I interviewed author Mark Bowen a year ago about James Hansen, the great climatologist, with whom Bowen wrote the book Censoring Science. The discussion turned to the intensity of reaction against Hansen from those who refuse to accept the reality of global warming.
Bowen mentioned that Hansen has gotten some death threats, though he considered them too flaky to be very worrying.
I didn’t pursue the topic, but this week I was reminded of Bowen’s remarks by a long thread of web comments notable for the disgust and hatred directed against Hansen and climate activist Danny Bloom.
Bloom has, according to Watts Up With That, filed a suit against national governments seeking $1 billion in damages from “all world leaders for intent to commit manslaughter against future generations of human beings.”
Filing such a suit was a misguided idea, in my view, for the same reason that pursuing impeachment against Bush and Cheney this year would have been a misguided strategy for Democrats to pursue. Better to elect a President who really cares about the planet. And better to back ways and means of conserving energy, reducing carbon emissions, and increasing societal resilience, to protect us against the harms of global warming — and other threats.
Nonetheless, the rawness and the viciousness of the hatred expressed on the thread can be quite shocking. Particularly since Hansen has absolutely nothing to do with this suit.
One has to wonder if this deeply thoughtful, thoroughly decent man really is at risk and should take precautions, in the same way that others in the public sphere have to guard against fanatics.
Here’s an example of the hate from the thread:
Brooklyn Red Leg:
If I believed in Divine Retribution, I would think Dr. Hansen’s plane would go down in a remote, frosty part of the world and his supporters on the trip would be forced to eat him to stay alive. Same with the other Blood Sucking Vampires and assorted Vultures that prey on us.
(h/t: Dan Bloom)