David Suzuki wants climate change deniers tossed in jail
David Suzuki deals a devastating blow to his climate-change cause
John Martin, Special to The Province
Published: Wednesday, February 13, 2008
Regardless of what the actual state of climate change may or may not be, Canadians who are adamant that we are nearing the point of no return have a problem on their hands. It would appear their highest-profile spokespeople have serious credibility issues.
Federal Liberal Leader Stephane Dion never misses an opportunity to demand urgent attention to global warming. However, it has been well-documented that greenhouse-gas emissions increased under the previous Liberal government, including during the time Dion was environment minister.
It has also been revealed his party never had any intentions of meeting the Kyoto Protocol it so unabashedly championed.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May was expected to become a major player on the federal political scene as climate change dominated the public agenda. But her insistence that those who don't agree with her are reminiscent of Nazi appeasers makes her look desperate and irrelevant.
And now B.C.'s very own David Suzuki, a Companion of the Order of Canada, wants to throw politicians who question his climate-change thesis in prison.
The celebrity scientist dropped the bombshell while addressing an audience at McGill University. He urged students to seek ways to incarcerate elected officials who are "committing a criminal act by ignoring science."
This was no slip of the tongue. According to the National Post, he said very much the same thing during a speech at the University of Toronto last month.
Both ludicrous and dangerous, it's this type of talk that causes many to wonder just how legitimate the science in this area actually is.
To even joke -- and there's nothing to suggest Suzuki was trying to be funny -- about jailing dissenters is an outrage. The pursuit of scientific inquiry has always welcomed informed skepticism. Otherwise, there is no science, only blind faith.
It's very difficult to attribute even a modicum of credibility to someone who would put forth such a frightening notion. Throughout history, the most oppressive and brutal regimes have locked up those who dared voice dissenting views. Thousands of Canadians have given their lives fighting the very type of society Suzuki appears to desire. He has clearly forfeited his leadership on the climate-change file.
Yet, as disturbing as his words are, there is something even more troubling. It was reported the audience of 600 students cheered wildly at the suggestion to throw non-believers in the green gulag.
In fairness, Suzuki may simply be exhausted. Or perhaps frustration with what he perceives as inaction is clouding his judgment.
But when an auditorium full of university students vigorously applauds a reckless and brutal ideal that is at the core of totalitarianism, we may soon face a problem much more serious than a couple of degrees Celsius in one direction or the other.
Contact criminologist John Martin of the University College of the Fraser Valley at John.Martin@ucfv.ca.
Every facet, every deposit of your mind is to be programmed by you; and unless you assume your rightful responsibility and begin to program your own mind, the world will program it for you.