In a talk at some “sustainability” something-or-other seminar—one this is sure: we’re not going to soon run out of climate conclaves—academic Donald Brown told his audience (25 min. mark) that the people who are not as afraid as he that the world will soon end are committing crimes against humanity. If Brown is right, this put yours truly well into the company of such noted transgressors as Mao, Stalin, Pot and other socialist dictators.
Or maybe Brown hadn’t meant that level of heinousness and instead envisioned lesser culprits, such as the guy who invented the car alarm or whoever it was that thought up the Sony Walkman (which has morphed into our ubiquitous present-day thinking suppression devices).
Anyway, here’s what happened.
Marc Morano at Climate Depot placed Brown’s image and his email in earlier articles on that site in posts which outlined Brown’s views on this and that climate topic. Brown thought that showing his publicly available email and head shot—which are not hidden and are trivially easy to find at Penn State—represented “intimidation.”
This, so Brown claims, led to him receiving emails some of which were scatological and others which threatened death. I unfortunately believe him. There are a lot of knuckleheads out there and the (pseudo) anonymity of the internet fills some with a pathetic false bravery. I wish these foolish souls would think better.
Of course, Morano himself hauls in plenty of scathing missives daily, as do others who run blogs expressing doubt that we should let government “solve” climate change.
Your truly hasn’t received any death threats, but I get plenty of things like this one from yesterday, “I know you are an extreme political right winger, but now you’ve become a ringleader of a hate group.” Ringleader—I presume my interlocutor did not mean in the Tolkienian sense—is a promotion of sorts, up from Lone Wolf. But I’ve still got a ways to go before I reach Mastermind.
Brown, who was dressed a priest (without the collar), early in his talk said that skepticism about climate change should be “encouraged.” But he wants it separated from “disinformation,” which he defines as that which departs from the “consensus.” Brown’s position is thus like that of the dictatorship which claims voting is every citizen’s right, but which produces ballots on which there is only one candidate.
He says that those who speak against the consensus are engaged in an organized “campaign” funded by oil companies and “right wing” groups. This might be true, but none of those funds have managed to trickle down my way. But now that I’m a Ringleader, perhaps I can expect a raise in pay?
Somehow Brown forgot to mention that the funding to spread the “climate catastrophe” message dwarfs, by at least one, possibly two, maybe even three, orders of magnitude any monies skeptics receive. Nearly every government dumps tens and tens and more tens of millions each year on the “problem,” a good chunk of which ends up in the pockets of people like Donald Brown. And then there’s the money sucked in and pumped out by Greenpeace, the Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra-blah-blah-blah. Skeptics run on alms, consensus members and their hangers on are clothed in gold.
The whole of his talk is to convince that a conspiracy exists to gull the public. In a separate work he hints of dark rooms and speaks of a “climate change disinformation campaign.” He claims skeptics “are guilty of exacerbating risks to our collective well-being and of undermining society.”
He claims the “moral outrage” caused by skeptics “should motivate a movement at least as ferocious as the Occupy Wallstreet movement.” And in his talk he says that climate skeptics are guilty of a “new crime against humanity. [Skepticism] is really evil stuff. It is nasty.”
Donald Brown is not the first to croak out this tune. He accepts the “consensus” as a given, as unquestionable in its outline, its warnings certain. But he is not simply filled with wonder that others doubt his faith, which would be natural. He is instead outraged. He wants action. He walks up to the line, over which is to ask that government silence his enemies, and hovers there. He would cross that line if he could be sure of support from enough of his colleagues.