After watching Kennedy Jr´s statement calling me a war criminal and suggesting I should be jailed I decided it was time to worry. Inspired by Kennedy´s words, I searched “punish skepticism”, and found a bunch of really creepy articles about the subject. Reading that stuff made me feel like I was about to become like a Jew in 1930´s Germany.
For those of you who haven´t heard, here´s the scary quote that got me going:
“I think it’s treason. Do I think the Koch Brothers are treasonous — yes, I do…..They are enjoying making themselves billionaire by impoverishing the rest of us. Do I think they should be in jail — I think they should be .(garbled)…. at the Hague with all the other war criminals. Do I think the Koch brothers should be tried for reckless endangerment? Absolutely, that is is criminal offense and they ought to be serving time for it.”
I´m not a Koch Brother, but I did work for an oil company. And when it comes to the slippery slopes of self-righteous inquisition and repression I´d rather not wait until they come to arrest me.
So who is this Kennedy? He´s one of the Kennedys who are related to President John F. Kennedy. Kennedy who wants to put me in jail, who seems like a regular Joe, a “progressive” who looks out for the poor, and for number one. He knows how to mix with the right people, and leverages his name to get things done. I don´t like his behavior, but as they say, to each his own….
Kennedy with his mom Ethel, his new wife actress
Cheryl Hines, and Nobel Prize winner Al Gore Jr.
My analysis shows that Kennedy´s call for my punishment isn´t rare. The stuff one reads about is really scary. For example, here´s a quote from material written by Richard Parncutt, a professor at the Centre for Systematic Musicology, Faculty of Humanities, University of Graz (Austria):
"In this article I am going to suggest that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for influential GW deniers. But before coming to this surprising conclusion, please allow me to explain where I am coming from.
I have always been opposed to the death penalty in all cases, and I have always supported the clear and consistent stand of Amnesty International on this issue. The death penalty is barbaric, racist, expensive, and is often applied by mistake…….Even mass murderers should not be executed, in my opinion….
GW deniers fall into a completely different category from Behring Breivik. They are already causing the deaths of hundreds of millions of future people. We could be speaking of billions, but I am making a conservative estimate.
My estimate of "hundreds of millions" is based on diverse scientific publications about GW. I don't think that mass murderers of the usual kind, such Breivik, should face the death penalty. Nor do I think tobacco denialists are guilty enough to warrant the death penalty, in spite of the enormous number of deaths that resulted more or less directly from tobacco denialism. GW is different. With high probability it will cause hundreds of millions of deaths. For this reason I propose that the death penalty is appropriate for influential GW deniers.”
But wait, here´s more. A statement by Lawrence Torcello, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology:
“We have good reason to consider the funding of climate denial to be criminally and morally negligent. The charge of criminal and moral negligence ought to extend to all activities of the climate deniers who receive funding as part of a sustained campaign to undermine the public’s understanding of scientific consensus.
Criminal negligence is normally understood to result from failures to avoid reasonably foreseeable harms, or the threat of harms to public safety, consequent of certain activities. Those funding climate denial campaigns can reasonably predict the public’s diminished ability to respond to climate change as a result of their behaviour. Indeed, public uncertainty regarding climate science, and the resulting failure to respond to climate change, is the intentional aim of politically and financially motivated denialists.
My argument probably raises an understandable, if misguided, concern regarding free speech. We must make the critical distinction between the protected voicing of one’s unpopular beliefs, and the funding of a strategically organised campaign to undermine the public’s ability to develop and voice informed opinions. ….”
Torcello photographed in front of a barn
(Photo from RTI´s website)
I also found professors who think I must be treated kindly because I´m a bit crazy. For example, Kari Marie Norgaard (professor of sociology and environmental studies at the University of Oregon):
"People are individually and collectively habituated to the ways we act and think. This habituation must be recognized and simultaneously addressed at the individual, cultural and societal level — how we think the world works and how we think it should work."
What does this bullshit mean? She thinks I´m “habituated” to the ways I act and think, and that my problem must be recognized and addressed. She may not consider the idea that I consider she´s the one who is crazy, but I´m not proposing “treatment to change how she thinks and how things should work”.
The Daily Mail , a British newspaper described her ideas as follows: “The professor….argued that ‘cultural resistance’ to accepting humans as being responsible for climate change ‘must be recognised and treated’ as an aberrant sociological behaviour.”
Professor Norgaard thinks those
who don´t agree with her are crazy
Hell, this shit is starting to sound like a discussion between Aleksandr Isayevich Solzhenitsyn and his Soviet “doctor” when he was kept in a mental asylum as punishment for opposing the Soviet state. You know what? I´m going to have a cup of coffee and stop writing before I crap in my pants.