Thursday, January 18, 2007

Global Warming Fascism

We fully expect people to get pretty hot under the collar about hot-button social issues like abortion, gay marriage and affirmative action.

It’s not even surprising when people on one side of the debate try to shut up people on the other side. The gay lobby is particularly likely to do this, as cases in Canada, in the U.K., in U.S. schools of Social Work, and indeed from the Gay/Straight Alliance right here at Marquette.

But what about an issue like supposed “global warming?” That’s an arcane scientific issue, right? People should be tolerant of differing views, right?

Apparently not.

Case One: Punish Meteorologists Who Question Global Warming

From The Independent:
A leading climatologist on the Weather Channel in the United States has caused a squall in the industry by arguing that any weather forecaster who dares publicly to question the notion that global warming is a manmade phenomenon should be stripped of their professional certification.

The call was made by Heidi Cullen, host of a weekly global warming programme on the cable network called The Climate Code, and coincides with a stretch of severely off-kilter weather across the US this winter and moves by Democrats to draft strict new legislation to curb greenhouse gas emissions.

Specifically, Ms Cullen is suggesting that the American Meteorological Society (AMS) revokes the “seal of approval” that it normally extends to broadcast forecasters in the US in cases where they have expressed scepticism about man’s role in pushing up planetary temperatures.

“It’s like allowing a meteorologist to go on-air and say that hurricanes rotate clockwise and tsunamis are caused by the weather,” she wrote in her internet blog. “It’s not a political statement . . . it’s just an incorrect statement.”

Ms Cullen is not alone in trying to marginalise doubters, who mostly argue that recent rises in temperatures are caused by normal cyclical weather patterns. They were described as “global warming deniers” by former vice-president Al Gore in his recent film An Inconvenient Truth.
The problem is that whether hurricanes rotate clockwise (in the northern hemisphere) is not a controversial political issue, while global warming is.

Claiming that global warming as a result of human activity has been “proven” to the satisfaction of all serious scientists is simply untrue.

But note that, even if it had been, a century ago it had been “proven” to the satisfaction of scientists who dealt with human intelligence that blacks were less intelligent than whites.

Just thirty years ago, the media were abuzz with predications of a “New Ice Age.”

There really is a strong consensus among economists that the Minimum Wage is a bad idea. Should any economist who favors that policy have his Ph.D. revoked? Should any academic who says that a centrally planned economy is better than a market economy be fired for incompetence?

Case Two: Senators Try To Intimidate Oil Company

This page October, liberal Senators John D. Rockefeller IV and Olympia Snowe sent a letter to the CEO of ExxonMobil Corporation demanding that it cease funding of scientists who are critical of the “global warming theory.” The following passage gives an idea of the tone of the letter:
In light of the adverse impacts still resulting from your corporations activities, we must request that ExxonMobil end any further financial assistance or other support to groups or individuals whose public advocacy has contributed to the small, but unfortunately effective, climate change denial myth. Further, we believe ExxonMobil should take additional steps to improve the public debate, and consequently the reputation of the United States. We would recommend that ExxonMobil publicly acknowledge both the reality of climate change and the role of humans in causing or exacerbating it. Second, ExxonMobil should repudiate its climate change denial campaign and make public its funding history. Finally, we believe that there would be a benefit to the United States if one of the world’s largest carbon emitters headquartered here devoted at least some of the money it has invested in climate change denial pseudo-science to global remediation efforts. We believe this would be especially important in the developing world, where the disastrous effects of global climate change are likely to have their most immediate and calamitous impacts.
Coming from members of Congress, such a demand has to be considered a threat of adverse political action.

As the Wall Street Journal noted:
The Senators aren’t dumb enough to risk an ethics inquiry by threatening specific consequences if Mr. Tillerson declines this offer he can’t refuse. But in case the CEO doesn’t understand his company’s jeopardy, they add that “ExxonMobil and its partners in denial have manufactured controversy, sown doubt, and impeded progress with strategies all-too reminiscent of those used by the tobacco industry for so many years.” [Our emphasis.]
The Journal goes on to observe:
Every dogma has its day, and we’ve lived long enough to see more than one “consensus” blown apart within a few years of “everyone knowing” it was true. In recent decades environmentalists have been wrong about almost every other apocalyptic claim they’ve made: global famine, overpopulation, natural resource exhaustion, the evils of pesticides, global cooling, and so on. Perhaps it’s useful to have a few folks outside the “consensus” asking questions before we commit several trillion dollars to any problem.
Case Three: Put Global Warming Skeptics on Trial

Jeff Jacoby explains what some of the environmentalists have been saying.
Then there is “Grist,” an environmental webzine whose staff writer David Roberts recently proposed that global warming skeptics be put on trial like Nazi war criminals.

“When we’ve finally gotten serious about global warming . . . we should have war crimes trials for these bastards -- some sort of climate Nuremberg,” Roberts wrote. Negative publicity led him to recant, but he is far from the only one invoking the Holocaust as a way to silence global warming heretics.

Environmental writer Mark Lynas, for example, puts dissent on climate change “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.” This totalitarian view is taking root everywhere, making skepticism on climate change taboo and subjecting anyone reckless enough to question the global-warming dogma to mockery and demonization. Former vice president Al Gore lumps “global warming deniers,” some of whom are eminent scientists, with the “15 percent of the population (who) believe the moon landing was actually staged in a movie lot in Arizona” and those who “still believe the earth is flat.”
In any moralistic crusade, a diversity of opinions is not welcome. What matters is orthodoxy, and the urge to silence heretics is intense.


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