See, this is what really drives people nuts and makes them want to ensure than no global warming hysteric gets anywhere near the levers of power.  A Penn professor of something called “Environmental Ethics, Science, and Law,”  named Donald A. Brown, wants global warming denying by major corporations and scientists in their pay to be considered a crime against humanity. From his rant:

As long as there is any chance that climate change could create this type of destruction, even assuming, for the sake of argument, that these harms are not yet fully proven, disinformation about the state of climate change science is extraordinarily morally reprehensible if it leads to non-action in reducing climate change’s threat when action is indispensable to preventing harm. In fact how to deal with uncertainty in climate change science is an ethical issue, not only a scientific matter, because in the case of climate change:

• If you wait until all the uncertainties are resolved it is likely to be too late to prevent catastrophic climate change.
• The longer one waits to take action, the more difficult it is to stabilize atmospheric concentrations of climate change at safe levels.
• Those most vulnerable to climate change include some of the poorest people in the world and they have not consented to be put at risk in the face of uncertainty.

Throwing tantrums because you are losing a political debate isn’t going to make more people come to your side.  Besides, regardless of the extent of global warming that may be caused by human activity, many people believe that the proposed cure is worse than the supposed disease.  And the people most hurt by being not allowed to develop their resources and gain wealth would be the world’s poorest people.

But here is Brown’s way over-the-top, kicker:
Clearly this is a new type of crime against humanity. Skepticism in science is not bad, but skeptics must play by the rules of science including publishing their conclusions in peer-reviewed scientific journals and not make claims that are not substantiated by the peer-reviewed literature. The need for responsible skepticism is particularly urgent if misinformation from skeptics could lead to great harm. For this reason, this disinformation campaign being funded by some American corporations is some kind of new crime against humanity.

The international community does not have a word for this type of crime yet, but the international community should find a way of classifying extraordinarily irresponsible scientific claims that could lead to mass suffering as some type of crime against humanity.

The Holocaust was a crime against humanity. American slavery was a crime against humanity.  The gulags were a crime against humanity.  The killing fields of Cambodia was a crime against humanity. The Rape of Nan-king was a crime against humanity. Anyone who can’t distinguish between true evil such as these and many other examples we could name, and global warming skepticism—even if founded in venal self interest—has no business being a professor in a world class university.

And for those who urgently believe in global warming, essays like this do far more harm than good to your cause.

Articles by Wesley J. Smith


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