A lot of the commentary from skeptics blogs on the BBC Attack on Science programme was expressing the view that the Beeb was engaged in a one-sided attack on climate skepticism, and only plays to the environmental agenda.
I dont know if this is really true even though it might seem it after the Meet the Skeptics documentary also, but here at least from a year ago is a fascinating Radio 4 episode of Analysis asking Are Environmentalists Bad for the Planet?
Featuring Greenpeace chairman John Sauven, Jonathan Porritt, Professor of Climate Change Mike Hulme; the theologian and United Nations adviser on climate change and world religions Martin Palmer; Sociologist Lord Anthony Giddens; John Gummer MP and policy director of the New Economics Foundation Andrew Simms and others, the main theme is that, whatever about the science of climate change, climate activists are using it as a way of imposing their anti-modernist, anti-technology agenda:
PALMER: I think the core of what the environmental movement has done is it has taken sin, guilt and fear from religion and has used those very strongly. The problem is that in good religion – if I can put it that way – that is always combined with a sense of hope, a sense of liberational salvation and a sense of personal responsibility but not the kind of responsibility that makes you feel you are a victim of the weight of your sins and guilt. Bad religion ignores the hope, salvation dimension of it and seeks to create a climate of fear which then means that those in control of creating that climate of fear are in control of those people and become dictators and there is – and I hate to say this – but there is a very strong –it’s very small – but there is a very strong green fascism in much of the environmental world. I’ve heard it said at meetings I’ve been at – that climate change is so important – democracy has to be sacrificed.
This is indeed the view of for example Professor of medicine and IPCC author Dr. David Shearman who apparently argues in his recent book The Climate Change Challenge and the Failure of Democracy that democracy is incapable of dealing with the global climate change crisis, and therefore needs to be replaced by an authoritarian world government with the power to force people to do what Shearman thinks they ought to do.
And here is Prof. Mike Hulme:
HULME: Some of the deep green movement would buy into this – that actually climate change is the best opportunity that we have got in order to get our political goal of a more egalitarian, localist, less consumer driven society onto the table. And we’ve seen over 40 or 50 years different tactics I suppose from some of these deep greens, eco-socialists if you like, to drive forward this idea and climate change is the latest and is an opportunity.
Increasingly it seems to me judging from the kind of reactions I’m getting, people get so vexed at any hint of skepticism, not because they feel it is contradicting established science, but because it challenges the religious conviction that the modern world of technology and growing populations is just plain wrong and doomed anyway. That’s what they really mean by “denialist”- not just someone who questions cutting CO2 even with no good alternatives to fossil fuels, but anyone who questions the climate of doom.
Well worth listening to the whole episode.