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Everybody’s a Nazi!

December 16, 2009

Here’s a headline that caught my eye today as I was updating the Headline Wall (more on that later):

Climate Deal Backers ‘like Nazi appeasers.’

This genre of accusation is nothing new in the polarized world of climate politics, but it struck me that we may be witnessing a sort of Nazi accusation creep.

In August Roger Pielke highlighted a political speech in New South Wales in which climate skeptics were compared to Nazi appeasers. (Who then, asked Roger, are the Nazis?).

In late November, Lucia noticed footage of Hitler being played in the background during a discussion of “Climategate.”

So now the deal supporters and the skeptics are appeasers, and the scientists are being compared with the Nazis themselves? By the time the smoke clears, will anyone have escaped the Nazi comparison?

Lucia would say that this is just more evidence in favor of Godwin’s Law:

As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches 1.

Though obviously these examples are not confined to the virtual world, and the comparisons are multiplying. Perhaps we need a corollary along these lines:

As the discussion continues to grow, the number of involved parties avoiding Nazi or Hitler comparisons approaches 0.

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