In June 2008, ABC’s “Good Morning America” (GMA) aired a special episode imagining the future and making predictions about the impact of global warming on the earth and humanity over the next century. In the program, an “expert” claimed that in 2015, the sea level would rise rapidly, causing New York to be inundated by the sea. One interviewee said by that time there would be “fire extending hundreds of miles,” a gallon of milk would cost $12.90, and a gallon of gasoline would cost $9. The viewpoints presented in the show were so exaggerated that a host of the show couldn’t help but question if all of this was really possible.
In actuality, this is not the main question that the media has to consider. Environmentalism uses “crisis awareness” to drive the public, yet crisis awareness and uncertainty are two different concepts. How can things not yet confirmed by science warrant a sense of crisis? Therefore, environmentalism uses the banner of protecting mankind’s future to suppress different voices and arrive at a public consensus under the pretense of a scientific consensus.
Danish economist Bjørn Lomborg wrote that climate warming was caused by human activity in his book The Skeptical Environmentalist: Measuring the Real State of the World. However, he believed that human adaptability and technological advancement would ward off the occurrence of disaster. As this did not conform to the environmentalist dogma of man-made climate change, he was subsequently criticized by people of many different professions.
The chairman of the U.N. Climate Change Panel compared Lomborg to Hitler. The Danish Committee on Scientific Dishonesty announced after an investigation that Lomborg had committed “scientific dishonesty” (but subsequent government investigations proved that Lomborg was innocent). His opponents attempted to use the decision of the Committee on Scientific Dishonesty to revoke his position as director of the Danish Environmental Assessment Institute. At the train station, people were not even willing to stand on the same platform as Lomborg. One environmentalist threw a pie at him.
In his book The Great Global Warming Blunder: How Mother Nature Fooled the World’s Top Climate Scientists, Dr. Roy Spencer, a climatologist and former NASA satellite expert, summarized a list of fourteen propaganda techniques used by environmentalists, including causing panic, appealing to authority, herd mentality, assurances of victory, personal attacks, sensationalism, and creating rumors.
In 2006, British journalist Brendan O’Neill wrote “A Climate of Censorship,” an article describing the suppression of opinion and derisive rhetoric faced by people in many countries if they dare doubt the theory of climate change. For example, one British diplomat said in a public speech that those who doubt climate change should be treated by the media no differently than terrorists, and that they should not be given a platform to speak.
O’Neill points out that those skeptical of the theory of climate change have been labeled “deniers.” This includes various groups of people ranging from those who acknowledge climate warming but feel we are able to cope with it, to those who completely deny warming as a scientific phenomenon. The potency of this label is considerable. Charles Jones, a retired English professor at the University of Edinburgh, said that the term “denier” is designed to place skeptics on the same level of moral depravity as Holocaust deniers. According to O’Neill, some people even claim that skeptics of climate change theory are accomplices in a coming eco-Holocaust and may face Nuremberg-style trials in the future.
A well-known environmentalist writer wrote, “We should conduct war trials on gits (the skeptics of climate warming theory) — like a climate version of the Nuremberg trial.” One author commented: “Only in authoritarian countries have I heard this manner of convicting thought or speech. … Demonizing a group of people and describing their speech as toxic and dangerous is but one step away from conducting more rigorous levels of censorship.” This judgment is correct. Restricting the right to think is one of the ways communism divorces people from a concept of good and evil that is based on universal values.
A professor of astronomy at Harvard published a paper discussing the role of the sun in climate change based on historical temperature records in the earth’s past. Because this challenged the dogma of humans being the culprit of climate change, an environmentalist website labeled him an “attempted mass murderer” and all other dissenters as “felons.”
Such examples are too numerous to count. A senior official of a large environmental group warned that the media should think twice before broadcasting the views of climate-change skeptics because “allowing such misinformation to spread would cause harm.”
The British foreign secretary said in a speech that just as terrorists are not allowed to appear in the media, skeptics of global warming should not have the right to air their ideas. Mainstream columnists in Australia are beginning to consider prosecuting deniers of climate change on charges of “crimes against humanity.” At a summit attended by important politicians in Australia, including the prime minister, a proposal was made to deprive violators of their citizenship. One idea was to re-examine Australian citizens and reissue citizenship only to those who have verified they are “friendly to the climate environment.”
Some have even tried to use legal force to extinguish the voices of opponents of the climate- warming hypothesis. In 2015, twenty academics sent a letter to the U.S. president and the attorney general requesting that the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act be used to investigate companies and organizations with nonstandard views on climate change. This amounts to attempting to use the law to inhibit freedom of speech.
In 2016, the attorneys general of several states formed a coalition to investigate whether traditional energy industries were misleading investors and the public on “the impact of climate change” and if so, to prosecute. As pointed out by the Heritage Foundation, such allegations and investigations of those who hold different opinions violate the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution and stifle the debate on important public policies.
From Chapter 16: The Communism Behind Environmentalism