The Telegraph’s environment denier James Delingpole wants us to know he really doesn’t think environmental scientists and journalists should be executed:
Should Michael Mann be given the electric chair for having concocted arguably the most risibly inept, misleading, cherry-picking, worthless and mendacious graph – the Hockey Stick – in the history of junk science?
Should George Monbiot be hanged by the neck for his decade or so’s hysterical promulgation of the great climate change scam and other idiocies too numerous to mention?
Should Tim Flannery be fed to the crocodiles for the role he has played in the fleecing of the Australian taxpayer and the diversion of scarce resources into pointless projects like all the eyewateringly expensive desalination plants built as a result of his doomy prognostications about water shortages caused by catastrophic anthropogenic global warming?
It ought to go without saying that my answer to all these questions is – *regretful sigh* – no. First, as anyone remotely familiar with the zillion words I write every year on this blog and elsewhere, extreme authoritarianism and capital penalties just aren’t my bag. Second, and perhaps more importantly, it would be counterproductive, ugly, excessive and deeply unsatisfying.
So why does he bring it up?
Indeed, it would be nice to think one day that there would be a Climate Nuremberg. But please note, all you slower trolls beneath the bridge, that when I say Climate Nuremberg I use the phrase metaphorically.
A metaphor, let me explain – I can because I read English at Oxford, dontcha know – is like a simile but stronger.
There’s something that tickles the back of my brain about him using a simile to explain a metaphor by comparison to a simile. Why not go the whole way, and say something like “a metaphor is like a simile because each is analogous to an allegory”?
Anyway, Delingpole was engaging in hyperbole in response to criticism of a paywalled piece of his in The Australian, in which he said:
The climate alarmist industry has some very tough questions to answer: preferably in the defendant’s dock in a court of law, before a judge wearing a black cap.
For those of you not well familiar with the intersection of fashion and British jurisprudence, the black cap is a black square of fabric worn by a judge when ordering an execution. (Which hasn’t happened since 1973.)
I almost certainly need not explain what’s completely criminal about Delingpole’s disingenuous hate speech, whether or not he appends the condescending Oxford grad equivalent of a winking emoticon at the end. Technically speaking, Hutu “journalists” referring to Tutsi people as “cockroaches” was also just a metaphor.
It’s hate speech, plain and simple, uttered with the express intent of riling those who agree with Delingpole to suppress science.
Delingpole should be careful what he pretends he isn’t really wishing for. Life on this planet is likely to get very nasty for a large number of people in the next decades. At some point, as Britain suffers the third or fourth or fifth triple digit summer in as many years, and crops fail and people go hungry and the urban aged drop dead when the power goes out, there may well be calls for a “Climate Nuremberg” — and it’s doubtful that prominent denialist writers who call metaphorically for executing scientists and climate change activists will go unsummoned.