Climate Change Denying Physicist Compares Carbon Dioxide to Jews

ball-and-stick model of CO2: carbon dioxide

ball-and-stick model of CO2: carbon dioxide (Photo credit: Wikipedia) (PD)

What? I don’t even… Where do they find these people?

via io9

During an appearance on CNBC, Physicist William Happer was asked about his view that human beings are not causing climate change. His response: “The demonization of carbon dioxide is just like the demonization of the poor Jews under Hitler. Carbon dioxide is actually a benefit to the world, and so were the Jews.”

Happer, a professor at Princeton University who specializes in atomic physics and optics (but not climate), has been a longtime crusader against the oppression of carbon dioxide. In 2009, he testified before the U.S. Senate:

I keep hearing about the “pollutant CO2,” or about “poisoning the atmosphere” with CO2, or about minimizing our “carbon footprint.” This brings to mind another Orwellian pronouncement that is worth pondering: “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.” CO2 is not a pollutant and it is not a poison and we should not corrupt the English language by depriving “pollutant” and “poison” of their original meaning….CO2 is absolutely essential for life on earth.

Nor was his recent appearance on CNBC the first time that he demonstrated his enthusiasm for Godwin’s Law. In an interview with the Daily Princetonian five years ago, he said:

“This is George Orwell. This is the ‘Germans are the master race. The Jews are the scum of the earth.’ It’s that kind of propaganda….Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant….To say that that’s a pollutant just boggles my mind. What used to be science has turned into a cult.”




  • Oginikwe

    Why, yes. I’ve always thought of CO2 as the Jews of Chemistry myself.

    • Echar Lailoken

      Seriously, is he trying to look bad?

      • Oginikwe

        I don’t think he has to try at all . . .

  • Haystack

    First, they came for the carbon dioxide…

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  • VoxMagi

    Man…I can’t even invoke Godwin’s Law and make a Nazi reference because I was beaten to it in the opening of the topic. Damn…now I don’t even feel like trolling for chuckles. Guess I gotta say something all serious an shit.

    The guys not entirely wrong about the comparative linguistic abuse of CO2…it’s not a poison…its a constituent part of our atmosphere that is absolutely necessary…and the hysterics of the far left (or more specifically, the handful of billionaires who want to manage a carbon marketplace) cannot change that. But like so many of his crazed ilk, there is a blind spot where he ignores some other elementary truths : like too much of a good thing is always possible. I really like top shelf whiskey…I never speak ill of it…it’s brought me nothing but happiness…but I wouldn’t want the room I’m in pumped full of it until I drown.

    Almost every goal of the anti carbon crowd could be achieved as a side effect of standard pollutant reductions and the pursuit of sustainable fuel use for other benefits. Only the sales pitch that ‘the world will end’ has made it possible to debate eternally about whether this one ‘all important issue’ has been resolved before we so much as touch any other topic or issue. If I sat down and schemed a way to defang and defund and prevent all forms of regulation of toxins and/or production of renewable fuels…I couldn’t come up with a way better than this.