A lot of hand-wringing is going on about those billboards which depict individuals known for their psychopathic tendency and their comments on the environment.
The use of the image of Ted Kaczynski (AKA the Unabomber) seems to have caused particular offence to those who in fact seem to be delighting in taking offence, and relishing the opportunity to demand that climate change sceptics apologise for the billboard campaign, and condemn it and the Heartland Institute, even though they had nothing to do with it.
Take for instance, the words of Keith Kloor, who seems to be offering running commentary on the affair, as though it were an unfolding event with global significance…
5/6, 9:30am EST: At his blog, Andrew Montford says the ”reverberations are going to be felt for quite a while.” Then he proceeds, Anthony Watts style, to demonstrate his partisan tendencies by devoting the rest of his post to similar guilt-by-association tactics by climate advocacy blogs. As Leo Hickman lamented on Twitter [shorthand cleaned up] to Montford, “very sad that you, too, like Watts, couldn’t resist a ‘comparison’ drive-by rather than simply condemn.” After I seconded this, Montford tweeted: “I’m trying to understand why Heartland’s actions [are] considered so much worse than the others.”
I’m trying to understand how he can’t see the difference. Heartland’s posters were part of a public advertising campaign that included a detailed explanation for why Heartland believed they were appropriate. While Heartland has discontinued the billboards, it should be noted that they have not apologized or renounced the message they conveyed.
Montford had pointed out that the Guardian had published a number of articles online, which claimed that there was a significance in Anders Breivik’s comments on climate change, and his reference to climate sceptics in his manifesto:
If Leo thinks that Helmer should dissociate himself from Heartland, then presumably he thinks that the Guardian should remove Grist from its Environment Network?
The double standards are interesting. The implication of Kloor’s criticism is that Montford must unreservedly condemn the Heartland’s campaign, as though he were somehow implicated by it. In other words, that Montford isn’t entitled to ask questions about the standards being demanded of sceptics, by the likes of the Guardian’s environmental correspondents. In other other words, Montford isn’t allowed to ask questions about the putative connection between people of a certain belief and their actions in general.
And the comments about the link between Breivik and climate change from Grist are not the Guardian’s only attempts to link climate scepticism to violence.