Striking A Nerve

Well, this certainly has gotten Think Progress’s panties in a twist. They’re squealing like a stuck pig. This, from the sort of folks who think that “deniers” should be executed or shipped off to reeducation camps. That said, I’m not sure how effective such a campaign will be.

[Afternoon update]

As I said, I’m not sure that that this is a useful tactic, regardless of how badly the Warm Mongers behave. But as a commenter notes, it is the hit dog that yelps. Phil Plait isn’t happy, either.

Here’s the thing, though. There really are a lot of people in the AGW movement who think exactly like Ted Kaczynski, even if they’re not quite as pro-active in acting on their beliefs, including a former vice president of the United States. It is one thing to be concerned about the apparent results of some doing research in climatology, and wanting to have a reasoned discussion about its potential implications for policy. It is another to seize on them as an excuse to impose a political agenda on people that you’ve been wanting to do anyway, out of the hatred of humanity (Bob Zubrin just came out with an excellent book on that topic). And there are far too many of the latter associated with the climate-change community. Perhaps if that community did a better job of policing and denouncing its own ranks, there would be less pushback like this, and it wouldn’t hit such a nerve.

For instance, I’ll be curious to see what Judith Curry has to say about all this.

46 thoughts on “Striking A Nerve

    1. Ed Minchau

      Meh. One does not fight the appeal-to-authority logical fallacy by oneself employing the same fallacy. There are so many fallacies and logical contradictions one wonders whether either side ever studied logic.

      1. ken anthony

        Sure the logic is faulty. It’s the reaction. Playing by the rules isn’t always a winning strategy. You know about OODA loops right?

        We need to hit them with new stuff so often they haven’t got time to make mischief. While we do that, the tea party can quietly replace the old RINOs with a new majority that respects what our founders gave us.

  1. Chris Gerrib

    It’s a lie to claim that Think Progress wants to ship anybody off to any camp or execute anybody.

    It’s insulting in the extreme to compare people who disagree with you to murderers.

      1. Big D

        They need to be reminded of the red button–and, where possible, where the same person was in full support of it–at every opportunity.

  2. Chris Gerrib

    Oh, and from the Think Progress comment thread:

    “And I’m willing to bet the Unibomber, OBL and Charlie Manson all believe the earth is round and what the heck, they probably even believe that the earth orbits the sun. Stupidity and evil are not the same thing, unless, apparently, you’re in charge of putting a PR campaign together for the Heartland Institute. Then you might point to yourself as proof of your own thesis.”

    1. Rand Simberg Post author

      “And I’m willing to bet the Unibomber, OBL and Charlie Manson all believe the earth is round and what the heck, they probably even believe that the earth orbits the sun.

      Those things are not like AGW. For one thing, no one has been using them to promote a political agenda. For another, no one has bombed anything in the support of that agenda.

    2. George Turner

      But the Unibomber, OBL and Charles Manson were not as passionate about their beliefs as most AGW scaremongers are, nor as committed to totalitarian measures to control thought.

      The Unibomber wanted to roll back our industrial progress and modern civilization. AGW alarmists routinely call for the silencing or forced re-education of anyone who dares to even question the need to roll back modern civilization. They make these calls at Think Progress, Climate Progress, in newspapers, and at Forbes, Scientific American, and other magazines.

      There are so many examples I could link that it would choke Rand’s spam filter.

      Here is but one example

      If we want to leave a habitable world for our grandchildren and if we want our grandchildren to live long enough to pass the Earth along to their grandchildren, then we need to completely take apart the opposition to reversing climate change and global warming. Not one denier must be allowed to spread attitudes that will kill us all. The Jewish people have adopted a merciless attitude toward the supporters of genocide. We must do no less to stop the genocide of the human race.

      Yes, let’s hunt down every single doubter of climate change, and execute them.

      They make Bin Laden look like a contemplative moderate who’s looking to find a comfortable centrist compromise.

        1. Larry

          Think Progress once made a big deal out of Anders Breivik being a “Denier”, so their getting all butt-hurt over Heritage pointing out that Ted Kaczynski is a “Believer” is just a bit rich. It seems they’ve been scrubbing their archives this weekend of their most egregious droppings, but there hypocrisy seems to know no bounds. That said, Heritage really screwed up by sinking to the same level.

          1. Titus

            Wow. How embarrassing! No wonder the hypocrites at Think Progress are flushing that down the memory hole. It’s too bad for them that doesn’t work on the internet…

  3. Rand Simberg Post author

    It’s a lie to claim that Think Progress wants to ship anybody off to any camp or execute anybody.

    Oh, right. That was just Heidi Cullen and Jim Hansen. How do you know what Think Progress doesn’t want to do?

    1. Chris Gerrib

      Neither of those people mentioned are affiliated with Think Progress, nor do they want to ship people off to camps. Please produce a link that you think proves otherwise.

        1. Chris Gerrib

          Saying that a meteorologist who doesn’t believe in AGW shouldn’t be accredited is like saying a doctor that doesn’t believe in germ theory shouldn’t be licensed. It is not the same as advocating killing people. Saying a CEO should be tried for vague and undefined crimes against humanity is not the same as calling for his murder.

          Linking these people with criminals would be like me linking you, Rand, with the KKK because you both believe George Zimmerman did the right thing.

          1. George Turner

            No, saying a meteorologist who doesn’t believe in global warming shouldn’t be accredited it like saying we shouldn’t accredit a doctor who doesn’t believe that thimerosal in vaccines causes autism.

          2. Gregg

            Chris,

            please…………

            The WHOLE paradigm in the scientific world revolves around disagreement and debate. That’s how we get to the truth – you propound some notion, and everyone takes a shot at it. AND it has to be repeatable in the lab.

            If everyone takes a shot and you are still standing, your notion MAY have validity.

            If you keel over, well we all learned something.

            Do you not understand this basic aspect of science?

            So for those colossal morons to say that someone who does not believe in AGW should not be accredited is violating the basic precept of the scientific method.

          3. Karl Hallowell

            Saying that a meteorologist who doesn’t believe in AGW shouldn’t be accredited is like saying a doctor that doesn’t believe in germ theory shouldn’t be licensed.

            Let’s keep in mind that “germ theory” is fundamental to explaining and preventing a lot of human illness and hence deeply relevant to the profession of doctor. Not so for AGW and weather. AGW is among other things a theory of climate not weather and hence not relevant to meteorology.

          4. Leland

            Saying a CEO should be tried for vague and undefined crimes against humanity is not the same as calling for his murder.

            Ah yes, because having the government deny him his freedom based on spurious claims is sufficient. Give the CEO life without the possibility of parole doesn’t require endorsing state murder. See, no reason to worry.

      1. George Turner

        Chris, just Google “think progress denier” or a similar term and read through all the links. Feel the vitriol, scan through their calls to expose and purge the deniers (such as the Forecast the Facts campaign to purge weather forecasters who express any doubt about catastrophic global warming). The level of totalitarian, closed-minded hatred is breathtaking. You walk away from it with the feeling that the Nazis were merely uncomfortable about Jews, but the CAGW alarmists are really, seriously deranged.

      2. Curt Thomson

        Could you provide a link where ThinkProgress condemns the “Blow the kids up for climate change” red-button video?

  4. Curt Thomson

    Thus terrorists craft their disinformation into a sensational message that they hope gullible members of the global media will repeat.

    … irony … excised … birth.

    And the ending, by somebody named Andrew Sullivan, which is an absolutely laugh-out-loud crack-up.

    And there is no Buckley to rein them in. Just countless Jonah Goldbergs seeking to cash in.

    I guess he got pissed at his chapter in Tyranny of Cliches.

  5. Andrew W

    “Striking A Nerve”

    Well that’s pretty easy to do and not very clever, advocating the bombing maternity hospitals would also “strike a nerve”, and be even more offensive than this Heartland trash.

    1. Curt Thomson

      Well this not-clever trash sure seems to be having an effect. Is that what you find offensive?

      1. Andrew W

        “having an effect”

        Well I’m sure bombing maternity hospitals have a similar effect, no doubt, like you, the bombers would scoff at the “effect”.

        1. Rand Simberg Post author

          Really? Bombing maternity hospitals would have the same effect as putting up a billboard? How many mothers and babies die brutally from billboard displays?

          1. Andrew W

            The “effect” Curt was referring to was the causing of outrage. You both seem to think that causing outrage is a good thing, I don’t.

          2. Curt Thomson

            Funny, I don’t recall hearing that argument in the wake of the red-button video. It seems the badness of “causing outrage” is somewhat selective.

          3. Ed Minchau

            You both seem to think that causing outrage is a good thing, I don’t.

            AW, why then did you bring up “bombing maternity wards”? You seem to think the effect of this is outrage, just as the effect of being equated with Ted Kaczynski’s identical position on global warming (or climate change or whatever) causes outrage. Both cause outrage so they are the same? In one case innocent people die and property is damaged, and in the other case someone’s feelings get hurt.

            “Outrage”. I am reminded of a line from The Princess Bride: “You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means”.

  6. Dennis Wingo

    The whole thing is kinda stupid. Here is what Ross McKitrick, a collaborator with Steve MacIntyre had to say.

    I wrote this to Joe Bast this afternoon. I am pleased to report that he replied promptly and agreed to take the billboard down.

    dear Joe:

    I just saw the billboards that Heartland is using to advertise the 7th ICCC:
    http://climateconference.heartland.org/our-billboards/

    I am absolutely dismayed. This kind of fallacious, juvenile and inflammatory rhetoric does nothing to enhance your reputation, hands your opponents a huge stick to beat you with, and sullies the reputation of the speakers you had recruited. Any public sympathy you had built up as a result of the Gleick fiasco will be lost–and more besides–as a result of such a campaign. I urge you to withdraw it at once.

    Strike the tone in your advertisements that you want people to use when talking about you. The fact that you need a lengthy webpage to explain the thinking behind the billboards proves that your messaging failed. Nobody is going to read your explanation anyway. All they will take away is the message on the signs themselves, and it’s a truly objectionable message.

    You cannot simultaneously say that you want to promote a debate while equating the other side to terrorists and mass murderers. Once you have done such a thing you have lost the moral high ground and you can never again object if someone uses that kind of rhetoric on you.

    I have just been cc’d on an email from someone who wrote to both my dean and university president, expressing his outrage that a UofG professor is party to such billboards. Had this simply been someone objecting to my speaking at Heartland I could easily have (and would have) defended myself. But notwithstanding that I have tenure and have the full right to speak wherever I want, the fact is that I have to agree with the person — I’m appalled.

    I appreciate what Heartland does, and I know this year has been frustrating for you, and your staff may feel like venting. But I can’t be associated with those billboards. I had really been looking forward to participating in this year’s conference, but unless the billboard campaign is immediately suspended I have to cancel my participation.

    Yours truly
    Ross McKitrick

    1. George Turner

      The speed of the correction, seemingly a few hours, is a sharp contrast to the CAGW alarmists, who rarely if ever castigate a member for over zealotry (They even celebrated the criminal acts of Peter Gleick as heroic). The only time they ever sanction a fellow traveler is when they move to destroy the career and reputation of any scientist they suspect of under zealotry.

  7. wodun

    The AGW alarmists do bear some blame for all of the violence, like the discovery building shooter, ELF, and Greenpeace. The rhetoric and actions directed against those they disagree with is appalling. You are not even allowed to disagree with their “solutions”.

    But these billboards don’t seem to be effective messaging. Even though it is true that some of the people on proposed billboards were AGW activists, not all of them were. Just being a bad person who happens to also believe in AGW should not win a spot on a billboard.

    Now, it would be really upsetting if Heartland funded a reality tv show that followed a group of skeptics around while they threw rancid butter on research vessels and tried to disable their ships in dangerous waters.

      1. wodun

        Rather interesting that the group that labels their opponents deniers, as in holocaust deniers, has a problem with, well, anything that anyone would say about them.

    1. Larry

      Link is gone now. They’ve been scrubbing their site of crap like that this weekend. As if that will hide their blatant hypocrisy. Hmm, both stupid and hypocritical. Just what I long ago came to expect as a matter of course for Think Progress.

  8. Tom Nally

    Remember the following:

    “Jail politicians who ignore climate science: Suzuki”

    http://www.nationalpost.com/news/story.html?id=290513

    David Suzuki is a scientist, a broadcaster, and an “Order of Canada” recipient.

    “What I would challenge you to do is to put a lot of effort into trying to see whether there’s a legal way of throwing our so-called leaders into jail because what they’re doing is a criminal act,” said Dr. Suzuki, a former board member of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

  9. Curt Thomson

    Dr. Curry:

    The billboards and the blog post are on an intellectual and moral par with ThinkProgress’ article Norway Terrorist is a Global Warming Denier, although Romm didn’t post his on a billboard.

    No, a website called ThinkProgress. But it’s fair to assume he’s in favor of the implicit retraction going on. One wonders if a google search a year from now with “Kaczynski billboard” and “Norway Terrorist denier” will return the same number of results.

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