The world blew up this morning when I got to work and found a long list of waiting e-mails calling me a "liar," demanding an apology (to potentially offended Catholics) for calling Al Gore "an environmental version of the preacher who gets busted with the altar boy," and insisting that the newspaper "do something" to make me stop sharing my opinion, because of this column. (The comment section is open. If you go there, BE NICE!)
The one comment we were able to post included this statement:
While I strongly believe in a "free press," I found his article misleading, inaccurate and more of a personal attack attack on Al Gore.
The author left no indication as to what was "misleading" or "inaccurate," just that it was. As to the "personal attack attack," did I miss a meeting? Is criticism of public figures no longer allowed?
This was good too:
Instead of saying that there are a few scientists, while they recognize that global warming is taking place because of CO2 emissions, do not agree with the majority of scientists about the dire consequences of global warming.
Isn't that just the most spun characterization of global warming skepticism you have ever heard? It says, in fact, that there is no skepticism. Only disagreement regarding consequences. The echo chamber is vast indeed.
Here's the coup de grace:
While some see Bush's silencing of his scientists as a political response or a justification for continued pollution of the atmosphere, Patrick sees it as really defending our right to pollute without regard to its consequences on others, much like he sees smoking in public.
Last time we checked in on "silenced" scientist James Hansen, he was giving 1,400 interviews. As to the suggestion that I am "defending our right to pollute without regard to its consequences on others," well, I don't even know what to say. It's that ridiculous.
On the bright side I did have a local guy stop by, a bonafide scientist and environmentalist, and tell me he enjoyed the column. He left me with a 30-ish page paper he wrote about the current hysteria. I thoroughly enjoyed meeting and talking with him and look forward to reading his views, especially the section where he delves into how modern environmentalism has become religion.
As to the larger issue: Why is it always the same people who decry "attacks" on free speech with one hand while actively working to silence opposing viewpoints with the other?
In other climate news: The hystreria continues:
...psychologists say they're seeing an increasing number of young patients preoccupied by a climactic Armageddon.