Eco-zealots go too far in demonizing ‘deniers’

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I’m not going to suggest that green guru David Suzuki, who turns 80 in March, may be suffering from dementia for comparing on Monday those who question anything that he and his ilk want done about climate change with slave traders — or for any of the other goofy things he’s said recently, including that “everybody on the West Coast of North America should evacuate” if Japan has another nuclear accident.

Suzuki may be losing his marbles, but I don’t know the man so I can’t say it, even though that’s exactly what many left-wing eco-zealots in Suzuki’s crowd, including former U.S. vice-president Al Gore, do to the many older, world-renowned scientists who are questioning various aspects of the theory of global warming and climate change.

What I will say is that Suzuki and too many other left-wingers in the green movement are fascist. It was Suzuki, after all, who said in 2008 that politicians who don’t agree with him on climate change “should be thrown in jail” for committing “a criminal act.” How is that any different from the views of Hitler or other world tyrants through history?

What’s next, David, firing squads for those who disagree with you?

And to think that lefties like him claim with straight faces to be the guardians of diversity in our society. When did it become acceptable in Canada to promote the notion that dissidents should be jailed for thought crimes? In fact, aren’t Suzuki and company actually the ones guilty of hate crimes for their orchestrated campaigns against those who hold different views on the climate, especially their vicious use of the word “denier,” which is a clear attempt to equate those who don’t accept holus-bolus all aspects of the “consensus” opinion on climate change with Holocaust deniers?

Suzuki and his pals in the climate-change movement demonstrate appallingly anti-intellectual and un-Canadian behaviour in not only disavowing the fundamental right of others to hold different opinions, but also in dehumanizing them with character assassination.

Not that it should matter, but I accept what most climate scientists are saying about atmospheric CO2 and its effects on the planet. There’s not much legitimate dispute that CO2 is a greenhouse gas and that it is contributing to global warming. There is clearly a consensus on that.

But, despite the protestations of Suzuki and others, including some politicians, there is clearly still a scientific debate about how much of an effect human-generated CO2 is having on the planet and what, if anything, should be done about it. Surely, as citizens, we should not be muzzled or intimidated by anyone in participating in public-policy discussions.

This is where people like Suzuki and Gore go too far in demonizing people, including some very significant scientists, who are asking questions about the accuracy of the mathematical models of global warming, given how far they have strayed from the observed data and how inaccurate several previous predictions turned out to be over time.

These include prominent scientists such as Ivar Giaever, who shared the 1973 Nobel Prize for physics, Freeman Dyson, one of the world’s most important theoretical physicists and mathematicians, Princeton physics professor William Happer and many others.

With my half of a science degree that ended up becoming a history degree when I foolishly got interested in journalism, I freely admit that I’m not equipped to judge the science around climate change. But I have the right to be appalled at the ad hominem attacks on these scientists for some of the questions they’ve raise, most significantly the fact that there has been a 19-year lull in the predicted rise in global temperatures if they are measured in a certain way, that there are considerable potential errors in the way temperature and ocean-height data have been collected, that there has been manipulation of temperature data and that benefits of higher CO2 and a warmer climate are ignored.

In raising these issues, these scientists above have been accused of not being experts, paid off by the oil industry or senile.

But even more importantly, citizens have the right to openly discuss how to deal with rising CO2, including whether to ignore it. Surely it is fair to ask if the billions of dollars in new taxes and other costs being proposed by those most concerned about climate change, especially those meeting in a few days in Paris, could be better spent addressing more pressing human problems, such as disease and poverty, which kill a lot more people.

People who tell others not to discuss these issues are just bullies.

The editorial pages editor is Gordon Clark, who can be reached at gclark@theprovince.com. Letters to the editor can be sent to provletters@theprovince.com.

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