Blogs > Liberty and Power > Environmentalism as Religion: Meet Another Torquemada

Feb 9, 2009 1:30 pm

Environmentalism as Religion: Meet Another Torquemada

In an earlier post I offered some thoughts on environmentalism as religion and later offered David Suzuki as an example of someone out to punish the heretics. Lest you think he was the only Torquemada, I give you James Hansen. In today's Guardian we find a story with the following lead paragraph:
James Hansen, one of the world's leading climate scientists, will today call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about global warming in the same way that tobacco companies blurred the links between smoking and cancer.

I'm sure that my good friend Gus is going to tell me that these folks aren't representative of the mainstream of environmentalist thought or that just because people say things like this, we shouldn't dismiss the environmentalists' concerns completely. I am in agreement with the latter, but I'm increasingly doubtful of the former. James Hansen"heads NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies in New York." and is often noted as"Al Gore's science advisor."

Just how much more mainstream can you get?

More important: who will have the courage to name such demagoguery for what it is?

(HT to Max)

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Jeff Haak - 6/29/2008

Are you calling Hansen & Gore mainstream? Which stream is that, pray tell?

Just because a failed politician makes a pseudo-documentary (even one that wins an Oscar) for a movie based on fiction doesn't make him mainstream.

To those who want to criminalize non-belief in climate change, I say let the courtroom drama begin. That would certainly be as entertaining as the OJ trial (and probably twice the circus......)

Gus diZerega - 6/25/2008

I think he went over the top. Having said that, remember he is not a leading environmentalist in any sense of the word. He is an atmospheric scientist, apparently, and was squelched for some years by totalitarians in the Bush administration. And he is pissed off.

Steve - you are seeming to contribute to an inflation of the term environmentalist to cover (only?) those who make the most extreme comments, whether or not they have ever been leading figures in the environmental community.

For all you or I know (or at least for all I know) he supports all sorts of anti-environmental measures except for this one issue. While environmentalists by whatever criterion generally think there is a human dimension to the global warming that is occurring, it is far from the case that everyone who believes this argument considers themselves an environmentalist.

Most Americans, I think polls show, are concerned about global warming, but that does not mean they call themselves environmentalists.

To make a different but related point, I have said it is interesting that of the three times I have heard slavery defended (so long as the slave sold him or herself) it has been by libertarians. But I have never said that libertarians in general support 'voluntary' slavery.

I would hope that Steve will be as charitable.

As to Ms. Tremblay's outburst, I will not discuss global warming here till someone really addresses issues rather than their fantasized view of many scientists' motives.

Francois Tremblay - 6/23/2008

It is merely rising anger at the realization that global warming is a lie, a stupid, immoral lie.