Thom Hartmann Parrots Shabby Meme That Climate Skeptics Are ‘Mentally Ill’

Posted on Mon 01/11/2016 by

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Jack Coleman 04By Jack Coleman ~

On the plus side, libtalker Thom Hartmann gave a shout-out for a provocative post written by MRCTV blog editor Craig Bannister.

On the down side, Bannister’s subtle sarcasm was apparently too nuanced for Hartmann to comprehend — and liberals love chortling about how only they understand nuance and conservatives aren’t evolved enough to keep up.

Bannister’s post was written Jan.5 with the headline, “Are Climate Skeptics too ‘Mentally Ill’ to Buy Guns Under Obama’s New Rules?,” and this for his lede —

Today, Pres. Obama announced new executive orders on gun control designed to keep “mentally ill” people from buying guns — but, will they be used to prevent climate skeptics from buying firearms?

Under Obama’s new rules, doctors can now report people deemed “mentally ill” to the FBI so they can be denied gun licenses.

Here’s Hartmann enthusing for Bannister’s post while citing excerpts from it —

Hartmann climate change oneIn the meantime, from the climate skeptics thing, this was fascinating. Craig Bannister, who’s been on this program a number of times, it’s been awhile since Craig was on. He asks the question, are climate skeptics too mentally ill to buy guns under Obama’s new rules? And I’m inclined to say yes.

First sign of trouble — the headline of Bannister’s post tellingly included quotation marks around “mentally ill,” though Hartmann neglects to mention that —

He points out (Hartmann citing a White House fact sheet excerpted in Bannister’s post) that the current law prohibits individuals from buying a gun if because of mental health issues they are either a danger to themselves or others. Then he goes on this logic chain and says, OK … as President Obama has repeatedly claimed, climate change is a greater threat than terrorism, then aren’t people who deny that the climate threat is a danger, to deny the climate threat, aren’t those people a danger to themselves and others and thus unfit to own guns?

And Craig Bannister then goes on to point out that he’s not the first guy to think of this. Psychology Today published an article … in 2014 titled “(Are you) are in climate change denial? Three signs to look for.” Number one — you think climate change is bad but not that bad. Two — you don’t have an emotional reaction to climate change. Three — you aren’t getting political.

Thus, Craig Bannister writes, if you think the climate threat is great enough and you’re not furious about it or you’re not politically active in the climate fight, you’ve got mental issues.

Agreed — “if you think the climate threat is great enough” and you’re not furious and/or politically active in response, you might well be deemed irrational, though still considerably short of certifiable.

Trouble is, that’s not what Bannister wrote. In keeping with the sardonic spirit of his post, he opined this instead — “Thus, if you don’t think the climate threat is great enough (emphasis added), or you’re not furious about it, or you’re not politically active in the climate fight, then you’ve got mental issues.” Once again, details matter, but not to Hartmann —

The Telegraph’s climate denial, Craig Bannister writes, is now a mental disorder. Climate denial, according to the Telegraph newspaper, climate denial is now a mental disorder. He explains how so-called eco-psychologists convened at the University of the West of England in Bristol to explore, identify or classify climate change denial as a mental disorder.

And then he quotes Gina McCarthy, the EPA chief under Obama, earlier on as saying climate skeptics are not “normal people.”

So, Craig, maybe. Did we figure out what was going on with the phones?

In case you’re wondering, Hartmann got briefly sidetracked to talking about Bannister’s post while there was a problem with his call screen software on Jan. 6. After a break, Hartmann revisited the premise —

Very interesting — so Craig Bannister writing this piece, that climate change skeptics are too mentally ill to buy guns under Obama’s new law …

“Obama’s new law”? Refresh my memory, Thom — when did that get congressional approval?

So Craig Bannister, he quotes, I think this is fascinating, he actually builds a case for it and does a pretty good job of building that case. He quotes Psychology Today … He quotes the Lexington Libertarian site which is quoting the Register in the UK saying that you’re in climate change denial. He’s quoting the Telegraph’s “Climate Denial is now a mental disorder.”He quotes Gina McCarthy, EPA chief under Obama, saying that climate skeptics aren’t “normal people.”

So, do you think climate skeptics should not be allowed to buy guns? I, you know, it sounds appealing to me. It sounds very interesting.

Hey, whatever it takes to silence dissent, right? Heads up, Thom — that was sarcasm. Really.

Rounding out his scattershot take on Bannister’s premise, Hartmann also neglects to mention Bannister’s final paragraph (before an editor’s add-on was included) —

So, you might want to think twice before discussing the nearly two-decade pause in global warming with your doctor the next time you go in for your annual check-up.

Psst, Thom — more sarcasm. Perhaps Bannister will include trigger warnings next time.

Not incidentally, the Psychology Today piece was written by “therapist turned activist” Margaret Klein, who at the time was working on her doctorate in clinical psychology from Adelphia University. The Telegraph post, however, came from the opposite side of the debate and was an op-ed written by British journalist and climate skeptic Christopher Booker. As for the credibility of Gina McCarthy’s opinions on mental health, suffice to say she does bear an uncanny resemblance to the wise, benevolent bureaucrats in Atlas Shrugged.

Jack Coleman is an ex-liberal from People’s Republic of Massachusetts. He was formerly a newspaper reporter and Editor, and he contributes Posts at the NewsBusters site.

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