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Against Preventive Justice

The best thing that has come out so far from Splattergate is that (embarrassing self-absorbed conspiracy-obsessed holier-than-thou Italian University professors aside) at least some AGW believers are waking up to the PR and dictatorial horrors lurking within the “environmental” movement. Look at Revkin’s onetwo thrashing of 10:10, for example:

Personally, I’ve got to agree with a critique offered by a YouTube account holder who was one of many who took up the 10:10 invitation to download and repost the video — in this case with the environmental group’s “apology” superimposed on the imagery: If the same kind of video had been made about blowing up atheists, agnostics, christians, jews, muslims, whites, blacks, asians, homosexuals, left-wingers or right-wingers, it would have been met with understandable disgust; this video is a shameful display of DOUBLE STANDARDS.

And now there is also Tom Yulsman of the Center for Environment Journalism’s CE Journal: at first, wondering about “with friends like this, who needs enemies?” and then struggling to deal with a Steve Bloom ready to compare mass murderers and terrorists to climate change skeptics (one suspects, this category includes anybody not fully and precisely agreeing with whatever strain of climate catastrophism Mr Bloom adheres to).

I can’t fault Mr Yulsman really (apparently, his pivotal moment has been the realization that a good friend of his, however skeptical of future climate catastrophes, can’t possibly be an Osama bin Laden in disguise). Actually, I do not believe that it could ever be possible to respond to the likes of Mr Bloom, given the fact that he assumes that people in the present should bear culpability about “future large-scale death of people“.

Those deaths haven’t happened, but I guess it doesn’t matter, does it. It is also a well-known pinnacle of hubris to consider any future as if it had already happened (“forecasting is difficult, especially about the future“), but surely that doesn’t matter either. Preventive justice is a horrible nightmare of untold numbers of perfectly-honest people made to suffer at the mere hint of a risk, but hey, if one thinks about climate policy failures all day long, that’s (alas!) the final solution.

And so…radio has greatly helped in the Rwandan genocide, so let’s find a way to go back in time and put Marconi and Hertz in jail. Likewise for Messrs Benz and Diesel, the Wright Brothers, James Watt, etc etc. Come to think, with the incredible number of wars fought in the name of Christianity, Jesus’ turn on the cross must have been exactly the sort of punishment favored by Mr Bloom’s “descendants’ justice“.

  1. Brian J. BAKER
    2010/10/11 at 12:14

    Just two comments

    Between 1 -3 Million die each year of Malaria

    50% of all the people who have ever populated the planet have died from Malaria.

    The known preventative – DDT promoted by? Vilified by?

  2. yulsman
    2010/10/09 at 14:30

    Tell me, on what evidence do you say I had some sort of “pivotal moment” in which I came to the “realization” that my good friend John Zulauf — or any climate skeptic for that matter — is not the equivalent of a terrorist?

    And please spare us the weasel words (“one could be forgiven”). Point to something I’ve written that gives you this impression.

    If you’d like people outside of your comfort zone to respect you, you might consider showing some respect.

    • 2010/10/09 at 22:22

      Tom – tell me, on what evidence did you fail to understand the following words of mine: “Of course you “do not think like this, period” about your friends (should I have put the “sarcasm” tag). No sane person would ever do. ”

      Let me then reiterate that (a) I do not think that you have ever remotely considered the idea that a good friend of yours is equivalent to a terrorist, and therefore (b) you have never had any “pivotal moment” about that, but, as should have been very clear by now, (c) your blog post gives the impression that until a day ago or two you had not considered any of the hints of violence coming from the “warmist” camp.

      Well, I can tell you that the last thing I have received from the vast majority of warmists in the vast majority of blogs and websites that I have been visiting for a few years now, is any sign of “respect”. You are a journalist: have you ever thought about investigating how it is that anybody showing any hint of doubt about climate catastrophes is regularly insulted, shunned, censored, and chased around the web by people obsessed with saving the world from something that has not yet happened?

      I telly you how’s that…it’s because a large number of people do believe as Steve Bloom does, that anybody having a different way of interpreting the same data is an evil enemy of humanity and the environment, the equivalent of a mass murderer, part of an Osama bin Petrol army funded by Exxon and the Koch brothers.

      Boy, am I really glad to see that a person like you, evidently living for a long time in the comfort of following the majority’s groupthink and therefore never having to experience what it means to think differently, you have finally had to read how a good friend of yours has been casually considered a person unfit to express his thoughts, and most likely unfit to live given what is hinted in the 10:10 Splattergate video.

      And that IS your “pivotal moment”, thank you very much.

      What you’re going to do about it now, it’s up to you. I am sure that if you’ll fall in line with the likes of Steve Bloom and Franny Armstrong, your comfort zone will remain very comfortable. On the other hand, you have a friend that is asking to be granted the simple recognition of his honesty of thought, just like I and countless others are…perhaps you might put that friendship to good use, and wake up to the reality of what kind of people you’ve been traveling together with.

      And before anybody asks: I am perfectly aware that there is plenty of strange guys and buffoons among the climate skeptics. That is what happens when an idea (like skepticism about climate catastrophes) becomes a fringe idea: the fringes, of course, attract all sorts of mad people too. But at least, AFAIK no one of them goes around pontificating about Nuremberg-style trials for climate catastrophists.

      • yulsman
        2010/10/10 at 14:48

        You seem to know an awful lot about me without having met me, let alone spoken with me. And in deciding who you think I am and how I think by reading fragments from a handful of blog postings, you’ve cherry-picked the evidence to conform to your own pre-conceived notions, and, apparently, to nourish a sense of victimhood.

        For the record, I don’t “fall in line” or “travel together” with anyone. I look at the evidence and make my own decisions independently. For this I have been lambasted by climate skeptics and climate activists alike. (And BTW: The not-so-subtle Red-baiting reference to me as a “fellow-traveller” speaks volumes about you.)

        I hope you will continue to enjoy talking exclusively to people who think exactly like you do. (It’s funny how you diagnosed your own malady as you made up fictions about me.)

      • 2010/10/10 at 22:17

        Tom – I knew two things about you: first of all, that you were surprised by the discovery of violent thoughts among fellow AGWers. And how did I know that? By looking at the title of the blog post I have linked to, and by reading your reaction to Mr Bloom’s comment.

        Secondly, by the very same actions I knew you had never ever come across the violent side of the AGWer/catastrophic climate change camp.

        If I am mistaken about any of the above, please do provide a link or two where you analyzed the issue, at any time in the past.


        Alas, in addition to that I now know that you find it normal to accuse people of something, and then forget to say sorry when your accusations are shown empty or based on a misunderstanding. Twice. Finally, I know also that you find it difficult to read what people write without going into absurdist interpretations. Firstly, you took an example of perfectly run-of-the-mill phraseology (“one might be forgiven to think”) as “weasel words” (without elaborating. Will I ever know?).

        And now you have exposed me to the possibility of a new meaning for “fellow traveller”. Well, I am aware of the fact that very few English words are devoid of sexual undertones, and that has already put me in countless embarrassing situations. But political innuendos, this is the first time I come across that.

        Now, would anybody please explain what this “Red-baiting reference” is about?

      • yulsman
        2010/10/10 at 22:42

        I am sincerely sorry that I assumed you knew the connotation of “fellow traveller.” It’s pretty common here, but I should not have assumed you knew what it meant.

        I hope you will come back to CEJournal at some point. I don’t suspect that a meeting of the minds is possible, but you never know.

      • 2010/10/10 at 23:18

        thanks Tom. I think we have a starting point! 😎

  3. John A
    2010/10/09 at 12:18

    Bloom is a classic blog seagull – and he’s being doing the same tricks for years.

  4. geoffchambers
    2010/10/08 at 15:42

    Revisiting the past and anticipating the future are two natural human activities, at least since we invented verb tenses. Until very recently, practically all you could do about the past was put a photo of your wedding day on the mantelpiece and chat with old friends. Suddenly, the possibilities for preserving yesterday have been mutliplied infinitely.
    There’s still not much you can do about the future except what we’ve always done – have children and watch the weather forecast. People feel unconsciously the mismatch between our changed awareness of the past and our ignorance of the future. Some may suffer feelings of rage which make them want to punish someone for what hasn’t yet happened.

  5. yulsman
    2010/10/08 at 13:49

    Thank you for linking to my post at CEJournal about the 10:10 video. I just want to correct one thing you have written here:

    I have had no such “realization that a good friend [of mine], however skeptical of future climate catastrophes, can’t possibly be an Osama bin Laden in disguise.” I find your suggestion here — that one day I woke up and realized that a friend was not really a terrorist — counterproductive and even offensive.

    I simply do not think like this, period. There is no need for me to “realize” that something like this is wrong. Maybe you are capable of thinking that a good friend is “Osama bin Laden in disguise.” But I certainly am not. And I never have been.

    I disagree with John. Sometimes we engage in vehement debate. But always respectfully. And if the two of us had a say in national policy, we would probably be able to craft energy legislation that would put us on the path toward decarbonizing the economy — from his perspective, not because of climate change, but simply stemming from the recognition that we need to do this for many other compelling reasons.

    The 10:10 video is offensive because of the way it demonizes other human beings. Your comment is much tamer, but at the root of it is the same desire to demonize people with whom you disagree.

    • 2010/10/09 at 08:40

      Hello Tom – please do tell – how exactly am I demonising anybody? I said, I am against preventive justice, and so I am against use preventive justice to stop potential eco-terrorists too.

      Of course you “do not think like this, period” about your friends (should I have put the “sarcasm” tag). No sane person would ever do. But by the title of your blog, one could be forgiven to think that you have only _just_ realised that a part of the “environmental movement” is seriously considering the use of force (and, by consequence, violence) against those that don’t think the way they do.

      And just to reiterate a point I like to make, the issue is not “people caring about the environment” against “people not bothered about it”. Sadly, the issue has become “people convinced a catastrophe is upon us” versus “the rest of humanity”.

      As John has tried to ask to Mr Bloom in your blog, “I’ll grant you your approach is morally consistent with your understanding of the facts, won’t you grant me the same?”. I would argue something that is obvious to the point of being trivial: people that do not grant the minimal point of civility that John is asking for, should be isolated (mind you, not jailed 😎 ). There is literally nothing one could exchange with them. And I am qualified to say so, after suffering (well, not quite…) almost five years of abuse and censorship in a variety of “environmental” blogs.

  1. 2010/10/08 at 11:26

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