Dana Joel Gattuso

"When we've finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we're in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards - some sort of climate Nuremberg." -David Roberts, Gristmill, Grist Magazine, September 19, 2006

So said Grist Magazine staff writer David Roberts of those who question looming global warming doom. They are war criminals and should be tried and prosecuted the same way as Nazi Germany leaders. In his words, global warming doubters "have blood on their hands" and are "morally if not legally, criminals."

Less abrasive were the recent remarks of British Energy Minister Malcolm Wicks who, after announcing to a gathering of environment ministers that "humankind is in a race for life against global warming," called doubters "the equivalent of the Flat Earth Society."

And so goes the nature of the debate on the complex issue of global climate change-not so complex for those who know without question that humans are destroying planet Earth. The debate is now over, according to the world's top science experts Al Gore and Britain's environmental minister. Those who question if that's a fact are no longer simply nay-sayers or skeptics. They are flat-earthers, "known liars," and war criminals.

Worse than the name-calling, environmentalists, the media, and even scientists are attempting to stifle other scientists with differing opinions on climate change. Last fall, staff members of the Sierra Club in Charlotte, North Carolina blasted the museum Discovery Place for bringing in Richard Lindzen, a distinguished professor of atmospheric sciences at MIT, to speak on the uncertainties of global warming.

The Charlotte Observer showed similar disdain for differing points of view. The paper devoted a mere 252 words to Dr. Lindzen's two-hour lecture. Yet the paper's editorial, which scolded the museum for playing "partisan politics," ran 426 words.

Interestingly, the Charlotte Observer did end up running some, albeit unplanned, text the following day. Turns out the editorial's claim-and premise-that the forum was "sponsored by a politician with an anti-global warming agenda" who influences the museum's budget was inaccurate. The "clarification" said that the event was actually sponsored by the Charlotte Area Science Network and the science society Sigma Xi, and that the noted politician's foundation "didn't sponsor the museum forum." Oops.


Dana Joel Gattuso

Dana Joel Gattuso is at the National Center for Public Policy Research as a Senior Fellow.

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