James Delingpole: The True Face of Denialism
April 8, 2013
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.
If you ever needed (more) proof that the professional deniers are driven by a mindless rage devoid of any actual science, I urge you to read James Delingpole’s latest piece.
It will nauseate you — consider yourself warned. But I think it’s important to dissect this hate speech in detail because Delingpole seems to think that hate speech isn’t hate speech if you just use rhetoric — the figures of speech, like metaphor.
Having spent a quarter century studying rhetoric and having just published a well-received book on this very subject — Language Intelligence: Lessons on persuasion from Jesus, Shakespeare, Lincoln, and Lady Gaga — I think I can safely say that is bullshit, though most likely only metaphorical bullshit (see below).
You may recall Delingpole’s 2011 meltdown on the BBC, where they got him to admit he is a hand-waving know-nothing: “It is not my job to sit down and read peer-reviewed papers because I simply haven’t got the time…. I am an interpreter of interpretations.” This pieces makes that meltdown look like the height of lucidity.
The piece is worth examining in detail because I think it is indicative of how the deniers and disinformers really feel — and we’ll know if that’s true if none of them denounce it.
The headline is “An English class for trolls, professional offence-takers and climate activists.” Delingpole is going to lecture us plebes on our native tongue.
What more proof is needed that hate speech is the “logic” of deniers?
By the way, this trick of “pretended denial” — smearing someone by putting it in the negative (“I’m not calling my opponent a liar, but …”) — is so old the Greeks classified it as a figure of speech 25 centuries ago! And here it is indeed just rhetorical denial — as evidenced by the absurdist addition of “*regretful sigh*” and, even worse, “the mercy of quick release” and “Hanging is far too good.” Anyone who “read English at Oxford” as Delingpole snearingly asserts a few sentences later would know that.
Let’s take a quick look at the alleged “terms and conditions for Telegraph.co.uk and all associated websites”:
In submitting material to us, you warrant that any material you submit:
… (6) is not obscene, threatening, menacing, offensive, defamatory, abusive….
If Delingpole’s piece doesn’t count as “threatening, menacing, offensive, defamatory, abusive” then it is quite safe to say that nothing does. It should be retracted, the Telegraph should issue an apology and then fire him.
Delingpole then doubles down by bringing in — what else? — a Nazi war criminal metaphor (emphasis in original):
This isn’t to say that there isn’t a strong case for the myriad dodgy scientists-on-the-make, green activists, posturing and ignorant politicians, rent-seeking corporatists, UN apparatchiks, EU technocrats and hopelessly out-of-their-depth environment correspondents who talked up the global warming scare to be brought to account for the vast damage they have done to the global economy, for the people they have caused to die in fuel poverty, for the needless regulations they have inflicted on us, for the landscapes they have ravaged with wind farms, and so on.
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.
Delingpole follows a mainstream of climate denial ‘thought”.
Speaking at a conference in Los Angeles, Lord Monckton, an ardent climate change sceptic, claimed that Professor Ross Garnaut held fascist views.
During the presentation he stood in front of a projection of a swastika next to a quote from Prof Garnaut that read: “The outsider to climate science has no rational choice but to accept that, on the balance of probabilities, the mainstream science is right in pointing to high risks from unmitigated climate change.”
“That’s a fascist point of view,” Lord Monckton told the audience. “That you merely accept authority without question. Heil Hitler, on we go.”
Lord Monckton, a one-time adviser to Baroness Thatcher, is renowned for his belief that humans are not damaging the climate. His latest comments stunned Australians from both sides of politics.
Julia Gillard, the Australian prime minister, whose Labor government is currently trying to bring in a carbon tax on big polluters, said the remarks were “grossly inappropriate”.
Of course, Lord Monckton fits in perfectly with America’s home grown climate denial crackpots, the Heartland Institute, who not only claims to have cured AIDS, but has become a leading voice of the TeaParty “Birther” movement – drawing cheers from the climate denial set for his foul, racist “Obama is a Kenyan” rant at Heartland’s annual conference last May.