The Uncivil War of Climate Change Heats Up

Those of us who have not succumbed to the fashionable hysteria over anthropogenic global warming (aka “climate change”) have long become accustomed to being demonized and threatened by its more enthusiastic adherents, including some of its leading lights. For example, James Hansen, head of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies, has proposed that the CEOs of coal companies be tried as criminals against humanity. A few years ago, Heidi Cullen of The Weather Channel proposed that anyone in the meteorological business who didn’t bow to her superior wisdom be decertified. More recently, a columnist at Forbes called skeptics equivalent to addicts and declared that they should be “the first to pay” for the coming environmental apocalypse, comparing them to people whose houses should burn down because they refused to pay for the fire department.

Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman has compared AGW “deniers” (that is, skeptics) to Holocaust deniers, and just this week, a Bergen-Belsen survivor did exactly the same thing, with seeming approval by the New York Times science (and climate change) reporter Andy Revkin, though he later claimed that his link did not indicate either his agreement or approval.

Bjørn Lomborg (who actually believes that climate change is real and man-made) has been compared to Hitler by the head of the IPCC for merely having the temerity to point out the economic senselessness of many of the nostrums proposed to deal with the problem:

The list of allegations against Bjørn Lomborg, one of the world’s leading climate change skeptics, almost reads like an indictment for war crimes.

…Another contrarian, meteorology professor Richard Lindzen at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said proponents of the predominant view on global warming started trying to stamp out dissent long ago.

“The harassment fifteen years ago and earlier pretty much succeeded. Those entering the field thereafter knew the ground rules,” Lindzen wrote in an e-mail.

A few weeks ago, the Heartland Institute, a think tank that has long supported efforts for a more balanced approach to the topic, had private files stolen through email fraud (likely a federal crime). The emails were used by a prominent defender of the warm mongers to apparently manufacture a memo that made Heartland appear to be both venal and conspiring to subvert the teaching of science in the schools.

Well, this may have been the last straw for Heartland, because late last week, as a lead up to a conference it is sponsoring, they struck back in kind against their tormenters, comparing them to Unabomber Ted Kaczynski on an electronic billboard outside of Chicago. Unsurprisingly, the folks at Think Progress got their lefty panties in a twist:

This far-beyond-the-pale ad campaign to promote their Chicago conference later this month is a moment of truth for both the think tank and the broader community of disinformers and their enablers.

Will confirmed speakers like Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), Czech President Vasclav Klaus, Joe Bastardi, Pat Michaels, Fred Singer, or former NASA astronauts show up at the conference, thereby endorsing this beyond-extremist message? Will leading deniers denounce these offensive ads — or will they implicitly endorse this kind of hate speech? Will media outlets like PBS keep quoting Heartland "experts" as if they were a legitimate source of information?