Australian Attorney General George Brandis argues that it is:
The great irony to this new “habit of mind”, [Brandis] says, is that the eco-correct think of themselves as enlightened and their critics as “throwbacks”, when actually “they themselves are the throwbacks, because they adopt this almost theological view, this cosmology that eliminates from consideration the possibility of an alternative opinion”. The moral straitjacketing of anyone who raises a critical peep about eco-orthodoxies is part of a growing “new secular public morality”, he says.Judith Brett argues cogently that it this is not a workable answer.
I'll just leave you with the flavor of it; go follow the link.
I doubt that Brandis believes that all alternative points of view are deserving of respectful consideration. I doubt that he believes that the Earth is flat or that carrot juice can cure cancer. I’m sure that when he boards a plane he believes that the science of aerodynamics is sufficiently settled to get him to his destination. In many areas of life, he accepts, as we all do, that the science is, broadly speaking, settled. So to support his position on the virtues of scepticism about climate-change science, and his accusations of religious zealotry against those who believe that the science is settled, he needs to claim that there is something particular about this area of science. He has not done this.
Of course, what is particular about the claims of the climate scientists is the huge implications for the way humans generate and consume energy....
[Fiona] Stanley, a grandmother, referred to the poem ‘hieroglyphic stairway’ by the American social activist Drew Dellinger. It sums up how many of us feel, that now is the time for urgent action.
it’s 3:23 in the morning
and I’m awake
because my great great grandchildren
won’t let me sleep
my great great grandchildren
ask me in dreams
what did you do while the planet was plundered?
what did you do when the earth was unraveling?
Brandis could answer, I defended the right to deny it was happening.I also really liked the very next sentence: "The narrow focus on freedom of speech distorts a complex debate, pulling it into the political class’s familiar boxing ring of left versus right."
Yes, how true, and how bloody tedious. I am sitting out the Austin climate march tomorrow. I went to the last one, and I thought I'd been baited and switched. I went to support a 350 ppmv CO2 target. I got counted as a supporter of a huge grab-bag of leftish posturing, most of it unrealistic and some of it quite silly.
We have a very hard problem and we cannot solve it by breaking into teams and throwing poop at each other.