Instead, as I read Krugman's recent column on climate change and James Hansen, I realize that Krugman is sending signals about his view on people who dissent from viewpoints that he supports, and it tells me that Krugman down the road is going to support things that not long ago we did not think would be possible in this country. He writes:
Making things much worse, of course, is the role of players who don’t have the best will in the world. Climate change denial is a major industry, lavishly financed by Exxon, the Koch brothers and others with a financial stake in the continued burning of fossil fuels. And exploiting variability is one of the key tricks of that industry’s trade. Applications range from the Fox News perennial — “It’s cold outside! Al Gore was wrong!” — to the constant claims that we’re experiencing global cooling, not warming, because it’s not as hot right now as it was a few years back.One can argue about the question as to whether or not a trace gas, carbon dioxide, which is less than 0.04 percent of the total atmosphere around earth, has such alleged huge effects upon climate. Also, one can argue whether or not human contribution to CO2 makes any kind of difference at all.I believe that these are legitimate questions, but I certainly am not prepared to answer them myself.
However, by bringing in James Hansen as his "hero" while also attacking ExxonMobile and the Kochs, there is something that I believe we need to point out: Hansen and his followers are not satisfied with shouting louder. No, they want anyone who dissents publicly from their viewpoint to be thrown into prison.
I think that we need to understand what is happening. Hansen publicly has called for people who disagree with him to be charged with crimes for which the penalty is death, the same charges that the leaders of the Nazi party faced at Nuremberg.
Furthermore, I believe something else is in order here: the amount of money spent in this debate. One one side, government money for any research or climate modeling goes ENTIRELY to those who want more government environmental controls. Western governments alone have given hundreds of billions of dollars to "climate scientists" to promote that human economic activity is causing the earth to warm to dangerous levels. That number I give is not in dispute. Speak to anyone on any university science faculty and that person will tell you that all of the government grant money goes to one side.
On the other side, the total amount that Exxon has given to scientists who dissent from the "orthodoxy" is about $20 million, which is less than what some individual climate change projects have received from the government. Likewise, I doubt seriously that the Kochs have given anywhere near that amount.
So, one side, we have an industry that not only receives huge amounts of government funding, but also seeks to silence anyone who disagrees. When James Hansen and others call for the maximum penalty against "dissenters," and when governments continue to fund people who are so imperialistic about their viewpoints that they want to imprison and kill "heretics," then I think we safely can say that the line has been crossed.
While Krugman so far has not called for the extreme measures favored by Hansen, his silence on the matter also is instructive. Furthermore, his missives against anyone who disagrees with him on Keynesianism are alarming when combined with his views on Hansen and others.
I'll go out on a limb here, but I believe that there will come a time in the near future when people like Krugman -- and maybe Krugman himself -- will call for anyone who dissents from Keynesian thinking to be put on trial and either imprisoned or killed. Keep in mind that government policies have been following the line that humans are causing disastrous global warming. The Obama administration openly wants even more restrictions.
The same goes for what we are seeing in Europe and Great Britain. In other words, governments are on Krugman's side.
Yet, that is not good enough for Krugman. The idea that ANY person out there might make a public statement that contradicts his viewpoint is too much. As I read this column, I realize that what he is demanding is the total silencing by force of anyone who disagrees.
People who disagree with the Krugmans and Hansens are not in prominent or influential positions in universities and government or the mainstream media. This does not mean they are wrong, but it does mean that for policy purposes, Hansen has won. But what Krugman and others demand is that no one be permitted even to speak dissent.
Don't kid yourselves about where this is going. There no longer is a constituency in the academic world for free speech, and governments throughout history have murdered people simply for disagreeing with the government line. I believe that Paul Krugman wants that future for us, too, and he will not stop with just "climate change" or even economics.