Memo to the Guardian's Oliver Burkeman: sorry my kids haven't had quite enough death threats yet...
I'm endlessly fascinated by the psychopathology of the liberal-left. Consider this - entirely characteristic - response to a piece I wrote the other day on the Great Global Warming Scam.
It was a long article, taking in many diverse aspects of the Carbon Fraud: the rent-seeking by unscrupulous corporatists; the environmental damage being done by wind farms and biofuels; the flimsiness of AGW theory; Rachel Carson and Paul Ehrlich v Norman Borlaug; the nonsense of "green jobs"; the miracle of shale gas; the myth of "scarce resources." etc.
These are all fascinating topics and I would have been more than happy for any reader to have engaged with me in a factual argument on any of these issues. I think I would have won because I've done my research and the facts are on my side.
But of course, they didn't. Here instead is what one Oliver Burkeman a journalist for the left wing Guardian newspaper chose to focus on in a series of Tweets:
.@JamesDelingpole (I mean obviously I'm assuming you wouldn't ever exaggerate or mislead to build your case against global warming)
.@JamesDelingpole cd you link to the violent threats you say are made against your kids on Twitter almost daily? I'd like to report them.
Here's what I said in the article:
Almost every day, on Twitter or by email, I get violent messages of hate directed not just at me, but even my children.
The "even my children" bit was a reference to a particularly noisome tweet involving two uses of the "c" word, one about my kids. I'm quite sure the person who sent it was a sad, lonely, very angry individual more in need of pity than hate. But the fact remains that somebody did send that Tweet and they did direct at me, almost certainly, as a result of my stance on global warming.
Still, as far as I can recall that's the only vicious Tweet I've had against my kids. When I wrote "almost every day" it was a reference to the number of hate Tweets and hate emails I get addressed to me personally. Perhaps I could have written the sentence a little more carefully - and thus avoided the ambiguity. But I certainly wasn't trying to mislead the reader into thinking that every day my kids get death threats or anything like that. As I should have thought was palpably obvious from the rest of the article, I feel my case against the environmental movement is more than strong enough not to need embellishing with lies or half truths.
If Oliver Burkeman was just another of the foaming leftist loons who congregate on Twitter to spew random vileness I wouldn't have thought this worthy of mention. But he's not. He's a journalist - specializing in US politics, I see from his Twitter profile - on a respected newspaper, long one of the bastions of the British left-liberal establishment.
So as a fellow journalist I tried to put myself in his shoes. Had Burkeman - or George Monbiot, or any other Guardian journalist - written a 1600 word piece on green issues with which I disagreed, and he'd written a sentence like the one of mine that made him so indignant would I have taken the trouble to try to ridicule him in the form of three consecutive Twitter messages?
Well of course I wouldn't. I doubt any journalist of my political persuasion would. Why not? Because it's so utterly, nitpickingly facile, that's why. The scandal I laid out in my piece is one of the greatest in history: an effective conspiracy between big corporations, environmental NGOs like the WWF and Greenpeace, politicians, technocrats, the liberal MSM and bent, data-fudging scientists to exaggerate the threat of global warming in order to increase taxes, hamstring our economies with regulations and enrich a few selected rent-seeking business (like Solyndra and Bright Source). If the very best defense the left can come up with is that the kids of the journalist who wrote the piece haven't had quite as many threats as they should have done, then it seems to me that this is an argument that the liberal-left have lost.
I suppose I should be grateful to this Oliver Burkeman fellow for affording such a perfect example of just how intellectually and morally bankrupt the liberal-left can be.