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Adults Reject Climate Catastrophe, Alarmists Bring In the Children (thoughts on Hansen’s latest)

By Robert Bradley Jr. -- April 3, 2014

“Beware, the youth should also be told, of Climate Kings, Climate Queens, Climate Duces, and worse masquerading as infallible purveyors of truth. Climate Planning is the fatal conceit of Economic Planning on stilts.”

As has been well reported in the media, public opinion polls rate climate-change concerns at the bottom of environmental issues, not just issues in general (Gallup: 14 of 15, analyzed here). And the other side is getting increasingly desperate in their activism, which is even alarming climate alarmists.

One might argue that American adults are either misinformed, dumb, or ecologically uncaring. But a more rational explanation is that adults have heard both sides of the issue (ad nauseam) and reject climate alarmism. One way to interpret this is to understand that there are here-and-now real problems (the economy; budget deficits); energy prices matter (which means carbon rationing is a negative); global warming has flat-lined in the last decade (and more), contrary to predictions.

Indeed, confident predictions of catastrophic global warming have been waylaid by reality, while government attempts to regulate greenhouse gas emissions have been a colossal waste and power-grab. And Al Gore? His “inconvenient truth” has turned out to be a convenient exaggeration.

“Denier” Charge

To up the rhetoric, the other side coined the term “denier” and used it liberally: those rejecting climate alarmism are “deniers” as in Holocaust deniers.

Climate alarmist Joe Romm is one of the guilty. But in a pang of conscience, he once swore off using the term. In “Climate Science Disinformers are Nothing like Holocaust Deniers” (2012) Romm explained:

Since I lost many relatives in the Holocaust, I understand all too well the unique nature of that catastrophe. The Holocaust is not an analogue to global warming, which is an utterly different kind of catastrophe, and, obviously, one whose worst impacts are yet to come.

But the emotive, inflammable Romm is back to using the term—and in full ridicule (e.g. “What Is The Difference Between A Psychic And A Climate Science Denier” (March 2014).

James Hansen is also prone to such name calling (and has even called for the CEOs of oil and coal companies to be jailed for high crimes against humanity).

So perhaps an analogy cut from their own cloth can be made by some of us who are victims of their hate speech. (Romm has personally called me a “sociopath.”)

The analogy is this.

In Germany from 1922 to 1945, children were used to bring National Socialism to power and then to fight in wartime as a final stand. The Hitler Youth program was all about propaganda and brainwashing for obedience.

Some questions, then, for adults whose children have been conscripted into the ‘Climate Youth’ (again, by analogy to the ‘denier’ slur). Are you presenting them with both sides of the argument with respect to:

1) The raging debate over climate sensitivity (the IPCC did not even offer a best guess in its latest report)

2) The positives (not only negatives) of carbon dioxide emissions

3) Government failure in the name of correcting market failure?

And if anyone is offended by the context of these questions, will you as Climate Adults advise Hansen, Romm, et al. to stop using Nazi metaphors against their opponents?

The Climate Children

The latest missive from James Hansen (yesterday) speaks for itself.

The bravery and insight of people in Washington and Oregon, as they oppose fossil fuel interests that threaten the future of young people, is exceptional and encouraging. On a trip to Oregon, before my talk to a general audience and meetings with college classes, a group of youngsters asked me really good questions. Then recently I received this message from Washington:

Plant-For-The-Planet children met with Seattle staff for Sen. Patty Murray and Sen. Maria Cantwell Wednesday after school… looking for commitments and publicity on climate action. The ambassadors for climate justice presented a short climate slideshow, featuring slides of your latest research “…To Protect Young People, Future Generations, and Nature.”

Then the students told the staff:

  • Stop using “2°C goal/target” language in speeches. 2°C = catastrophic for 10-year-olds.
  • Spell out the plan to keep warming close to 1.2°C in speeches (since most people who know and care about global warming now assume incorrectly we are on track for 4C+ and “locked in” at 2C). 
  • Introduce a resolution for protecting our children with 6% annual reductions and our fair share of 1 Trillion Trees.
  • Put a price on carbon pollution
  • Pledge “No New Carbon Pollution” to oppose more dirty energy infrastructure, exports, and exploration.
  • 2 brothers sang “Exploding Trains”

Wow – that from kids. Meanwhile adults in most of the U.S., even scientists, say that it is o.k. to set a goal of 2°C, which means we can set a goal for reducing emissions sometime in the future, and meanwhile we can do fracking, and pipelining, and “all of the above” – an approach that, if continued, guarantees we will leave an unsolvable problem for young people.

There is partial good news about progress among adults in one place, Australia. Maybe that can spread to Canada soon. However, the U. S. does not seem close to that – despite science advisers, AAAS, National Academy of Sciences – the President seems clueless about implications of a policy promoting tar shale, fracking, and exporting every fossil fuel that can be found.

Yet hope springs from our Great Northwest. What if Oregon and Washington would agree to try a policy that would provide the example capable of becoming a near-global policy, a carbon fee collected from fossil fuel companies with the money distributed uniformly to legal residents? I found such sentiment among people there. They would need to persuade California to join them for a big impact, but that may not be so difficult. When I described California’s cap-and-trade-with-offsets as half-baked and half-assed, Governor Brown took it with a smile. When we talked about it later he seemed more like an open-minded scientist than a politician. He just might be the kind of leader who could do what is actually needed rather than what lobbyists demand.

Anyhow, if you want to promote the possibility of something like that happening, here is what you can do: join Citizens Climate Lobby. They will give you an opportunity to participate in a growing democratic movement that just may change the course of history.

Change the course of history?

We already changed the course of history, from government domination of economic life over thousands of years to the recent era of greater freedom and much greater prosperity.

Beware, the youth should also be told, of Climate Kings, Climate Queens, Climate Duces, and worse masquerading as infallible purveyors of truth. Climate Planning is the fatal conceit of Economic Planning on stilts.

And finally, the term “denier” must be denounced as reprehensible by both sides of the anthropogenic climate-change debate. It is abhorring to use the Climate Youth analogy, but it is necessary to make the point against its sister term, denier. It is time for a civil debate free of Nazi analogies from here on out.


  1. Kevin Lohse  

    At the outset of WWI, the Kaiser referred to the British Expeditionary Force in Flanders as, “a contemptible little army”. By the end of the war, the appellation ,”Old Contemptible”. was a badge of honour in Britain. I feel the same about the appellation, “Denier”. whatever the intention of those who instigated the term, to my mind ,”Denier” in the Climate wars means a free-thinking person who has the integrity and strength of mind to assess the evidence and come to their own conclusions. Most of those labelled,”deniers” deny only the political interpretation of the implications of gentle warming to which we have been fortunate with since the cessation of the LIA. I am proud to be a Denier under those terms.


  2. Ed Reid  

    It would appear that the primary AGW/CAGW “denier” at the moment is Mother Gaia. She has been ignoring the Hansen/Romm cabal for the past 17 years. They appear to be highly offended that she has rebuffed them and are having renewed “temper tantrums”.

    The climate science community would be wise to focus attention on accurate measurement and improved modelling, rather than on “AstroTurf” activism, “Chicken Little” alarmism and juvenile hyperbole and name calling.

    The adults in the room understand that: “Predictions are hard, especially about the future.” (Yogi Berra, American philosopher)


  3. Charles Battig  

    Or just turn back the dreaded label back onto those who deny the failure of their doomsday climate computers to match climate reality:



  4. Ed Reid  


    Wouldn’t a death sentence require proof that global warming had actually killed someone?

    I suspect it would be easier to sentence abortionists to death, since there is ample proof that they have killed someone.

    I believe there is a logical breakdown somewhere.


  5. James H. Rust  

    Great column. Will send it around to those who worry about Common Core.

    I lived through WWII and read many books about its history. The climate science battle inspired me to write the paper “Aryan Physics Revisited–A Comparison of Global Warming Science and 1930s German Physics in 2009.

    It may not be nice, but the term “Climate Youth” may be appropriate.

    James H. Rust, Professor of nuclear engineering (ret.)


  6. James H. Rust  

    It is distasteful to link climate alarmists with events in Germany prior to 1945, but comparisons are amazing.

    A link between National Socialism and Conservation movements is reported by German historian Uekoetter’s “The Green and the Brown: a History of Conservatism in Nazi Germany” published by Cambridge Press in 2006. A detailed review of this book is written by William Walter Kay . The conservation movement started in Germany in the late nineteenth century and found easy mixing with National Socialism with conservationists having memberships in their local groups and the National Socialist Party. Millions of trees were planted in the name of Adolf Hitler.

    Now we want to plant millions of trees in the name of saving the planet.

    Further comparisons are made by ClimateRealist article “Aryan Physics Revisited–A Comparison of Global Warming Science and 1930s German Physics” .

    Amazingly the chain of comparisons is still not broken today when you look at names of promoters of CAGW. Names since 1988 include Schneider, Mann, Krugman, Karl, Wirtz, Hansen, etc.


  7. Common Core and Climate Change  

    […] of teaching climate science to young people is reported by Robert Bradley Jr. in his paper “Adults Reject Climate Catastrophe, Alarmists Bring In the Children (thoughts on Hansen’s latest)”.  Mr. Bradley protested the rhetoric of climate alarmist’s labeling those who disagree with […]


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