Saturday, February 10, 2007

Did the Holocaust cause Global Warming?

The “scientific debate” surrounding Global Warming has reared its ugly head again this week. The worst of the debate appeared in The Boston Globe yesterday. In an article entitled “No change in political climate”, Mrs. Ellen Goodman says people who question the science behind mankind’s role in global warming are the same as those who deny the Holocaust happened. Mrs. Goodman states, “Let’s just say that global warming deniers are now on a par with Holocaust deniers, though one denies the past and the other denies the present and future.”

Mrs. Goodman would have us believe that those who question whether or not Global Warming is a product of our own practices are on a par with a brutal regime that killed around 5.1 million Jews. I cannot overstate the viscous brutality of the Nazi’s that tried to wipe out an entire race of people. I have a friend whose Grandfather survived the holocaust. Listening to his Grandfather speak of the family members he lost is something that cannot be put into words. Those who question the Holocaust do so for political reasons, typically with the agenda of wanting to continue the destruction of the Jewish people.

Mrs. Goodman irresponsibly compares the Nazi’s with individuals, politicians, and scientist who question the science behind manmade global warming. Scientist have questioned the work of their peers for as long as there have been scientist. It is part of the process. In the case of manmade global warming, there is science that refutes the global warming position.

Regardless of your position on the debate, this kind of rhetoric doesn’t help the process, and insults those who have been a victim of one of the worst human tragedies in our history.


Epiphany11 said...

I agree completely. To compare the Holocaust with the Global Warming debate is without merit. As well as highly insensitive.

familyman said...

OK, come on now. You're distorting what she said. She wasn't comparing global warming deniers to the Nazis. She was comparing them to people who now deny that the holocaust happened.

She was making the point that the facts supporting global warming are so convincing, that to deny global warming is real is akin to denying that the Holocaust happened.

You see? She was saying they are both so obvious and substantiated as fact that it's rediculous to deny them.

She may have been espousing an opinion about global warming that not everyone in the world has bought into yet, but she was hardly insulting the victims of the holocaust.

Andy D said...

I respectfully disagree. The science behind “Global Warming” is anything but conclusive. The history behind the Holocaust is beyond denying. To compare those who deny one to those who deny another is, in my humble opinion, trivializing the survivors of the Holocaust.

The Holocaust was a tragic event, and in any political circle it is very emotional. Mrs. Goodman was well aware of this when she wrote the article. The sentence I quote was there only for shock value. She wanted to shock people, and I think the way she did was entirely irresponsible.

Let me give a made up example to illustrate my point. Let’s say a prominent Republican commentator is writing an article about the effects of the Bush tax cuts. There is plenty of economic data to support the position that these tax cuts improve our economy and our government. If the commentator wrote, “Those who deny the positives of the Bush tax cuts are now on a par with those who deny the Holocaust,” what would happen? Am I wrong to assume there would be moral outrage throughout the media and the Democratic Party?

familyman said...

That's fine if you don't think the science behind global warming is conclusive. But the point I was really trying to make was that you said in your original post that, "Mrs. Goodman irresponsibly compares the Nazi’s with individuals, politicians, and scientist who question the science behind manmade global warming."

But she wasn't. She was comparing people who currently deny the holocaust with people deny global warming is real.

And to compare tax cuts to global warming isn't exactly an even comparison either.

Your turn. :)

Andy D said...

I will concede that I should have worded that sentence better. While she wasn’t actually comparing the Nazi’s to those who don’t believe in Global warming, she was comparing current Holocaust deniers such as Iranian President Ahmadinejad and David Dukes to people who question the science (or lack thereof) behind Global Warming.

I think the tax cut comparison is very accurate. I would argue that there is a lot of economic data saying tax cuts are good for both individuals and the government. There is enough data out there that I am surprised more people don’t get mad at Politicians when they want to remove tax cuts. I would even argue that the evidence behind tax cuts is more substantial than the evidence behind Global Warming. So how is that a bad example?

familyman said...

Well, my thinking was that where as the Holocaust was an unimaginably horrific event, global warming if it follows the course many scientist predict it will if unchecked, could also result in horrific consequences,(worst case scenarios include large portions of the world uninhabitable, mass migrations and war) while tax cuts/no tax cuts really don't present the same level of possible dire consequences.

So, if someone truly believes that global warming is a reality, I can see how they might ratchet up their rhetoric to the point where they are putting global warming in the same league as the Holocaust.

I hope you're not getting tired of me.

Andy D said...

I don’t doubt they might ratchet up the rhetoric. I simply believe comparing something that is still in dispute and that has very limited science behind it “certain” is wrong. I also believe that Mrs. Goodman was going for shock value and using the Holocaust for that was irresponsible.

My analogy was to illustrate the point that if a Conservative or a Republican tried the same shock value, they would be attacked left and right. So far, I have heard very little criticism against Mrs. Goodman.