When Ellen Goodman likened climate skeptics to holocaust deniers last February, she raised more than a few eyebrows. Yet, hers was not the first reprehensible use of that fetid analogy, nor, unfortunately, would it be the last. In truth, environmentalists' deplorable trivialization of Hitler's genocide can be traced as far back as the late 1980's (by an ambitious senator from Tennessee) and as recently as last month by the scientist considered to be the world's premiere global warming researcher. In 1989, Al Gore wrote a scare piece for the New York Times under the improbable title An Ecological Kristallnacht. Listen. Predicting a laughable 5 degree Celsius rise in global temperatures "in our lifetimes," he warned that unless we
"profoundly change the course of our civilization, we face an immediate and grave danger of destroying the worldwide ecological system that sustains life as we know it."
Boiler-plate eviro-mumbo-jumbo, to be sure. But the man who would be king of the greens then ratcheted the rhetoric down a few notches by invoking nightmares 50 years past:
"In 1939, as clouds of war gathered over Europe, many refused to recognize what was about to happen. No one could imagine a Holocaust, even after shattered glass had filled the streets on Kristallnacht. World leaders waffled and waited, hoping that Hitler was not what he seemed, that world war could be avoided. Later, when aerial photographs revealed death camps, many pretended not to see. Even now, many fail to acknowledge that our victory was not only over Nazism but also over dark forces deep within us."
Kristallnacht -- German for "Crystal Night." The very name elicits lurid images of that dark night in November of 1938 when Germans throughout the land were awakened to the sights and smells of burning synagogues and the noise of shattering window glass and the screams of innocent Jews being savagely beaten. A night when thousands of Germans, reading the signal that Jews were vogelfrei (fair game), joined Hitler's Sturmabteilung (brown shirts) in killing at least one hundred and dragging 30 thousand more men, women, and children one step closer to the death and agony awaiting them in Nazi concentration camps.
Repulsion mission accomplished. Gore then dared compare the world's failure to respond then to contemporary environmental complacency and "dark" self-interest:
"In 1989, clouds of a different sort signal an environmental holocaust without precedent. Once again, world leaders waffle, hoping the danger will dissipate. Yet today the evidence is as clear as the sounds of glass shattering in Berlin."
The audacity of recalling the very sounds that evoked the tag Kristallnacht to suggest that those disregarding Gore's personal delusions of our "self-destructive behavior and environmental vandalism" are somehow synonymous with a "world [that] closed its eyes as Hitler marched" betrays a mind at once deluded and devious. Not to mention, outrageous, as noted by Matt Brooks when the same words appeared in Gore's 1992 book, Earth in the Balance: Ecology and the Human Spirit. The executive director of the Republican Jewish Coalition added that:
"For the vice president to equate the utter horror and the tremendous tragedy of Kristallnacht to try and invoke the passion of people about the environment is an insult to all the people who were victims of the Holocaust."
Outrageous, indeed -- yet merely the first act of a word play that would continue after Gore's vice-presidential intermission and the U.S Senate's unanimous 1997 vote not to consider the Kyoto Protocol for ratification.
A Brief History of Green Holocaust Revisionism Allegory
On March 27, 1998, Deborah Tannen appeared on Jim Lehrer's Newshour to discuss her new book, The Argument Culture: Moving from Dialogue to Debate. The author, after declaring global warming settled fact and skeptics oil-company shills, took Gore's analogy to its next illogical step by listing global-warming doubters right alongside Holocaust deniers. She explained this specious leap to guest host David Gergen. Note the striking similarity of the emphasized sentence to recent statements from Gore himself:
"Holocaust denial has had far more success in the United States than any other country. In our eagerness to show both sides, sometimes that means giving a forum to people who claim that the Holocaust never happened. A woman broke a book discussing their tactics--the Holocaust denier's tactics--and she was invited on television if she would also allow them to invite deniers and debate them. She said, but there's nothing to debate; this is history; it's fact. And she was told, don't you think the audience has a right to hear the other side. So often we give a platform to marginalized or even totally discredited views in our eagerness to show the other side. This also is why global warming everywhere in the world is accepted as a problem, and the question is: How do we approach it? Just the other day I mentioned global warming to a taxi driver, and he said, ‘Do you believe that? There's no such thing.' Only in the United States have we given a lot of air time to just a few discredited scientists who say this isn't a problem, just so that we can show the other side."
Most on the Right immediately recognized the ploy for the sleight-of-thought it was. For starters, while the extermination of 6 million Jews at the hands of the Third Reich is indisputable, the apocalypse promised by the Big Green Scare Machine is served absent proof of anything to actually deny. Then there's that nasty little distinction of denying history as opposed to disputing tea-leaf reading.
The word "holocaust" itself is a weapon being exerted by climate scare-mongers in much the manner that "racist" has been wielded by race-mongers: to shut down debate by questioning the opposition's morality. If you were against the first Holocaust, they attest, then you must be equally against the coming climate holocaust -- otherwise, you are undoubtedly immoral. Critical thinkers recalled parrying similar lame false dilemmas and ethical genetic fallacies -- part and parcel of virtually all green arguments -- and wisely refused to be conned.
Not surprisingly, however, many Lefties -- and all eco-maniacs -- happily whistled along whenever they heard this catchy new tune. And, like an awful rumor, the lyric gradually spread.
Months later, in the July 1998 edition of Corporate Legal Times, Republican Rep. Dana Rohrabacher was first referred to as,
"a global-warming denier and a champion of such conservative causes as lower taxes, getting illegal immigrants off the welfare rolls and term limits."
And so it was that a full 8 years before the media would advocate Gore's "debate is over" mantra in response to the junk-science he spewed in An Inconvenient Truth, the reviled "Global Warming Denier" was born.
Now, the term wasn't an instant hit. A Nexis search of "Global Warming Denier" and "Climate Change Denier" for articles prior to 2004 yields a scant 13 and 2 scattered hits, respectively, beginning with the July 1998 Rohrabacher reference. But in December of 2003, Peter Simple of London's Daily Telegraph noted that:
"For a true eco-environmentalist, global warming is an article of faith, the Kyoto Treaty a sacred text. But there are a few serious scientists who are skeptical about both, men whose heretical arguments cannot simply be dismissed as ignorant or perverse. For them the faithful have coined a new term, ‘global warming deniers', almost as opprobrious, it seems, as ‘Holocaust deniers.'"
Nice call. There were 8/7 articles in 2004 which grew to 25/42 in 2005. 2006 saw a significant jump to 107/111, beginning with the New York Times "Scorched Earth" piece on January 15th, and ending with a year-end wrap-up which reminded readers of the October letter Senators Olympia Snowe (R-ME) and John Rockefeller (D-WV) wrote to ExxonMobil Chairman and CEO Rex Tillerson, urging him to end his company's support of "climate change denial front groups."
By November of 2007, the term had gained genuine traction: 452/714 articles, starting with 5 about the Union of Concerned Scientists Issuing a False, Misleading Report which branded the Competitive Enterprise Institute as global warming "deniers" and ending with the a handful of articles referring to Aussie PM John Howard's ouster for being a "climate change denier."
So then, eco-political correctness had successfully banned not just a word, but an idea. Unlike the "N" word, the "F" word and that nasty little "C" word, none of which may be spoken in polite company, use of the "D" word was not only tolerated, but encouraged, to convince a pitifully pliable audience that those accused of fitting its distorted description were ignorant demons to be shunned.
Thus, in true authoritative fashion, freedom of speech and any open, rational debate on the subject are effectively shut down
Equating Climate Theory Skeptics to Nazi Mass Murderers
With Holocaust-level guilt established in the psyches of the indoctrinated, the next step was to further marginalize heretics by projecting imaginary Holocaust-worthy punishment. In May of 2006, enviro-paranoid Mark Lynas complied:
"I wonder what sentences judges might hand down at future international criminal tribunals on those who will be partially but directly responsible for millions of deaths from starvation, famine and disease in decades ahead. I put this in a similar moral category to Holocaust denial -- except that this time the Holocaust is yet to come, and we still have time to avoid it. Those who try to ensure we don't will one day have to answer for their crimes."
Then, four months later, Grist magazine's equally hysterical David Roberts suggested that the method by which deniers be held accountable for the consequences of their inactions should mirror that by which the most heinous of Nazi war criminals had been for their actions:
"When we've finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we're in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards -- some sort of climate Nuremberg."
His outrageously moronic suggestion was met with some jeers, but many more smiles and cheers.
Once again, runaway ignorance of both climate change and the historic trial carelessly referenced prevailed. Of course, Greenies will never understand the former, but perhaps some perspective is in order on the 24 major Nazi murderers prosecuted in the latter, including:
- Ernst Kaltenbrunner -- head of the Austrian SS and leader of Himmler's Reichssicherheitshauptamt (Reich Security Main Office) which oversaw the Einsatzgruppen death squads, responsible for the annihilation of over a million Jews.
- Wilhelm Frick, who, as jurisdictional head of the German Police Administration, was held responsible for the crimes and atrocities perpetrated by both the Gestapo and SS, inside and outside of Germany. Such atrocities included the gruesome "medical" experiments in the concentration camps under the personal direction of Himmler.
- Martin Bormann -- head of the Party Chancellery and private secretary to Hitler himself, he signed decrees prescribing that "the permanent elimination of the Jews from the territories of Greater Germany can no longer be carried out by emigration," instead placing them under the exclusive jurisdiction of the Gestapo for extermination.
- Hermann Göring - a chief architect of Die Endlösung der Judenfrage (The Final Solution genocide plan).
To suggest those offering dissenting scientific opinion on the causes, scope, dangers, and anthropogenic influence of global warming are guilty of similar crimes against humanity is nothing short of madness.
The Final Solution to Carbon Pollution
On October 22nd of this year, James Hansen, yes that James Hansen -- NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies director -- gave testimony before the Iowa Utilities Board. His appearance represented but one battle in his ongoing war against commissioning any new coal-burning power plants prior to the development and deployment of successful carbon dioxide sequestration technologies.
Amid the requisite doomsday floods and extinctions, he avowed that:
"Coal will determine whether we continue to increase climate change or slow the human impact. Increased fossil fuel CO2 in the air today, compared to the pre-industrial atmosphere, is due 50% to coal, 35% to oil and 15% to gas. As oil resources peak, coal will determine future CO2 levels. Recently, after giving a high school commencement talk in my hometown, Denison, Iowa, I drove from Denison to Dunlap, where my parents are buried. For most of 20 miles there were trains parked, engine to caboose, half of the cars being filled with coal. If we cannot stop the building of more coal-fired power plants, those coal trains will be death trains - no less gruesome than if they were boxcars headed to crematoria, loaded with uncountable irreplaceable species." [my emphasis]
While metaphorically sloppy (the trains carried the victims, not the Zyklon B), Hansen's words were clearly crafted to evoke vivid imagery of the cattle cars used by the Nazis to transport European Jews to camps in Poland built for the purpose of their extermination, and no other. Cars the rolling counterpart of death marches, in which entire families were forcefully packed standing-room-only with little light or ventilation and no latrines, food, water, or hope -- to endure torturous journeys often lasting several long days and rarely ending in anything short of their cremation.
If not to further the public's revulsion of "deniers," why, then, would the leading expert on the subject resort to such shockingly hyperbolic sooth-saying?
This affront compelled not Jewish organizations but rather Kraig R. Naasz, president of the National Mining Association, to pen a letter a week later demanding an apology for miners and railroad workers (but not - curiously -- camp survivors or the families of the butchered):
"The suggestion that coal utilization for electricity generation can be equated with the systematic extermination of European Jewry is both repellant and preposterous. Your advocacy on behalf of global warming is ill served by an invidious comparison that manages not only to trivialize the suffering of millions but undermines your credibility as a rational observer of a complex phenomenon." [emphasis mine]
To which Hansen callously wrote, to open an incredibly inept response dated November 21st:
"Your letter of 30 October regarding my testimony to the Iowa Utilities Board appears to illustrate that you do not wish to have the message about the grave future consequences of unrestrained growth in coal-fired power plants publicly stated."
Even a purportedly brilliant green-fever sufferer failed to recognize that addressing a straw-man rather than Naasz's decency concerns only served to strengthen the latter.
Is it any wonder the green rank-and-file are so easily duped?
"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it"
Ironically, that quote from Joseph Goebbels, Hitler's Minister of Propaganda, epitomizes many aspects of the Big Green Scare Machine's modus operandi, not just the imposition of their core tenets and "settled science" lies on a naïve public.
From the ravings of their loudest in 1989 to their smartest in 2007 and all the blathering drones in between, the repeated cavalier trivialization of one of mankind's darkest endeavors has been exploited to capture hearts, repress minds, and shut mouths.
Last year, TBGSM's own propaganda chief Gore(bbels) made this remarkably sophomoric comment:
"15 percent of people believe the moon landing was staged on some movie lot and a somewhat smaller number still believe the Earth is flat. They get together on Saturday night and party with the global-warming deniers."
Of course, "global-warming deniers" might have been replaced by "9/11 truthers," "UFO captives" or, for that matter, "climate alarmists" to establish similar arbitrary relationships. Broad associations are as effortless as they are intellectually dishonest - yet aimed at the proper target, undeniably effective and generally innocuous.
But imagine this response to Gore's inane remark, employing similar associative nonsense - but stronger correlations:
A larger percentage of the world believes the green lie that human salvation demands a coerced return to a less modern, less industrialized society and blind acceptance of fanatical dogma which can currently be neither proved nor disproved. Perhaps they'd enjoy entertaining an analogous group with similar traits that calls its heretical enemies "infidels" rather than "deniers."
Perhaps those who would find such wordplay offensive might consider that exploiting the eliminationist anti-Semitism of the Nazis equally so -- and extend its 6 million victims all due respect.
Don't hold your breath.
Marc Sheppard is a technology consultant, software engineer, writer, and political and systems analyst. He is a frequent contributor to American Thinker and welcomes your feedback.