This blog is written by Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Posts appear Monday & Wednesday.
Dan Kellar is a geography student at the University of Waterloo. He is currently writing a doctoral thesis under the supervision of an Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author. He teaches courses in climate change to impressionable undergraduates, and describes himself this way:
I’m a PhD researcher at the University of Waterloo in Ontario, Canada and a decolonial propagandist. I’m an organizer with AW@L (peaceculture.org)
Last week, Kellar and a handful of other students prevented journalist Christie Blatchford from speaking to a campus audience about her newly-released book, Helpless. An excerpt from that book appears here (three more are scheduled). The book describes how, in a dispute in a small Ontario community, for nearly five years the police have chosen not to enforce the law when suspects are of aboriginal (First Nations) descent. To quote from a news story:
Ms. Blatchford does not claim to have written a “360-degree view” of [the dispute in] Caledonia, but rather an account of one narrow slice of it — the failure of the rule of law. “I care about the rule of law, I believe in it. To me it’s natural that is what I would have concentrated on,” she said.
In climate change instructor Kellar’s opinion, Blatchford (a premier columnist with the national Globe and Mail newspaper) is a racist. His Twitter feed accuses her of being “a Nazi sympathizer” and of “spreading racist bullshit.” In the far-left world Kellar inhabits, aboriginal people aren’t moral agents responsible for their own actions. Instead, they are merely symbols of historical oppression.
It is no accident that Kellar teaches climate change. The justification he uses to defend the suppression of Blatchford’s free speech rights (and the suppression of the right of audience members to hear her perspective) is identical to the justification the chairman of the David Suzuki Foundation uses with respect to climate skeptics.
Kellar says Blatchford is “creating a misunderstanding” of history by “ignoring settler responsibility…to live up to the agreements we made on a nation to nation basis.” He compares Blatchford to Nazi propagandist Julius Streicher. According to Kellar, Steicher:
…was hung for presenting information which led to misunderstanding and hatred. Those were the principles that were then set in Nuremberg, saying that is irresponsible conduct. So when we see the same sort of conduct, writing that ignores history and leads to misrepresentation and misunderstanding, which lead to hatred and racism, it’s our responsibility to stop those things, as was found in the Nuremberg principles. It’s no longer a free speech issue. When people are lying about the situation, it’s just not appropriate to have them speak. [bold added]
Because we believe the other side to be liars and generally bad people it’s OK to shut them down. Gee, where have we heard that argument before?
It so happens that James Hoggan, chairman of the David Suzuki Foundation, runs a website called DeSmogBlog.com. On this website, individuals who are professional spin doctors (Hoggan is owner and founder of “one of Canada’s most successful public relations firms”) disparage and demean those who voice non-conformist views about climate change [see my previous discussions here, here, and here]. The right-hand sidebar on virtually every page of the DeSmogBlog site contains the following:
Free speech does not include the right to deceive. Deception is not a point of view. And the right to disagree does not include a right to intentionally subvert the public awareness.
David Suzuki, take a bow. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change author Daniel Scott – who is one of Kellar’s thesis advisers – should take a bow, as well (see more about Scott here). Kellar’s other thesis adviser, professor Kevin Hanna also deserves to take one.
Together, you three learned gentlemen – all of whom have earned your living from publicly funded universities and who have had your own free speech rights protected by the tenure system – have taught your climate change student well.
Free speech is a trinket, to be tossed aside by sanctimonious young people. Those fundamental freedoms for which so many fought and died are now meaningless.