Richard Glover in The Sydney Morning Herald expresses violent fantasies to hurt and kill the “climate-change deniers”. This is nothing new. Richard Curtis of Project 10:10 created the film “No Pressure” in which people, including children, are literally blown into bloody pieces for not sufficiently participating in a Big Brother style energy reduction mandate. As usual, this is passed off as satirical humor, but the prevalence of this violent, murderous fantasy amongst eco-dogmatists should give decent people pause, particularly when one considers how collectivist dogmatists, when they have attained authoritarian power, have caused the deaths of tens of millions in famines and purges, just a few decades ago (Great Leap Forward, Ukrainian Terror Famine, Cambodian Year Zero). Sure, it’s unlikely that the most fanatical, dangerous elements of the green movement will attain sufficient power to repeat the horrors of the recent past. But it’s not impossible and decent people must pay attention to the likes of Richard Glover and Richard Curtis and any politicians who lend credence to their fanaticism.
Note that instead of calling people skeptics, and instead of addressing the catastrophic anthropogenic global warming (CAGW) hypothesis directly (he indirectly supports it by fantasizing about “deniers” drowning in low-lying islands), he uses weasel words: “deniers” and “climate change”. All responsible CAGW skeptics acknowledge that temperatures have risen since 1900 and nobody in their right mind denies that climate changes. Indeed, during the past several centuries, the climate has changed drastically, from the Medieval Warm Period to the Little Ice Age (which puts a lie to Newsweek’s alarmist revisionism, describing the climate of the last 12,000 years as being “stable”).
So, when you make an honest comparison between what CAGW alarmists claim and how skeptics of CAGW respond, the charges leveled at skeptics of “boneheaded[ness]”, stupidity, dishonesty, and being politically motivated don’t make sense.
The Inquisition convicted Galileo of heresy for denying the geocentric view. This false view that the Earth was immovable and the center of the universe was considered “settled science” at the time. Basically, most every “scientist” who opined on astronomical matters at the time went along with the erroneous theory, which was driven by religious dogma not data, because of the political power of the church. Go against the church and you risked punishment, up to and including death.
Today, Galileo is held in high esteem as the father of modern physics. But during his life, he suffered for applying rational skepticism which challenged the political order of the day.
Compare the geocentric theory with the CAGW theory, the alarmist view that gases produced by human industry are driving global warming which will cause catastrophic disasters—melting ice caps, rising sea levels, crop failures, mass starvation, extinctions. So far, the early CAGW predictions of 50 million climate refugees by 2010 (which they then tried to toss down the memory hole, pretending it never happened), and others, have not been accurate. (Going back a couple decades, we can laugh riotously at even older predictions which are preposterous in hindsight.)
And yet, despite the failures of the CAGW alarmists to accurately predict the past 15 years and their duplicitous revisionist claims that colder winters, more snow, fewer hurricanes were actually predicted (playing the “heads I win, tails you lose” game), Richard Glover doubles down by dismissing “deniers” as “boneheads” who somehow have already been shown to be wrong. Really? Where?
Warren Meyer has put together a presentation and a layman’s guide to highlight the errors of CAGW alarmists. Anthony Watts puts up some great articles as well at Watts Up With That? Many other bloggers and more traditional journalists cover these topics as well. Unfortunately for Richard Glover’s lazy strawman, none of these people fit the caricature of the Neanderthal “denier” who reflexively denies all scientific data. Indeed, you’ll find a lot of careful arguments using the alarmists’ own data against them.
Ironically, Richard Glover asks, “Is it possible to get the politics out of the climate-change debate?” Certainly, but he won’t like the results. All the fat grants which give scientists incentives to produce politically favorable results will dry up. The laws and regulations, which are created via politics, will no longer unduly punish people for living a modern lifestyle. The free market will not be assailed by anti-capitalists (from socialists to Mussolini-style fascists) under the guise of “saving the Earth”.
Oh, and if you’re going to keep politics out of the debate, then keep entertainers like Cate Blanchett and James Cameron on the other side of the line dividing serious people from those who make pretend as a career.
But let’s just give Richard Glover and his ilk the benefit of the doubt for just a minute. For the sake of argument, assume that the CAGW predictions of several degrees C increase in a matter of decades are accurate. If that is the case, then his notion that “a carbon tax that seeks to subtly redirect some of our choices” will stave off such a drastic outcome is ridiculous. You might as well take ice cubes from your freezer outside to cool the atmosphere for all the good these modest austerity measures will produce.
The reality is that only massive destruction of the industrial capacity of all nations, a forced return to the pre-Industrial lifestyle of our ancestors (a la Pol Pot’s Year Zero and Mao Zedong’s Great Leap Forward) will ever drive down emissions sufficiently to reverse the warming. So, basically, hundreds of millions will die and the survivors will have to be satisfied with having the consumption level of a contemporary Third World resident. (Except, of course, the Al Gore types who will run around in limousines and jets.)
In contrast to the smug self image of basing one’s opinions on rational, factual science, New Age religious views and the fantasies played out in fictional stories like Fern Gully and Avatar—which ascribe imaginary spiritual, magical attributes to nature—often drive childish people to wish away the complexities of the real world, including a highly unpredictable natural world and the matter of individual rights of human beings. And, when people aren’t being childish and ignoring uncomfortable facts, but still disregard the rights of others and try to shout down skeptics as heretical, fantasizing about violence and murder, they are following in the footsteps of totalitarians. Even Richard Glover admits that his tattoo idea is “Nazi-creepy”, and yet the rotten sicko still wrote his article and sent it to be published.
Update: Minor grammar corrections.