Listening to Al Gore, Jim Hansen and Ban Ki-moon talk about climate change recently it is easy to see why some people call the whole climate change movement extremist and alarmist.
Al Gore recently compared those countries who have refused to act, to those that refused to take action to stop Adolf Hitler.
However, despite a growing number of honorable exceptions, too many of the world’s leaders are still best described in the words Winston Churchill applied to those who ignored Adolf Hitler’s threat: “They go on in strange paradox, decided only to be undecided, resolved to be irresolute, adamant for drift, solid for fluidity, all powerful to be impotent.”
And Jim Hansen recently compared trains car filled with coal to the train cars filled with jews on their way to death camp during the holocaust.
Recently, after giving a high school commencement talk in my hometown, Denison, Iowa, I drove from Denison to Dunlap, where my parents are buried. For most of 20 miles there were trains parked, engine to caboose, half of the cars being filled with coal. If we cannot stop the building of more coal-fired power plants, those coal trains will be death trains – no less gruesome than if they were boxcars headed to crematoria, loaded with uncountable irreplaceable species.
Holocaust analogies are always a bad idea, as pointed out by Chris Mooney at DeSmogBlog “because even if you explain what you really mean–and even if, once explained, it isn’t actually so offensive–you still can’t get away with it. Moreover, such analogies are pretty well guaranteed to distract people from the point you are trying to get across“.
But if that wasn’t bad enough UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon warned that humanity was at an end if we fail to confront climate change
Ban said the time to act was now. “The situation is so desperately serious that any delay could push us past the tipping point, beyond which the ecological, financial and human costs would increase dramatically,” he told delegates.
“We are at a crossroad,” he added. “One path leads to a comprehensive climate change agreement, the other to oblivion. The choice is clear.”
It is true that climate change will likely cause huge costs, and displace and kill millions, but it wont send humanity to oblivion. Although we will be faced with a large bill and millions dead, humanity will survive.
Tackling climate change isn’t a fight for our survival, and these types of extremist alarmist statements simply detract from the real issue, and the science behind it. So enough already!