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Bill Brown

A complicated man.

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As an atheist, I'm very conscious of the need for the separation of church and state. It's not just because it's enshrined in the Constitution, though that is true. We must separate the two spheres because of the coercive power of the government: a state church inevitably devolves into some form of theocracy and people like me start getting jailed or worse. I think religion is profoundly misguided (and even downright mentally damaging), but everyone's entitled to their own folly so long as they don't try to force it on me.

So my hackles have been raised and my antennae are up at a recent spate of persecution relating to doubts about anthropogenic global warming. When some meterologists were fired or censured for their beliefs, I started looking into the matter. When freedom of speech starts eroding, then we're in for serious trouble. Even a cursory survey of how skeptics of anthropogenic global warming (AGW hereafter) are treated would reveal that things are bleak and getting worse.

It used to be that people of my ilk were called skeptics. I wasn't a big fan of the term because "skeptic" has a philosophic meaning that is the exact opposite of my own, but it was innocuous enough since most people wouldn't be familiar with the Pyrrhonic sense of the term. And I was skeptical of the basic science at the time—with good reason since it was replete with wide gaps and sketchy assumptions. Nowadays, I think the basic mechanism has been demonstrated but the conclusions are unfounded. For this, I am called a "denier."

I am a denier in a sense. I deny the alarmism and complacency of those who subscribe to AGW. But now we're dealing with a very loaded term: "denier" in modern times has only been trotted out for those who would whitewash the Nazi horror by contesting the Holocaust. I refuse to be lumped in with such trash and I find it utterly repellent that people would stoop to such underhanded smears to dismiss out of hand a dissenting opinion.

Now the gloves are starting to come off. Dissent about AGW is "not morally defensible" {via} and the "debate is over" (a Google search for same indicates that this phrase is a frequently-employed tool in squelching opposing viewpoints). This constant shutting down and stifling disagreement illustrates precisely that this issue has veered from science into politics.

Science does not squelch. Science does not consider any idea or thought unworthy of pursuit. Science would never declare a debate over. But politics does. Politics is about winning. Politics is about expansion of power. Politics is about punishment. (I mean modern-day politics—not politics in the philosophic sense.) Politics wants reduction, science wants conversion.

And the payoff of all this is enforcing the dominant viewpoint {via}. It is simply astounding to me that anyone would call for the criminalization of speech, yet that is precisely what is at work here. But it's the ultimate end of quashing dissent: the Global Warming Gulag. You might think that it'll never come to that, but the seeds have been sown and they will grow in time unless we do something about it. I'm not sure the children are our future {via} in this matter, unfortunately.

There are scattered voices in the wilderness, people willing to fight for what they believe. I'm done keeping quiet. I'm tired of the hysterics, the demagoguery, and the naked desire to wreck our economy. It's time to fight hyperbole with hyperbole.

It's time to put a stop to this before we have another Inquisition or more witch trials.