Paul Krugman: Global warming “deniers” are committing “treason” against the planet

Here we go:

So the House passed the Waxman-Markey climate-change bill. In political terms, it was a remarkable achievement.

But 212 representatives voted no. A handful of these no votes came from representatives who considered the bill too weak, but most rejected the bill because they rejected the whole notion that we have to do something about greenhouse gases.

And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.


Indeed, if there was a defining moment in Friday’s debate, it was the declaration by Representative Paul Broun of Georgia that climate change is nothing but a “hoax” that has been “perpetrated out of the scientific community.” I’d call this a crazy conspiracy theory, but doing so would actually be unfair to crazy conspiracy theorists. After all, to believe that global warming is a hoax you have to believe in a vast cabal consisting of thousands of scientists — a cabal so powerful that it has managed to create false records on everything from global temperatures to Arctic sea ice.

Yet Mr. Broun’s declaration was met with applause.

Given this contempt for hard science, I’m almost reluctant to mention the deniers’ dishonesty on matters economic. But in addition to rejecting climate science, the opponents of the climate bill made a point of misrepresenting the results of studies of the bill’s economic impact, which all suggest that the cost will be relatively low.

Still, is it fair to call climate denial a form of treason? Isn’t it politics as usual?

Yes, it is — and that’s why it’s unforgivable.

Do you remember the days when Bush administration officials claimed that terrorism posed an “existential threat” to America, a threat in whose face normal rules no longer applied? That was hyperbole — but the existential threat from climate change is all too real.

Yet the deniers are choosing, willfully, to ignore that threat, placing future generations of Americans in grave danger, simply because it’s in their political interest to pretend that there’s nothing to worry about. If that’s not betrayal, I don’t know what is.

John Steele Gordon blasts Krugman’s column and calls out liberal global warming alarmists for what they are here:

But why is the Nobel-Prize-winning economist so exercised about global warming as to be reduced to name calling instead of examining the data? Why are so many climate scientists and liberal politicians so certain of the data on global warming that they think the debate is over?

I think it is a case of the “backgammon effect.” In backgammon, the players move their pieces according to the dictates of a pair of dice. A single bad throw of the dice can convert a near-certain winner into a near-certain loser. Being human, players sometimes misread the dice and misplay accordingly. They get a six-four, for instance, but play a six-three. The opponent, if he is paying attention, points out the error, it’s corrected, and the game goes on.

Interestingly, the player who misreads the dice and thus misplays almost always does so to his own advantage. Is he cheating? Not at all. He is simply misperceiving the real world because his self-interest leads him to do so. He wants a six-three and so he sees one in a six-four. It’s as simple as that.

Do climate scientists in general and liberal politicians to a man want global warming to be both real and anthropogenic in origin? You bet, because it’s in their self-interest for it to be so. After all, if it is, then both groups are greatly empowered by the necessity to do something about it. Only government–guided by experts–would be able to reverse a gathering climate catastrophe. The government would need vast new powers to do so. And as James Madison explained two centuries ago, “Men love power.”

Read the whole thing.

Apparently, this whole “betrayal/treason” thing is a Democrat talking point which has caught on, because Rep. Henry Waxman, half of the duo responsible for the introduction of the tax monstrosity that passed by the House last Friday, has suggested similarly:

Rep. Henry Waxman (D-CA) on Republicans voting against the energy plan and Rep. John Boehner’s comments on the House floor Friday evening: “They [Republicans] want to play politics and see if they can keep any achievements from being accomplished that may be beneficial to the Democrats. They’re rooting against the country and I think in this case, even rooting against the world because the world needs to get its act together to stop global warming.”

You can view the video of his remarks at that same link.

So much for the “dissent is patriotic” cries we used to hear routinely from the left during the Bush administration. My, how times have changed.

What do Waxman and Krugman conveniently forget in their bloviations about global warming “deniers”? A few facts, among them being that – if we’re going to play the “they’re more interested in playing politics than studying and understanding climate change” card – the Obama administration has its own emerging “war on science” scandal, one that has the potential of being a huge deal, should anyone in our Obama-loving media be able to tear themselves away from their autographed glossies of the President to actually investigate it. They might not be interested in it, but infamous global warming “denier” Jim Inhofe sure as heck is:

A top Republican senator has ordered an investigation into the Environmental Protection Agency’s alleged suppression of a report that questioned the science behind global warming.

The 98-page report, co-authored by EPA analyst Alan Carlin, pushed back on the prospect of regulating gases like carbon dioxide as a way to reduce global warming. Carlin’s report argued that the information the EPA was using was out of date, and that even as atmospheric carbon dioxide levels have increased, global temperatures have declined.

“He came out with the truth. They don’t want the truth at the EPA,” Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla, a global warming skeptic, told FOX News, saying he’s ordered an investigation. “We’re going to expose it.”

The controversy comes after the House of Representatives passed a landmark bill to regulate greenhouse gas emissions, one that Inhofe said will be “dead on arrival” in the Senate despite President Obama’s energy adviser voicing confidence in the measure.

According to internal e-mails that have been made public by the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Carlin’s boss told him in March that his material would not be incorporated into a broader EPA finding and ordered Carlin to stop working on the climate change issue. The draft EPA finding released in April lists six greenhouse gases, including carbon dioxide, that the EPA says threaten public health and welfare.

An EPA official told on Monday that Carlin, who is an economist — not a scientist — included “no original research” in his report. The official said that Carlin “has not been muzzled in the agency at all,” but stressed that his report was entirely “unsolicited.”

Greg Pollowitz quips:

Interesting. Obama’s EPA is arguing that economists aren’t qualified to comment on global warming. Someone tell Paul Krugman, please.


What other facts have Kruggie and Waxman ignored in their hateful diatribes against global warming “deniers”? The fact that – in spite of their assertions to the contrary – there is no “consensus” on whether or not gw is “man-made” and in fact the list of scientists who have turned skeptical of the claims of global warming alarmists is growing. Why? Because they believe the data isn’t there to support the claim.

But see, only “experts” like Krugman have truly analyzed all the data – any one who disagrees with him apparently only cares about what they can gain from being a “denier” politically. Same same with Al Gore, who suggested last year that “deniers” were nothing more than conspiracy theorists along the same lines of flat earther types and those who believe that the first moon landing was staged. IOW, just crazy fringe types who shouldn’t be taken seriously. Ditto for Boston Globe columnist Ellen Goodman, who in 2007 compared gw “deniers” with those who denied the Holocaust. And let’s not forget the suggestion by a Grist (environmental) magazine writer in 2006 that “Nuremberg-style war crimes trials” for global warming skeptics should not be off the table, or the call not long after that from The Weather Channel’s global warming “expert” Dr. Heidi Cullen who suggested that ” If a meteorologist can’t speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn’t give them a Seal of Approval.”

Kruggie, Waxman, and other self-important twits like them love to set up bogus scenarios in which their motives are “pure and noble” while the other side’s motives are purely selfish and political. Not only that, but they also suggest that those same “deniers” aren’t interested in the scientific side of the argument and thus really don’t care to debate the issue on its merits (or lack thereof) – instead choosing to play the “gotcha” game. However, the examples I’ve noted above – and the examples of St. Al Gore routinely shunning debate offers from those who would likely clean his clock in a debate about global warming – demonstrate the real truth: That when it comes to accusations of not being interested in tackling the scientific side of the argument and the allegations that the motives of the other side aren’t pure as the driven snow, he and others need to take the late Michael Jackson’s advice: Start looking at the man in the mirror.

Related: Energy Czar hasn’t read cap & tax, either (Video)

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