Of the many Steve Koonin debunkings of we shared Friday was one by Mark Boslough, who, among other things, criticized Koonin’s complaint that calling climate change deniers, well, “deniers” is only used to associate them with Holocaust denial. Obviously that’s false, but then again, what happens when Holocaust denial and climate denial do overlap?
This isn’t a theoretical or hypothetical question. Last week, climate denial bellwether Tom Nelson followed up a retweet promoting Roger Pielke Jr.’s work equivocating on the unequivocal IPCC report with a retweet of one from Peter Sweden claiming the “next steps” for a feared global climate regime would be Digital IDs, meat rationing (and reduced meat rations “for mean words on social media”) and finally, “now you have a credit score.”
Turns out Peter Sweden’s twitter feed was on a tear. In one, he got worked up about the possibility of a scary new vehicle miles traveled tax only to take credit for his “predictions ... turning true…” when he was clued in that such a fee already exists (and has been around for over a decade, and despite, you know, other professional deniers already complaining two days prior to his “prediction” about a pilot version in the infrastructure bill).
Sweden’s interest in the issue seemed to spike not with the IPCC report on August 9th, but three days earlier in reference to Britain's proposal to switch to electric vehicles by 2030, which he claimed was climate change being used “as an excuse to introduce Communism.” The next day he glommed on to the Obama birthday newscycle with a bunch of tweets about John Kerry and “the elite” taking private jets but “keep[ing] you in lockdown” and “the elite din[ing] on fine meat while telling you to eat bugs.”
By the 9th, he was back to the electric car stuff, tweeting that the “push for electric cars is about taking away your freedom. Electric cars are useless if you want to travel any meaningful distance. In Communism they limit your freedom of movement by forcing you to use busses [sic]. It’s basically the same thing.”
Of course! Personally owned electric vehicles capable of traveling hundreds of miles are definitely “basically the same thing” as communist buses.
As you can see, Peter’s not tweeting anything especially far-fetched for Denial World.
At least not recently.
But for those who didn’t immediately recognize his (pseudo)name, Peter Sweden’s real name is Peter Imanuelsen, who is perhaps best-known for being an anti-immigrant white supremacist and Holocaust denier who once tweeted that “the holocaust is a lie to further the agenda of the NWO” and that while he is “not a nazi :)” he does “think hitler had some good points.”
There’s plenty more out there on Peter’s far-right hate speech, but that’s basically the gist. (His, uh, hilarious attempt to defend against “white male privilege” by pointing out that “we gave women the right to vote “and “we ended slavery,” though, are worth a dishonorable mention.)
So while it is apparently egregiously slanderous to use the term “climate denier” because of its apparent Holocaust connotation, here we see that, whether it’s pseudo-sophisticated equivocating like Pielke Jr. who thinks billionaires corrupted climate science or alt-right racists ranting about “the elites,” to the average climate denier like Tom Nelson, they’re “basically the same thing.”