“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.
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).
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.
- PLANT 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.