It seems as though the so-called skeptics have really gotten under Paul Krugman's skin this time. Writing in his New York Times column Sunday, the Nobel Prize-winning liberal economist expressed outrage at the representatives who voted against the Waxman-Markey climate-change bill because they doubted the scientific basis of global warming. He writes:
And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn’t help thinking that I was watching a form of treason — treason against the planet.
Mr. Krugman then gives a rundown of the latest climate research, whose predictions are far worse than previously thought. He describes climate change as a "clear and present danger" – borrowing a phrase first deployed in 1919 by Supreme Court Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. to imprison a man for opposing the draft – and concludes:
Still, is it fair to call climate denial a form of treason? Isn’t it politics as usual?
Yes, it is — and that’s why it’s unforgivable.
Do you remember the days when Bush administration officials claimed that terrorism posed an “existential threat” to America, a threat in whose face normal rules no longer applied? That was hyperbole — but the existential threat from climate change is all too real.
Yet the deniers are choosing, willfully, to ignore that threat, placing future generations of Americans in grave danger, simply because it’s in their political interest to pretend that there’s nothing to worry about. If that’s not betrayal, I don’t know what is.