Monday, September 17, 2007
21st Century Heresy
In the early 17th century Galileo Galilei concluded that the Earth orbits around the Sun -- something we now take for granted, but was quite controversial in his time. There were powers that did not welcome Galileo’s questions or his scientific research. These early slaves to political correctness labeled Galileo’s ideas dangerous and his theories irresponsible. They branded him a skeptic of widely accepted truth. Eventually, Galileo was tried on charges of heresy and he was imprisoned and forced to recant his views and forbidden to defend or teach them.
Today, no serious person would defend the abuse of power used to silence and punish Galileo. Yet, that same political correctness is alive and well today. Prominent politicians, UN backed scientists, and environmental extremists argue that mankind is causing catastrophic global warming and demand that government impose draconian measures to save mankind from a never-ending parade of horrible disasters -- disease, floods, droughts, storms, heat, cold, famine, and pestilence.
But they don’t stop at merely advocating their doomsday theories. They work overtime to silence anyone who questions them. Some even advocate prison, professional banishment and violence against those who don’t tow the party line. Not much has changed since Galileo’s time.
Commentator, Ellen Goodman, recently wrote, “global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers...” Currently, the most famous Holocaust denier is Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad who has the curious distinction of simultaneously denying the Holocaust while advocating a second one. According to Goodman, those who question the flimsy science surrounding global warming are no different than Ahmadinejad. So much for civil discourse or serious scientific debate!
Environmental writer David Roberts wrote that for those who question global warming theories, “we should have war crimes trials for these bastards -- some sort of climate Nuremberg.” Of course, the Nuremberg trials were held after World War II to bring high-level Nazi war criminals to justice for their systematic torture and execution of millions of Jews and others Nazis labeled as political enemies. To Roberts, ideas contrary to his own and scientific debate are a crime -- a war crime no less!
Columnist George Monbiot, complaining about the airline industry’s use of fossil fuels, wrote: “[E]very time someone dies as a result of floods in Bangladesh, an airline executive should be dragged out of his office and drowned.” Monibot apparently believes that there were no floods in Bangladesh prior to the advent of commercial airlines -- a thoroughly silly notion. But his call to violence is revealing. Even Galileo’s tormentors did not threaten death.