the Air Vent

Because the world needs another opinion

Over the top – Demand a retraction and apology.

Posted by Jeff Id on April 4, 2010

Greenpeace openly threatened skeptics yesterday.  They are known for attacking legal fishing vessels violently, this post didn’t become official policy yet but someone had to clear this kind of extremist rhetoric.   I was ignoring it until I read the same story on climate skeptic. They have gone too far now, openly targeting skeptic homes and work.

The whole greenpeace article is here.

Emerging battle-bruised from the disaster zone of Copenhagen, but ever-hopeful, a rider on horseback brought news of darkness and light: “The politicians have failed. Now it’s up to us. We must break the law to make the laws we need: laws that are supposed to protect society, and protect our future. Until our laws do that, screw being climate lobbyists. Screw being climate activists. It’s not working. We need an army of climate outlaws.

The proper channels have failed. It’s time for mass civil disobedience to cut off the financial oxygen from denial and skepticism.

If you’re one of those who believe that this is not just necessary but also possible, speak to us. Let’s talk about what that mass civil disobedience is going to look like.

If you’re one of those who have spent their lives undermining progressive climate legislation, bankrolling junk science, fueling spurious debates around false solutions, and cattle-prodding democratically-elected governments into submission, then hear this:

We know who you are. We know where you live. We know where you work.

And we be many, but you be few.

After this post openly advocating violence against those who refuse the repeatedly failed progressive (read communist) government system, greenwar added a disclaimer at the top of their post.

This blog entry is about encouraging civil disobedience and non-violent direct action – the kind of peaceful methods that liberated Gene’s country (India) from imperialism.

I know Gene, and he’s a genuinely peaceful guy who believes in the power of peaceful protest to change the world. Some people are trying to portray him as otherwise. Just read what he had to say in context. He is very specific about what he thinks people should do.

” I know Gene and he’s a peaceful guy”—- Whell Andrew, we’ve heard from Gene….I don’t really agree with your interpretation. Franky, Gene is nothing but dangerous elitist scum.   He has openly advocated breaking the law and targeting skeptic homes and jobs.

Now greenpeace has created a liability for themselves, they have demonstrated intent.  No matter which way you might interpret Gene’s threats, activists think for themselves.  If anyone finds a greenpeace activist endangering them or their families due to skepticism on global warming, please contact the Air Vent and we will make it as public as possible.

Be sure to leave a comment at their blog to let them know what you think, sometimes legal disobedience is required.  Leave a copy here too so it doesn’t get deleted.

My recommendation is that readers demand an apology and retraction from this author.

110 Responses to “Over the top – Demand a retraction and apology.”

  1. John F. Pittman said

    Something for greenpeace to remember from . If someone from their group or has followed their group engages in certain activities, this is greenpeace’s potential outcome.

    Three weeks after Mazella’s arrival in Portland, ESWP skinhead Ken Mieske and two others beat to death an Ethiopian graduate student named Mulugeta Seraw in a street confrontation. The killers, Metzger said later, had done their “civic duty.” After Mieske and two other ESWP skins pleaded guilty to murder, the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League sued the Metzgers and WAR on behalf of the victim’s family. Using the doctrine of vicarious liability, plaintiffs’ attorneys argued that the Metzgers should be found liable for intentionally inciting the skinheads to engage in violent confrontations with minorities. A jury agreed, returning a record $12.5 million verdict against the Metzgers and WAR. Tom Metzger was personally responsible for $5.5 million of that sum.

  2. TerryMN said

    Chuck Greenpeace in the dumpster next to the ELF and ALF. The sooner the better.

  3. JAE said

    Maybe a big tactical error on Greenpeace’s side, LOL. The current Alinsky game in “the town” is to brand the CONSERVATIVES as violent. Maybe somebody at Greenpeace didn’t get the message–or maybe that somebody has a particularly low IQ. Whatever, I hope he/she/it got fired.

  4. Tom Fuller said

    Something has seriously gone wrong over there. Have they had a big shake-up recently? This is uncharacteristically stupid behaviour from an organisation that usually plays the media like a fiddle.

  5. Eric Steig said

    I totally agree with you here, Jeff. The statements on the Greenpeace blog is totally unacceptable, and should not be merely ‘explained’ but must be retracted and apologized for. The climate war of words is one thing, and civil disobedience is fine, but anything coming close to inciting violence is something else and is not okay under any circumstances. I am going to write to Greenpeace about this and complain.

    In this context, I think it would also be appropriate for you to make it clear here on the Air Vent that you also don’t condone violence against anyone! Reports are that some scientists among them have received threats. While you are rightly criticizing Greenpeace, you should make it a more general point.

    Incidentally, the complaint by Greenpeace appears to be about the failure of any meaningful climate treaty at Copenhagen. But this wasn’t the ‘fault’ of ‘climate skeptics’ — it was the fault (or success, depending on your viewpoint) of the political process. So this Greenpeace blogger’s ire is quite misguided.

  6. The current Alinsky game in “the town” is to brand the CONSERVATIVES as violent.

    The Alinsky moment is in rewriting that of that post as advocating violence.

    We need to hit them where it hurts most, by any means necessary: through the power of our votes, our taxes, our wallets, and more

    Lets go through the list of actual methods suggested and linked to in that blog post:

    Voting: non-violent
    Taxes: not sure what they mean, but non-violent
    Our Wallets: non-violent
    A blockade (linked): non-violent
    Purchasing land (linked): non-violent
    Phone-bank effort (linked): non-violent
    Deploy Green Energy (linked): non-violent
    Civil disobedience to cut off the financial oxygen: nothing violent suggested

    So where does the charge that they are promoting violence come from? From these words “and more.” Sorry, Jeff. I cannot see any truth in your charge that this post is “openly advocating violence.”

  7. Mike J said

    Jeff, with respect I think you are over-reacting here. There is no incitement to violence and no threat of violence implied, imo. The claim that they know where you live and work is in the context of cutting off the financial oxygen of the sceptics. So, to paraphrase, “In order to inconvenience, embarrass and hinder you, we advocate civil disobedience directed at your place of employment and in your area of residence.”

    To engage them with a kneejerk demand for apology and retraction is exactly what they are wanting and only raises an insipid and unworthy rant to an unwarranted headline status.

    As their crutch of scientific consensus gets weaker by the week, expect the obfuscation and bile to increase. While such drivel would appeal to their air-head drones (e.g. ), it is not worthy of your intelligent attention.

  8. Geoff Sherrington said

    “Liberated Gene’s country from imperialism.” This connotes that some good resulted.

    Well, we got more call centres. But look at the difference. Here is an electrical distribution system in India.

    Wire India

    Here is an electrical distribution system near my home in Australia, also liberated from imperialism.


  9. Jeff Id said

    #6 and #7, You don’t need to know my home or where I work to vote, tax or deploy green energy. It’s pretty clear that it was meant to incite people.

    #5, Dr.Steig has it right. There are far too many crazy people in this world. Who knows what will set them off. I’ve had a nutjob leave comments about violence in the past – toward Arabs or Africans, not sure. While we don’t control others actions, there is some responsibility to make sure bloggers aren’t openly advocating crazy actions.

    Violence and illegal actions over data is flatly stupid, the reality or magnitude of climate change is not our choice. We really have no choice in the matter whatsoever. The only choice available to us is how to respond. In the meantime, there is a ton of entertaining data to mess with.

  10. Annabelle said

    The well-known phrase “We know where you live” has been used in countless films and stories as short-hand for “we’re going to come and get you”, violence fully implied. Most literate English speakers are well aware of the connotations of the phrase, which is why there has been such an outcry about the Greepeace article.

    How would Greenpeace react if the boot was on the other foot and someone ended a rant against climate scientists in the same way? (Just to be clear, I’m not in any way suggesting anyone should do such a thing).

  11. One of the Greenpeace defenders wrote: I understand that what Gene wrote might feel threatening to some. however, Andrew and I have been trying to re-assure everyone that no, Gene isn’t threatening anyone with violence – he is a nice man, a peaceful person – and he’s not coming to your house.

    I asked:
    Then why does he feel it is so important to tell everybody who disagrees with him that he knows where they live? You don’t need people’s home addresses for legitimate, peaceful civil disobedience. You talk about people’s homes in that threatening way “We know where you live” when you want them to feel threatened. I think you know this.

    One of them also said:Gene comes from India, where they have a big tradition of change through civil disobedience.

    It’s pretty reasonable that when he says, “through the power of our votes, our taxes, our wallets, and more” he means things like sit ins and other creative protests.

    I wrote:
    Unfortunately, Gene is not communicating only with fellow citizens of India who share his supposed cultural background, values, and assumptions, is he?

    He is using what is widely recognized as a threat to personal violence and he is using it irresponsibly. Gene does not get to redefine a well known threat of violence just because he’s from India, where, like, Gandhi was born and stuff.

    Neither do you get to redefine it just because you don’t like the implications and so wish to reject them.

    Gene’s words are what they are- a widely recognized thuggish threat of personal violence.

    Once more- where a person lives should have NOTHING to do so called peaceful protests and civil disobedience.
    *Whatever means necessary* – those are NOT the words of measured, peaceful nonviolence.

    Refusing to own those words and their implications makes you seem dishonest and disingenuous, and it is not convincing anybody that your assurances are reliable or sincere.
    Ron, In addition to ‘more,’ -I think the *by whatever means necessary* is at best an open-ended threat. It’s certainly not a qualifier that makes it clear that nonviolence is the only accepted means.

    “I know where you live” is simply undeniably recognized as a threat of violence issued to intimidate all over the English speaking world.

  12. And another of them wrote:
    “I’m sorry that you don’t seem to know the difference between non-violent direct action and violence. For us, the difference is quite clear, and Gene even gave examples in his blog:
    “We need to hit them where it hurts most, by any means necessary: through the power of our votes, our taxes, our wallets, and more.”

    I disagree:
    Gene’s examples are open-ended, not limited. *BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY* will be seen by anybody who thinks logically as a statement that could reasonably be construed as incitement to violence. It is NOT a peaceful statement. It is a statement that the ends justifies the means, and the means are by any means an environmentalist activist views necessary, and Gene offers no limitations in that ‘clear’ statement about what he means by ‘any means necessary.’

    Telling somebody you know who they are and where they live is ALWAYS going to be perceived as threatening- indeed, that is why he used that phraseology.

    And in what way, precisely, is the very open ended, “And more” conclusion to Gene’s threat a clear example of his devotion to peace?

  13. Skip said

    I suggested that if they wanted to attack, they should stick to the coastal enclaves. Everywhere else is likely non-receptive and has them out-gunned.

    I suspect that my response will be censored, though. And to be clear to Dr. Steig, I’m not condoning violence to anyone that doesn’t attack me or my own. Anyone that does? Sorry, they lose.

  14. michel said

    When it was whales, I was in support. Here we had whaling ships slaughtering these wonderful, intelligent, endangered and irreplaceable creatures for their body parts. They belong to the whole world, not just to the Japanese. The killing is wicked. Its also totally perverse, there is simply no way of stopping it by any polite means. Write to the Japanese government? Protest outside their embassies? Nothing makes the slightest difference. In such circumstances what does one do? Anything short of direct action is tantamount to accepting it.

    But you notice key differences with the present situation. Here what they are talking about is not attacking action but belief, and not people engaged in directly damaging action, but simply people who differ from them. So what we have here is the politics of the purge.

    The demonstrations at Kingsnorth in the UK were also significantly different (as are the fulminations about the Easter European generating plants). You cannot tie any particular one to warming, even were CO2 to cause warming. What you have to change, if you can, is government policy, because that is the only effective way to change the situation. Whereas with the whaling, you could actually stop the killing, and make a real difference.

    They have lost their bearings totally. It is a great pity, because whaling is still going on, and as long as they are going down this blind alley, they cannot be doing anything effective against it.

  15. re #11
    I admit I mostly read over the “by any means necessary.” Twice.
    (heck I quoted it without it catching my eye)
    Probably because it follows “hit them where it hurts them most”
    (most commonly a reference to money)
    and leads into a list of non-violent methods.

    Everything Gene wrote is consistent with a call to action of non-violent civil disobedience. The methods listed are non-violent. The threats are there, but they appear to be threats to profits. There is a call to criminality – which is why I’m not defending him, just debunking the notion that this is a call to violence. But the criminality he has listed (blocking a right of way) and vid of his own actions (trespassing) are decidedly non-violent.

    I concede that there is room in his language in which to read a threat of violence. But given his personal history and that of Greenpeace, I’m pretty sure readers which see a threat of violence are choosing to read that into the post.

    my 2c.

  16. Raven said

    #13 – Michel

    The fact that you hold whales in high regard is irrelevant. You have no business passing judgement on others that see them as a just another food source. The only question is whether the species is being hunted to extinction and there is no evidence that is happening.

    The direct action by anti-whaling is also hardly non-violent – deliberately harassing vessels at sea puts people’s lives at risk. The response of the anti-whalers when their boat was such illustrates how these people have no comprehension of the phrase ‘take responsibility for one’s actions’.

    I agree that environmentalists have lost their way. But the lost long ago when they decided that they have a right to bully people who disagree with their POV. The anti-whaling movement is an example of the problem.

  17. Mike J said

    Yes, Ron – I agree.

    Again, I make the point that we should not even dignify the Greenpeace rant with a response. It does nothing to further intelligent discourse. Greenpeace’s modus operandi has always been to stir their members into doing headline-grabbing stunts such as unfurling banners on head offices, blocking forestry access roads, throwing rotten butter at whalers, and so on. This is what they do when they feel that the diplomats and politicians have failed.

    Such feeling, with respect to the AGW narrative, is due to the failure to implement ‘progressive’ policies (e.g. establishment of a global government at the Copenhagen summit) and thereby dictate punitive anti-carbon policies upon the industrialised populations. That is to say, they are losing. So now they want to throw butter bombs at us. And the sources of our funding. (Still waiting for my funding, btw….). It must really piss them off that only six months ago they were in an exalted place of having the ear of big government, being cited left, right and centre in AR4, and attracting large research tranches in the name of saving the planet. And now all that is slipping away. So, undoubtedly they will want revenge, and the odd hot-head will try to stir the drones to action. Who knows, if enough butter is thrown and enough banners unfurled maybe everyone will start believing in CAGW again.

  18. vjones said

    Surely the problem with the statement (and any incitement) is not just what was intended, but how the intent is perceived. Just as we find room for ambiguity, might not supporters also INTERPRET it as a call to violence. Therein (IMHO) lies the problem.

  19. TerryS said

    A quote from Grosse Pointe Blank (one of my favourite movies):

    Martin Q. Blank: Don’t you think that maybe you’re just upset because I told you what I do for a living, and you got upset and *you’re* letting it interfere with *our* dynamic?
    Dr. Oatman: Whoa. Martin. You didn’t tell me what you did for a living…
    Martin Q. Blank: Yes, I did!
    Dr. Oatman: You didn’t tell me what you did for a living for *four* sessions. *Then* you told me. And I said, “I don’t want to work with you any more.” And yet, you come back each week at the same time. That’s a difficulty for me. On top of that, if you’ve committed a crime or you’re thinking about committing a crime, I have to tell the authorities.
    Martin Q. Blank: I know the law, okay? But I don’t want to be withholding; I’m very serious about this process.
    Martin Q. Blank: And I know where you live.
    Dr. Oatman: Oh, now see? That wasn’t a nice thing to say; that wasn’t designed to make me feel good. That’s a… kind of a… not too subtle intimidation, and I, uh, get filled with anxiety when you talk about something like that.
    Martin Q. Blank: Come on, come on. I was just kidding, all right? The thought never crossed my mind.
    Dr. Oatman: You did think of it, Martin! You thought it, and then you said it. And now, I’m left with the aftermath of that, thinking I gotta be creative in a really interesting way or Martin’s gonna blow my brains out! You’re holding me hostage. That’s not right.

  20. michel said

    Surely you cannot really support the ‘right’ of anyone who wants to, to slaughter whales?

    I do not believe the science of AGW is well founded, I think the campaigns of personal abuse which have been directed at questioners are completely wrong. But if this is turning into a campaign against all environmental responsibility, and all regulation, and any restraints on large corporate irresponsibilities, count me out of it.

    The one thing that would be as bad as a society run by politically correct bureaucrats would be a society in equal thrall to large corporate interests. It happens that the AGW movement is wrong in asserting that all opposition to CO2 reductions come from fossil fuel interests, and that it is misguided. But we should recall that most public health and environmental measures have been opposed by special interest groups. And we should recall the shameful history of the attempts to suppress and denigrate the research on tobacco. I do not think there is any connexion between these events and the present skeptics.

    I do think they show that we need regulation, we need some countervailing power, which can only be governmental.

    And as for the whales, they are as much my whales as they are the Japanese’s whales, and I do not want them killed. Who says they have the right to kill them, any more than I have the right to preserve them?

  21. Paul Z. said

    For every mean Greenpeace blog threat… God kills a whale…

  22. TerryS said

    Re: Michel

    Surely you cannot really support the ‘right’ of anyone who wants to, to slaughter whales?

    Actually I support the right of anyone to pursue a legal activity.

    And as for the whales, they are as much my whales as they are the Japanese’s whales, and I do not want them killed.

    I assume from this statement that you are vegetarian and you think everybody should be. After all, the cows, sheep and pigs people eat are just as much somebody else’s cows, sheep and pigs and they may not want them killed.

  23. Amabo said

    Whaling is a-okay.

  24. Mike J said

    Guys – re whaling, completely OT. Start up another blog for that one please….

  25. Amabo said

    Don’t be whalin’ on US, Mike.

  26. Mike J said

    I was starting to blubber about it

  27. dribble said

    Terry “After all, the cows, sheep and pigs people eat are just as much somebody else’s cows, sheep and pigs and they may not want them killed.”

    Eh? So the farmers who grow the cows, sheep and pigs and sell them to the slaughterhouse, but may not want them killed?

    Surely this must win the prize for the silliest comment on the Internet. Ever. Check with a farmer.

  28. dribble said

    I notice that EU Referendum blogger Richard North, who comments on climate issues, regularly calls for the masses to rise up and slaughter their political masters. A sentiment I entirely agree with.

    Is this an incitement to violence? Is it okay to slaughter a politician but not a normal person? I expect so, otherwise surely this would have been noticed before.

  29. GoredToDeath said

    How long before Greenpeace nuts start blaming Al Gore for the derailment of the AGW theory and put a bullet in his head? Anyone want to place a bet?

  30. TerryS said

    Re: Dribble

    Surely this must win the prize for the silliest comment on the Internet.

    Yeah, take it out of the context of the comment together with the quoted reference to Michel comments and it does.

    Michel claimed whaling is wrong because he has as much right to the whales and didn’t want them killed. I extrapolated his comment to include other animals to point out how foolish his comment is.

  31. GoredToDeath said

    Dear Gene of Greenpeace,

    I know who you are. I know where you live. I know where you work.

    I am going to hit you where it hurts most, by any means necessary…

    Just reusing Gene’s own words, since Greenpeace says they are not threatening in any way. By the way, Gene lives in Amsterdam and check out his pornstar photo on his facebook account.

  32. If you want an apology and retraction from ‘Gene Hashmi’, you’ll have to get it from the bar he is propping up in Thailand…

    His comments were a clear implied threat. His aim is to silence dissent from the consensus he supports. It’s only the case because he sees the argument on AGW is being lost. Unable and unwilling to accept this, he issues his rallying cry for extremists to make sceptics cower in the face of, at best, a personalised campaign of harrassment, at worst, violent acts.

  33. kdk33 said

    Well, the message from many is that we have to stop CO2 emissions or we’re all gonna die. That tends to generate hysteria.

  34. twawki said

    I think what we should demand is that Greenpeace be listed as a terrorist organisation, have any tax free status and government funding it enjoys withdrawn. That way governments will set a clear example this kind of talk and behaviour is not tolerated.

  35. Mike J said

    Wow – I just read the actual post by Gene on the Greenpeace official website. The amazing thing is the comments – holy crap! Not one comment in support – every one shouting him down in shame.

  36. Andrew said

    If one reads these statements in the “context” of other disturbing rhetoric out of the actionist crowd, one hardly feels inclined to think this is either not seroius or isolated. Indeed, consider, say, George “drown the airline execs” Monbiot, for example.

    Hey, this is what happens when you tell people the world is being destroyed people! It makes people react emotionally and irrationally! Perhaps it is time that cooler heads prevailed.

  37. Kweenie said

    I’ve read this GP rant from Gene. This dude sounds very deperate and frustrated that GP is fighting an uphill battle re climate change. Not even because of the “deniers” but because of the very facts, like the Arctic being back on track within 3 years of predicted armageddon and IPCC constantly dropping the ball.
    Now I can understand this dude’s frustration, but writing these piece of garbage is actually rather alarming.
    It remembers me of the Rote Armee Fraction in the 60/70’s. They started as genuine engaged people, but soon degraded in violence just because of their desparation and frustration against the status quo which they apparently were unable to change.
    Gene must be very, very careful with his stirring up people amongst some might not be as peaceful as Green Peace might wish.

    Green Peace (and it’s fans) continious defending this utter garbage is a major mistake in it’s company policy and certainly further hurting their organisation. A friendly advise, act as Toyota; admit the mistake and start reparing the damage.

  38. Gary said

    What does it take to get a restraining order? At least to get the perception of a real threat on the record.

  39. Raven said

    #19 – Michel,

    So what do you think about abortion? Some people think it is murder. Does that justify international bullying via ‘direct action’ in order to force governments to ban abortion?

    To bring it back to the topic at hand: my personal opinion is that ‘direct action’ where activists put their bodies in a place which prevents someone from carrying out a legal activity is a form of violence and should be treated as such. i.e. if someone blocks the door to my house and tells me the only way I can leave is if I use violence to force them out of the way then they are making a threat of violence that is not that different from sticking a gun in my face and saying the same. The claim that such actions are ‘non-violent’ because the protester nevers initiates the violence is nonsense – the act of physically blocking another is the initiation of violence.

  40. curious said

    38 – interesting view, relevant to domestic violence I’d say. Any idea if that has ever been tested/presented in court?

  41. Raven said

    #39 – Its my opinion. I don’t know if the courts agree.

    The key element is there are degrees of violance. i.e. sticking a fist in someone’s face is less severe than sticking a gun in someone’s face. physically blocking someone is less severe than a threat with a fist but it is still a threat of violance. Also, the fact that someone threatens you with violance does not automatically mean that you are justified using violance in response. My only point is it the term ‘non-violent’ not a valid term for many of the protest activities advocated by Greenpease and others.

  42. Dojikiri said

    The people with Gene’s mindset are perfectly peacable, that is until they see events going seriously against them, then a few will turn to violence to achieve their aims. Over here (UK) Summer fairs always have a Greenpeace stall manned by middle class ladies who would never dream of breaking the law. Anti vivisection groups started in this peacable way but because they were getting nowhere some turned to serious violence and intimidation, remember the ALF (Animal Liberation Front) targetting the company Huntingdon Life Science and attacking company staff in their homes. If the higher-ups at Greenpeace don’t get a grip they could have serious problems with members like Gene.

  43. Jeremy said

    It’s harsh language from Greenpeace. It’s completely unacceptable and could be construed as a call to violent actions.

    However, I do agree with Ron on one subtle point. The violence portion was left ambiguous, probably for a reason. I think it was left ambiguous to try to get a rise out of climate skeptic blog sites. They trotted right up to the line, and no further, simply to try to get our panties in a wad. It’s not acceptable either way. The most horrible thing is that these statements actually have the potential to flip a switch in the reason center of some eco-nut. Some crazy person might actually seek to do harm to a skeptic and if that happened I am sure Greenpeace would just rinse/repeat.

  44. MikeN said

    While non-violence was the theme, it was a decade of war that made Britain quit India.

  45. Alfred said

    >>This blog entry is about encouraging civil disobedience and non-violent direct action – the kind of peaceful methods that liberated Gene’s country (India) from imperialism.<<
    I am not defending the British but people who put their faith in peaceful protest forget that it only works when that protest is carried out against relatively civilized authorities. The likes of Hitler and Stalin new how to deal with "peaceful protesters".

  46. Jeff Id said

    This is what I left for greenpeace
    “Thanks! Very nice to hear a kind word.”

    There are plenty of fools who will still support you. greempeace has shown a complete lack of shame for this ignorant man’s post. This is typical of the extreme leftist progressive movement. You have no line of reason. You don’t care what means it takes to enact your tyrannical government policies.

    How many murderers neighbors said, gee I didn’t think he would ever do that. Gee, he was the nicest man. I’m afraid saying Gene is nice, does not excuse the words of his post.

    Calls for illegal actions against skeptics homes and work, followed by gee I think Gene is a nice guy are not enough. Imagine how you would react if Fox news came out with an opinion that we needed to close Greenpeace by any means necessary, asking for an army of lawbreakers to go after your homes and workplace. Think what you wrote fools.

    It’s immoral and it’s time you did something right for a change. Many of us are offended by your arrogance and your threats. We are offended by your attempts to threaten our families and suppress our views. I am offended with your foolish small minded views of politics but you are wrong about the solutions to so many things. The difference is that we tolerate you, you MUST do the same.

    Admit error, apologize and take down this post.

    Pretending this is not a threat because Gene is a nice guy is not an acceptable response. When your foolish followers act violently against those you disagree with, will you just put your hands up and say, I said non-violent so I have no responsibility?

    You do, and it’s time to live up to a reasonable standard of decency.

    It’s like talking to children.

  47. Jeff Id said

    Apparently my comment was snipped.

  48. Kon Dealer said

    This confirms what I had suspected for a long time. Greenpeace has been hijacked by Maoists and other common-minded fellow travellers.
    By giving bandwidth to people like Gene, they have sunk to the level of any number of fringe lunacies like… Fill in the space with your least favourate nutjobs.

  49. Jeff Id said

    My comment went through so I left another.

    I posted a note at the top of this blog early yesterday.

    And I’ve been repeating it in the comments…


    And as I pointed out above, your note to explain away your threats is not sufficient justification for this man’s immoral threats of illegal acts against my and others skeptics homes and jobs.

    You are in the wrong, and as the reasonable comments here have told you repeating your opinion that Gene is a nice guy is not sufficient. Tolerance is required if you wish to maintain credibility on the world stage.

    Apologize and retract is the only correct response of an adult mind. We are thoroughly offended.

  50. pgosselin said

    Reminds me of the Japanese in WWII. They say the end coming and rsorted to kamikazes.
    That’s what the green nutjobs are about to do.

  51. Andrew said

    Off topic, but Jeff has previously gotten pretty ticked off about warming/animal shrinkage claims-but get this, it turns out that for Bass, warming may make them bigger!

    Rypel, A.L. 2009. Climate–growth relationships for largemouth bass (Micropterus salmoides) across three southeastern USA states. Ecology of Freshwater Fish, 18, 620–628.

    I kinda doubt it but if true this would be pretty awesome news, especially for those of us who like to fish for bass!

    So, is this another grumpy Jeff trigger paper or is it on to something? 😉

  52. Earle Williams said

    Jeff Id,

    I agree with Eric Steig that you should let the blogosphere know that you don’t condone proxy violence. Perhaps you could return Eric’s favor and post a comment on the Realclimate thread that Eric Steig posted.

    I’ll wait for you to find that page on Realclimate.

    (cue crickets.wav)

    Sigh. I don’t see any such posting at RC as of this writing.

    Actions > Words

  53. BlueIce2HotSea said

    I too am angry and I admire Jeff’s cool-headed demand for a retraction and apology. It’s best to appeal to the more sensible, decent people at Greenpeace, when one’s goal is a sensible, decent society.

    Hashim descibes himself as a “Hippie Ninja” and Twitters: “…why are all 32 of you mofos following me? Just so you know, I’m carrying a knife.”

    Hashim is not Gandhi incarnate as his apologists believe. Rather, he’s more an Abbie Hoffman, without the sense of humor.

  54. pgosselin said

    Jeff, here’s what they don’t want you to see.
    h/t Dirk Maxeiner:


    i have a big german shepherd, she can be a bit cranky, greenies are always welcome to try!

  56. plazaeme said

    “I know where you live” is simply undeniably recognized as a threat of violence issued to intimidate all over the English speaking world.

    Well, I would say it is recognized as a thread about any language speaking world.

  57. michel said

    Raven, I do not know about abortion, is the answer. I don’t feel comfortable with it morally when used large scale, as in the former Soviet Bloc, as means of contraception. I do not either feel comfortable with the ‘whatever the consequences’ view of the Catholic Church, which would force women to carry through a pregnancy even when it meant certain death. I don’t either think women should be forced to take to term a pregnancy they definitely wish to terminate, there may be a variety of reasons.

    I do not feel comfortable with violent protests against it either.

    But the difference is, with abortion, you have the option of seeking change through the normal political process. With the whales issue, you really do not – there is no international law, no elections, nothing. Now you have a whole bunch of people on this blog who take the view, who cares? There’s no law against this vandalism, let them go to it. These people also are in general opposed to any regulation other than what can be accomplished by personal choice. In that respect, by the way, their blind belief in the efficacy of purely personal measures, they have an uncanny resemblence to Tamnino’s lot, who think that if we all drive hybrids it will save civilization, and we can carry on shopping.

    I am not sure about any of this stuff. What I am sure about is that it is wrong to kill the whales, and to devastate our common natural heritage, simply because we can, because they are not owned by any particular country. And I respected the Greenpeace actions to do something about it – because if no-one does anything, the Japanese will hunt them to extinction just for the sake of doing it. That is really wicked.

  58. PhilJourdan said

    Greenpeace has its tentacles into many conservation groups, and unfortunately even ones that I do support. I have written a letter to each of the groups requesting I be deleted from their mailing list and referenced the Greenpeace call to arms.

    I do not want Gene tempted if he would look up my address and know where I live.

  59. BlueIce2HotSea said

    Michel #56

    …the Catholic Church … would force women to carry through a pregnancy even when it meant certain death.

    That statement is false.

    Nevertheless, I sympathize with your whaling concerns. Japan is a signatory to an international treaty which prohibits whaling except for research. Japan’s use of the “research” loophole is perverse as it appears that Japan is only researching the taste of whales.

    Further, Greenpeace is not throwing butyric acid onto whaling ships. It is the Sea Shepherd Conservation Society, a Greenpeace splinter group.

  60. Raven said

    #57 – Michel

    Sorry if this is harsh but your comment really pissed me off:

    Your comment “the Japanese will hunt them to extinction just for the sake of doing it” exposes you as a pretty pathetic racist who knows nothing about the Japanese. For starters, fish is a big part of the Japanese diet and ensuring a sustainable supply is extremely important to them. They hunt whales because they see them as a food source that deserve no more consideration than a cow, a pig or a tuna. Accusing Japanese of not caring about the fish supply is like calling a Jew an anti-Semite.

    I also describe you as a racist because you seem to focus on the Japanese who make every effort to participate in international bodies like the IWC (even if they disagree) while countries like Norway and Iceland have told the IWC f*** off and resumed a commercial whaling fishery. You also say nothing about the aboriginal fishery in the US and Canada which is generally accepted by many of the anti-whaling activists who find themselves able to conveniently ignore their moral qualms when the killing is being done by a politically correct ethnic group.

    The bottom line is you are entitled to have your opinion on the worth of whales just like people are entitled to believe that life starts at conception. However, we need to draw the line when it comes to imposing your belief systems on others which is what you do by supporting thuggery and piracy on the high seas. Bodies like the IWC should only concern themselves with ensuring that nations that choose to harvest whales do so in a sustainable fashion.

  61. curious said

    A good historical account of whaling is here:

    The scale and impact of industrialised whaling was pretty shocking and it is clear that conservation, though late, has been essential in preserving some species. I do not see any reason for modern industrial society to send any more of these magnificent creatures to painful and brutal death. If anyone has any links to the output of the Japanese research programme I’d be interested to see it.

    FWIW I think Greenpeace have distanced themselves pretty strongly from Sea Shepherd and I think they should do the same with the comments of Gene. I haven’t seen further comment from him – it would be good if he could explain what he meant rather than have Greenpeace folks CHA.

  62. Raven said

    Something for the moral imperialists to think about:

    How would you feel if citizens of other countries started engaging in ‘direct action’ and boycotts against american companies because americans refused to bow to the CO2 religion and sign an international treaty? Would you say that was perfectly acceptable because the evil americans have no right to pollute the shared atmosphere. Or would you say these people have no right to impose their religion on others?

    One of the important things about freedom is you have to defend the right of people to make decisions that you make not personally agree with if you hope to preserve your own freedom. If you are willing to deny people the right to make their own choices based on your opinion on what the “right” choices are then you are giving other a license to do the same to you.

  63. […] Is an apology enough or should there be government action? ; Who will replace Pachauri? ; Leave the politics out of science ; ‘Humankind’ is more PC than ‘mankind‘ ; Alarmists freeze over about Arctic chill ; ABC bias bias bias ; A step too far? ; Earth hour media hysteria ; Big green bureaucracy tops the scales ; Is there any ethics and science remaining in the left? ; Inconvenient insignificances […]

  64. twawki said

    Greenpeace needs to answer – does it have a dossier on skeptics and is it undertaking action against them!

  65. Lady in Red said

    I apologize, if this link has been posted, earlier. I am in a hurry.

    I just saw this UTube from Greenpeace yesterday. It gave me nightmares and is,
    apparently, three years old:

    ….Lady in Red

  66. Robert E. Phelan said

    65.Lady in Red said
    April 5, 2010 at 7:34 pm

    That, my dear, is just one of the reasons I no longer say “Hah! sixty years and I’ve NEVER needed a weapon…”

  67. Lady in Red said

    I got a license to carry — in the city of Boston. And, when I proved
    proficiency at Moon Island police range, I had high score of the week.

    I’ve never needed the gun, but I got the license when the police never showed
    up for a “burglary in progress” and person(s) fighting my husband on the
    second floor.

    I understand. My property is quite defensible. ….Lady in Red

    PS: I might have nightmares, but, when push comes to shove, I push.

  68. Jeff Id said

    #67, nice job.

    I don’t really want to get into a discussion of guns but about 15 years ago someone tried to kick down my front door. BOOM BOOM they kept going at the metal door in the middle of the night. I had a 9mm within reasonable reach, I grabbed it and snapped the slide as loudly as I could and aimed at the door. All I heard was footsteps slapping down the driveway.

    That was the last time that guy showed up at my house. Guns do more than shoot.

    Better armed and less even tempered.

  69. timetochooseagain said

    These crazies are SOL if they come to any of us down here in Florida. We are legally allowed to respond to any perceived threat on our private property with lethal force.

    I don’t know about other states, although IMAO the states are restricted by the second and fourteenth amendments so in theory have no authority to infringe on gun rights.

  70. Jeff Id said

    #69, Please be careful not respond too closely to the crazies. Discussion of lethal force doesn’t belong here on this thread in any way whatsoever and is not helpful. They currently have an apology online from someone other than Gene. It’s still too weak, but they are starting to listen.

    While your statement isn’t a threat so cannot be compared to theirs, it is up to us to lead these people and show them the proper standard of dissent. It’s my fault for discussing guns though so I apologize.

  71. BlueIce2HotSea said

    Here’s my one and and only experience with an attempted burglary (3:00 am). My deer hunting rifle was handy, but not the bullets. So I slammed the bolt in on an empty chamber. IT WAS LOUD. After counting to five, I went outside and found two half full cans of beer, one by the bedroom window, the other by the front door.

    Yes, I know. Going outside was stupid.

  72. timetochooseagain said

    I accept my share of the blame, too. I didn’t intend to come off as aggressive in any way.

  73. Jeff Id said

    #72, Perhaps greenpeace can learn from us and our openly published thoughts. Lawbreaking and threats are expedient and effective at forcing cajolement but if you want someones heart on AGW, only equality and honesty can win. It’s a battle that they may not be prepared for.

  74. Mark T said

    I don’t think they really want our hearts on AGW, they want to control us completely so that it doesn’t matter what we believe, we are not engaging in any of the “evil” capitalist activity that so harms Gaia. They are now desparate, however, and resorting to the very thing they ultimately desire, though would have preferred to lie about until it was too late to change.

    Transparent these imbeciles are.


  75. Mark T said

    Oh, and for the record, an apology doesn’t mean anything unless the person making it truly feels sorry for his actions. There is nothing any of these idiots can say that will make me believe they feel sorry for what they think. Although he may truly be sorry he wrote what he did, it would be only as a result of the damage it may do to his cause. Apologizing for that is pretty meaningless.


  76. Eric Steig said
    April 4, 2010 at 11:19 pm

    A little to close to home eah?

    he reads hear to find out what is in the works from our side?


    there are crazy s everywhere, it is how every one else reacts that counts!

  77. Geoff Sherrington said

    Luke Skywalker “there are crazy s everywhere, it is how every one else reacts that counts!”

    Sorry, wrong. Sure, there are crazies everywhere, but it takes just one of them to pull the cord on a body bomb to kill and maim innocents. Do all you can to avoid incitement, through word and act. That includes Gene.

  78. Ray said

    It is worth noting that Gene Hashmi is a Green Peace Communications Director, not some random blogger who slipped through their filters.

    “Gene Hashmi ~ Greenpeace (India)
    For over twelve years, Gene worked with some of the world’s most unscrupulous, dishonest and successful advertising agencies. By way of atonement and out of concern for the state in which we’re leaving this planet for future generations, he now works with Greenpeace, helping the organisation transform how it campaigns, communicates and raises funds in the Web 2.0 world.

    Gene will be speaking on how to win campaigns and raise funds

  79. Robert E. Phelan said

    67.Lady in Red said April 5, 2010 at 8:01 pm
    …I got a license to carry — in the city of Boston…

    Good Lord! I was under the impression that anyone applying for a permit in Boston was subject to summary execution.

    70.Jeff Id said
    April 5, 2010 at 9:07 pm

    The last five comments were partly my fault. I’m not sure a discussion of lethal force doesn’t belong here, actually….

    I bought a Llama III-A .380 last week ’cause it spoke to me.. “Hey, I’m pretty!” OK, it’s a 20 year old weapon, but it IS pretty. It fits my hand like a glove. “Uh.. why are you here?” “I was forged to serve the truth and the truth only..” (Apologies to Ben Kingsley)

    Sure beats firing a 1911 APC and then walking back a block to find the gun and then spending an extra thirty minutes to find the hand that held the gun..

  80. michel said

    Raven, I do not have racist feelings or views about the Japanese. Their culture, like many, perhaps most, perhaps all, has made remarkable contributions to civilization, and has also had appalling lapses into total barbarity. Of who is that not true?

    It is in no way racist to point out the lapses. Now on the question of eating fish, whales are not fish but mammals, and the hunting of whales makes no contribution to the Japanese diet. This is not a matter of nutrition. Fishing is. Whaling is not.

    We should not assume that all lapses into barbarity by cultures have any rational justification. They mostly do not. There really was no reason whatever for the Soviet, Cambodian, Chinese, German, Belgian, Turkish excursions into mass murder in the last century. If we include wars, and why should not we, we would have to add the British, the French, the Austrians, the Italians…. There is no reason for the Japanese to continue to seek to kill whales, so that my remark that they are doing it for the sake of it is entirely justified. The cultures I have cited descended into mass murder for no reason that we can cite, and there too it is appropriate to remark that they did it for the sake of it. That is how little reason or justification there was.

    It is never a defense to the charge that you are doing some particular thing that is wrong, to reply that others do different wrong things. It is also never a defense to argue that to point out that some group is doing something wrong is racist. Yes, it reflects badly on them. The problem is what they are doing. The dreadful events of Nanking or the Congo really did happen, and it is not racist to point this out. Nor is it racist to point out that to slaughter the whales, as the Japanese are doing, is monstrous.

    Many seem to have fallen into moral relativism on this. I am not racist, about the Japanese or anyone else, but I do believe that right and wrong are not matters of how we feel. They are objective matters. It really is wrong to permit the extermination of the whales, or the great apes. The Japanese army really was wrong to behave as it did. The Belgians really were wrong to commit genoicide in the Congo….. And so on.

    Why are sheep and cows different? They are owned and bred creatures, in a particular legal jurisdiction. They are not endangered, on the contrary. If one wants to promote vegetarianism, one has a democratic method to hand, simply promote to get the law and social practices changed. And progress has been made in terms of farm animal welfare in some countries.

    This is unfortunately not true for the intelligent inhabitants of the sea. And our near relatives, the Great Apes, who arguably should have the same moral standards and at least many of the same human rights as us, are being slaughtered for food, having their habitats taken, and are headed for extinction, and that is wrong.

    Greenpeace was on reasonably secure moral ground when these were the topics on which it acted. However, when it starts to threaten individuals because they doubt AGW, they have totally lost their way, and worst of all, are damaging the good cause they used to be committed to. I have always feared that environmentalism would be wrecked by the AGW hysteria, when this disintegrated, and you can see it happening in this Greenpeace episode. It is very disturbing.

  81. michel said

    Something for the moral imperialists to think about:

    How would you feel if citizens of other countries started engaging in ‘direct action’ and boycotts against american companies because americans refused to bow to the CO2 religion and sign an international treaty? Would you say that was perfectly acceptable because the evil americans have no right to pollute the shared atmosphere. Or would you say these people have no right to impose their religion on others?

    I would say there is a generally understood problem about valuable resources which no-one owns and which are open to exploitation by all, the situation incents people to use them in an unmanaged way into exhaustion. Whether it be grazing land or CO2 capacity of the atmosphere.

    I would understand their (mistaken) point of view. Which I would deal with by pointing out to them that there is real damage being done to the common resources of the earth by pollution among other things, but that CO2 emissions are not doing the damage.

    See, take another example, suppose a country were refusing to regulate some industry which discharged really seriously poisonous waste, of a proven sort, into the common environment. A heavy metal perhaps, or a long lived radioactive substance.

    The right thing to do about CO2 was to try to procure international action. Kyoto and Copenhagen were excellent in that respect. They also delivered to right outcomes. People here should not be so critical of them. Debates were held, proposals were made, and no-one signed up to them. This was because the proposals were fundamentally unreasonable and unjustifiable. If it had been a matter of strontium 90 levels, you can be sure agreement would have been reached.

    Kyoto and Copenhagen worked as these things are supposed to. We should be pleased. The next meeting will work the same way. There is no reason to lower CO2 emissions, and they will not do it. Now particulates, that’s a different matter. That is something we really do need to think seriously about.

  82. Michael, I find your standards regarding what animals one may kill and eat ethically confusing. They appear muddled.
    We can kill sheep and cows because they are owned and bread and not endangered.
    I could agree that it is unethical to hunt endangered species, but I am not convinced the Japanese do that. Not all whales are endangered species.
    By your reasoning… Shamu and his relatives, owned by Sea World or Aquariums, deliberately bred, and non endangered could be legally and ethically killed and eaten. I think so, too, but somehow, I suspect you don’t.

    Why is ownership important? We eat wild deer. Is that unethical? We have also eaten rabbit, elk, snake, and moose (we’ve lived a lot of places and we like to try different foods). My husband’s boss eats squirrel he kills and skins for the cooking pot.

    I can also tell you that pigs are more intelligent than most other mammals we eat- they are pretty darn smart. Goats can be eerily wicked judges of character, and they are much smarter than sheep. So eating sheep would be okay, but not goats? What about cephalopods? They are pretty darn smart, and scientists are still trying to figure out just how smart. Is there a particularly IQ cut-off when it’s okay to eat a critter or a Very Bad Thing to eat a critter?

    I have a severely handicapped child, she tests as profoundly retarded. I find your moral standards here chillingly repugnant. They are, like Greenpeace’s, strangely inconsistent and arbitrary and seem to be based really on ‘Cute critters and things I like’ vs ‘things I don’t like,’ rather than on any sort of objective, consistent standard. Worse, like Greenpeace, you seek to impose those arbitrary and inconsistent standards on the rest of the world, to make laws based on *your* arbitrary, inconsistent, very subjective judgment about what is and isn’t ethical to eat.

    I think *that’s* unethical, and it is when Greenpeace does it, too.

  83. Raven said


    I am sorry but your suggestion that Japanese kill whales for the sake of killing was ignorant and racist. It would have simply been ignorant if you had included the Norwegians and Icelanders in your description. But you did not. I am not sure if it is simply because you did not know that the Norwegians and Icelanders allow commercial whaling despite the IWC rules or because you, despite your protests, singled out the Japanese because you habour racist attitudes.

    You also continue to insist that your opinion on whales is a universal truth.
    It is not. It is just your opinion.
    You think they are some sort of higher order of creature.
    Many other people do not.
    Many people consider abortion to be murder. Many others do not share that opinion.
    There is no ‘right’ opinion we it comes to these issues.
    There must be compromise and tolerance from all sides because we will never agree on these kinds of moral issues.

    You also pretend this is about protecting a species from extinction. It is not. The populations being hunted are strong and the harvest is sustainable.

    The bottom line is: do you value your own freedom to pursue your own beliefs?

    If you do then you should be willing to defend the right of Japan, Norway, Iceland and any other whaling country to make their own decisions on what to do about whales based on their own political processes. The only role for international discussions is to ensure the species is not hunted to extinction.

    If you are not willing to defend the right of people to disgree with you then you are saying you don’t care about your own freedoms.
    It is a decision that you may live to regret.

    Greenpeace has lost it way on almost all of the issues it espouses. Bullying via ‘direct action’ is a form of violance that has no place in a society that respects the freedom of people to disagree.

  84. Raven said

    A really funny take on the moral superiority of animal rights activists:

  85. michel said

    “I am sorry but your suggestion that Japanese kill whales for the sake of killing was ignorant and racist”

    What, on your account, is wrong with racism? Or even ignorance?

    Its just another feeling some people have, one feeling is as good as another, is it not? I think whales are intelligent and magnificent creatures, others want to kill them. One view is as good as another. The Soviets thought the counter-revolutionaries and khulaks should be exterminated, well, that’s how they felt. The Belgians thought the Congo needed civilizing by a program of mass extermination. Well, it was their view, its not ours, but there again, they have the right to their opinion.

    Dropping the bomb on Hiroshima and Nagasaki? Well, that’s what we felt like at the time. They didn’t like it of course. Well, that was their view.

    We have to safeguard all these peoples rights to their opinions because otherwise we might lose the right to ours, is that it? Or do you find, reading this, that you think there is something objectively wrong with racism and not just at the level of how you feel about it?

    For the record, I am not racist about either the Japanese or anyone else. Yes, I condemn the other whaling countries equally. Nor am I an animal rights activist, I despise their activities in the UK, they are both wrong and ineffective.

    I do think that intelligent animals, such as whales, dolphins and the great apes, should not simply be killed at whim, and I think this is a matter of objective right and wrong. I think we need to think seriously about the concept of human rights, and consider which aspects apply to which creatures. Certainly, the right not to be simply slaughtered is one that should apply to these creatures. Perhaps we also have some duty of care to them.

    And as to Greenpeace and skeptics, of course, they must retract, regroup, and refocus on really important environmental issues, of which the fate of intelligent creatures in a world dominated by humans is only one.

  86. michel said


    I am not completely clear about this. I don’t find anything wrong with eating venison. I do feel concerns about the raising of pigs as meat animals precisely because they are intelligent. But I do continue to eat pork. My feeling about the great apes, whales, dolphins, elephants, is that there’s a continuum, and they are close enough to humans for there to begin to be an obligation, in Kant’s phrase, to treat them as ends and not simply as means. I feel that battery farming plus antibiotic use that it requires is both wrong, and equally important, imprudent. If you see farms where the cows are looked after and have long productive lives, and are not simply regarded as breeding and milking machines to be worked to an early death through exhaustion, you are looking at not simply a practical difference, but a moral difference.

    I don’t see what your disabled child has to do with this. We have duties to people, and they have rights, regardless of their health or capabilities. It is an objective matter.

    I think right and wrong is not simply a matter of personal feeling, and that the contrary view ends up justifying anything. It is capable of rational debate and resolution. I think most people taking a contrary view have not really thought through the implications of it.

    Greenpeace is quite wrong to take its present stance on AGW skepticism. But on whaling, I continue to respect its actions. As to the element of violence in that stance, I don’t know. Certainly they have taken, and perhaps caused, risk. But what about the violence in shooting explosive harpoons into those intelligent creatures? Or is that not violence?

    And again, as I said to Raven, if its all a matter of feeling one way or the other, what is so wrong about Greenpeace being violent? I condemn them, because its not a matter of feeling one way or the other. They are wrong to threaten violence to people because of what they think of AGW. That is not wrong as in, I don’t like it, that is wrong period, wrong objectively, wrong in the world, not my head.

    At least I am consistent, unlike you and Raven, who want to say that moral qualities are just expressions of personal feeling, and then go on to condemn some conduct as being objectively wrong.

  87. Amabo said

    “What, on your account, is wrong with racism? Or even ignorance?”

    Oh my god, this is going to be priceless.

  88. Raven said


    What I care about is what it takes to get diverse groups of people to live together with minimum amount of conflict.
    This requires that people respect and tolerate differences.
    Racism is the anti-thesis of respect and tolerance and invariably leads to conflict.

    The nuclear bombs were a necessary evil at a time of war. I know many Japanese feel they were unjustified.
    The way forward it to agree that it should never happen again and work towards that goal.

    The other examples you cite are where one group of people oppressing another which is also works against the goal of having diverse groups of people living together peacefully.

    You repeat your beliefs on whales but the question comes up for me:
    How would you feel if your government banned abortion because they decided a fetus should have ‘human rights’?
    How would you feel if your government banned the eating of meat because they decided that cows deserve rights too?

    If you would have a problem with those events then how can you possibly rationalize imposing your will on people who will never share your views on whales?

  89. Amabo said

    If whales are so smart, why haven’t they built some sort of portable harpoon deflector shield?

    Whales are intelligent in the same way that plants are intelligent. They react to their environment. Either by getting a harpoon in the face or being pulled up by their roots and thrown in a kettle.

  90. PhilJourdan said

    Curious #61

    The slaughter of whales in the 18th and 19th centuries was unprecedented. And the cessation of it is very welcome, because whether they are einsteins, or just large mammals, they are very noble creatures.

    What saved them was not Greenpeace however. What saved them was fossil fuels. Now Greenpeace is working for their extinction with their stand on fossile fuels – long dead sea creatures that are neither intelligent or feeling.

    Ironic, is it not? The law of unintended consequences.

  91. David said

    Are there various levels of awarness in the animal kingdom. Of course. Can we currently quantify and measure this. Only to a degree. In a free sociedty it is clearly up to the individual to decide as long as they are not depleting (driving to extintion) a resource. Personally I would and do choose not to kill and eat the higher mamals. But I make no condemnation of those that do, other then a level of disrespect for the love of killing if exhibited.

    this is where I side with Raven. The examples given by Michel of killing and mahem in Cambodia, China etc, are all examples of the “love of power over other PEOPLE. The founding Father’s of the Unites States were correct to separate Church and State, and to do all possible to limit the power of government and emphasize personal freedom and responsibility. In this they tried to protect society from the dark side of mankind when it forms any group expressed in both religious and non religious ways, such as coorporate monopolies, socialism etc.

    As far as killing animals for food; as long as they are not hunting to extinction, ( a mindless and stupid thing to do )and they are not killing someone’s pet, then to each his own. In time I do not think the higher animals will be hunted, but it is up to the individual and this society (the USA) values freedom higher then most, and I am grateful for that.

  92. Mark T said

    David said
    April 6, 2010 at 10:07 am

    The examples given by Michel of killing and mahem in Cambodia, China etc, are all examples of the “love of power over other PEOPLE.

    Indeed. Michel and his ilk have been annointed to the ranks of the morality police which allows them to determine what is right and wrong for everyone. They have been given some divine* decree that tells them they are right, so they must be.


    *I believe not in the divine, so I use it metaphorically here.

  93. BlueIce2HotSea said

    Japan removes only about 1000 out of approx 750,000 Minke whales each year; the harvest is not depressing Minke population. Therefore, the International Whaling Commission’s complete ban on commercial whaling is disingenuous, if the stated purpose is to insure healthy populations.

    My problem with Japan’s dubious “research” (and the IWC’s unreasonableness) is that it encourages other countries to openly defy the ban, thus making negotiated international treaties more difficult and a future extinction more likely.

    And then there is the WWF’s effort to restrict shipping so as to limit collisions with whales. In my cynical opinion, to the extent that Marxists may influence the leadership of the WWF, the goal is to shut down shipping; the whales are superfluous.

  94. michel said

    Indeed. Michel and his ilk have been annointed to the ranks of the morality police which allows them to determine what is right and wrong for everyone. They have been given some divine* decree that tells them they are right, so they must be.

    Wrong. I don’t know about his ilk, but I know what I am saying. I am pointing out that to declare that all moral judgments are simply subjective expressions of feeling, which may with equal legitimacy be differed from by anyone on the basis of a different feeling, leads to some very odd places.

    My view is that the moral qualities of actions are objective and there in the world. I do not have any privileged knowledge of what is right and wrong. But I am sure that whatever I think about what is right and wrong, I am either correct or mistaken. I am also sure that debates about what’s right or wrong should be conducted rationally and logically, considerations adduced and weighed. It is not a matter of, I feel one way, you feel another, end of story.

    Its a matter of, I think this way, here are the arguments, what are your arguments? It is in short a matter of rational debate about qualities of actions. It is not a matter of us each expressing our different feelings.

    Now, I agree with Raven that it is most desirable for us all to live together tolerantly, and that we should tolerate different views of at least some aspects of moral judgments. Some however we should not tolerate. Because they are wrong. Let us take the example of corporal punishment of children in UK Madrassas. It happens. It is wrong. It is a form of child abuse. Let us consider the example of honor killings and forced marriages in the UK, rather common in some communities. These things are wrong. Objectively wrong, in the world wrong. When I say they are wrong, I am describing some quality of them, I am not simply expressing an attitude to them.

    Raven has argued that tolerance and living together requires us to adopt a form of extreme subjectivism, where we give up the view that anything is right or wrong objectively, its just a matter of how we feel, others feel differently with equal justification. I point out that, at the end of this route, is inability to judge morally at all. And that when you stop being able to argue rationally about morality, paradoxically for Raven, all that is left is the appeal to force.

    You see, if you are conducting the argument in rational terms – say you are arguing that the threatening of people because of their ideas on AGW is wrong, objectively wrong, or that beating of children is wrong, or that killing whales is wrong, then there is room for disagreement, argument and changing of minds. Rational considerations can be brought forward, and people can reach agreement or not. But reasoned argument is possible. If its just a matter of, I feel that way, you do not, then the only recourse is, I will or will not let you, by force. I will or will not do it, try and stop me.

    This is inimical to tolerant living together, it does not help it.

    There are things we should not tolerate because they are wrong. The oppression of women and the denial of civil rights that forced marriages and honor killings represent should not be tolerated, because they are wrong. Regardless of how anyone feels about them. I am arguing that the wholesale slaughter of intelligent creatures is also wrong. It is interesting that one, rational though mistaken, argument in reply is that they are not in fact any more intelligent than plants. I agree that were that true, it would be relevant. It is false, and that is relevant also. But you see that the argument progresses by citing of facts and chains of reasoning which may or may not convince and form a proper logical chain of reasoning.

    People here are sometimes arguing as if moral relativism, or subjectivity of moral judgments, were in some way a source of freedom. It is not. The abolition of moral reasoning results in the substitution of force as the only argument. If we cannot argue, in 1931, that to embark on the purges of the Leningrad Party and afterwards the Ukraine, will be wrong, then on what grounds can we resist it? That we do not like it? That it will not in fact further the goals of the revolutions? But why is furthering the goals of the Revolution so great?

    The real incoherence of the relativistic point of view is that it represents a moral judgment itself. However it is one which, if it is correct, is unjustifiable. Consider that if Raven is right, if moral judgments are just expressions of how we feel, one as good as another, then what is the status of this assertion? Is it just an expression of feeling also, one view of this matter is also as good as another?

    I think that in the end, moral relativism is not something anyone really believes or is prepared to use in a fully consistent way. It is used as a way of saying, don’t make judgments about this or that, because it is wrong objectively to do so. It is fundamentally dishonest. It tries to say, when someone who disagrees with us makes a judgment we don’t care for, that its wrong to make such judgments. But this judgment of how wrong it is to make judgments, that of course is objectively true, and not simply the expression of a feeling, whose opposite is equally valid.

    Its wrong, and its incoherent. And its a deep corrosion of our culture, that it has entered the intellectual firment as a variety of conservatism, where it is thought to represent freedom from dictatorship, whereas it in fact represents abandonment of reason and retreat to pure force to settle debates about what we should do.

  95. Raven said

    #94 Michel,

    The line is not as hard to draw as you would like to claim. In all of your examples there is a human who is harmed by another’s beliefs. That harm is sufficient to declare such beliefs unacceptable in our society. When it comes to whales, abortions or gay marriage there is no harm inflicted on another human so they automatically become an area where people must agree to disagree.

    You also need to remember that morality evolved in humans because it allowed large groups of humans to collaborate by creating a basis for trust. This means there is no such thing as something which is right or wrong objectively. All morals are subject to the circumstances of the society. For example, we are wealthy enough that we can afford to support severely disabled people that cannot contribute to society. However, a subsistence society could not afford such a moral code and would adopt one that allowed for mercy killings. You recognized this relativism yourself by implying that whaling could be justified if there were no other sources of food.

    In other words, relativism is a fact. objectivity is an illusion. and we need to have some ground rules that allow us to manage differences of opinions. One ground rule that I use is to ask if another human is harmed. Unfortunately, whales are not human which means that rule does not apply.

  96. Chuckles said

    It would also be naive to believe that Greenpeace and a Western dev. world agenda and beliefs have anything to do with the needs and desires of developing nations, or reality.

    The BASIC countries will do as they please, and rest assured, they will NOT do anything that threatens or harms their economies.

  97. curious said

    90 – PhilJordan – I don’t follow your logic. 100 years of pre fossil fuel Yankee whaling accounted for approx 37,000 sperm whales. 1950 – 1970 North Pacific fossil fuel powered whaling took about 337,000 sperm whales.

  98. Andrew said

    With regard to the hunting of animals to extinction, one problem that has historically contributed to this is that governments used to offer bounties for the corpses of “pests”.

    Not a hunter problem, a subsidy problem…

  99. curious said

    Well I guess that becomes a race to the end between the sustainablity of the species or the subsidy. The US did try to prop up whale prices for a while before giving up the unequal struggle against declining numbers.

  100. PhilJourdan said

    Curious #97: The use of carbon fuels is much greater today, is it not? Before the farmers in Pennsylvania decided to light a match to that “pollution” on his land, the primary fuel for lanterns and such was whale oil. Petroleum was found to be a cheaper and easier substance to obtain and use (and then the car came as well).

    If not for the exploitation of petroleum, the whaling industry would be going whole hog as it is a lot easier to use whale oil than coal tar. So “big oil” saved the whale.

    Another irony – for the greenies – if harvested intelligently, whale oil is a renewable resource – the kind we are supposed to be using instead of Petroleum and Coal.

  101. Mark T said

    michel said
    April 6, 2010 at 3:16 pm

    I don’t know about his ilk, but I know what I am saying.

    No you don’t, you’re a liberal elitist that thinks he knows what he is talking about and thinks he knows what is best for everyone.

    I am pointing out that to declare that all moral judgments are simply subjective expressions of feeling, which may with equal legitimacy be differed from by anyone on the basis of a different feeling, leads to some very odd places.

    Too bad, but it is true. Morals are individual principles, whether you like it or not. All it takes is for one person to disagree with you about any moral position, like me, to prove my point. Guess what…

    One ground rule that I use is to ask if another human is harmed.

    And you don’t even apply this one equally across the board. You redefine “harm” to suit the circumstances. This is what I mean when I say that liberal elitists, such as you, don’t actually have any principles to speak of. You are the problem with the whole of our society, and will be until everyone else wakes up and decides to ignore you.


  102. Raven said

    #101 – MarkT

    You quoted my post when responded to Michel and you contradicted yourself by saying:

    Too bad, but it is true. Morals are individual principles, whether you like it or not…

    and then saying:

    This is what I mean when I say that liberal elitists, such as you, don’t actually have any principles to speak of…

    Moral codes are always contradictory because they must balance competing interests and depending on the circumstances the balance can tip one way or the other. i.e. people who oppose capital punishment tend to support abortion and vise versa. i.e. people who support the ‘right to bear arms’ oppose gay marriage and vise versa.

    IOW – everyone has “principles” – they just may not be the same as yours which leads to conflict. We need a way to manage differences of opinions on moral principles and which ones must be universal and which ones can be left up to the individuals.

  103. curious said

    100 – Phil – what is your point? Big Oil saved the whale? Seriously? You think that 330,000 sperm whales were taken for lamp lighting oil between 1950 and 1970? And that the spread of petroleum powered lighting meant that from 1970 this was no longer needed? And you think that we could revisit whale oil as a sustainable substitute for petroleum?

    Please have a read of Joe Roman’s “Whale” and get some information. It’s a good book, well written with lots of plates and referenced facts and figures.

  104. PhilJourdan said

    Curuios #103:

    100 – Phil – what is your point?

    My point is the law of unintended consequences. Too many of these “doo gooders” are not thinking, instead just feeling. And it will come back to bite them in the buttocks because of their inability or unwillingness to think beyond their heart.

  105. curious said

    Pil – Do you have any research to back up that feeling vs. thinking thing? Or is it rather a case of too many people supporting positions which they haven’t researched?

  106. PhilJourdan said

    The name is Phil. Did you try googling the results of the research or do you want me to do that as well?

  107. curious said

    Sorry Bill – typos are a pain. No need to google, I thought you might have the facts to hand.

  108. Angry said

    I’m generally a peaceful guy but lately all this global warming fraud and righteousness of environmental groups makes me feel like bashing up one of those Greenpeace volunteers who come up to you asking for a credit card donation. To think I used to donate monthly to WWF too. Never again. All this fraud has to stop before someone really gets hurt.

  109. Jeff Id said

    #108. Well generally peaceful, it’s up to us to keep it that way. If people wised up and stopped contributing to the leftist insanity, maybe the organizations wouldn’t be so powerful.

    Right now we have a hundred billion dollar global warming industry which claims it doesn’t exist, says skeptics have the money and simultaneously doesn’t think it’s big enough.

  110. Mark T said

    Raven said
    April 7, 2010 at 12:37 pm

    You quoted my post when responded to Michel and you contradicted yourself by saying:

    I see what happened. That statement, coming from you, would have gotten a different reply. Whether or not you are a liberal elitest I do not know, but you certainly have never impressed me as anything similar to Michel.

    Apologies to you and Michel for the misquote.

    What I said regarding morals and principles, however, was not a contradiction.

    Moral codes are always contradictory because they must balance competing interests and depending on the circumstances the balance can tip one way or the other.

    This does not have to be true.

    i.e. people who oppose capital punishment tend to support abortion and vise versa. i.e. people who support the ‘right to bear arms’ oppose gay marriage and vise versa.

    These aren’t very good examples. The right to bear arms and gay marriage are hardly on opposite sides of some moral platitude. Capital punishment and abortion as well, though both could fall under the concept of taking a life. What people “tend” to do, however, does not really serve to support your argument. Sure, people violate their own principles regularly, but how does that disprove anything I said?

    IOW – everyone has “principles” – they just may not be the same as yours which leads to conflict.

    Certainly everyone has principles, the question is whether or not they actually follow them in every instance.

    We need a way to manage differences of opinions on moral principles and which ones must be universal and which ones can be left up to the individuals.

    There can be none that are universal, though there certainly can be those that are agreed upon within certain groups. They are then not unlike ethics.


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