The very silly Prof. Tim Flannery, in April, criticised Prof. Richard Linzen by suggesting that Lindzen’s political beliefs are ‘to the right of Andrew Bolt and Genghis Khan.”
The fact that the professor uses this old cliché shows how little brain power he actually has. How does he assess Genghis Khan’s political beliefs, other than by assuming that anyone who conquers and kills millions of people ruthlessly must be right-wing? Were Stalin or Pol Pot right-wing?
Was Genghis noted for a conservative adherence to royalty, or aristocratic privilege? Nope, he encouraged promotion based on merit.
Was Genghis noted for supporting an established religious hierarchy or for having intolerant, racial views? Nope, he was particularly tolerant of religious and ethnic diversity.
What makes Andrew Bolt right-wing? He claims, correctly, to be conservative, true, but a man can be conservative yet not right-wing.
Even if Richard Lindzen had rather right-wing political opinions, why should that invalidate any of his scientific work? We might assume, for instance, that Wernher von Braun had (for a time, at least) right-wing opinions; did that necessarily invalidate his research on rocketry?
Of course, Prof. Flannery was merely speaking in code: for him, and for most of his supporters, “right-wing” is just another term for “evil”.
(Originally posted to Watts Up With That.)