Economist turned left-wing columnist Paul Krugman took a Stalinist turn Monday in "Betraying the Planet," calling out a group of global warming skeptics - the congressmen, mostly Republican,who dared vote against the costly cap-and-trade bill designed to limit the greenhouse gases that allegedly cause global warming -as having committed "treason against the planet."
So the House passed the Waxman-Markey climate-change bill. In political terms, it was a remarkable achievement.
But 212 representatives voted no. A handful of these no votes came from representatives who considered the bill too weak, but most rejected the bill because they rejected the whole notion that we have to do something about greenhouse gases.
And as I watched the deniers make their arguments, I couldn't help thinking that I was watching a form of treason - treason against the planet.
To fully appreciate the irresponsibility and immorality of climate-change denial, you need to know about the grim turn taken by the latest climate research.
Krugman concluded by calling"climate change" (no more "global warming," since the thermometer is not cooperating)a threat worse than terrorism. That's not surprising from someone who wrote in 2002 that the Enron scandal, not the 9-11 attacks, would be seen by future generations as "the greater turning point in U.S. society."
Still, is it fair to call climate denial a form of treason? Isn't it politics as usual?
Yes, it is - and that's why it's unforgivable.
Do you remember the days when Bush administration officials claimed that terrorism posed an "existential threat" to America, a threat in whose face normal rules no longer applied? That was hyperbole - but the existential threat from climate change is all too real.
Yet the deniers are choosing, willfully, to ignore that threat, placing future generations of Americans in grave danger, simply because it's in their political interest to pretend that there's nothing to worry about. If that's not betrayal, I don't know what is.