Do we call them Nazis or not?

hypo01

An Oxbridge don, after staggering out of a faculty meeting that had dragged on for hours, was heard to remark that how a predominantly male society could produce so many old women, was totally beyond him. What I think he was referring to was the more than usual amount of bitchiness one finds prevalent in academia, even between theology departments.

In a way it’s understandable because there are always contending ideas which have their own sets of passionate supporters. Academics are somewhat like warring fans of different football teams, except they wear beige cardigans and casual shoes rather than bomber jackets and bovver boots. Where it gets spiteful and nasty, is in personal attacks against the people who hold a certain position by people who prefer another explanation.

It’s not always a bad thing to debate a theory vigorously, as it does tend to lead to the occasional paradigm change in a field. Darwin’s ideas gained widespread support with the help of some powerful outspoken advocates like Thomas Huxley in the nineteenth century and in more recent times the theory of plate tectonics went from being an orphan beyond the pale to becoming textbook orthodoxy these days.

More importantly for the health of science as a whole, free debate also exposes fashionable but junk science for what it is, as it did in the end with Eugenics and Lysenkoism, and I think perhaps that’s why real debate about climate science is avoided at all costs by its advocates.

The undeniable politicisation of climate science has exacerbated the bitchiness tendency by orders of magnitude, with vitriolic personal attacks being mounted by advocacy elements well outside the relevant scientific disciplines on what few dissenters remain. All in all, it’s a tough field to express or maintain a minority view which does not rigidly reflect establishment thinking. When you consider the vileness and strength of abuse levelled at people not even in academia, you can imagine how much more difficult it must be to work inside it on a daily basis.

More than one dissenting professor has been forced out of tenure and in a particularly shameful episode, the three postgraduate children of another were threatened with expulsion from their doctorate courses. The sins of the father were going to be visited on the children. Incidentally, that official policy was called Sippenhaft or kin liability in Nazi Germany. It resulted in the murder of thousands of innocent Germans; men, women and children. It’s still alive and well in places like North Korea.

Both Jo Nova and Anthony Watts have written articles on Dr Spencer’s decision to refer to the extremists as climate Nazis and a subsequent attack on him by a climate activist working for the Anti-Defamation League (ADL). What’s pertinent for this piece is the list of quotes contained in both those articles.

When you consider they were opinions being expressed not by the obvious street thugs pictured above, but by supposedly mature, educated and establishment figures, they were extreme, repulsive and violent. Read them but mentally substitute “Jew” for “Denier” and they would fit unchanged into a Joseph Goebbel’s hate speech to a rally of the party faithful.

Given that thumbnail sketch of the hostile environment a dissenting voice in climate academia has to endure for years, Dr. Spencer has in my opinion more than earned the right to call them in return anything he damn well pleases.

Do I think they’re Nazis?

Yes, I nailed my colours to that particular mast a long time ago, most recently in the final part of the “know your enemy” series which you can find here. They attempt to hide behind Godwin’s so-called law, but if they want to tattoo labels on people like Nazis, turn up with burning torches outside people’s homes in the dead of night like Nazis, witch hunt through academia for opposition like Nazis and dehumanise all resistance like Nazis, then that’s what they are – Nazis. I see them with clear eyes for exactly what they are and make no apologies for that judgement. It’s they who should hang their heads in shame.

So yes, I consider them to be Nazis but the true battle we’re engaged in is not against the extremists but for the middle ground, or in other words the opinion of ordinary person. By making such statements, the extremists are shunting themselves towards the irrelevant margin of the only battleground that really matters. They have no limits and are totally at ease expressing the repugnant sentiments quoted in Jo and Anthony’s articles. Views like that alienate any reasonable person but at the same time we have to exploit those mistakes to show them up for what they actually are; dangerous anti-democratic fanatics.

I’m only too aware how difficult maintaining a reasonable voice in the face of provocation can be, but then again, it’s partially meant to make you lose your cool anyway. Don’t. In the eyes of the ordinary onlooker, we’ll always come out so much better in contrast to their abominable hate speak.

For that reason, I try to avoid such invective, preferring instead to use terms like alarmist or eco-fascist as appropriate but I know I’m splitting terminological hairs. However, the disciple I keep in mind is that anything I produce is for consumption by the ordinary person, not an equally raving response addressed directly to various raving fanatics. The first draft of so many things I write has to be taken down a few pegs on the anger scale, and that usually involves finding less abrasive synonyms for words a lot stronger than Nazi.

Roy Spencer, like a handful of other people besieged inside climate science, is a person I deeply admire. I do so because they like Mr FOIA have moral courage and that’s a lonely road to walk when you’re forever going up against all the big battalions. It would be so much easier for them, their careers and no doubt their families if they just shut up, gave up or submitted to the relentless intimidation. They don’t, they hang on in year after year and they take a lot of elective bullets for that integrity.

They are our true heroes.

History will be kind to them and it’ll be at the expense of their detractors, to adapt a very fitting quote. That day is not as far away as people might think.

As global warming and its anti-human policies continue to move into the dustbin of history, its proponents will out of frustration increasingly turn to the language of the crypto-Nazi demagogue and the lynch mob but my thinking is to allow that to remain their liability, and our opportunity to be exploited as it occurs. Put on your hazmat suits ladies and gentlemen of a skeptic persuasion, because I have to tell you it’s going to get a lot dirtier before it gets better.

As for the ADL, shame on you, shame on you. Of all people, you should know better. Take another hard look at those vicious quotes. If the true believers ever had their way, there would be another shoah, but this time around against us skeptics. What would your descendants saying kaddish for those Jews amongst our number be worth then?

Shame on you.

©Pointman

Related articles by Pointman:

Know your ultimate enemy : the dream.

The Nigger Word.

Click for a list of other articles.

Comments
29 Responses to “Do we call them Nazis or not?”
  1. Rick Bradford says:

    Academic disputes are so spiteful because the stakes are so small.

  2. stan stendera says:

    I cannot express my delight in you writing this. I have personally engaged with the Atlanta ADL. As of this time I don’t think we’re going to get a positive response. I’m planning to write up something about my experiences for Anthony. Hopefully he’ll make it a post.

  3. Luca says:

    As usual, a great commentary! Thanks Pointman!

  4. stan stendera says:

    No Tricks Zone also has a powerful post on this subject.

    The Web site PopularScience.net has the up to date list of alarmist slurs. It makes for sobering reading.

  5. stan stendera says:

    I have forwarded you post to the Atlanta ADL, and also to Anthony Watts.

  6. Retired Dave says:

    Another fine piece Pointman – very wise words thank you.

    As you say Dr. Spencer has earned the right to speak as he sees fit.

    I hope that what we are seeing are the death throws of a dangerous beast.

  7. Reasonable Guy says:

    Terrific article.

    A long time skeptic and participant in the trenches of forum comments I have seen a whole heck of a lot of insults being hurled at me.

    Being respectful can be difficult, but is ultimately far more rewarding. I know for a certainly that I may be wrong and I accept that. Explaining that uncertainty is just how science works is very hard to committed “warmists”. They have been mislead by well meaning activists for too long.

  8. Graeme No.3 says:

    Great article but the Nazis were all for industry. They were also ‘Nature’ worshipers as types like that can often hold 2 or more contradictory beliefs at the same time.

    But given the agrarian fantasies of the current lot of would-be dominants I suggest that we remember the first horrible result of those fantasies and call these types Polpotties.

  9. hazze says:

    Will this shit ever see a bunkermoment ? ..I doubt it..bigger problems will arise and they move on to “solve” them to…in their usual way.

  10. NoIdea says:

    INNAPROPRIATE?

    It has been a while since I last commented on anything, other than with an ode or verse.
    I appreciate the efforts of those who fight the worst.
    My attempt at an essay becomes a rant and far too terse.
    Now after a few beers to slake my dusty thirst,
    I find I do not know where to start… at first.
    So three beers in and going for a fourth,
    I find that my fingers start to twitch and course,
    Unfortunately my mind must swirl with the need to curse.
    Five beers in, now I am kind of mellow.
    Smashing Pumpkins like watermelons but kind of yellow,
    Distract me from the task at hand,
    How to take the Nazi scum stupid liars out the game?
    Whilst still remaining civil and somehow close to sane?

    NoIdea

  11. As usual a very well written article. I am less in agreement that normal because I think that anyone who flings the term ‘Nazi’ around under any circumstances immediately loses the sympathy of a large number of people in the middle ground. One of the (many) reasons the ‘Anti-Nazi League’ are so small is because most people would rather have teeth extracted than publicly use the word in a serious manner. It classes you as an extremist too.
    I have written about the subject on my own tumbleweed-infested blog: http://jonathanabbott99.wordpress.com/2014/02/21/sticks-and-stones/
    Please excuse the rather turgid discussion with William Connelley in the comments. I do my best but am trying to keep it civil.

  12. Rather than Nazis, just call them marxists. The whole “nazi” epithet is itself an example of successful positioning concealing the truth about past and current marxist atrocities. Nazism per se was crushed a long time ago, marxism never was.

  13. John Boles says:

    Although I long for the good old days when Earth was all tropical, I bet we get a slight cooling in the next few years and as that average temp drops their tempers will flare white hot and their faces will turn red in embarrassment as they have to backpedal and rationalize. Already their block is cracking and it is a good time to be a skeptic. Well written article Pointman. Best regards.

  14. Blackswan says:

    Pointman,

    People can put whatever label they choose on Fascism, but the tags will never change the essence of it. Those who invoke ‘Godwin’s law’ are merely ‘useful idiot’ gatekeepers who seek to close down the exposure of the Alarmists for what they are; Marxist/Socialist thugs who seek to de-industrialise the West and enforce outrageous societal controls on supposedly free people.

    Wouldn’t you know it? Godwin is just another Texan lawyer – maybe he should work a bit harder on cleaning up his own backyard before he seeks to discredit any argument that draws analogies on Nazism. If we fail to learn from history then we are condemned to repeat it.

    • PaleoSapiens says:

      “….If we fail to learn from history then we are condemned to repeat it.”

      The actual quote by George Santayana from “Reason in Common Sense” is:
      “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

      I like the paraphrase made by James Dunnigan on strategypage.com:
      “Those who ignore history tend to get bit on the ass by reality.” 🙂

  15. craigm350 says:

    extremists are there only to frame the debate.

  16. Gail Combs says:

    Excellent essay Pointman.

    Given what a gentleman Dr Spencer is, I can just imagine what was said/ done to him to make him call the Green Slime™ Nazis.

  17. PaleoSapiens says:

    I agree with you Pointman. However, it is not for the overt reasons you so eloquently state. Technically the global warming alarmists are of the communist persuasion due to their leftist bent and propaganda ploys. Nazis (and fascists in general) differ only subtly by their extreme nationalism and a profound sense of superiority and entitlement (2nd part sound familiar?).

    The Communists and Nazis, i.e. Soviets (Russians) and Germans, were locked in a titanic struggle to the death in WWII. Their hatred for each other knew no bounds; as illustrated by the utterly savage combat, leading to 30+ million deaths and complete devastation of untold cities, towns, and villages (many never rebuilt after the war).

    An example of their atrocities are in mine clearing. The Soviets would round up ‘criminals’ and suspected collaborators, make them march arm-in-arm over Nazi minefields and/or in front of Nazi machine gun positions, and follow up by shooting any survivors. The Nazis would grab any hapless people/livestock unfortunate enough to be in the vicinity and force them to march over ANY suspect minefields. More often than not, survivors would be summarily shot or dispatched in some gruesome manner.

    To label a Communist/Marxist – a Nazi is an insult beyond measure. It’s a fitting irony for global warming hypocrites…

  18. speymk1901 says:

    Names, shnames. I am ready to party when they are. I am quite sure Pointman & Company’s ardent followers are tanned, rested and ready as well. It is called duty.

  19. nofixedaddress says:

    Completely off topic… or not

    “You want to frighten Putin?

    …raise our gasoline tax, put in place a carbon tax and a national renewable energy portfolio standard — all of which would also help lower the global oil price (and make us stronger, with cleaner air, less oil dependence and more innovation).”

    http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/05/opinion/friedman-why-putin-doesnt-respect-us.html?ref=thomaslfriedman

    h/t steyn and hugh hewitt

  20. nofixedaddress says:

    I have now read your article and as I said on WUWT, I’m with Dr Roy Spencer.

    Anyone that calls a person in the context of climate a denier is a Nazi, let alone anti-science!

    Isn’t it great that we have organizations like the ADL to assist the Nazis?

    I wonder where the ADL source their funds from?

  21. Hagar's dog says:

    The UK green party leader.

    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-26187711

    First they came for the Socialists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Socialist.

    Then they came for the Trade Unionists, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Trade Unionist.

    Then they came for the Jews, and I did not speak out– Because I was not a Jew.

    Then they came for me–and there was no one left to speak for me.

  22. durango12 says:

    Frankly I don’t accept the taboo against using this particular “N-word” for a variety of reasons. One big one is the simple fact that the National Socialists (yes, they called themselves socialists) were blood relatives of leftist socialists. The late French philosopher and polemicist Jean-Francois Revel pointed out repeatedly that the major difference between socialist/communist and fascist ideology is that one is depends on class and the other on race for their respective scapegoats. Their inclination toward suppression of dissent and intolerance of diversity of thought are shared characteristics, and they are dead serious about it. In fact, as Revel points out, the left has accumulated the far bigger body count.

    The left has succeeded in leveraging universal hatred of National Socialist values into a club that they use all too frequently to suppress dissent against them. A dose of their own medicine is called for.

  23. pottereaton says:

    Someone above posted a version of this quote: “The reason academic politics are so vicious is because there is so little at stake.”

    Unfortunately, I think we’ve transitioned into a cowardly new world where academic disputes, in climate science and several other fields, are few in number. The would be opponents to conventional thinking have been purged. Free expression of ideas that might run counter to prevailing views are no longer given voice in any meaningful way. Whole academic fields have been captured by the authoritarian left and they have built battlements from which they can survey their captured territory.

    Most of the active suppression of dissent of views antithetical to politically and environmentally correct thinking is occurring outside academia because academia is already safely occupied. Left-wing fascism, as exhibited most recently in a variety of scandals in Washington and most notably in the IRS scandal, is upon us. We’ve got a president intent on ruling by decree. The people need to understand that it can get a lot worse if we don’t start making it better. Pointman’s post– in fact most of his posts– shows he fully understands the problem, which is the first step in overcoming it.

    I prefer to avoid the term “Nazi” in describing these people. They are fascists. Fascism is more a deranged state of mind than a coherent political philosophy. It is customarily based on class, political or intellectual resentments and it is often embraced by those whose cynicism and rage is such that they devalue human life to an alarming degree. This leads to dehumanizing the ideological/ political opponent who does not automatically embrace the precepts of fascism or any other philosophical fad du jour, e.g. thermophobia. Attempts to destroy the academic career of fellow publishing scientists, as detailed in the Climategate emails, are indicative of academic fascism.

  24. lorne50 says:

    Reblogged this on leclinton and commented:
    Yes well said

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