Over at the Telegraph the other day, the amazing James Delingpole had a post entitled “Time for the BBC to ban the ‘D’ word?” That D-word is “denier” — as in someone who doesn’t accept the standard global-warming line. And, yes, “denier” in this context is meant to be parallel to Holocaust denier.
Personally I don’t believe in banning words — but I do believe in intellectual and moral consistency. You’d never hear an organisation as eggshell-treadingly right-on as the BBC use pejorative terms for Jews or black people or homosexuals or sufferers of cerebral palsy. So why, pray, does it feel it can persist in using the deliberately offensive term “denier” to write off anyone who is sceptical about Catastrophic Anthropogenic Global Warming?
Before I move on, a brief language note: Brits and Americans differ on the spelling of “skeptical,” or “sceptical,” as on other spellings.
You’ve heard me say it many times: Al Gore can’t stop calling his opponents “deniers.” He was at it again last week. In an interview, he said that “the ability of the raging deniers to stop progress is waning every single day.”
Gore has always favored Holocaust talk, when discussing the environment. Back in 1989, he had a New York Times op-ed that was entitled “An Ecological Kristallnacht. Listen.” In it, he warned of “an environmental holocaust without precedent.”
He is not the only one, of course. Let me quote from my book Peace, They Say, a history of the Nobel Peace Prize. The following is from the section on the 2007 award, which went to Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change:
A reporter for America’s most important television news program, 60 Minutes, was asked why he did not include skeptics or dissenters in his global-warming reports. The reporter, Scott Pelley, said, “If I do an interview with Elie Wiesel, am I required as a journalist to find a Holocaust denier?”
Today, that man, Pelley, is the anchorman of the CBS Evening News.
Here’s a little more from my book — the Pachauri is Rajendra K. Pachauri, head of the IPCC:
In 2004, Pachauri attacked Bjørn Lomborg, a Danish scientist who, while he accepted global warming, argued against radical and possibly bankrupting measures to counteract it. The IPCC chairman thought it appropriate to compare Lomborg to Hitler. He said to Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper, “What’s the difference between Lomborg’s way and Hitler’s way of viewing humanity?” He concluded, “If you follow Lomborg’s way of thinking, it might be right, what Hitler did.”
Sure. And let me focus on one more bit from the recent Gore interview. His side, Gore said, is “winning the conversation.” “The same thing happened on apartheid. The same thing happened on the nuclear-arms race with the freeze movement. The same thing happened in an earlier era with abolition.”
Gore’s self-congratulation, you see, is unlimited. And actually, the freeze movement lost “the conversation.” That was important, because this loss helped the United States and the West win the Cold War against the Soviet Union. Gore seems as addled as he is offensive.
Some friends of mine have a question: “Isn’t it curious” that the Cuban general in charge of the Castros’ air force and air-defense systems dies in a car crash in the very week that U.N. inspectors seek to travel to Cuba, to interview him about the fighter jets and defense systems intercepted on their way to North Korea?
Yeah, it’s curious, I’ll say. Inconvenient people have a way of dying in car crashes in the Castros’ land. (Oswaldo Payá, the great democracy leader, was one of them.) For more on this, go here.