Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Al Gore plays the Nazi card


Al Gore invoked the spirit of Winston Churchill yesterday when he urged political leaders to follow the example of Britain’s wartime leader in the battle against climate change.

... Speaking in Oxford ... Mr Gore said: "Winston Churchill aroused this nation in heroic fashion to save civilisation in World War Two. We have everything we need except political will ..."

Mr Gore admitted that it was difficult to persuade the public that the threat from climate change was as urgent as that from Hitler.

Sure. And in Gore’s fevered brain he’s playing Churchill. Get real Al. Dealing with a natural phenomenon is in no way equivalent to fighting a war to defeat an evil totalitarian regime bent on murder, mayhem and global domination. Suggesting such an equivalence is beyond idiotic.

Of course Gore’s analogy is based on the assumption that the climate ‘problem’ is AGW and that skeptics are the enemy. His analogy is still way over-the-top. Political and intellectual adversaries engaging in vigorous debate is how free societies are supposed to operate. Drawing an equivalence between what should be a free debate and a war to defeat Hitler is obscene.

However, for those who insist that a Nazi comparison is valid, two can play that game. Lubos Motl, for instance, agrees that the Nazi analogy is a good one. Except that it’s Gore and the AGW alarmists who are playing the Nazi role and the skeptics are playing the persecuted Jews:

... I don't think that comparisons to Nazis should be taboo. The AGW movement is becoming radical enough for thoughtful comparisons of Nazism and environmentalism to gain importance.

... Assuming that I ask you to optimize the analogy, where do we stand today? My guess is that with the AGW activists today, we are in the situation of Germany in 1936 or so. It's not yet a "crisis" but the global warming realists enjoy a comparable treatment as the Jews in 1936. The fighters against climate change are slowly (or quickly?) taking over the scientific institutions and international organizations.

... Some pogroms against power plants may resemble a modest version of the Night of Broken Glass - but we're not there yet. It is up to us whether 2011 will be similar to 1938, too.

... But structurally speaking, the current fight against global warming (i.e. alarmism) is similar to the fight against Nazism, indeed. It's not quite the same thing but the number of similarities is sufficiently high for us to learn a lesson or two.

If there’s a Nazi comparison to be drawn Lubos makes a far better one.

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