The Weekend Wonk: Climate Denial and the Road to Fascism

November 4, 2016



Anti-intellectualism has been used by totalitarian dictatorships to oppress political dissent. Perhaps its most extreme political form was during the 1970s in Cambodia under the rule of Pol Pot and the Khmer Rouge, when people were killed for being academics or even for merely wearing eyeglasses (as it suggested literacy) in the Killing Fields.[2][citation needed]

During the Spanish Civil War and the following dictatorship, General Francisco Franco‘s civilian repression, the White Terror campaign, killed an estimated 200,000 civilians, heavily targeting writers, artists, teachers and professors.

For years, as a young man, observing the imposition of brutal dictatorship in Cambodia, for instance, I wondered how totalitarian regimes could find support for persecuting, even imprisoning and killing, scientists, teachers, doctors, the very educated classes that civil society relies on to sustain itself.

I have my answer now.


Wildfires crackled across Siberia this summer, turning skies ochre and sending up enough smoke from burning pines to blot out satellite views of the 400-mile-long Lake Baikal.

To many climate scientists, the worsening fires are a consequence of Siberia getting hotter, the carbon unleashed from its burning forests and tundra only adding to man-made fossil fuel emissions. Siberia’s wildfire season has lengthened in recent years and the 2015 blazes were among the biggest yet, caking the lake, the “Pearl of Siberia”, in ash and scorching the surrounding permafrost.

But the Russian public heard little mention of climate change, because media coverage across state-controlled television stations and print media all but ignored it. On national TV, the villains were locals who routinely but carelessly burn off tall grasses every year, and the sometimes incompetent crews struggling to put the fires out.

Russia’s official view appears to have changed little since 2003, when Putin told an international climate conference that warmer temperatures would mean Russians “spend less on fur coats” while “agricultural specialists say our grain production will increase, and thank God for that”.

The president believes that “there is no global warming, that this is a fraud to restrain the industrial development of several countries including Russia,” says Stanislav Belkovsky, a political analyst and critic of Putin. “That is why this subject is not topical for the majority of the Russian mass media and society in general.”



If you have not seen yet, drop everything, grab coffee and watch video above. I’ll wait.

Infowars:(I’ll not give them a link but you can google if you wish)

Russian President Vladimir Putin says global warming is being used as an economic weapon against his country.

He characterized climate change as a “fraud” used to prevent Russia from tapping its vast oil and natural gas reserves.

Greenpeace claims 85 percent of CO2 equivalent emissions in Russia come from its energy industry.

According to a political analyst Stanislav Belkovsky, Putin believes “there is no global warming, that this is a fraud to restrain the industrial development of several countries, including Russia.”


With just days until the election, some Senate Republicans are suggesting that when it comes to the Supreme Court, eight is enough. Eight justices, that is.

For the first time, some Senate Republicans are saying that if Hillary Clinton is elected, the GOP should prevent anyone she nominates from being confirmed to fill the current court vacancy, or any future vacancy.

The pronouncements are such a break with history and tradition that they often provoke the response, “Really?” Some see such statements as little more than an attempt to motivate the Republican base to get out and vote. Others, however, see the trend as a further deterioration of American institutions of government.

Rolling Stone:

At this summer’s Republican National Convention, the party faithful approved their official platform for the next four years. It reads like a denier’s Christmas wish list, with nearly every point receiving the full-throated support of the party nominee, Donald Trump: Build the Keystone XL pipeline, cancel the Clean Power Plan, neuter the EPA and ban it from regulating carbon dioxide, outlaw a carbon tax, stop all fracking regulations. The broader the consensus outside Washington that climate change is real and man-made, the more elaborate Republicans get in refuting its existence. To hear Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) tell it, climate change is a global conspiracy cooked up by liberals who want to institute “massive government control of the economy, the energy sector and every aspect of our lives.”

House Republicans have subpoenaed the government’s top climatologists. They’ve invited discredited deniers to testify before Congress. They’ve even fought the Pentagon – a normally untouchable institution in the halls of Congress – over climate change. Twice this year, the House GOP majority voted to block the Defense Department from studying the national-security implications of climate change. In the words of one House Republican, Rep. David McKinley of West Virginia, the military’s efforts amount to partisan gimmicks and distractions from fighting terrorism. “Why should Congress divert funds from the mission of our military and national security,” he wrote to colleagues in 2014, “to support a political ideology?”

Republicans who’ve dared to buck party orthodoxy end up as cautionary tales. Take Bob Inglis, a six-term congressman with an independent streak who represented the South Carolina upcountry region. During his 2010 re-election campaign, Inglis told a local radio host that climate change was real and humans were responsible. His primary challenger, a local prosecutor named Trey Gowdy, hammered Inglis as an out-of-touch kook more worried about carbon taxes than the lives of his constituents. Inglis lost to Gowdy by a staggering 42 percentage points. “The most enduring heresy that I committed,” Inglis later said, “was saying the climate change is real and let’s do something about it.”


America’s European partners are also troubled by the actions of several people close to Trump’s campaign and company. Trump has been surrounded by advisers and associates with economic and familial links to Russia. The publicized connections and contacts between former campaign manager Paul Manafort with Ukraine have raised concerns. Former Trump adviser Carter Page is being probed by American and European intelligence on allegations that he engaged in back-channel discussions with Russian government officials over the summer. Page did travel to Moscow, but he denies any inappropriate contact with Russian officials. The allies are also uneasy about retired Lieutenant General Michael Flynn, a Trump adviser who was reportedly considered a possible running mate for the GOP nominee. Last December, Flynn attended a dinner at the Metropol Hotel in honor of the 10th anniversary of RT, a Russian news agency that has been publicly identified by American intelligence as a primary outlet for Moscow’s disinformation campaigns. Flynn, who was two seats away from Russian President Vladimir Putin at the dinner, has frequently appeared on RT, despite public warnings by American intelligence that the news agency is used for Russian propaganda.

Trump and his campaign have also spread propaganda created as part of the Kremlin’s effort, relying on bogus information generated through traditional Russian disinformation techniques. In one instance, a manipulated document was put out onto the internet anonymously by propagandists working with Russia; within hours, Trump was reciting that false information at a campaign rally. The Trump campaign has also spread claims from Sputnik, another news outlet identified by American intelligence as part of the Russian disinformation campaign. For example, almost immediately after the posting of an article by Sputnik attacking this Newsweek reporter, the Trump campaign emailed a link to the piece to American reporters, urging them to pursue the same story.

Western intelligence and law enforcement say tens of thousands of people have been working with Russia on its hacking and disinformation campaign for many years. They include propagandists and cyberoperatives stationed in Moscow, St. Petersburg and Novosibirsk, located in the southwestern part of Siberia. Operations have also been conducted in the United States, primarily out of New York City, Washington, D.C., and Miami. Those involved include a large number of Russian émigrés, as well as Americans and other foreign nationals. Intelligence operations in Europe and the U.S. have determined that the money these émigrés receive for their work is disguised as payments from a Russian pension system. One U.S. official says there is evidence many of these Americans and foreign nationals do not know they are part of Russia’s propaganda operation.


In this regard, see my interview of last week with RealNews.  The “email” nonsense that we’ve seen take center stage in this election, over all policy issues, is not a big surprise to climate scientists, who were subjected to this attack in 2009.  We still do not know who perpetrated the completely discredited “climategate” hack, but I know that Russia was a leading suspect among knowledgeable folks at the time. When I brought that up to a former high-ranking military officer a few weeks ago, he agreed.

A reminder. In my interview with Uber Climate Denier Marc Morano, he declared unreservedly that if a Democrat wins the White House in this election, climate denial will have lost.  It’s our call, folks.


18 Responses to “The Weekend Wonk: Climate Denial and the Road to Fascism”

  1. dumboldguy Says:

    All of the Rachel Maddow clip is jaw-dropping, but especially the segments beginning at ~15:00 and ~20:00. Those segments truly are a “drop everything and watch right now” exposition of the dangers facing us with a politicized and out-of-control FBI. If Trump wins, they will be trading in their suits for brown shirts and coming in the night for the likes of you and me.

    • Scary stuff indeed. This just adds to what I’m already concerned about if there is a Trump victory. Trump is running on a platform of tightened security against terrorism, that’s part of his appeal to many,and I pretty much expect him to try and get through further national security measures on this basis. This from someone who is known to behave like an authoritarian bully, is thin skinned and impulsive, peddles paranoid conspiracy theories admires Putin, and has who has said he wants to use more torcher, that black lives matter is a terrorist organisation and that Edward Snowden should be shot as a traitor. I think anti-terror legislation could be used to crush political opposition and the full force of the state will be used against protest groups such as BLM, climate groups, civil rights groups etc……

  2. ralphiesmom Says:

    “The ’email’ nonsense that we’ve seen take center stage in this election…” Yipes, I can’t believe you think the Clintons (or as you seem to equate them with “our democracy and the constitution”) are the victims here.

    There is not unanimity in the U.S. intelligence community on the idea of Russia doing the current hack. There is enough money in the U.S. against the idea of climate change to at least speculate on a domestic attack on the climate scientists also.

    Maybe you didn’t see this?

    The NYTimes noticed a “change in tone” from Putin. Would you say that he is worse than our current candidates who did not raise the issue of climate change in their debates at all?

    I’m calling an alternative crock here.

    • Why is everyone so quick to jump on the “Ruskies are trying to control our elections by hacking us” bandwagon? As one who is familliar with cyber security, I know that the biggest sign that the hacks weren’t perpetrated by Russia is that they have been attributed to Russia. Russian government hackers are sophisticated enough to cover their tracks and place evidence that it was somebody else on any and all of the systems that were hacked. If Russia had done it, forensic evidence would have us looking at Isreal or the UK. It is more likely that the hacks came from OUR OWN government or independent actors operating through proxies and/or zombie machines (malware controlled “bots”).

      Another thing–most of the leaked information has been confirmed as real. Why are we more upset at those who revealed it than the people who not only perpetrated the crimes, but were also stupid enough to keep evidence lying around? There have been some “fake” documents leaked, too. I find myself wondering who faked and leaked them. Were they released by the people leaking real information to add fuel to the fire, people trying to discredit the real leaks, or even more likely, by the people who were damaged by the original leaks, also in order to discredit the truth?

      I find the whole situation disgusting. There was obvious wrong done. There were obvious botched coverups. Instead of focusing on the wrongs done, the attempts to hide them, and punishing those responsible, we’re focussing on a witch hunt to try to uncover the identities and question the motives of the people who uncovered the truth. Don’t get me wrong, those motives DO matter, but only as an afterthought and not NEARLY as much as the things uncovered.

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Yes, Ralphiesmom is living on an “alternative crock” planet of her own design. “Yipes”, she says at the thought that the Clintons are “victims”? Yes, all rational thinkers know that they are indeed victims, as is our democracy and the constitution—–all at the hands of Trump and the alt-right.

      Ralphiesmom sounds like an AGW denier as she demands “unanimity” in the intelligence community about the Russian hacking and suggests a conspiracy theory about U.S. fossil fuel interests being responsible. LMAO! Is she channeling Alex Jones? Sorry, but there IS unanimity among all the intelligence agencies about the Russian hacks—-the Trump camp is in Putin’s pocket and simply refuses to accept the truth, and RM dutifully parrots their line.

      Maybe ralphiesmom didn’t READ the links she suspects we didn’t “see”. If she had, she would have seen that Putin is just BS-ing the world with his “change in tone”, and that the link to the Obama-Romney debate in 2012 has absolutely NO relevance to this year’s election since neither of them are “current candidates”.

  3. Who do you believe: Hillary or Julian Assange?

    John Pilger actually believes Hillary is more dangerous than Trump.

    Hillary only half-jokingly (my opinion) asked about murdering Assange by drone attack.

    Assange pities Hillary somewhat in the tragic-figure sense.

    John Oliver hates Assange.

    I don’t see any reason not to like the man, except that his youtubes always come across garbled (this one is an exception) so I never know what he’s saying.

    • I don’t believe either of them. Hillary is obviously corrupt and a liar. Assange has been immersing himself with cover-ups and leaked information. That’s enough to drive anybody to insanity after a short time. It makes one start to see things where none really exist and gives an exagerated viewpoint of those that do. I somewhat trust the raw data he releases because it has proven to be reliable and authentic repeatedly, over a long period of time. I don’t trust his conclusions any more than I do that crazy homeless tweaker that is standing on the corner holding signs about the end of the world and trying to sell me pieces of broken household electrical equipment (“Wanna buy this fan blade for three bucks? All you need is a motor and a base and you’ll have a perfectly good working desk fan.”)

    • dumboldguy Says:

      Aside from the fact that Pilger and Assange have the same narcissistic hair problems as Trump and Assange is wanted by one country for sex offenses and another for hacking crimes (of which he has been convicted in the past), you “don’t see any reason not to like the man”? Lord love a duck!

      I tend to believe Hillary over Assange, and look forward to the day the Ecuadorians get tired of sheltering him and turn him over to the Brits for extradition. He needs to be locked up way more than Hillary does.

      And does the fact that John Pilger “actually” believes Hillary is more “dangerous” than Trump have any significance? In Pilger’s narrow world, that is probably true, but for the rest of us it’s definitely not. Get off your Hillary hate binge and open your eyes.

      • I’ve long been an Assange supporter but have become angry at what he’s been doing and, living in the UK, was considering writing to the Ecuadorian embassy and giving reasons why I think they should consider expelling Assange. However, I’ve calmed down somewhat and come the realisation that with a Trump presidency we will need Wiki-leaks more than ever. I think both Assange and Pilger will soon come to realise they have made a big mistake. The trouble for Assange is that if he leaks information that seriously undermines a Trump regime, Trump isn’t Obama and he’s not going to play soft-ball. He’ll use either economic sanctions or maybe even threaten military action if that’s what it take to get Assange handed over.

  4. This article is one of the best examples of its topic. It is a very compelling conspiracy theory. Get out your tin foil hats, everyone! Actually, don’t. If you believe all of this, you should also believe that the tin foil hat phenomenon was actually a joint program concieved by the CIA and the KGB to take out and discredit those who are “in the know” about MK Ultra. It takes advantage of the thin film effect to alter the wavelength of the mind-altering rf they were (are?) using to control us to a frequency that causes catastrophic cascading synaptic degredation. The altered frequency is no longer able to pass through the foil and is reflected, repeatedly passing through the brain causing more damage. Why do you think all the people who wear tin or aluminum foil hats eventually go crazy?

    Of course, that was all garbage, but not quite so much as the conspiracy theory in this article. Before you take this left-wing wanna-be equivalent of an info-wars conspiracy article seriously, you should also fully believe my CIA/KGB tin foil hat theory.

  5. […] Source: The Weekend Wonk: Climate Denial and the Road to Fascism | Climate Denial Crock of the Week […]

  6. webej Says:

    Study on the carbon footprint of hydro-electric. Equivalent to Canada’s total emissions (1.3% of global emissions), weighted unfavourably towards methane (!)
    Cited in

    Found (by accident) on a news agency site (!)

  7. webej Says:

    The timing of leaks and allegations is seldom random: Remember how Eliot Spitzer’s sins were revealed two weaks after an op-ed in the Washington Post (feb 2008) where he divulged the Bush administration’s role in suppressing efforts by the 50 governors to do something about mortgage fraud.

    The FBI leaks are not surprising. Many predicted as much when Comey announced there would be no referral, simultaneously cataloguing a series of facts which amount to gross negligence. A lot of career FBI agents felt overruled by political manoeuvres. This is pay back. Breitbart or not, many of these people’s views are informed by being privy to a lot of information and secrets nobody knows.

  8. webej Says:

    Russia is no example for greenhouse gas mitigation.
    But it is not the home-base of climate denial.
    Russia has stated that it intends to ratify the Paris agreement.
    In March 2016 it changed it’s environmental legislation to incorporate a framework for measuring, reporting, and limiting the emission of greenhouse gases.

    Putin’s own words (Nov 30 2015): “Climate change has become one of the gravest challenges humanity is facing” “Caused by global warming, hurricanes, droughts, floods and other anomalies are the source of economic damage.”

    Judge for yourself (Russian with English translation):

    Russian society has no analogue of the rabid Anglo-Saxon climate/science denial anomaly.

    • Sir Charles Says:

      There is a difference between what Putin is saying and what he’s doing.

    • Sir Charles Says:

      And BTW, we have to deal with Putin’s trolls spreading climate change denial in Western social media. I have my own experience with them.

      Why do you think Putin is supporting Trump? Because they want to combat climate change together? Yeah. Moon is a big Emmental…

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: