Crime against humanity. Not a moderate phrase, that. The usual penalty for crimes against humanity, as dictators from Mussolini to Saddam Hussein have found out to their cost, is execution.
Yet Dr James Hansen, a paid senior citizen working for an agency of the United States Government that has profited mightily from “global warming”, has said that anyone who disagrees with his personal hang-ups about the potentially catastrophic threat to humankind from a little extra CO2 in the air should be put on trial for what he calls “high crimes against humanity”.
Hansen - an accident-prone academic who has been something of an international scientific laughing-stock ever since he wrote an article in a UK scandal-sheet last year that sea level might rise 246 feet - was not fired by NASA for saying, in effect, that the growing body of scientists who do not agree with his ill-founded, apocalyptic rodomontade should be killed.
For some reason that will perhaps fascinate the palaeo-sociologists of the far future, in what is supposed to be the Age of Reason and Enlightenment anyone who wants to declare his support for the New Superstition of catastrophic manmade “global warming” can make stuff up, exaggerate beyond all reason, and menace the infidel with death for crimes against humanity, and no one bats an eyelid.
A soberer, less silly, less politicised, and less excitable public figure, the UN’s Right-to-Food Rapporteur, has also recently used the phrase “crime against humanity”, but in the opposite context. Herr Ziegler has said, “When millions are going hungry, it is a crime against humanity that food should be diverted to biofuels”.
So, who are the criminals against humanity? The brave and diligent scientists whose research in many different fields now amply demonstrates that the chief conclusions of the UN’s climate panel are nonsense, or the pietistic true-believers whose policies allegedly designed to address the non-problem of “global warming” are already killing millions by starvation?
In Haiti, the poor are now living on mud pies made with real mud. They cannot afford anything else to eat. So they take earth, carefully remove the stones, grit, and weeds, mix it with water, add a tiny pinch of salt and a small knob of butter, and knead it and pound it and stir it into a paste, which they make into mud pies. They bake the mud pies in the sun for a few hours, then eat them or sell them to their neighbours for 3 US cents each. And somehow some of them stay alive.
Or, rather, they did. I was telling this story at a lecture to government and opposition leaders in Madrid recently, when one of the civil servants in the front row burst noisily into tears. I stopped and apologised for having caused distress. The civil servant said she had just returned from Haiti, where the doubling of world food prices had put even mud pies beyond the reach of the poorest Haitians. Now, she said, they were dying in large numbers. And she felt so helpless.
There have been food riots in a dozen major regions of the world over the past two years, but the mainstream news media have largely left them unreported. Millions are dying because food prices have doubled in two years. That doubling is the ineluctable consequence of the worldwide transfer of massive acreages of agricultural land from growing food for people who need it to growing biofuels for clunkers that don’t - a nasty spin-off from the “global warming” fraud.
The cruel madness is even worse than this, and may soon claim its first Australian life. The former government cut a shoddy deal with the UN’s hated climate bureaucrats by which, if it agreed to leave millions of acres of farmland fallow and designate them fatuously as “carbon sinks”, it would be exempted from its obligation to make the cuts in emissions of CO2 from fossil-fuelled power stations and automobiles that would be demanded if it ratified the Kyoto Protocol.
The previous administration, of course, did not ratify Kyoto. But one of Kevin Rudd’s first acts as Prime Minister was to grandstand at a UN climate junket in Bali two years ago and turn his signature to the Kyoto Protocol into a gruesome, gibbering publicity stunt.
Swiftly, Australia’s equally-hated climate bureaucrats swung into action. They began writing to farmers who had paid good money for their land and had been working hard to make a living from it. They said roughly this: “Your land has been designated as a carbon sink in the name of Saving The Planet. You must stop farming your land at once. You will not be allowed to make your living from it. Because it is now worth nothing, you will not be able to sell it. You will not be paid any compensation. Good afternoon.”