We mentioned yesterday that Ipsos MORI regard the majority of the UK population as ignorant sheep who can’t come to an informed decision even if it’s handed to them on a plate. Well, next to what Caroline Lucas, Green Party MEP for the UK South East region, thinks of them, that all sounds almost complimentary. According to eGov, she prefers to compare the climate scepticism revealed by Ipsos MORI’s poll to holocaust denial.

The media’s attempt to seem balanced is in fact distorting the public’s understanding of perhaps the most pressing issue facing us all today – and it’s tragic. It doesn’t make any sense: would the media insist on having a holocaust-denier to balance any report about the second word war? Of course not – but by insisting on giving so much airtime to climate change deniers, it is doing exactly the same thing. 

We’re glad that Lucas has finally admitted that she’s against a “balanced media”. We are less impressed with her attempts to make moral equivalents of healthy scientific scepticism and the most morally reprehensible acts she can think of. But she is not alone. We reported on Sunday how Lord May resorted to accusing Martin Durkin of making films denying the link between HIV and AIDS, and previously the Royal Society’s statements about how scepticism of claims about the climate are comparable in some way to denying the link between smoking and lung cancer.

Anybody who cannot tell the difference between scientific scepticism and fascism lacks a moral compass. (And to think that Lucas has just been awarded Politician of the Year at the Observer Ethical Awards.) Environmentalism’s moral disorientation means that in order to make a moral argument (or to explain their own failures), environmentalists have to draw on absolutes from elsewhere – whether they be absolute wrongs from the darkest periods of history, or absolute scientific certainties that don’t even exist.

We don’t need anything to compare Nazi atrocities with – they were horrors that spoke for themselves. But the morality of emitting CO2, which possibly raises global temperatures and might change the climate (in an unpredictable and unspecified way) isn’t such an easy thing to measure. That needs science – really thorough, deep and tested science. We don’t have that, yet. And we won’t ever have it if we deny scientists the opportunity to pursue a value free investigation of the material world without calling them denialists.

Given that 56% of the public, according to the MORI poll, come under Lucas’s definition of denialists, it’s pretty obvious she doesn’t have much regard for the intelligence of those she represents. If the public are so easily lead like sheep, can she say that her election victory wasn’t due to ‘media distortions’? Funny how people like polls when it suits them.

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