in Green Weenie Award
Sometimes an environmentalist will go above and beyond the guidelines and do something so egregious that a Green Weenie of the Week isn’t sufficient recognition. So we’ve reserved a special Green Weenie of the Year for Outstanding Achievement in Environmental Demagoguery.
I was certain for a while Earth First’s “assassination hit list” of people deserving direct action, such as Chesapeake Energy CEO Aubrey McClendon, for the apparent sin of delivering large new supplies of cheap—and low polluting—natural gas, would be the easy winner of the first annual Green Weenie. Earth First says they’re only proposing “prank assassinations” (though adding that “In fact, most everyone hates these creeps, and many would applaud their demise”), but doesn’t this count as the kind of “hate speech” that the Left said caused the Gabrielle Giffords shooting? That was Sarah Palin’s fault I recall. Makes me think I’ll need to dredge up my old bumper sticker that reads: “Earth First!—We’ll Mine the Other Planets Later.”
But Earth First only manages to be runner up in for the Green Weenie of the Year. The envelope please!
The winner of Power Line’s coveted first annual Green Weenie of the Year Award goes to Prof. Richard Parncutt of the University of Graz, Austria, for his recent suggestion that climate skeptics deserve the death penalty. Parncutt, a professor of the psychology of music (really) thinks himself a green version of John Rawls apparently, and posted his extensive case for why the death penalty for climate skeptics would be fully just on his blog back in October. Now that the post actually got read, he’s taken it down, but not before several screens shots were made to preserve it for digital posterity, not to mention digital “posteriority” (a new term of mine, meaning exactly what you think). He actually thinks global warming “deniers” deserve more harsh treatment than Behring Brevik, the Norwegian mass murderer who killed 77 people in 2011 (in a country with tough gun control, incidentally). Here’s some relevant excerpts:
In this article I am going to suggest that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for influential G[lobal] W[arming] deniers. But before coming to this surprising conclusion, please allow me to explain where I am coming from. . .
GW deniers fall into a completely different category from Behring Breivik. They are already causing the deaths of hundreds of millions of future people. We could be speaking of billions, but I am making a conservative estimate. . .
I don’t think that mass murderers of the usual kind, such Breivik, should face the death penalty. Nor do I think tobacco denialists are guilty enough to warrant the death penalty, in spite of the enormous number of deaths that resulted more or less directly from tobacco denialism. GW is different. With high probability it will cause hundreds of millions of deaths. For this reason I propose that the death penalty is appropriate for influential GW deniers. More generally, I propose that we limit the death penalty to people whose actions will with a high probability cause millions of future deaths. . . the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for GW deniers who are so influential that one million future deaths can with high probability be traced to their personal actions. Please note also that I am only talking about prevention of future deaths – not punishment or revenge after the event.
Parncut attempts the typical “thought experiment” dodge:
Please note that I am not directly suggesting that the threat of execution be carried out. I am simply presenting a logical argument. I am neither a politician nor a lawyer. I am just thinking aloud about an important problem.
But he just can’t help himself:
Then there is the question of in which judicial system someone could be tried and prosecuted. Given that the alleged victims of the criminal act are not confined to the country in which the GW denier lives, but are all over the world, then only an international court (perhaps the International Criminal Court) would do. I guess that right now there is no existing law, either national or international, under which such a prosecution could be pursued. Given the overriding importance of GW (just about everything else that we hold dear depends on it), I am proposing with this text a legal change that will make the criminal trial of GW deniers possible.
Sign that man up to be the next Secretary General of the United Nations! There’s more, including the suggestion that maybe the Pope deserves the death penalty, too, for opposing condoms. Kinda gives a whole new meaning to “Eco-fascism,” doesn’t it? The fact that Parncutt domiciles in Austria is just a bonus poetic feature.
Hat tip: Who else?