In England they call summer ‘the silly season’, where normal rules of journalism and even political speech give way to celebrating the odd, funny and strange.
Nowadays we can hijack the term to describe the run-up to the Conference of Parties which have been happening annually and produce some of the most entertaining and/or obnoxious statements imaginable regarding climate change, our contributions to it and its potential impacts on our planet and we, its inhabitants. COP 21 in Paris is no different.
Probably the stupidest statement(s) of the past few days comes from a U.S. Senator, Sheldon Whitehouse, a name that may also capture his ambitions. But he won’t get my vote for higher office. Following the vicious call for RICO prosecutions of those who dissent on climate change coming from some who profit greatly from fears of climate change, Senator Whitehouse calls those who are criticizing the Salem witchhunt as ‘attacks from the right-wing attack machine.’
Senator, I am a Democrat (and I am ashamed that you call yourself one, too). I am not part of any machine. It is not the ‘right wing’ that is correctly criticizing those calling for RICO prosecutions of dissenters. It is people who respect freedom of speech and love this country and apart from you, that includes many Democrats. I criticized Ken Cuccinelli when he tried to shut up Michael Mann. How dare you drag my party down to that level?
And where do you get off calling Judith Curry a climate denier? She’s making climate science, not denying it. From Wikipedia: “Judith A. Curry is an American climatologist and former chair of the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the Georgia Institute of Technology. Her research interests include hurricanes, remote sensing, atmospheric modeling, polar climates, air-sea interactions, and the use of unmanned aerial vehicles for atmospheric research. She is a member of the National Research Council’sClimate Research Committee.
Curry is the co-author of Thermodynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans (1999), and co-editor of Encyclopedia of Atmospheric Sciences (2002), as well as over 140 scientific papers. Among her awards is the Henry G. Houghton Research Award from theAmerican Meteorological Society in 1992.”
And on what planet does a U.S. Senator think it is acceptable to characterize a respected scientist who happens to be on the other side of the fence on one policy issue as similar to someone who denies the Holocaust occurred?
As someone who signed letters asking the IRS to investigate conservative groups in the run-up to elections in 2010 and 2012 I can understand Senator Whitehouse’s willingness to use repressive bullying tactics to get his way.
But I don’t have to approve.
Senator Whitehouse, quit dragging the name and reputation of my party through the mud. Go back to Rhode Island and STFU.
Seriously. You are wrong on the facts, insulting in your speech and you are trashing our image. I’ll say it again–so this guy doesn’t have to.
Testimony from the McCarthy hearings is appropriate.
“Until this moment, Senator, I think I have never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness. Fred Fisher is a young man who went to the Harvard Law School and came into my firm and is starting what looks to be a brilliant career with us. Little did I dream you could be so reckless and so cruel as to do an injury to that lad.
McCarthy Whitehouse tried to renew his attack, Welch interrupted him:
- Senator, may we not drop this? We know he belonged to the Lawyers Guild. Let us not assassinate this lad further, Senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?
McCarthy Whitehouse tried to ask Welch another question about Fisher, and Welch interrupted:
McCarthyWhitehouse, I will not discuss this further with you. You have seen fit to bring it out. And if there is a God in Heaven it will do neither you nor your cause any good. I will not discuss it further.”
- Just STFU.