"I'm not going to shake the hand of Hitler Youth." (Updated)

Posted on December 10, 2009

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Update: A complete transcript of the encounter with Wessel and Monckton can be found at the Guardian environment blog.

According to Kevin Grandia at DeSmogBlog, climate disruption denier Lord Monckton was talking with a number of youths when he was approached by a couple of other youths he recognized from the Americans for Prosperity event that was temporarily taken over by youth climate activists yesterday. When he was asked to shake one of the activists’ hand, he responded

No, no. I’m not going to shake the hand of Hitler Youth. I’m sorry.

The activist in question, Ben Wessel, is Jewish, and his grandparents escaped the Nazis. Furthermore, Monckton’s remarks yesterday could have been considered intemperate as they were made in the heat of the moment. That Monckton would repeat the charge today when he’s not being shouted over suggests that he truly believes the youth activists to be equal to the Hitler Youth.

Here’s the video:

Some key quotes from Monckton:

World food prices have doubled. That is because of the global warming scare. You won’t look at the science. As a result of that, millions are dying in third world countries because of the biofuel scam, because of the global warming scare.

And you people don’t care. And until you start caring I will call you Hitler youth if you ever again interrupt any meeting I am present, where we are trying to have a private conversation.

So now you know what it looks like when you do robotic chants of the sort which the Hitler youth used to do in Copenhagen when they occupied this city.

So I think you should all just chill out and accept that if you ever behave like that again I will call you that again in public. You’re already now known and your faces around the world are known as members of the Hitler youth.

You people do as much damage to the poor as the Hitler youth did.

Monckton’s charge is false. The youth climate activists were certainly rude, but their actions didn’t rise anywhere near the level of being “Hitler Youth.” Some of the more glaring examples of discrepancies between Monckton’s characterization of the activists and the actual Hitler Youth include:

  • The climate activists didn’t engage in violence. The Hitler Youth did.
  • The climate activists didn’t behave in militaristic manner. The Hitler Youth did.
  • The climate activists showed no sign of anti-Semitism. The Hitler Youth did.
  • It’s not mandatory for all youths to be climate activists. It was mandatory for all German children to be members of the Hitler Youth.

Clearly, as I said yesterday, Monckton is as ignorant of the history of Nazism as he is of climate science. Furthermore, Monckton has no expertise in climate or any other hard science whatsoever – his diploma is in journalism and he’s educated in classics, not science, engineering, or mathematics. He is a member of the Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) delegation to Copenhagen, and he’s on record as believing in a New World Order/global government conspiracy that climate disruption is a tool for the UN to create a global government:

“I read the Copenhagen treaty,” says Lord Monckton. “And what it says is this; that a world government is going to be created. The word “government” actually appears as the first of three purposes of the new entity.”

CFACT is an oil company and mining interest-funded fake-grassroots (aka “astroturf”) organization that is one of the more powerful forces in climate disruption denial.

Two other members of the CFACT delegation include S. Fred Singer and Steve Milloy. Singer is a scientist who was paid by the Tobacco Institute to write a paper that cast doubt on the connection between second hand smoke and cancer and who has a connection with the widely discredited Petition Project of the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine that falsely claimed an overwhelming number of scientists as disbelieving in climate disruption. S&R examined the OISM petition’s claims and found that the OISM petition signatories, at most, 0.3% of all US scientists even when using the OISM’s own expansive definition of “scientist.”

Milloy is a non-scientist who presents himself as an expert on climate and other controversial scientific topics and who formed and ran an organization that was created using Philip Morris money for the express purpose of denying the dangers of smoking. S&R ran an investigative series on Milloy in December, 2007 that focused on his anti-climate disruption propaganda “survey” from DemandDebate.com, his background with various libertarian think tanks and working for Philip Morris, and his current financial backers and associates including at least one man who offered bribes to scientists who would write op-eds against the IPCC Fourth Assessment Report.

Given the background of Monckton’s current associates, it’s perhaps not surprising that he would resort to falsely accusing climate activists of being “Hitler Youth.” After all, Singer and Milloy have no problem distorting science and outright lying to enrich themselves and protect the profits of their backers.

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