Intolerance, Heating Up

By August 17, 2007Global Warming

Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby, a master of clear thinking, takes on the Newsweek cover story attacking critics of global-warming groupthink as “deniers.” We’ve already plowed that turf (in this post), but Jacoby also cites another case of outrageous intolerance we’d been meaning to mention.

A few weeks ago, the Competitive Enterprise Institute’s Marlo Lewis published an article opposing mandatory limits on carbon-dioxide emissions, arguing that Congress should not impose caps until the technology exists to produce energy that doesn’t depend on carbon dioxide. In response to Lewis’s reasonable piece, the president of the American Council on Renewable Energy, Michael Eckhart, issued a threat:

“Take this warning from me, Marlo. It is my intention to destroy your career as a liar. If you produce one more editorial against climate change, I will launch a campaign against your professional integrity. I will call you a liar and charlatan to the Harvard community of which you and I are members. I will call you out as a man who has been bought by Corporate America.”

This is the zealotry and intolerance of the auto-da-fe. The last place it belongs is in public-policy debate.

More about Eckhart’s aggressiveness, meant to silence, here and here. It’s outrageous, but typical of a movement in which a demagogue like Robert F. Kennedy Jr. is a leader.

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