Friday, 1 June 2012

"Spiritual author" compares "denialists" to Holocaust deniers

Truthout is according to Wikipedia a "nonprofit, progressive news organization in the United States that operates a web site and distributes a daily newsletter". The Truthout website has published an article written by Richard Schiffman, who is described as " the author of two biographies as well as a journalist whose work has appeared in The New York Times, Salon, The Washington Post, The Christian Science Monitor, The Huffington Post, and on NPR and Monitor Radio."
In the article Schiffman, who maintains that "climate change is now virtually undisputed", joins the people who have condemned the Heartland Institute´s "offensive billboard campaign": 

The science only gets better with time, and climate change is now virtually undisputed - by the people who are doing the science, at any rate. That it remains a "controversial issue" long after the results are in is thanks to a well-funded cabal of free-market think tanks, corporations and business groups that hope to win in the political arena a fight that they have long since lost in the halls of science. They are abetted by a media whose relish for conflict and a scientifically nonsensical sense of supposed "balance" has led them to give the deniers equal airtime.

In May, the Heartland Institute put up a billboard on the Eisenhower Expressway outside of Chicago comparing believers in climate change to the Unabomber, Ted Kaczynski. A firestorm in the press quickly convinced the Institute to pull the plug on the offensive billboard campaign.

However, Schiffman himself thinks that it is quite OK to compare "denialists" to Holocaust deniers:

But the question remains: why is the media paying any attention to the discredited ideas of the denialists? We don't give Holocaust deniers equal time to vent their noxious views, so why offer it to the climate change deniers?
The analogy might seem far-fetched, but the findings of climate scientists tell us that it is apt. We are facing a potential holocaust for life on earth, which could destroy entire ecosystems, turn productive regions into dust bowls, multiply catastrophic weather events, wipe out a large proportion of the planet's species and cost us more in dollars (not to mention lives) than all the wars in history  combined.

In order to understand what kind of a man this self proclaimed scientific expert is, it is perhaps good to know how Schiffman himself chooses to introduce  himself on his own web page: 

"My name is Richard Schiffman. I am a spiritual author and a former journalist who started writing poetry a few years back."

"Spiritual poetry is an effort to find words for the wordless. As such, it is bound, in one sense, to fail. But, paradoxically, the effort to express the inexpressible can serve as "a finger pointing toward the moon," in the language of zen. That is to say, at its best spiritual poetry brings us to the edge of the Great Mystery in which we live and move."
ears back. I’m glad that I did! For me writing and reading poetry has become a meditation, a way to become reacquainted with my own deeper self. 
My name is Richard Schiffman. I am a spiritual author and a former journalist who started writing poetry a few years back

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