This is a climate blog, not a political one. My feelings on what happened in Paris will remain private. My wife is from that city–my feelings are strong.
France has a history of not treating Muslims well. They make all the right, politically correct noises. They have Muslim ministers in government and mosques dot the landscape, although not as frequently as castles. But the banlieues of Paris and the slums of other cities are full of Muslim unemployed and almost unemployable. They are completely disaffected and burn bourgeois cars every night in the big cities. They are trapped and they know it. Hence the burning cars.
The white French have never fully accepted them as French. Even now they call them ‘pieds noir’ or similar identifiers that are actually separators. French Muslims who have jobs are far more likely to be hanging off the back of a garbage truck than having anything like a white collar job. And as I said, only a few have any job at all.
The terrorist acts that have occurred in France over the past 5 years have been committed almost exclusively by French Muslims. They were born in France, educated in France, exposed to French culture and media all their lives. They also have been shut out of the better schools, unable to contribute to French culture and have only a token presence in the media.
France has created a fertile field for recruiting terrorists willing to strike at France.
What has happened in France is 100–no, 1,000 times worse than the treatment of climate skeptics by climate activists. There are no bodies to bury in the climate wars, nobody has been falsely imprisoned.
But the mechanism is the same. Climate activists have insulted, harrassed and harmed those in opposition to the point where they have created enemies out of those who were merely opponents.
Activists are still in 2015 defending their right to call skeptics ‘deniers.’ They are still sliming respected scientists like Richard Lindzen, Freeman Dyson, Ivar Giaevar, Will Happer, Willie Soon, Roger Pielke Sr. and John Christy. When they can’t argue with the science presented, they resort to name-calling, labeling scientists according to their age, political affiliation or religion.
The activists have made a concerted effort to censor the skeptics, refusing to debate them, conspiring to shut them out of the peer-reviewed literature, agitating for the firing of editors who do publish skeptic work, all while insisting that the debate is over, the science settled.
They have created a ghetto for skeptics and they work hard to keep them walled in. Even if this were a minor issue, their behavior would be unconscionable. But to act like this in defense of what activists believe to be the premiere challenge of this millenium is horrible.
It is also short-sighted.
I’m not a skeptic, although I correspond in a friendly way with many of them. I hold a position far closer to the consensus than some might suspect, especially those who have been calling me a denier, delayer, pimp and scumbag for the past 8 years. But I’m close enough to the skeptics that I can foresee a possible future. At some point the consensus, if not the activists, will see the need to make peace with the skeptics, to find some common ground.
But the activists have poisoned the soil, in much the same way that right-wing French have made the banlieues a recruiting ground for terrorists. And hence there will be no peace.
The first dictum of conflict is to try and leave a path whereby your enemy can become your friend.
Otherwise conflicts do not end.