Science Czar John Holdren is Unsure about Placing People Who Fund ‘Climate Change Denial’ on Trial for Crimes Against Humanity

Michael Egnor

In case you were wondering about that radicalism of Global Warming Climate Change fundamentalists, the President’s new science czar John Holdren made some recent assertions that should put your doubts to rest.
In a July 2008 interview on the leftist television program Democracy Now!, Holdren reiterates conventional Malthusian alarmism, complete with a running video of wildfires, storms, and floods positioned over his left shoulder. He takes shots at global warming Climate Change ‘deniers’ (at about 3:20 into the video), attributing the success of skeptics to “the preoccupation of the media with balance and with controversy”.
“Balance” and “controversy” are a bête-noire for climate alarmists.
Further into the interview (at about 7:45 into the video), the moderator raises a question about the recommendation of climate alarmist and top NASA climate scientist James Hansen that the chief executives of oil companies to “be tried for their role in spreading disinformation on climate change”. Hansen recommended that they be indicted and tried for “crimes against humanity” if they continue to “dispute” and “to fund contrarians”.
The moderator asked Holdren:

Dr. John Holdren, do you agree with James Hansen’s statement that the CEO’s of large energy companies are guilty of should be tried (sic) for crimes against humanity?

Holdren replied:

I couldn’t really say.I’m not qualified to assess what the heads of oil companies, past or present, have done in this domain. My understanding is that Exxon, in particular, did fund a variety of small think tanks to generate what amounts to propaganda against understanding of what climate change was doing and the human role in causing it. Whether that sort of activity really constitutes crimes against humanity is something for those more embedded in the legal system than I to judge…

Holdren closes the interview by deferring to legal experts as to whether executives who fund organizations that are skeptical of his claims should be put on trial.
Here’s an example of crimes against humanity that are much more explicit. In 1977, the authors of Ecoscience, a textbook on environmental issues and population control, endorsed a cornucopia of policies to address the overpopulation crisis and to reduce human fertility. Their recommendations included forced abortions, forced sterilizations, involuntary removal of children from families of limited means, government-issued licenses as a requirement to have children, and even the intentional infliction of economic catastrophes on poor countries to reduce population.
The authors of Ecoscience qualified their recommendation for the intentional infliction of economic catastrophe on vulnerable populations:

At the very least, [policies that inflict economic catastrophe to reduce fertility] should be considered only if milder measures fail completely.” (Ecoscience p 768)

The authors specify the “milder measures”: forced abortions, involuntary sterilizations, dissemination of contraceptives in public water and food supplies, and the mandatory surgical implantation of contraceptives in the bodies of pubescent girls that could only be removed when a license to bear a child was provided by the government.
The measures the authors endorsed met several of the criteria for genocide established by the United Nations Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. It defined genocide:

[G]enocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.[emphasis mine]

The authors of Ecoscience were and Paul Ehrlich, Anne Ehrlich, and John Holdren.
Dr. Holdren is now our nation’s top science administrator.

Michael Egnor

Senior Fellow, Center for Natural & Artificial Intelligence
Michael R. Egnor, MD, is a Professor of Neurosurgery and Pediatrics at State University of New York, Stony Brook, has served as the Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery, and award-winning brain surgeon. He was named one of New York’s best doctors by the New York Magazine in 2005. He received his medical education at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons and completed his residency at Jackson Memorial Hospital. His research on hydrocephalus has been published in journals including Journal of Neurosurgery, Pediatrics, and Cerebrospinal Fluid Research. He is on the Scientific Advisory Board of the Hydrocephalus Association in the United States and has lectured extensively throughout the United States and Europe.