Home > AGW, climate change, cognition, Enviro Derangement Syndrome, Lubos Motl, Nazi, ribalism, skeptic > Luboš Motl 4: His considered plan to eliminate enviros: they should be treated like N*zis, so it may be necessary to kill millions (less if we get started soon!)

Luboš Motl 4: His considered plan to eliminate enviros: they should be treated like N*zis, so it may be necessary to kill millions (less if we get started soon!)

As noted on the prior thread, in a recent blog post, scientist Lubos Motl concluded that there “literally pandemics” of people writing stuff on global warming, and that is “simply … no other help for the people who are writing most of the stuff” but “euthanasia” and “urgently put[ting] these people into quarantine, hoping that it is not too late”.  He then deleted and declined to answer the comment that I made on his blog that asked him to clarify the difference between himself and the N*zis.

However, I note that in response to a comment from a commenter named “Sign me up!”, Lubos was willing to spell out his proposal as follows; my comments are indented:


[]  Euthanasia? Urgent quarantine? What’s with the elimationist fantasies here, Lubos?

Is this a reasonable way to engage with anybody, much less so many leaders, industrialists, scientists, reporters etc.?

Sorry, wrong questions. Obviously EVERYBODY who writes or worries about possible climate change is EVIL. How can we help innoculate our fragile democracies from their filth? Do we get to kill enviro-Nazi hypercommies, and their supporters everywhere? Can you give us better instructions on how we identify them?

LM: If your question is meant seriously, then let me say that I have defined the group that should be given the treatment much more accurately than you seem to suggest. Read my text again and listen carefully.

[TT:  Lubos’s post refers to “the people who are writing most of the stuff” that he has linked to in the post; they are mainly reporters.]

Otherwise, now quite seriously, I don’t propose any vaccination or anything that goes beyond the very basic standards of freedom of democracy. I only demand the basic principles that are written in our constitutions etc. to be respected.

The right to exhale or otherwise emit carbon dioxidebasic processes inevitably associated both with life and modern civilization – and the right to think that climate alarmists are irrational cranks are surely basic human rights and indeed, if someone wants these rights to be eliminated, i.e. to prevent people from essential processes for their civilized life or from their freedom of opinion, I want him to be treated analogously to the Nazis because he is analogous to the Nazis. Indeed, I view such people as a threat to our basic freedoms, prosperity, and, indeed, life itself.

[TT:  These are gross strawmen.  Obviously, NO ONE is arguing that people don’t have the right to breathe; OF COURSE if there were such people we would all have legitimate right to self defense.  Nor is anyone arguing that skeptics have no right to express their opinions.  But where, anywhere, have nations created explicit rights to “legal persons” to emit unlimited levels of carbons or any thing else?  Lubos may feel that there are “natural” or God-given rights to take actions that negatively affect others, but it’s hardly the basis of our jurisprudence (even as it underlies our political economies), and there plenty of laws, regulations and court cases that restrict economic freedom in cases where it imposes costs on others.  Yes, presently a good portion of our generating capacity and virtually all transportation is provided based on fossil fuels, but it is not “an essential process for civilized life” that this continue indefinitely.  In fact, we have been gradually decarbonizing for year based simply on existing market incentives, and it is conceivable that someday or energuy infrastructure will be based mainly on nuclear and hydrogen.

Are people who care about the damages and risks posed by our current energy infrastructure all Nazis?  Anybody who’s bothered to keep his ears opens knows that the major religions keep making promulgations of a nature that Lubos considers sufficient to euthanize or lock up the clergy.]

Now, imagine that the plans of some of these extreme anti-greenhouse people became more realistic and there would be a risk that they return us to the Middle Ages, both from the viewpoint of GDP as well as the viewpoint of freedom of ideas.

[TT:  Besides paying close attention to what Lubos thinks about the “freedom of ideas”, it’s quite easy to find (1) NON-“extreme anti-greenhouse people” who have concerns about the risks posed by our current exploitation of our shared but unmanaged commons and (2) Nobel prize-winning economists and other prominent economists who think that pricing carbon/GHGs/etc. is affordable without sacrificing growth and makes sense now on a cost-benefit/risk analysis.]

Yes, I think that tough steps agaisnt them would become necessary, whether or not these steps would be organized by sane governments or locally. How many of these green people would have to be eliminated for the civilization to be saved? I don’t know. In the case of Nazism, it was pretty much necessary to kill millions of Germans – defeat them in a war – to stop their majority’s favorite ideology that was also flagrantly incompatible with the civilized world’s standards. The rest simply surrendered. This qualitative template would surely hold in any qualitatively similar confrontation – the only difference could be a quantitative one.

If steps against Nazi Germany had been made earlier, the casualites could have been smaller. I really don’t know whether this carbon control madness will fade away soon or, if it will not, how far it will get. The further it will escalate, the tougher steps will be needed to solve it. But unless it fades away soon, I am afraid that the permanent arrest or execution of one Al Gore would probably not be the sufficient solution to solve the crisis because already today, the situation is demonstrably much more serious than having one lunatic dreaming about his global control over the world’s carbon from his Tennessee home.

  1. TokyoTom
    July 24th, 2008 at 02:16 | #1

    Lepus: Thanks for your comments.

    May I suggest that one of the best ways to engage skeptics on the right is on their own terms? Namely, that it is largely voluntary cooperation among millions/billions through markets, based on private property that is responsible for the creation of our wealthy societies. However, it is well-recognized that this mechanism doesn’t work for resources that are UNOWNED (or are “public” but used for private gain by corrupt elites) – like the ocean (and its fisheries, which no one has any incentives to protect and are being destroyed), tropical forests/wildlife and the atmosphere.

    Even die-hard rightists ought to be able to recognize that the absence of effective property rights (individiual or group) is the road to ruin, so that we need to find a way to manage such resources, rather than to continue to subsidize their destruction.

    Such people ought also to be sensitive to what church leaders say about abusing nature.

  2. Lepus
    July 23rd, 2008 at 23:21 | #2

    TT. Thank you for your both your responses; it has taken me a few days to understand them–and also maybe what I was thinking.

    We are faced with a whole ecosystem in the denier movement. I’ve done some research–I read Lomborg (ik), and visit the Beck and Limbaugh sites (groan). Then I read their references. And so on.

    There are the enablers like Soon and their funders. The millions of voters that have been coopted by the anti enviro propaganda, often through the skillful use of memes (existing or planted?, I wonder)(and if existing, how many generations have they survived?).

    Many curious species are less easily spotted– Spencer, Pielke, et al, who are entitled to an opinion in this issue, but have strong motives from other issues (ear tip to the big bunny).

    All of it seemingly cohering into a do nothing or do little course which is basically suicidal for the planet.

    My (previously unrecognized) instinct is to categorize the different species in this ecosystem. Track the flow of energy. Develop a taxonomy. Ask a zillion questions.

    Enter LM. He is like every puzzle in the denier ecology rolled up into one person. An engine of contradiction, juxtaposing concepts like euthanasia and freedom in some fractured logic. Using reason to unseat reason.

    I applaud your efforts to talk with Lubos. (now, i am heading over to his blog for a little observation…)


    So, my instinct here is to try to understand this

  3. TokyoTom
    July 14th, 2008 at 16:03 | #3

    Lepus, the two memes here – enviros want to stop respiration and modern society will end if we price carbon – are very common.

    The first of course is completely dishonest, but there are many who buy it because environmentalists are similarly charged with wanting to stop population growth in order to protect wildlife. I suspect that LM understands and is linking this with use of fossil fuels only to make a more pwoerful rhetorical statement (and maybe persuade himself).

    The second is tied into the very real difficulties in actually cutting back on GHG emissions and atmospheric stocks, especially given existing linkages between CO2 and energy use and the rapid growth of China, India, Brazil etc. If we don`t quickly develop and install new technology, there is now way we will make a dent in GHG atmospheric growth unless we drive ourselves into a very serious depression. That`s what the skeptics are hyping as the AIM of environmentalists – all while denying that there`s any serious problem that merits action.

    The paranoia comes in LM thinking that everybody but a few skeptics are irrational and that enviros are enemies of mankind that should be “euthanized” or quarantined.

  4. Lepus
    July 14th, 2008 at 13:47 | #4

    LM writes: “The right to exhale or otherwise emit carbon dioxide – basic processes inevitably associated both with life and modern civilization”

    Would LM listen if one pointed out to him that there is a no conection between exhaling small amounts of CO2 waste (derived from above ground carbon stocks), and the “right” to dump large amounts pollution into the commons? Is he rational here?

    This is such a simple thing to understand. LM rejects reason and conjures the argument that the “right to breathe” is under assault by the enviros.

    He is not alone: http://poneke.wordpress.com/2008/06/05/co2/

    This again looks like paranoia. Is LM bent enough to have come up with this distortion on his own? Or was this placed where he could find it?

    I am remind of how, when recently a presidential candidate was talking about SUVs, excessive energy use, and leadership, the issue was broadcast as the “democrats will ask the UN to tell us where to set our thermostats”. This is very creative misinformation. Just as claiming that envirofascists will take away your right to breath.

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