Antony Fisher founded the think tanks in Britain that first promoted climate denial. His dramatic life story is a vital morality tale for those concerned about climate change. Picture: Antony (right) and Basil at Eton.
“Without Fisher, no IEA; without the IEA and its clones, no Thatcher and quite possibly no Reagan; without Reagan, no Star Wars; without Star Wars, no economic collapse of the Soviet Union. Quite a chain of consequences for a chicken farmer.”
So remarked Oliver Letwin MP in the Times in 1994. Two decades later and he might add, “no slander of climate science, and no sabotage of government action on global warming”.
The life of Antony George Aston Fisher—AGAF to his friends—is fascinating in its own right. But contained within his remarkable story lies the foundation myth of neoliberalism, and, by consequence, climate denial.
The first part of our epic history of climate denial opens with our hero's harrowing experience during the Battle of Britain and the war against totalitarianism
His parachute was engulfed in flames. Antony Fisher and his younger brother Basil were engaged in a fierce firefight over the rolling hills of Sussex on 15 August 1940 after a crack Nazi squadron launched a surprise bombardment of their airbase during a decisive day in the Battle of Britain.
“Things looked very stern, with the odds against us,” Anthony Eden, the Minister for War, wrote that very evening after having met with Prime Minister Winston Churchill in the War Office. “[T]his was to be one of the critical days of the war.”
The Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA) is a London-based free-market think-tank and “educational charity” founded in 1955 by the late Sir Anthony Fisher with the mission “to improve understanding of the fundamental institutions of a free society by analysing and expounding the role of markets in solving economic and social problems.” 
Democracy is utterly dependent upon an electorate that is accurately informed. In promoting climate change denial (and often denying their responsibility for doing so) industry has done more than endanger the environment. It has undermined democracy.
There is a vast difference between putting forth a point of view, honestly held, and intentionally sowing the seeds of confusion. Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.