Ike: Debate And Accuracy, Against Dictatorship

Or…Easy is the life of the Climate Change True Believer

This is yet another answer to whomever claims that the “climate change debate” is “over”.

From a recent op-ed by Max Blumenthal on the International Herald Tribune (“Ike’s other warning“, Sep 2, 2009):

[Eisenhower’s 1959 letter] offers an […] important — and relevant — warning: to beware the danger posed by those seeking freedom from the “mental stress and burden” of democracy

“I doubt that citizens […] could ever, under our democratic system, be provided with the universal degree of certainty, the confidence in their understanding of our problems, and the clear guidance from higher authority that [some] believe needed. Such unity is not only logical but indeed indispensable in a successful military organization, but in a democracy debate is the breath of life.”

Eisenhower also recommended a short book — “The True Believer” by Eric Hoffer […] Hoffer “points out that dictatorial systems make one contribution to their people which leads them to tend to support such systems — freedom from the necessity of informing themselves and making up their own minds concerning these tremendous complex and difficult questions.” The authoritarian follower, Eisenhower suggested, desired nothing more than insulation from the pressures of a free society.

“It is difficult indeed to maintain a reasoned and accurately informed understanding of our defense situation on the part of our citizenry when many prominent officials, possessing no standing or expertness as they themselves claim it, attempt to further their own ideas or interests by resorting to statements more distinguished by stridency than by accuracy.”

Every call to silence climate skeptics comes from a desire to be insulated “from the pressures of a free society“.