Guest essay by Eric Worrall
h/t michel – According to Guardian author Keith Kahn-Harris, Trump’s enabling of climate “deniers” is comparable to and possibly influenced by the allegedly growing tendency of extreme anti-semites to openly celebrate the mass murder of Jews in WW2, instead of cloaking their hatred with holocaust denial.
Denialism: what drives people to reject the truth
From vaccines to climate change to genocide, a new age of denialism is upon us. Why have we failed to understand it?
By Keith Kahn-Harris
Fri 3 Aug 2018 15.00 AEST
Those who were previously “forced” into Holocaust denial are starting to sense that it may be possible to publicly celebrate genocide once again, to revel in antisemitism’s finest hour. The heightened scrutiny of far-right movements in the last couple of years has unearthed statements that might once have remained unspoken, or only spoken behind closed doors. In August 2017, for example, one KKK leader told a journalist: “We killed 6 million Jews the last time. Eleven million [immigrants] is nothing.” A piece published by the Daily Stormer in advance of the white nationalist rally in Charlottesville that same month ended: “Next stop: Charlottesville, VA. Final stop: Auschwitz.”
Still, over time it is likely that traditional denialists will be increasingly influenced by the emerging post-denialist milieu. After all, what oil industry-funded wonk labouring to put together a policy paper suggesting that polar bear populations aren’t declining hasn’t fantasised of resorting to gleeful, Trumpian assertions?
It is hard to tell whether global warming denialists are secretly longing for the chaos and pain that global warming will bring, are simply indifferent to it, or would desperately like it not to be the case but are overwhelmed with the desire to keep things as they are. It is hard to tell whether Holocaust deniers are preparing the ground for another genocide, or want to keep a pristine image of the goodness of the Nazis and the evil of the Jews. It is hard to tell whether an Aids denialist who works to prevent Africans from having access to anti-retrovirals is getting a kick out of their power over life and death, or is on a mission to save them from the evils of the west.
If the new realm of unrestrained online discourse, and the example set by Trump, tempts more and more denialists to transition towards post-denialism and beyond, we will finally know where we stand. Instead of chasing shadows, we will be able to contemplate the stark moral choices we humans face.
What utter filth. Comparing climate skepticism to celebrating the murder of millions of Jews. Suggesting that people expressing skepticism of shaky scientific claims actually want to cause the death of millions. For shame, Guardian.
Climategate email 1120593115.txt, retired CRU director Phil Jones speaking.
… As you know, I’m not political. If anything, I would like to see climate change happen, so the science could be proved right, regardless of the consequences. This isn’t being political, it is being selfish …