What is it with environmentalists and the Holocaust? Barely a month goes by without some prominent green or another outrageously invoking the greatest crime in human history when promoting their plans for eco-austerity.
Step up Dale Vince, green entrepreneur and donor to both the Labour party and pongy activist troupe Just Stop Oil. In an interview with the Mail, he has compared climate sceptics to Holocaust deniers. ‘Anyone who says the climate crisis is not happening or it’s not man-made, honestly, I think they’re a dangerous fool, because it’s like denying the Holocaust happened’, he said.
Were that not grotesque enough – comparing those who question green orthodoxies to racists who try to diminish the murder and suffering of European Jewry in the mid-20th century – he went that little step further, and compared the Holocaust itself to the heat death we are all supposedly about to experience. ‘This [climate-change denial] is denying the holocaust that is coming now’, he thundered.
Depressingly, he isn’t the only prominent environmentalist who thinks like this. In 2019, Green party MP Caroline Lucas was forced to apologise for comparing climate scepticism to Holocaust denial. Justin Welby, the Archbishop of Canterbury, similarly had to apologise in 2021 for comparing politicians failing to act on emissions targets to those who ‘ignored what was happening in Nazi Germany’ .
They’ve all been outdone, however, by Roger Hallam, the bedraggled co-founder of Extinction Rebellion and alleged brain behind Just Stop Oil. In an interview with a German newspaper in 2019, he said the Holocaust was ‘just another fuckery in human history’ when stacked up alongside all the other genocides. (Extinction Rebellion later distanced themselves from his statement, which Hallam said was taken out of context.)
The abandon with which some deep greens invoke problematic rhetoric to promote their cause is not only ridiculous and discrediting – it is also morally repugnant.