins such as the Sahel in North Africa; coral reefs which appear to have died as a result of bleaching have made rapid recoveries; polar bear populations are booming. There are many things to worry about in 2021. But imminent environmental catastrophe most definitely isn’t one of them.

James Delingpole has been writing about climate change and environmentalism for two decades. He is the author of “Watermelons” (a detailed account of Climategate, the scandalous story he helped break in 2009, and of the machinations and motivations of the Climate Industrial Complex).