Friday, January 18, 2008

Climate change denial compared with pro-slavery rhetoric

From New Scientist, a researcher compares the arguments against taking action on climate change with arguments made in the 1800's against abolishing slavery.
Marc Davidson of the philosophy department at the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands has decided to compare the rhetoric used by US climate "deniers" to that of early 19th century congressional debates on the abolition of slavery.

Davidson claims that historical hindsight shows how preposterous the claims made in favour of slavery were. He suggests they bear striking resemblance to claims made against taking any action on climate change by contemporary members of Congress.

The implication is that some years down the line, in a century or two perhaps, the comments of climate "deniers" will seem just as shocking as those of the slave owners of the 1800s.
Let the outraged howls commence...

1 comment:

Jennifer Smith said...

Interesting. I actually had exactly the same thought watching the movie "Amazing Grace", about the end of the British slave trade.

All the debates about the devastating economic effects this would have in England, the threat that ending the trade would aid and abet the enemy (France) - even one fellow who argued that it would hurt the Newfoundland cod trade because having no slaves to feed would eliminate the market for otherwise inedible fish by-products - all sounded terribly familiar in their logic if not their specifics.

The sound was that of an unsustainable economy screaming and thrashing in its death throes, with those who have gotten fat from it desperately clinging to any feeble argument that might forestall their inevitable decline.

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