In a piece titled Under Deniers, science publicist Dirk Maxeiner writes about how dissent over any politically touchy topic in Germany is increasingly being suppressed lately: by applying the label “Leugner” (denier).
Especially when one considers what Germany went through during its history, I find it appalling that a person’s right to speak up and to exercise dissent here would be suppressed in that particular manner. Sadly, that is exactly what is happening now whenever someone expresses a “different opinion” on any politically sensitive topic, especially climate change.
So just how are climate dissenters being regarded here in Germany? Among some: like criminals. Maxeiner describes how:
Whoever even quietly doubts this or that aspect of catastrophic global warming finds himself in no time at all in the company of those on the dock of the Nuremberg trials, or of Bishop Williamson and Ahmadinedschad. It is as if the denial of a crime in the past could be compared to the doubt over a feared future catastrophe.”
Well, this is pretty much what’s happening in Germany. How often does we hear the term “climate change denier” in the “debate”?
In Germany it was just on the anniversary of Kristallnacht last November when a group of leading German Green Parliamentarians (Dr. Hermann Ott, Bärbel Höhn, Hans Josef Fell, Sylvia Kotting-Uhl, Jürgen Trittin etc.) sent a brief query to Chancellor Angela Merkel demanding that she explain how someone in her party could have the gall of meeting with “climate change denier” Fred Singer.
The query contained the term “denier” at least 7 times, once in the title, 3 times in the introduction (once even personally calling Fred Singer, who is Jewish, a “climate change denier”), once in point no. 6, once in point no. 10 and once in point no. 11 (see here). It is all documented.
But to Germany’s credit, for whatever it’s worth, this brand of science bullying was not it’s own invention, but more so appears to be of American origin. The German Greens seem to be content to use it for all it’s worth. Maxeiner tells us how the real groundwork was prepared:
To do this, it was first necessary to equate modern industrial societies with the Holocaust. For the climate protection apologist Al Gore ‘the evidence of an ecological Kristallnacht is as clear as the shattering of glass in Berlin.’ For well-known American climate scientist James Hansen one has to ask the question when one views the calving of glaciers: ‘Could the the sound of breaking ice masses serve as a Kristallnacht to wake us up?’ Regarding coal trains, he found it appropriate to comment: If we don’t succeed in stopping the construction of new coal power plants, then these are death trains that are no less gruesome than the trains that rolled into the crematoriums.’ For the last remark, he at least apologized.”
And let’s not forget Dave Roberts (of Grist) and his notorious comment:
When we’ve finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we’re in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards — some sort of climate Nuremberg.”
In the end, all this rhetoric has served to label climate science dissenters as criminals on par to Holocaust deniers. In Germany the term “denier” has lately become the fashionable weapon of the politically correct in attacking opposition, and so it is no surprise that it is being widely used here for a number of other issues, like the recent shooting spree in Norway and criticism of Islam. Maxeiner writes:
Claudia Roth of the Green Party speaks of ‘denying the reality of Islam’ when addressing critical views of Islam. Magazine Der Spiegel, always one to use the latest word-trends and to not miss a single beat, concocted the magic term: ‘Islam-denier”.
And today anyone who expresses criticism of the euro now risks being labelled a “euro-denier”.
So speak at your own peril. To dissent is to “deny”, which is now being associated with crimes of the worst kind. One has to remember that in Germany there is little debate on climate change. The dissenters are an extremely small minority and have very few resources. The risks of speaking here up are very real.
As for me – the more they try to shut us up with this kind of bullying, the more I’m going to bring up their crude examples.
Dirk Maxeiner is the author of the book: Hurra wir retten die Welt, which is highly recommended.
Dirk Maxeiner photo credit: http://www.achgut.com/dadgdx/index.php.