In a discussion of ‘alternative energy’ at a social media site, someone raised the practical issue of the difficulties involved in high-volume energy storage. Someone else came back at him with a comment to the effect that “climate-solution deniers are as bad a climate change deniers.”
This is probably just the leading edge of a new insult-meme: I expect to see a lot more of the climate-solution-denier accusations being made. We are getting uncomfortably close to a pervasive climate of Lysenkoism.
In Arthur Koestler’s novel Darkness at Noon, set in the Soviet Union, his character Rubashov (an old Bolshevik who is now on trial for his life) muses:
“A short time ago, our leading agriculturist, B., was shot with thirty of his collaborators because he maintained the opinion that nitrate artificial manure was superior to potash. No. 1 is all for potash; therefore B. and the thirty had to be liquidated as saboteurs. In a NATIONALLY CENTRALIZED AGRICULTURE, the alternative of nitrate or potash is of enormous importance: it can decide the issue of the next war. If No. I was in the right, history will absolve him, and the execution of the thirty-one men will be a mere bagatelle. If he was wrong …”
“We know that virtue does not matter to history, and that crimes remain unpunished; but that every error had its consequences and venges itself unto the seventh generation. Therefore we concentrated all our efforts on preventing error and destroying the very seeds of it. Never in history has so much power over the future of humanity been concentrated in so few hands as in our case. Each wrong idea we follow is a crime committed against future generations. Therefore we have to punish wrong ideas as others punish crimes: with death. We were held for madmen because we followed every thought down to its final consequence and acted accordingly. We were compared to the inquisition because, like them, we constantly felt in ourselves the whole weight of responsibility for the super-individual life to come. We resembled the great Inquisitors in that we persecuted the seeds of evil not only in men’s deeds, but in their thoughts. We admitted no private sphere, not even inside a man’s skull. We lived under the compulsion of working things out to their final conclusions. Our minds were so tensely charged that the slightest collision caused a mortal short-circuit. Thus we were fated to mutual destruction.” (emphasis added)
The assertions now being made that anyone who challenges catastrophic CO2-caused climate change is complicit in the deaths of thousands/hundreds of thousands/millions parallel the above rather closesly.
Koestler’s Rubashov also observed that it had become “necessity to drill every sentence into the masses by vulgarization and endless repetition; what was presented as right must shine like gold, what was presented as wrong must be as black as pitch; political statements had to be coloured like ginger-bread figures at a fair.”
In America today, we are seeing even topics that lack the claimed apocalyptic overtones of climate change treated in this way. For example: in another social media post, a woman remarked on the extremely skewed postal rates that exist between China and the US. Someone came back accusing her of being a tinfoil-hat-wearing right-winger, or words to that effect. Even a discussion of postal rates has to degenerate into mud-slinging in no time at all.
Of course, neither the original post nor the comment included any such thing as a link. (It took me all of two minutes to locate a comprehensive Forbes article on the subject, which I then linked.)
I believe that there are still people who are subject to rational persuasion, but wonder whether there will be enough of them to make a difference.