The Peacock at Grist
In defense of his call for Nazi war crime tribunals for people who deny the reality of global warming, David Roberts now claims, "I was not 'calling for war crimes tribunals for [all] global warming deniers.'"
Roberts claims I "distorted" his words. Actually, all I did was quote them. Here they are again so that readers can make their own judgment:
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 should probably go without saying that the effect of Roberts' histrionics is not to frighten guys like John Christy, William Gray and Richard Lindzen. Rather, the effect is to enforce ideological orthodoxy among environmentalists and to give global warming deniers a new way to paint environmentalists as extremists, as Sen. Inhofe did with Roberts' blog posting last year.
Imagine for a moment that one of those deniers had used a Nazi or Holocaust metaphor. Roberts would have denounced them up and down to anyone who would listen. (It is an argument to which Roberts doesn't even bother responding because he knows it's true).
Now exposed, Roberts wants to change the subject.
To me, the least interesting thing about Hansen's allusion to the Holocaust is whether you, I, Revkin, Shellenberger, whoever, "approves" of it. Approval or disapproval in this case is just posturing, displaying your peacock feathers, defining your tribal affiliations. It's boring.
Ah yes, all of this is a boring matter. That's why there are 64 comments about it at Andy Revkin's blog, and 25 comments about it here at Grist (which is about 10 times as many comments on Grist's other, apparently more exciting posts).
Roberts wants to have it both ways. He wants to be able to serve up apocalyptic red meat for his followers on Grist and then claim to the New York Times that the environmental movement is beyond all that apocalypse and sacrifice stuff. Just days ago he claimed on the Times blog that, "Many people (including me) have argued that the conventional environmental narrative of fear and guilt will never build a popular base of support for the fight against climate change. My sense, though, is that this has become conventional wisdom, if not common practice."
It sometimes seems that at least half of what Roberts writes -- especially when exposed on the facts -- is unadulterated psychological projection. It is Roberts, not Revkin, who enforces orthodoxy and "tribal affiliations" among Gristians.
This goes way beyond comparing deniers to Nazis. Witness his name-calling against thinkers who happen to disagree with him on questions of coal, adaptation, and the need for massive federal clean energy investment.
And unable to back up his claim that I "distorted" his words, Roberts resorts to what he does whenever he trips over his peacock feathers, he calls people names (in this case, "Rush Limbaugh").
Roberts should seek to discipline his own language and thought before seeking to discipline others.