Science,  Stateside

Holocaust abuse: the climate change edition

I’ve posted before about Holocaust abuse: the practice of invoking the Nazis’ treatment of the Jews before and during World War II in utterly inappropriate circumstances.

Holocaust abuse is practiced widely on both the Left and the Right: ranging from comparing Gaza to the Warsaw Ghetto to comparing American tax policy and supposed loss of “economic liberty” to the slaughter of six million Jews.

Now we have William Happer, a physics professor at Princeton, telling CNBC’s Andrew Ross Sorkin that “the demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler. Carbon dioxide is actually a benefit to the world, and so were the Jews.”

Happer, who specializes in optics and not climate, has acknowledged the increase in CO2 in the atmosphere. But unlike most climate specialists, he thinks it is nothing to worry about and “will be good for mankind” because of increased plant growth.

Sorkin also noted that Happer, who has suggested that people should be “clamoring for more atmospheric carbon dioxide,” is the chairman of the Marshall Institute, which received $865,000 from ExxonMobil from 1998 to 2011.

Isn’t the next logical step to advocate the building of machines with no other purpose than to pump “beneficial” CO2 into the atmosphere?

I’m remind of the efforts to convince us that “CO2 Is Green” and the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s ads (also previously funded by ExxonMobil) promoting the benefits of carbon dioxide: “They call it pollution. We call it life.”

Yes, of course CO2 is essential for life on Earth. I’m sorry to inform Prof. Happer that nobody believes otherwise. But as the Think Progress website pointed out:

There are plenty of things that are healthy and essential in reasonable quantities but harmful in extremely large quantities. (For example, drinking a few glasses of water is beneficial. Drinking 10 gallons of water can kill you.) We need some carbon dioxide, but too much causes global warming.

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