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Sebastian Lüning And Fritz Vahrenholt Respond To Parncutt’s Death Penalty Calls For Climate Sceptics

P Gosslin, No Tricks Zone

At his university website Richard Parncutt, an Australian professor at the University of Graz, has called for “climate deniers” to be punished with the death penalty or life in prison. The media is in a way partly responsible for his fanaticism. Through sloppily researched and non-objective articles, radio reports and TV shows, climate alarmism is inflicting plenty of damage on gullible and emotionally unstable people.

Over the last 30 years huge progress has been made in natural and environmental protection. Exhaust today is being intensively scrubbed, waste-water is being cleaned and energy is being used ever more efficiently. We can consider ourselves fortunate to be living in a time and place where environmental hazards today are hardly a threat to the population.

But what started as a successful and well intentioned environmental movement, now appears to have careened totally out of control. The movement has not done itself any favors by hitching itself to the ideologically led fight against the supposed climate catastrophe. The climate catastrophe scenarios announced 10 years ago by a very convinced IPCC have not come to pass. In stark contradiction to the theoretical prognoses, global temperatures have not risen in 16 years. Over the last decade, the sea level rise has not accelerated, and weather extremes are well within the range of natural variability. A look at the real, measured data and the paleo-climatological reconstructions tells us there is no alarm.

Unfortunately, many media representatives have been unable to depart from their long-loved climate catastrophe. Catastrophes are interesting for readers, viewers and audiences, and they boost ratings and circulation. How on earth would the otherwise empty pages and radio shows be filled if the catastrophe disappeared? As we have been able to show in numerous analyses of recent media reports on the topic of climate at this blog, media reporting is often one-sided, tends to be and is even at times plainly false.

Many media reports would not stand up to any serious scientific review. Sensitized scientists are fortunately in a position to identify the deceit and confusion. Unfortunately many scientifically uneducated people lack the means to check over the science and simply accept the media reports as the truth. Some individuals even allow themselves to be so impressed by the dubious reports that, in their fear of the climate catastrophe, they actually adopt insane beliefs.

Unfortunately one of these people is Richard Parncutt, an Australian professor at the University of Graz. At his university website he seriously calls for “climate deniers” to be punished with the death penalty or life in prison. At his website the following appeared (emphasis added):

“In this article I am going to suggest that the death penalty is an appropriate punishment for influential GW [global warming] deniers. But before coming to this surprising conclusion, please allow me to explain where I am coming from.

Even mass murderers should not be executed, in my opinion. Consider the politically motivated murder of 77 people in Norway in 2011. Of course the murderer does not deserve to live, and there is not the slightest doubt that he is guilty. But if the Norwegian government killed him, that would just increase the number of dead to 78. It would not bring the dead back to life. In fact, it would not achieve anything positive at all. I respect the families and friends of the victims if they feel differently about that. I am simply presenting what seems to me to be a logical argument.

GW deniers fall into a completely different category from Behring Breivik. They are already causing the deaths of hundreds of millions of future people. We could be speaking of billions, but I am making a conservative estimate.


If a jury of suitably qualified scientists estimated that a given GW denier had  already, with high probability (say 95%), caused the deaths of over one million future people, then s/he would be sentenced to death. The sentence would then be commuted to life imprisonment if the accused admitted their mistake, demonstrated genuine regret, AND participated significantly and positively over a long period in programs to reduce the effects of GW (from jail) – using much the same means that were previously used to spread the message of denial. At the end of that process, some GW deniers would  never admit their mistake and as a result they would be executed. Perhaps that would be the only way to stop the rest of them. The death penalty would have been justified in terms of the enormous numbers of saved future lives.”

The original page at the University of Graz has been been taken down in the meantime. However copies of the page were first made, for example at, Google Webcache and over at tallbloke. The crazed thinking that Mr. Music Professor here demonstrates is truly frightening. Does he really believe what he is writing or is this pure provocation? Or perhaps it’s a just a nasty hoax, with someone hacking into the university website and slipping in the text? Unlikely. But anything is possible. For Parncutt that would be the best variant, as one does not need to be a psychic to predict that the University of Graz will not simply let this go and that this could have serious personal consequences. It is also unlikely that his colleagues are going to stand up for him. He was never really highly regarded to begin with, as Parncutt himself admits at other locations of the University website.

The media is in a way partly responsible for this. Through their sloppily researched and non-objective articles, radio reports and TV shows, they inflict with their climate alarmism plenty of damage with gullible and emotionally unstable people. It is high time that balanced science finds its way back once again into media reporting, and that the media learn to suppress their zeal for climate alarmism.

Especially in Germany and Austria facts today should count more than ideological convictions.

No Tricks Zone, 27 December 2012