Environment

The Big Dupe

Collide-a-ScapeBy Keith KloorMar 12, 2009 11:06 AM

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Predictably, Joe Romm inflates the significance of this poll, and obviously fails to see the irony of his own role in that 41 percent number. For what's it's worth, I unpack the Gallup survey here. My take is that it's a snapshot in time, should be seen in the context of the extraordinary moment we're living in now, rather than, as Romm argues, proof positive that the deniers are resurgent and that the MSM is failing in its civic responsibility to incite the American people into collective action on global warming. Romm's sense of frustration is such that he too is now grasping for Nazi analogies to make sense of it all. He compares what he thinks is the duping of Americans on climate change to Hitler's strategy of the "BIG LIE":

According to the United States Office of Strategic Service, Hitler's strategy was based on the view: "...people will believe a big lie sooner than a little one; and if you repeat it frequently enough people will sooner or later believe it." In fact, Hitler himself defined the term "Big Lie," in his autobiography Mein Kempf, as: a lie so "collosal" that no one would believe that someone "could have the impudence to distort the truth so infamously."

Romm is smart enough to know he's wading into dangerous water here, so immediately tries a little ass-covering:

I don't think this useful term should be a banned from public use just because Hitler defined it first (sorry RealClimate). I certainly apologize to anybody who is upset by the analogy "” I'm not trying to compare deniers with Nazis "” there is no such comparison possible "” nor does it apply to all of the people who advocate one of the 6 myths below. No, the "Big Lie" refers mostly to the strategy of the professional class of those who spread disinformation for a living.

I don't have a problem with Romm proposing this meta theory of the BIG LIE. I just don't understand how he could delude himself into believing it.

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