The Commies in His Head

By Keith Kloor | March 1, 2011 11:40 am

Bill McKibben has some fun after learning that Glenn Beck has called him a communist. Of course, McKibben is in good company.

An esteemed  military veterans organization is comprised of communists:

Volunteers are communists:

Then there’s the art hanging in Rockefeller Plaza–all communist.

I know just the man who can bring clarity to this issue of commies in the climate movement, and fortunately, he has emerged from his own recent self-imposed retirement. Surely, there’s a communists-are-taking-over-the-world rant just burning to get out of Jeff Id’s head.

MORE ABOUT: Glenn Beck
  • Menth

    Well I made it to about 3:24 of the first video.

  • Menth

    Actually, I guess I accidentally started the second video first. Browser didn’t load right. Regardless; he’s a level 5 meat-head.

  • Tom Fuller

    Is Jeff-baiting any better than Red-baiting?

  • thingsbreak

    Yeah, I’m not a fan of this kind of post, regardless of whether it’s directed at the Jeff Ids/Wattses of the world or those on the mainstream side of the science.

    Also, it’s “Glenn”, not “Glen”.

  • Tom Fuller

    Of course if you conflate the two you end up with Jeff Beck and good music…

    Or Glenn Id which makes me think of Instapundit’s wife…

  • Barry Woods


    there not commies… they’ve got it allwrong..

    they are eco-socialists

    At least that is what Professor Mike Hulme (Mr IPCC consesnsus) concedes.
    Justin Rowlatt: For Professor Mike Hulme there is no doubt that the fear climate change provokes provides environmentalists with an opportunity to drive forward their much wider political agenda.  

    Mike Hulme: Some of the deep green movement would buy into this – that actually climate change is the best opportunity that we have got in order to get our political goal of a more egalitarian, localist, less consumer driven society onto the table. And we’ve seen over 40 or 50 years different tactics I suppose from some of these deep greens, eco-socialists if you like, to drive forward this idea and climate change is the latest and is an opportunity.

  • Tom Fuller

    Once again we have this artificial left-right thing going on, which I think is almost feeble minded. In the U.S. today, we have conservatives arguing against conservation and liberals talking about making GE rich.

    What are we learning by applying left-right labels to this issue? I ask as a progressive Democrat who gets lumped in with Jeff Id on a daily basis.

    Where is the value-add?

  • Steven Sullivan

    Id’s back from ‘retirement’ already?  Wow, that was fast. Such drama.


  • JohnB

    Tom, I think it’s a bit deeper than that.

    There are eco-socialists that if you strip away the “eco” talk the policies they espouse are quite socialist and often Marxists.

    One of the reasons for the rise in “Greens” is that with the collapse of communism, it was proved to the world that real people just didn’t want the full State control that the Socialists wanted and their policies would get them nowhere. So the Socialists realised that the only way to get the market to buy their product was to rebrand it, and it became “Green” instead.

    We don’t call those people “Watermelons” just to be nasty, it’s an accurate description. I must stress that this term doesn’t apply to all “Greens” and Environmentalists but you must remember that both socialists and greens believe in some of the same things. Both think that the capitalist consumer society is bad and must be replaced. Both believe that people won’t willingly make the change and should be forced to by government.

    However the end targets are different. The greens want it done to preserve the environment “for the future” while the socialists want it done to usher in a socialist society.

    There is also the difference that an Environmentalist, one who wants the environment cared for and utilised properly can come from either side of a political divide but a Green is always from the Left.

    Too often we try to simplify things too much. We put “Environmentalists” together with “Greens” and their often fellow travellers “Socialists” which distorts the picture. In a similar fashion those of us who don’t agree that we are heading for ecological doomsday due to CO2 are lumped in with the morons who don’t think the Earth has even warmed.

    Everything gets turned into a Left/Right split because people are trying to simplify things down to a two value logic and the world just doesn’t work that way. You can be part right and so can the other guy which means a compromise is a good thing. By reducing to a black/white, I’m right you’re wrong attitude people actually avoid looking at the issue itself. 

    Another problem that the American right especially has is rabid “Anti Socialism” and I frankly don’t think they even know what the word means. In the Australian political spectrum I’m slightly to the right of moderate right yet in net debates I defended Obamacare. I thought it wasn’t great, but it got the topic of Universal Health Care on the table for debate. We in Australia (and almost all civilised nations) have some form of UHC for the people and I thought the Americans should too.

    Imagine my surprise at being told I was supporting “Socialism”. Are roads, schools and police “Socialist” too? To me the same principle applies.

    The view from across the Pacific is that American politics is defined by what a person is against, not what they are for. And if two people are against the same thing, they are automatically lumped together as being on the same “side”.

    Just something to think about…..


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About Keith Kloor

Keith Kloor is a NYC-based journalist, and an adjunct professor of journalism at New York University. His work has appeared in Slate, Science, Discover, and the Washington Post magazine, among other outlets. From 2000 to 2008, he was a senior editor at Audubon Magazine. In 2008-2009, he was a Fellow at the University of Colorado’s Center for Environmental Journalism, in Boulder, where he studied how a changing environment (including climate change) influenced prehistoric societies in the U.S. Southwest. He covers a wide range of topics, from conservation biology and biotechnology to urban planning and archaeology.


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