Where did the comparison start?
Recently, CNN cable TV and syndicated radio host Glenn Beck said this:
Al Gore’s not going to be rounding up Jews and exterminating them. It is the same tactic, however. The goal is different. The goal is globalization. The goal is global carbon tax. The goal is the United Nations running the world. That is the goal. Back in the 1930s, the goal was get rid of all of the Jews and have one global government.
You got to have an enemy to fight. And when you have an enemy to fight, then you can unite the entire world behind you, and you seize power. That was Hitler’s plan. His enemy: the Jew. Al Gore’s enemy, the U.N.’s enemy: global warming.
Then you get the scientists — eugenics. You get the scientists — global warming. Then you have to discredit the scientists who say, ‘That’s not right.’ And you must silence all dissenting voices. That’s what Hitler did.
Now, here’s the thing: Glenn Beck, Yuval Levin, and Ross Douthat didn’t come up with this stuff [about progressives and eugenics] themselves. But it didn’t just pop up out of nowhere either. It’s way too abstruse for that. Rather, some bright boy or girl in the conservative movement dreamed this up and now it’s being run up the flagpole to see if anyone salutes. If it gets some attention, it’ll be rolled out to a wider audience.
So whose bright idea was this? Is there a proud parent out there who wants to take credit?
My impression was that the recent surge of people comparing global warming and eugenics was prompted by Michael Crichton, who made the comparison at some length in the afterword to State of Fear (reprinted here).
However, Kevin writes to say that an emailer traced the meme back further. Apparently, in Big Coal, Jeff Goodell says it started with global warming skeptic Arthur Robinson in 1998.
Anybody out there have insight on this? Does it go back farther than 1998?
Get Grist in your inbox