Hat tip to Richard Tol for alerting me to this nice example of eco-fascist thinking from Richard Parncutt, a Professor at the University of Graz, Austria. Parncutt, an expert on the psychology of music, originally from Australia, has an interesting take on combining the precautionary principle with
David Hume’s John Stuart Mill’s Jeremy Bentham’s philosophy of ‘the greatest good for the greatest number’ (in this case the as yet unborn), and Adolf Hitler’s ‘final solution’ and its potential application to ‘the denier problem’. Richard Tol wryly refers to Parncutt’s DeSmogBlog denier list link as ‘Death Row’. I’m one of those on it.
UPDATE: I’m behind the curve, having been away for a week, Jo Nova already has a big discussion going on this story, as does WUWT.
UPDATE 2: Prof. Parncutt has taken down and re-written his death-penalty for sceptics manifesto. See the new version here.
UPDATE 3 29-12-12: Prof. Parncutt has backed down and apologised .
Death Penalty for Global Warming Deniers?
An objective argument…a conservative conclusion
Richard Parncutt : last updated 25 October 2012
The smiling face of fascism.
Professor Richard Parncutt
In this article I am going to suggest that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for influential GW deniers. But before coming to this surprising conclusion, please allow me to explain where I am coming from.
For years, hard-nosed scientists have been predicting global warming (GW) and its devastating consequences. For a reputable summary of arguments for and against GW, see skepticalscience.com
Some accounts are clearly exaggerated (more). But given the inherent uncertainty surrounding climatic predictions, even exaggerated accounts must be considered possible, albeit with a low probability. Consider this: If ten million people are going to die with a probability of 10%, that is like one million people dying with a probability of 100%.
When the earth’s temperature rises on average by more than two degrees, interactions between different consequences of global warming (reduction in the area of arable land, unexpected crop failures, extinction of diverse plant and animal species) combined with increasing populations mean that hundreds of millions of people may die from starvation or disease in future famines. Moreover, an unknown number may die from wars over diminishing resources (more). Even if that does not happen, thousands of plants and animals will become extinct. Islands, shorelines and coastal communities will disappear.
So far, the political response to the threat of GW has been lots of talk and little action (more). But action is urgently needed. We are in a very real sense talking about something similar to the end of the world. What will it take to get people to sit up and listen?