"James Hansen, one of the world's leading climate scientists, will today call for the chief executives of large fossil fuel companies to be put on trial for high crimes against humanity and nature, accusing them of actively spreading doubt about global warming" Put oil firm chiefs on trial, says leading climate change ...
"Is there any point in trying to combat the stifling of expression - an evil as old and durable as human history itself? It might even be argued that persecution of scientists in other countries helps the United States. Thanks to the excesses of Hitler, a generation of Germany's greatest scientists moved to this country, many contributing vitally to the defeat of our enemies. Thanks to a half century of Soviet repression, American science has been greatly enriched by the trickle of Soviet scientists who have managed to emigrate". DISSENT AND DESPAIR - New York Times
Perhaps Hansen is a double agent. Maybe he hopes his proposed show trial will inspire Oil Exectives to emigrate to other countries as did scientists under Stalin and Hitler. On the other hand, isn't it refreshing to finally see the New York Times come out in no uncertain terms in support of free speech after Hansen so blatantly seeks to eliminate the first amendment?
Oh wait--I believe I am being sarcastic. In fact, I did try to find editorials denouncing James Hansen: Man of Science. But the only thing I could find were a few right wing nut job blogs who actually believe free speech more important than the impending apocalypse of global warming. I certainly can identify with the mainstream media. What is the relevance of free speech when we have "the planet" to save? Or as Obama has said "to heal". The editorial writing above is actually from the New York Times. It was written in 1981 by science writer Malcolm W. Browne. Those were the good old days before "Stalin" and "Hitler" were simply used as props in arguments against those who disagreed with one's views on socialized medicine or marginal tax rates.
Who is this guy "James Hansen"? This "scientist" actually heads something called The NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. It is some division of a division inside the bowels NASA - Home of the technologically backward Rube Goldberg-esque NASA. It also is a unit of the "Earth Institute at Columbia University" whose opening sentence in its mission statement informs us sleeping dolts that the "Earth is at a critical crossroads". The Goddard Institute's mandate used to actually be about Space Flight but somehow it has morphed into this promoter of Climate Disaster Now.
James Hansen: Man of Science has also played John the Baptist to Al Gore's Jesus Christ in the church of Anthropogenic Global Warming or "AGW". He serves as Gore's "science advisor". Doesn't this make you laugh out loud? It does me. It is also amusing that NASA's historical temperature records needed to be corrected resulting in a .15 degrees celsius decline in temperature post 2000. In fact, 1934 replaced the El Nino spike year of 1998 as the warmest year on record. "On record" means since 1850 when scientists began recording actual temperatures instead of deriving them from ice cores and tree rings.
However, James Hansen: Man of Science greatest claim to fame is his sounding the first global warming alarm in 1988 during a now celebrated testimony before Congress. He dramatically announced to the world that the earth was warmer than it had been for over 1000 years and was going to continue to get warmer unless mankind stopped emitting CO2 (perhaps someone should tell the Troposphere UAH: Global Temperature Dives in May « Watts Up With That? )
I am not very interested in debating the merits of AGW. I am not a climatologist. Any opinion I have has to be mostly derivative by definition. But I am an observer of human behavior and do have credentials in the field of philosophy including the history of science. I could be wrong, but I do not think there has ever been a scientist who advocated the criminalization of scientific critics who has ever been correct about their own theory. Now, admittedly, this is a pretty small sample and may not be statistically significant. After all, how many scientists actually advocate the elimination of science, let alone it's criminalization? After all, where else do those evil Oil Executives get their views from except evil scientists in their employ?
Not even James Hansen: Man of Science had previously advocated this position. In fact, he vociferously argued that he was himself being silenced by critics. Considering that taxpayers get to fund his rants, the silencers have been pretty ineffective. Is it just me, or is it obvious that any guy who wants to put another guy in jail because he disagrees with him must have some kind of mental and/or emotional deficiency?
Perhaps I should feel sorry for Hansen as he is likely a pretty disturbed man. These are the burdens one shoulders for staring into the horror which is our future. Like so many belief systems of the left, there is rarely an expression of its value so extreme as to warrant criticism. Hansen's comments produced the usual collective yawn from the so called mainstream media, presumably because of the higher good of his cause.
As Dylan wrote in Subterranian Homesick Blues: "you don't need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows". You also do not need a PHD in physics or climatology to know that a person who is paranoid about his critics, advocates the jailing of those who disagree with him, and expresses with "99%" certainty that devasting climate disaster is just around the corner could probably use an injection of Thorazine.