Nothing in the climate debate which I’ve been paying sporadic attention to is more repulsive than the global warming advocates’ attempt to smear skeptics of their theories and models and predictions as “denialists.” As if they were some analog of holocaust deniers.
Not all those concerned about climate change use the term. (Some stick to a sneering use of “skeptics” as a stigmatizing word, as if science itself wasn’t an ongoing process of skepticism about received wisdom. Copernicus was a skeptic about the idea the sun revolved around the earth. He wasn’t a “solar denialist.”)
But nothing causes me more revulsion — and skepticism — than the warming advocates’ (I think the CRU scandal — and the shameful reaction to it — has revealed many of the most celebrated of them to be more p.r. advocates than scrupulous scientists) application of the opprobrious term “denialist” to anyone who questions the work they have so assiduously screened from scrutiny.
When I started paying attention again to the controversy after the release of the pathetic CRU e-mails, I noticed the most desperate of the last ditch defenders of the CRU charlatans — and indeed the CRU charlatans themselves — would resort to calling any of those who disagreed “denialists.” That the use of “denialist” had grown as the failure of their predictions (the discredited “hockey stick” chart) increased.
To me that shameful, trivializing word use alone is more exposure than any e-mail could be of their lack of critical intelligence of the sort that makes them unfit to call themselves scientists, or, in the case of many of their “green journalist” sycophants, ignorant of how actual science works.
Are they really so stupid they can’t see the difference? Let me try to explain it in simple terms for them: The holocaust happened. Already. It’s history. Up to six million were exterminated. They’re gone and their families still mourn. Climate scientists show us graphs and charts and predictions of terrible things that will happen (but have not or may not) because of human perpetrators. Unfortunately, many of their predictions have not come true. Others are based on (we now know) flawed or terminally tweaked models and dishonestly skewed data sets. There is doubt, there is room for skepticism. There may be warming, but it may not be caused or curable by man. So you see, denying every tenet of anthropogenic global warming is not the same as denying the Holocaust. Get it?
Having dealt with the question of Holocaust denial in my book, Explaining Hitler, and a number of later essays, I find it hideously offensive, this conflation of an unimaginably horrific history of mass murder with an alleged immutable “scientific consensus” that (if it isn’t dodgy and sketchy) is at best a majority vote, not the same thing as scientific truth. Using the bodies of the dead to stifle dissent when your “science” isn’t persuasive to some.
I took on fellow liberals (most “green journalists” are liberals who have, alas, sacrificed the liberal belief in dissent to enforce uniformity on this issue of “scientific consensus”) more than a year ago here. I sought to point out that it’s an utter misunderstanding of the Popperian “falsification” view of how science works — to stifle debate and dissent. Maybe if the warming alarmists cheerleaders who disingenuously call themselves journalists had paid attention to my warning about their credulousness as displayed in what is supposed to be the leading self-critical publication for journalists, this scandal would have been exposed earlier and it wouldn’t have blown up in their faces so embarrassingly for the scientists and their “green journalist” (green begins to take on a new meaning) parrots. The funniest thing about it is the way the “green journalists” won’t admit they have a conflict of interest in covering (up) this scandal.
I think someone should keep track of those journalists who still use the term “denialist” and make their trivialization of the holocaust a continuing issue. Don’t let them get away with this shameful tactic without exposure of their repulsive tactic. Holocaust denial can be seen in someways as adding evil to evil by adding insult to injury. Trivializing the evil of holocaust denial is an evil in itself.