Along the Tracks

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Holocaust promoter in academia

Suppose a think-tank conservative presented a speech to an audience of a couple hundred fellow conservatives advocating the spread of deadly diseases to kill off most of the world's population, so "intelligent people" like him and those gathered could inherit the earth.

How would the media respond?

I know, I hardly have to ask the question. We'd have wall-to-wall coverage of the extremists threatening to initiate a new Holocaust. We'd get detailed analysis of how this is the logical extension of conservative policies. We get stories on poor Africans, Asians and Latin Americans who would be nearly wiped out if such a plan were ever implemented, demonstrating the racism inherent in conservative thought. The president and every prominent Republican in the nation would be asked if they "agree" with the views expressed by this right-wing think-tanker. Anyone associated with that think tank, and anyone associated with those associated with it, would be "outed" in investigative pieces. Conservatives in general would have to go through numerous denials of the ridiculous concept, and each time their words would be parsed for even the slightest hint of wiggle room. Left-wing groups would trumpet the fool's words and tie them tightly to every Republican running for election.

As it turns out, an academic did make exactly the suggestion I have described above at a recent scientific conference in Texas. The only difference - this "scientist" proposed his "Final Solution" in support of left-wing environmentalism. Dr. Erik R. Pianka said he would hope to see 90% of the world's population destroyed through the spread of diseases such as ebola. This would eliminate, according to his warped thinking, people who don't care about the environment or aren't as smart as him and those who agree with him. The earth would be saved from rapacious humankind.

That speech happened nearly a month ago, and if not for the coverage provided by The Citizen Scientist and its editor, Forrest M. Mims III (who also is chairman of the Environmental Science Section of the Texas Academy of Science), no one would even know about it.

Mims, in his opinion column describing Pianka's speech and its dangers, points out this is no idle threat we can easily dismiss. Pianka's closest followers are undoubtedly students, swayed to ignore the horrific carnage of his proposal for the "greater good" of a world no longer under heavy exploitation by humans. These are young scientists, in other words, men and women who will one day be researchers, teachers and policy advisers. Ten years or 20 years down the road, will one of these holocaust converts rise to a position of power where he could advise a regime to implement the plan to its own advantage - a 21st century Eichmann? Perhaps even more frightning, what if one of these future researchers has access to ebola or smallpox or some other deadly virus and chooses to unleash the disease, and his mentor's gruesome plan, on his own?

By averting its attention from the speech and its potential repurcussions, the mainstream media allows these holocaust promoters to plot and fester and advance their cause. They will find no shortage of allies in the world who wish to spread death on a monumental scale.

Can we afford to ignore such truly evil sentiments?

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