Punishing 'climate change deniers'

Failing to convince the public that global warming is an urgent cause for concern, hysterical fear-mongers are turning to the armory of tyrants, and demanding punishment for those they call “deniers,” consciously inking Holocaust denial.  The recent rebranding of their cause as “climate change” creates a certain awkwardness, as nobody denies that climate has and always will change.  Glaciers, after all, covered a good part of the northern tier of the United States, carving out the Great Lakes, for example.

Nonetheless, the hysterics demand that “climate change deniers” be punished, even killed, and the call extends from the spittle-flecked fanatics to the usually sober New York Times (see below).  Christopher Monckton, the Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, has compiled a valuable list of those calling for the abrogation of free speech and punishment of dissidents.  He writes:

It is not yet clear to me that the totalitarian persecution of climate skeptics is any more beneficial than the persecution of those who opposed eugenics in Fascist Germany or Lysenko's nonsense in Soviet Russia.

For we are far too timid in fighting back against extremist language of the sort that is well evidenced in the attached list. I managed to silence the dreadful Parncutt because he was based in Austria, where his demand that climate skeptics be executed is a hate crime - a serious, imprisonable offense. Similarly, I have more or less entirely shut down such rhetoric in Scotland, which also has laws against hate speech.

But one should not forget the dark side of totally free speech, which is that totalitarians will exploit it and lovers of freedom, often for the most amiable of motives, will let them get away with it. Every account of Hitler's rise to power, without exception, makes it clear that he only got away with it because, in the interest of free speech, those of his supporters who demanded and went on demanding death for their opponents were allowed to go on and on and on doiong so, just as the climate Nazis [(C) Roy Spencer] do today.

We should be more trenchant in opposing the hate speech to which we are now routinely subjected. While it is true that a few people, realizing the nastiness of the rhetoric, are driven into our arms, the danger now is as it was in pre-Nazi Germany: for evil to triumph, as Burke used to say, it was necessary only that good men do nothing. They did nothing. Hitler was the result, and 100 million died.

However said that the only thing we learn from history is that we learn nothing from history may yet be proven tragically right for the second time in a century.

Here is his list:

Climate Nazis

2005: Margo Kingston, in Australia’s Daily Briefing, said: “Perhaps there is a case for making climate change denial an offence. It is a crime against humanity, after all.”

2006: Bill McGuire, at University College, London, said: “We have Holocaust deniers; we have climate change deniers. And, to be honest, I don’t think there’s a great deal of difference.”

2006: The Grist.com website called for Nuremberg-style trials for climate skeptics. The article was later retracted.

2006: Heidi Cullen featured Dave Roberts, who said online, “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.” The remark was not later retracted.

2006: Mark Lynas, a “green” columnist, wrote: “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 [their climate change denial] 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.” 

2006: Spiked Online reported that when a correspondent for the American current affairs show 60 Minutes was asked why his various feature programmes on global warming did not include the views of global warming sceptics, he replied: “If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?”

2007: Ellen Goodman, in the Boston Globe, said: “Let’s just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers.”

2007: Robert F. Kennedy Jr. lashed out at global warming skeptics, saying: “This is treason. And we need to start treating them as traitors.” The penalty for treason is death.

2007: Yvo de Boer, secretary general of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, said ignoring the urgency of global warming would be “criminally irresponsible”.

2007: Dr. Gro Harlem Brundtland, a UN special climate envoy, said: “It’s completely immoral even to question” the UN’s scientific opinion on climate.

2008: Dr James Hansen of NASA demanded that skeptics be “put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature”. The penalty for crimes against humanity is death.

2008: David Suzuki, a Canadian environmentalist, said government leaders skeptical of global warming should be “thrown into jail”.

2008: Alex Lockwood, a British journalism professor, said that writers questioning global warming should be banned.

2009: A writer at Talking Points Memo said global warming “deniers” should be executed or jailed. He later retracted this remark.

2010: James Lovelock, inventor of the “Gaia hypothesis”, told The Guardian: “I have a feeling that climate change may be an issue as severe as a war. It may be necessary to put democracy on hold for a while.”

2010: Dr. Donald Brown, Professor of “Climate Ethics” at Penn State University, declared that skeptics, who had caused “a 25-year delay in acting to stop climate change”, may be guilty of a “new crime against humanity”. The penalty for crimes against humanity is death.

2010: A video from the “10:10 campaign” showed climate skeptic children being blown up by their teacher in class, and their classmates were spattered with their blood and guts.

2011: An Australian journalist said climate skeptics should be “branded” with cattle-irons to mark them out from the rest of the population.

2011: Another Australian journalist said skeptics should be “gassed”.

2012: Professor Richard Parncutt of the University of Graz, Austria, recommended the death penalty for skeptics. He later withdrew.

2012: Dr. Donald Brown, Professor of “Climate Ethics” at Widener University School of Law, again declared that skeptics may be guilty of a “new crime against humanity”. The penalty for crimes against humanity is death.

2014: Dr Lawrence Torcello, assistant philosophy professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, wrote that people who disagreed with him should be sent to jail.

2014: During a February cold snap, the New York Times ran a cartoon headed “Self-Destructing Sabers for Dispatching Climate-Change Deniers” and showing a climate skeptic being stabbed with an icicle.

2014: The gawker.com website said: “Those denialists should face jail. They should face fines. They should face lawsuits from the classes of people whose lives and livelihoods are most threatened by denialist tactics.”

2014: The host of MSNBC’s The Ed Show promoted Soviet-style re-education for climate skeptic politicians by conducting an on-air poll on the question “Should climate-denying Republicans be forced to take a basic earth science course?”

2015: Katie Herzog at Grist.com on 16 January wrote: “If this planet is to survive the scourge that is humanity, we all have to stop reproducing. Yes, all of us. In that spirit, I propose we … sterilize every human male on his 10th birthday.”

2015: Comment on the webpage of the Brisbane Times about a category 5 cyclone along the Queensland coast on 19/20 February: “These type of weather events could happen further south in future and be more intense with global warming … if anyone has to suffer out of this one I hope it is a climate change denier, if anyone.” Downloaded from http://www.brisbanetimes.com.au/queensland/cyclone-marcia-live-coverage-20150219-13iuaw.html.

2015: The Australian Capital Territory’s Arts Fund gave $18,793 “to assist with costs of the creative development of a new theatre work, Kill Climate Deniers.

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