Jonah: The climate change version of reductio ad Hitlerum is not new (that’s the whole point of oh-so-subtle “climate deniers” label), but does vindicate once again the observation of Michael Shellenberger and Ted Nordhaus (about the only sensible left-leaning environmentalists around) that “environmental tales of tragedy begin with Nature in harmony and almost always end in quasi-authoritarian politics.” Guys like Glover just can’t help it.
Back in 2006, Dave Roberts of the enviro-site Grist.com stepped in it by calling for “Nuremberg trials” for climate skeptics someday:
When we’ve finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we’re in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards — some sort of climate Nuremberg.
It was not one of Dave’s better moments, and he got flamed for it. (I know Dave a little, and despite disagreeing about most things, we’ve managed to have polite arguments, which is rare in this area.) More recently, Dave has started to move closer to the climate realism of Shellenberger and Nordhaus, writing recently in The American Prospect an interesting article noting that the climate campaign has gone about things all wrong.
There are two problems with the whole scene. First, even if more and more people like Roberts are taking a fresh view of the matter, the media are way behind the curve (as the Glover piece shows), and are still mostly transcribing the breathless press releases and unchanging clichés of the climate campaign. The second is the relentless partisanship of the environmental establishment, which among other things has been largely silent about the fact that the Obama administration has embraced the Bush administration’s approach to climate change. Talk about an inconvenient truth. (Meanwhile, I’m in California today, where it is still snowing in the mountains. In June.)