Opinion

Do Climate Change Alarmists Have No Shame?

Jim Huffman Dean Emeritus, Lewis & Clark Law School

Have they no shame? Are there no limits to 350.org’s willingness to attribute human suffering of every description to climate change? Consider what Nicolas Haeringer, a French spokesman for the group, has communicated in an email blast (also on the 350.org website). 

After letting folks know he is heartbroken “for the lives lost in Paris, and for those lost in Beirut and Baghdad … late last week,” Mr. Haeringer declares that “the upcoming Paris Climate Summit is, in a sense, a peace summit – perhaps the most important peace summit that has ever been held.” 

And why is that? Becauseeven as climate change fans the flames of conflict in many parts of the world — through drought, displacement, and other compounding factors — a global movement that transcends borders and cultural differences is rising up to confront this common existential threat.” (Not surprisingly, the global movement he references is 350.org.) “There is a real danger here,” writes Haeringer, “that those already impacted by both the climate crisis and the wars that are so intimately bound up with it — migrants, refugees, poor communities, and communities of color — will be further marginalized.”

So it seems last week’s Paris attacks, like most other ills that plague the planet, are attributable, at least in part, to climate change. The clear implication of Haeringer’s message is that were it not for the consequences of climate change – drought, displacement, refugees flooding Europe – there would not be young men and women so desperate that they are willing to murder total strangers in the name of Islam. 

But that’s not all. In the same breath that he condemns the Paris slaughter, Haeringer says “we should stand in equal condemnation of the instinct to meet violence with more violence. It is a cycle as old as it is ugly: after tragedy comes the rush to judgement, the scapegoating, the xenophobia and Islamophobia, the blame.”

Is 350.org now the guardian of civil liberties and world peace as well as the climate? Yes it is. “We can think of few better responses to violence and terror than this movement’s push for peace and hope,” declares Haeringer. His point is that world peace, civil liberties and climate justice are inseparable and 350.org has the answers – solidarity, love and a Global Climate March scheduled for November 28 and 29 that “will … proceed, no matter what.”  

But there is good news according to 350.org’s spokesman. As luck would have it, the Paris climate summit provides a timely opportunity to unite the world’s nations in peace, harmony and the control of greenhouse gas emissions. Rather than distracting from the climate summit, last week’s atrocities in Paris are a tragic but serendipitous prelude. Yes, these people really have no shame. They will go to any length to advance their agenda.

“If there is anything we must resist,” declares Haeringer, “it is our own fear and short-sightedness.” He and 350.org should know – particularly about fear. No tactic has been more central to the organization’s strategy than fear. What could be more fear inducing than the “existential threat” of climate change? Well, how about the existential prospect of being gunned down by terrorists on the streets of Paris, or Rome, or New York, or anywhere?