The Next Genocide

Hitler denied science and exploited ecological panic to lay the groundwork for genocide. It could happen again.

Comments: 216

  1. This article makes an excellent pair with the coverage on Antarctic melt, though I'd tend to think the latter is a mite optimistic about the near timeframe while scientifically rigorous on the millenial timescale for total melt if we don't get a grip.

    In my view it is about acknowledging responsibility for the future and for all of humanity, such as it is. We have a slowing developing emergency, a possibility to use our skills and intelligence and humanity to grow into taking care of things. Or we can go on distracting ourselves with ever more marketing and consumption and all go together. No magic wand is going to make all tidy. But the means are ready to hand, the warnings clear, and decades old, and the time is now.

  2. Good grief!

    "polluting the atmosphere with greenhouse gases.....ecological panic". By far the greatest greenhouse gas is water vapour. Either remaining in gaseous form or when precipitated out it is essential for plant life. Another greenhouse gas is suffering an undeserved bad rap. CO2 is also essential for plant growth. The more the better. Historically, 400 PPM is low. Commercial greenhouse operators add CO2 to enhance growth.

    Did not know that Hitler was a Malthusian--like Ehrlich and Gore.

  3. There is one magic wand we can all use, if we choose to: DON'T HAVE CHILDREN. The big problems, climate change, jihad, territorial wars in Africa, China's instability, all come down to overpopulation and its secondary effects. Every child that remains unborn increases exponentially through its unborn offspring; the unborn population can grow even faster than the population of actual children.

    We must either reduce our numbers voluntarily or it will be done for us, globally.

  4. Good grief indeed. I suggest a basic education on greenhouse gases. Here's one answer: "water vapor has a short cycle in the atmosphere (a few days) before it is incorporated into weather events and falls to Earth, so it cannot build up in the atmosphere in the same way as carbon dioxide does." I was going to go straight to Wikipedia (not perfect, but useful and largely accurate) but instead suggest you do a search:

    "heat trapping greenhouse gases"

    which produced more accessible information than when last I looked. Here's an excellent overview with lots of good illustration and summary information:

    We are accumulating heat-trapping greenhouse gases in our atmosphere which are increasing the energy (heat) in the system (global warming) which is disrupting our planetary circulation (climate change). No about of Gore et al. bashing will change the facts, though you all may feel better for your free form insults.

  5. As you try to refute, that the Holocaust was based on science or an elaborated cultural justification, you run into much "erklärungsnot" (failing to offer an explanation). Because the real disturbing thing about the Holocaust is, that there are actually justifications at all levels. And "Lebensraum" as an ecological/economical issue is even a very strong justification.
    Even today we 'advanced' societies are looking for a cheap vindication, like WMD, to ensure us the access to resources, like oil.
    But also on a biological aspects. Supremacy based on race is a very modern justification, and back than, the decoding of the human genom was unknown and couldn't prove that the spread within a hablotype is to diverse to mark a certain race. And just look at the US and europe today, this white supremacy conception is firmly established in our society.

    Also on the level of culture. The idea of the 'Ubermensch' is a very modern idea of a society, which put's aside all moral antics and quarrels for one reason only - supremacy.

    The problem is, that the Holocaust is much more in us than we want to admit. Germans back than just had this utter determination to follow this logic through. Which by the way is not so much different from our determination today to stop another genocide.

  6. The author said that the Holocaust was based not only on hate but on science denying, not science. As I take his points, denying science could damage our civilization. The struggle for resources was and is real. It always is, but it can also give cover and justification to haters looking to scapegoat "other" groups in times of scarcity. I see some in the U.S. scapegoating poor, work-seeking Mexicans, falsely blaming them for all of our ills. Europe points at refugees. How does one achieve a more just and tolerant world? Truth-telling is a start.

  7. Where to start? There is nothing new about people invading other countries and killing all the men, women and children under the justification of being a superior race. What set Germany apart was the scale which is a global phenomenon not specific to German culture. Mao and Stalin did the same thing in spades. The books of Moses are full of stories of God ordering the Jews to kill women and children, even the unborn. And don't forget the "Manifest Destiny". This article is a perfect example of the dangers of swallowing the global warming propaganda hook, line and sinker, and is designed to get some desired political action. It tacitly implies that we should take some kind of decisive action, up to and including killing the perpetrators (who ever we decide that is) if needed, to prevent a genocide. Never mind that you would probably kill a lot of innocents in the process. Prepare yourselves for a lot more of this kind of pure political demagoguery as the stresses of diminishing resources, growing population and a failing economy (the real problems) grow.

  8. Interesting, isn't it, how the selected 'hate-objects- segued from Jews, in Hitler's time, to 'Islamists', today. The 'formula' is the same, but the parameters have changed a bit. The 'supremacy'-bit was (and is) just a convenient 'cover-story'

  9. Thanks for this article. I was starting to grow concerned that this might be a day I rolled out of bed and looked at the world through optimistic eyes.

  10. SD: We can't solve problems if we deny that they exist. This is a tough one for lefties who are editors at heart. How to delineate problems without adding to gloom?

  11. A narrative that leaves out economic factors like the Great Depression and the colonial order existent up to 1945 is a bit suspect of determinism (ecological in this case), although nobody can deny the role played by the ideological pivot of the Lebensraum and the predominant antisemitism (not only in Germany) of the Nazi imaginary.

    Today climate change is an effect of a growth model that is not able to see beyond profit and market expansion (which are tied to colonialism and conquest) -issues that that you give a free pass. Indeed China had better ecological practices before embarked on the growth practices started 5 centuries earlier in the West.

    As far as I see the nationalism associated with right wing parties and the wars that created much displacement started within the last decade (Iran, Syria, Afgahanistan, etc) and coincide with the Great Recession and ongoing stagnation. It may be worth considering that too.

  12. Enri Enri nationalism is left winged not right winged as alot of liberals like to portray it as

  13. Well, will there be a war over climate debt? currently estimated at half-a-trillion dollars?

    "All countries have contributed to recent climate change, but some much more so than others. Those that have contributed more than their fair share have accumulated a climate debt, owed to countries that have contributed less to historical warming.

    This is the implication of a new study published in Nature Climate Change, in which Concordia University researcher Damon Matthews shows how national carbon and climate debts could be used to decide who should pay for the global costs of climate mitigation and damages.

    The countries that have accumulated the largest carbon debts on account of higher than average per-capita carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions are the United States, Russia, Japan, Germany, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia.

    The U.S. alone carries 40 per cent of the cumulative world debt, while Canada carries about four per cent. On the other side, the carbon creditors — those whose share of CO2 emissions has been smaller than their share of world population — are India, Indonesia, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Nigeria, Brazil and China, with India holding 30 per cent of the total world credit. "

  14. That kind of argument while rational can also lead to support for the very wars the author discusses. It will not be accepted by those countries. It does have some logical failures also. For example Brazil has contributed to global warming as has other countries by clear cutting forest similarly Indonesia and despite the majority of benefits going to the heavy energy user countries most of humanity has benefited from their advances and in fact the higher populations in these areas is to some degree a result of technology and knowledge gained from industrial countries.

  15. I don't know that per-capita is the best measure of carbon debt. When talking about over all impact we perhaps need to look more toward per-airspace as a measure.

  16. Humankind has been battling for resources from the day Ur was settled. Growing wheat, led to granaries and creating armies to defend the, And, creating armies to conquer other city states and nations. Enslaving those to build a kingdom. And genocide was a constant companion. The birth of royalty, enslavement and fears implanted in the people by vengeful gods. Thus, this has been part of organized human society for 10,000 years; conquer or be conquered; fear your enemy and royalty/politicians have the ultimate control and make the decisions to pillage.

    NAZI Germany was also a product of this, but the Germans took genocide to a new, scientific, organized level. What they started, with WWII, nearly wiped out all the Jews and killed nearly 100 million people.

    Today, with overpopulation, including here in the US, already nations are lining up to secure resources for their hungry masses. Even if that means genocide, down the road to do it. Global warming is real, as land becomes more fallow it will be too late.

    Many speculated the dearth of fossil fuels would cause the next world war. That still may happen. But, the need to feed billions of people will bring about calamities that will make WWII pale in comparison. With eyes looking to Africa, as a solution, it does not bode well for its people, or the fauna that not occupies its lands.

  17. Not only this, but American fundamentalist "christians" have sold some African leaders on legalized murder for LGBTQ people in their countries. This is the very opposite of Jesus's teachings.

  18. It is amazing that the NYT did not make this one of their picks.

  19. “After nuclear negotiations, the Zionist regime said that they will not be worried about Iran in the next 25 years,” Ayatollah Khamenei wrote. “I am telling you, first, you will not be around in 25 years’ time, and God willing, there will be no Zionist regime in 25 years. Second, during this period, the spirit of fighting, heroism and jihad will keep you worried every moment.”

    Next Holocaust < 25 years.

  20. Uh, no. Thermonukes over Teheran will solve that braggadocio.

  21. Gil Scott-Heron, the first hip hop singer, penned "The Revolution Will Not be Televised" back in 1970.

    Back in the 1990s a "world war occurred in southern Africa centering around the Congo; millions died, far more than the number of victims in Rwanda's horrible genocide. Neither was televised. Most Americans don't even know about the first "holocaust", but Rwanda's minor second "holocaust" did make it into movie theaters.

    The current "holocaust" hasn't reached "The Holocaust" level get. But it may.

    And the current "holocaust" has been televised on European stations like France 24 and Deutsche Welle (available free via my PBS provider) for years.

  22. And God is about all that the Ayatollah has. Netanyahu has sufficient nuclear warheads to destroy the entire planet. And if that's not enough , Israel is also possessed of a few hydrogen bombs.

    If God intends to accommodate the Ayatollah , let God give it a go. The smart money is on Israel's nuclear arsenal.

    In terms of relative fire power, the Ayatollah has no chance . All that Netanyahu requires is the approbation of the United States and it is the Iranians who will be fed to the ovens in very short order indeed.

    Israel is the only meaningful opponent of the agreed upon negotiations. What possible benefit might derive to the United States by opposing an agreement that has been endorsed by virtually all other world powers ?

    The resistance to diplomacy by some commentary is just not logical , but the resistance to this agreement by a united republican party is mind blowing.

    Having invaded Iraq based upon deceptive and untrue statements from the Bush administration , this nation has fruitlessly struggled in the Middle East for the past 14 years at a cost of countless lives , thousands of our military , and has racked up a debt to the Chinese of many trillions of dollars. There is not a thing to show for any of it.

    Regardless, the GOP has thrown its allegiance to an Israeli warlord that thirsts for the blood of the Iranians and the oppression of the Palestinians in direct opposition to American interests.

    Since when is the GOP employed by the Knesset ?

  23. It's frightening that a major political party in one of the world's most powerful nations has elected not to believe in science, and in fact spreads lies and propaganda, brandishes the cross and demonizes poor people, immigrants, especially Mexicans, and anybody who is "other."

    We can't hope to build a better future on lies, bigotry, superstition and fear. And we can't sustain the world we have if we can't even cope with economic injustice here in the US.

    We don't have to see pictures of parched land in Africa to see ruin and despair. Our own forests are burning.

    Our own politicians want to exploit our priceless and irreplaceable and often, sacred public lands - for what? To line their already bulging pockets.

  24. True, all true. But a little early perhaps to compare American climate deniers to nazis.

  25. I don't think he did. He was making situational comparisons, and I think he started with China and Russia. He was talking about habits of thought that we are seeing growing: looking for somebody to blame to keep one's own.

    As food for thought, this kind of observation is useful; in fact currently we have way too much insistence that we can "make American great again" without doing the hard work of actually improviing it. I use Trump's slogan, but despite my disgust at the man, I don't think he's a Hitler. He's too vague about what he will actually do, being trained to produce hot air and sell things, not to solve problems.

  26. We have to grow from two to ten times as much plant food than we would otherwise have to because we grow food to feed to animals, instead of to humans. Growing food for humans instead would be vastly more efficient. Our animal torture factories are food factories IN REVERSE. We turn ten pounds of protein and calories into one pound of protein and calories in the factory torture farms.

    Further, animal agriculture is one of the top causes of climate change. Some scientists say it is the top cause, as the NY Times has reported.

    The answer is obvious. Shut down the torture factories. Eat plants. It's that simple.

  27. It's really not that simple as evidenced by E. O. Wilson in his 1998 Consilience:The Unity Of Knowledge.

    "If everyone agreed to become vegetarian, leaving nothing for livestock, the present 1.4 billion hectares of arable land (3.5 billion acres) would supply about 10 billion people. If humans utilized as food all the energy captured by plant photosynthesis, some 40 trillion watts, earth could support about 16 billion people. From such a fragile worlds, almost all other life forms would have to be excluded...To summarize the future of resources and climate, the wall toward which humanity is evidently rushing is a shortage not of minerals and energy, but of food and water."

    Wilson's estimates were based on 20th Century statistics, and in the 20 odd years that have passed fresh waters tables have dramatically decreased in places like NV, CA, TX, the middle east and the what once was the Aral Sea.

    There are too many of us to sustain global stability. People behave poorly when they're hungry, and they get down right ugly when they are starving. Unfortunately the proliferation of arms for profits has made the ugly extremely violent.

  28. It is not that difficult to see the signs of history repeating itself, only the circumstances of it is changed. Those who accept the science accept it only if it conveniences them. Yet there are still those that still do not accept the science after all the written proof is given, prime example are those that think immunization is bad.
    But just like those that reject medical science, so are those that reject the science on Earth sciences that would include the climate, yet these same people look to the sky with their weather forecasters and see if it will actually rain tomorrow!
    But really, it is not the science that these contrarians deny about climate change for it is always happening. It is the measures in curbing these greenhouse gases that they deny at the cost of their bankrolls.
    That the acquisition of material wealth has been the driving force of humanity. Unfortunately, it will also be it's demise!

  29. A chilling description of an all too plausible future in which countries battle each other for a larger share of a shrinking resource 'pie.' Professor Snyder is a fine historian, with expert knowledge of the Nazi holocaust in Eastern Europe. In this essay, he makes a compelling argument that rejection of the findings of climate science can play a key role in causing the dystopia he describes.

    But the physical sciences themselves have played a more ambiguous role in creating our current dilemma than he acknowledges. The pollution which is the key to destructive climate change is a product of the advanced technologies scientists have developed in the service of capitalist-driven economic progress. Thus, in effect, one group of scientists measures the damage inflicted by a second contingent, both using the scientific method and relying on empirical evidence to accomplish their objectives.

    Science is an invaluable tool, but only if its practitioners pursue the right goals. Those researchers who are developing alternative technologies that can curb the pollution which threatens to destroy our civilization have the task of undoing the damage caused by earlier generations of researchers.

    So the issue is not whether we accept or reject science. The climate-change deniers are not opposed to science as such. They prefer the science that has created our high standard of living, and they fear that climate science will destroy that comfortable life.

  30. Lebensraum is just another word for imperialism. Take our own country. Terms like "The Winning of the West," and "Empire of Liberty" were self-deluding euphemisms for a policy of attaining lebensraum. American behavior in the 19th century West was strikingly similar to German policy in Poland and Russia in the 1940s. We expressed sympathy for the Poles, Russians, and Jews who were Hitler's victims partly because they lived on land we didn't covet. No such sympathy was extended to the Native Americans, who instead suffered genocide at our hands.

    Hitler's belief in Malthus and his inability to foresee the Green Revolution partly explains his behavior. But the Jews were murdered not because they took up space (most Jews in Poland and Ukraine lived in cities, and not on the land Hitler wanted for colonization), but because Hitler was a ferocious anti-Semite who believed in the notion of Aryan supremacy. It was race hatred that brought on the Holocaust, and not the doctrine of lebensraum.

    In any case, an ever-expanding population will eventually outstrip even the Earth's great bounty. Malthus has not been proved wrong for all time. "Resource wars" are probably coming, and ethnic cleansing and genocide may very well accompany them. The author is probably right about that. On the other hand, he overlooks entirely the principal goal of Chinese lebensraum. Australia -- thinly populated, resource rich -- is very much in China's sights. When China builds a blue water navy, look out.

  31. "Lebensraum" translates to American English as "manifest destiny".

  32. Unfortunately, denial of science is merely one consequence of the growing gap between rich and poor. The Extreme Capitalist ethos is at the heart of the world's problems, from U.S. support of oil rich dictatorships and invasion of non-compliant nations, to ISIS's exploitation of society's disenfranchised with promises of community and empowerment.

    The problem goes far beyond the Holocaust. We are the victims of our own horrific human nature, and to deny that is to propagate the greatest denial of all.

  33. Perhaps famine is itself genocide.
    I've read about the man-made famine in the fertile Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1932 and 1933 that killed an estimated 2.5–7.5 million Ukrainians, before Hitler's plans for the territory.

    Large agricultural society seems to be a diseased state leading to nationalism, overpopulation & the advent of territorial warfare.

    Thankfully we live in the age of the genome when ethnic pseudosciences have been categorically disproved.

    We who live where it still rains can go out to the back yard & plant beans & support our local organic farmers. Bring agriculture home where it belongs, not in mega crops of Monsanto seeds.

  34. Literature sometimes anticipates the future.
    Welcome to Generation "Hunger Games."

  35. Overwrought fears of the potential local effects of climate change could be as easily used as an excuse for genocide or invasion as the facts of climate change as they evolve.And, even if we were to cease all use of fossil fuels, the climate will continue to change - that's what climate does. Climate change will assuredly change which areas are habitable and where our food comes from.

    (yesterday's article pointed out the natural variability of climate. Yeah, the southern ice cap may melt in 20,000 years; it has before! There was a mile of ice over the Northeastern US 20,000 miles ago and the Bering Sea was dry land. Climate change happens! How much we can influence it is a different question.)

    The analogy to the "peace and plenty through science", which Hitler felt subversive, is the optimistic view that we can either modify climate beneficially or use our technology to deal with the consequences of inevitable climate change - natural or anthropogenic. Religious-like beliefs in unproven models (which may be right) or religious-like denial of observations (which can also be wrong) are much more likely to be used by zealots than a dispassionate search both for climate drivers and amelioration of what change does occur.

  36. So you read the Antarctic piece and came up with 20,000 year, which is what that author speculated before he did the review and came up with 1,000 years?

    Confirming bias, perhaps ...

  37. "And, even if we were to cease all use of fossil fuels, the climate will continue to change - that's what climate does."
    Please, everyone, stop using this foolish argument.... It's the pace of the change that matters, making adaptation so much more difficult... and thus making the impact potentially so much more devastating...

  38. the difference between 20,000 years ago and today is that we have the foreknowledge and means to do something about it, rather than behave as if there is no future for our species, and if we just take it all, we'll win at the end of the game. talk about "religious-like beliefs!" right-wingers and other inherent deniers of human interconnectedness hold to this belief that to develop alternative sources of energy, to adjust our lifestyle in recognition of finite resources, is to end life as we know it; it's armaggedon. it's called change; evolution; dare i say, "progress?" oops, a 1,000 right-wing heads just exploded with visions of stalin marching on their local elementary school!

  39. Another parallel, of course, is the “Peace for our time” mindset that produced the Munich Agreement in 1938 and the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action with Iran in 2015.

  40. Publius: Misunderstanding both Munich and Iran. GB was in no position to reverse the invasion of the Sudetenland, nor to prevent the invasion of Poland. Hitler had been preparing for years, with the help of American bankers. When he refused to exit Poland, Chamberlain declared war. That's real history, not Fox garbage.

  41. All the GOP candidates deny the science explaining climate change. They & their ilk are laying a basis for slaughter, all the while swearing to us how much they love divinity & the bible, their favorite book.

  42. It will take strong grass roots activism by the Good People of the world and strong, diplomatic world leaders like President Obama to prevent our esteemed leaders from pushing us into another world war. There are plenty of other solutions to world problems. People in the United States have pea patch community gardens to feed their families and food bank clients, city dwellers are growing small crops in containers on their patios and decks, new urban businesses are forming to grow fresh produce with new technologies, many people have used small back yards to grow their own food. The countries mentioned do not need more land - they need to help their citizens make better use of the land they have. Deforestation and development are two main culprits in drought. California forests are burning because the forest system has been destroyed to build homes and use the water that kept nature's infrastructure healthy. WE average people around the world must elect socially-responsible leaders and DEMAND that they make sustainable land use and sustainability in all areas of life their main goal. The worldwide feeding frenzy for profit at all cost must end.

  43. Try to explain that to FOX-GOP sycophants and their (outsider) masters, working against our own interest

  44. This is yet another example of how the Left completely ignores history. Just as in the past, the Iran nuke deal not only guarantees war, but this war will be much larger and deadlier.

  45. Talk about re-writing history to fit your current political opinions!
    Professor, the Holocaust was the culmination of 1,500 years of vicious European anti-Semitism, that dehumanized Jews and made them outcasts from European society for the supposed sin of killing Jesus. These views were actively promoted by the Christian church in Europe down through the centuries. Everything else that you ramble on about is just a side-show.
    This sort of 'scholarship' once again proves William F. Buckley's line (at least, I think it was him) that he would rather be governed by six names picked at random from the Boston phone book, than by the faculty at Harvard.

  46. Harvard seems to have reverted to its origin as a theological seminary.

  47. It’s disturbing that a historian as distinguished as Timothy Snyder would suggest that skeptics of the “progressive” program for combating climate change are “deniers” (a rather ugly word choice) whose “intellectual stance is uncomfortably close to Hitler’s.”

    I am such a skeptic, although I accept the majority scientific view that the earth is getting warmer and that human activity is a large part of the cause. (I accept that majority view because, knowing nothing about the subject, I am hardly in a position to challenge the apparent consensus.)

    But I’m a skeptic because I’m not convinced that radical measures, which would surely have a drastic effect on our economy – and therefore on the quality of life of people in the here and now – are warranted, as opposed to efforts to adapt to climate change based, pace Mr. Snyder, on science.

    First, it is hardly undisputed that the computer models that predict catastrophe as the result of anticipated warming are reliable. More important, American and European reductions in carbon emissions will be unavailing without similar efforts by China and India, and there is no indication that those countries will subordinate their efforts to raise hundreds of millions of their people out of poverty to Western concerns about global warming.

    I fail to see how placing one’s bets on the ability of human ingenuity to adapt to climate change, rather than on radical measure of dubious efficacy, amounts to a Hitler-like rejection of science.

  48. You're suggesting that the proposed cures are worse than the disease, so to speak. How bad would it have to get before you changed your mind? And at that point, will it make any difference?

  49. My sentiments exactly. I have met some brilliant people but no one or group that I would turn over the keys and money to create and execute a master plan. A plan likely more influenced be politics then science.

  50. I am utterly disappointed in the lack of fact checking by this "journalist"
    1.2 million Tibetans, one-fifth of the country's population, died as a result of China's policies; many more languished in prisons and labor camps; and more than 6000 monasteries, temples and other cultural and historic buildings were destroyed and their contents pillaged.
    Lebensraum is alive and kicking in China

  51. I remind you that the USA has blood on our hands as well. The largest genocide in the history of the world, the decimation of the people and cultures of the First Nations for starters and continues to the killing and imprisonment of Blacks and other "minorities" to this day. We are quite capable of sinking to the same moral depravity as any other people or Nation.

    “War becomes perpetual when used as a rationale for peace,” Norman Solomon. “Peace becomes perpetual when used as a rationale for survival.” Yours truly.

    Which side are you on?

  52. Hitler didn't deny science in general, and indeed required it for his war efforts. What he did deny was "Jewish science," which was science and discoveries by Jews.
    Our so-called "conservative" Republicans deny ALL science that is inconvenient to their (and their corporate masters') short-term views.

  53. Hitler called relativity and quantum mechanics "Jewish physics".

  54. I would disagree that Hitler's war in the East was only to obtain foodstuffs from the Ukraine. He wanted to create an empire that extended to the Ural mountains which in essence would encompass all of European Russia. In addition he lusted for Caspian and Caucasian oil. I also disagree on your depiction of Putin "waxing nostalgic for the 1930's". That comment is not based on any facts.

  55. As the article points out, but doesn't make explicit, what's needed is a restoration of public funding of science. Left to "market forces," our best minds are going to tech that creates luxury toys for a few rather than science and tech that benefits us all.

  56. The results of privately funded research usually become trade secrets. That is not how science advances.

  57. Good piece. Hitler boxed himself in by assuming only his idea was right. As you point out he dismissed science like hybrids and irrigation and so was left with a very unsavory option. Today's science, which could avert the next disaster includes heat mining in the earth's crust and clever approaches to capturing carbon in the oceans, all of which have proven real world examples. However, it is a mistake to think of the anti science culture at face value. It masks a corporatist aversion to writing down investments in a hydrocarbon paradigm and to further investment in a new non-polluting one. Fixing the planet needs to be shown to be profitable before we can move forward.

  58. Ah yes, lets allow capitalism dictate and reap the benefits of the social, ecological and environmental devastation of our planet!

  59. Your post seems to assume that Hitler "boxed himself in" because he genuinely believed what he wrote about science. I think it more likely that Hitler's writings have nothing to do with his belief about science, but merely supported his agenda of genocide and world conquest.

  60. Of course, there will be no profits unless the planet is fixed. No planet=no profits.

  61. People can't get the idea that the earth is a system, that boarders are artificial political creations, and that what happens in one place will effect what happens in another. Weather doesn't need a passport.

  62. Never for a instant believe "human nature" has changed...the seed in human nature that led to the events of the 1930's/40's in Germany is merely lying dormant in the garden of human endeavor; even so, it's receiving a hint of germinating inducing moisture through swelling power-mad fanatical religious conservatism.

  63. `I saw an interesting documentary on just this issue, the current socioeconomic models versus science and efficiently shared resources called Zeitgeist. I gave it 5 stars. Mindblowing! What was most interesting is it argued how our systems are set up giving us no other option to fail, for example our healthcare industry needs illness so in a sense, will never promote health as it's main goal because industry is inherently money not resource based. A more efficient and strategic global use of resources not accumulation of wealth will more and more guide the important issues not power and wealth. Unless of course you think having wealth will allow you to survive letting everyone else die. That is what was behind Hitler but also the Kochs, Waltons but also Steve Jobs in some ways. Frankly, Pope Francis is the most forward thinking leader on the planet today.

  64. Hmmm. I'm going to bet you're Catholic. Yes, this Pope is the best Pope in a long time, on climate change and other topics. But the person who has spoken out about it AND DONE SOMETHING about it is Obama. That's one reason many people hate him. He deserves to be identified for his stance...just as much as the Pope.

  65. It could happen again?
    It is happening now.
    In front of our very eyes.
    Millions of humans are on the move due to the current genocides.
    We could not intervene easily to stop the Holocaust of the Jews.
    We could intervene to stop the current genocides. but won't be easy.
    More importantly, we don't want to.
    These refugees cannot simply be deported back to their "homes" to be killed.
    Meanwhile climate change due to human-caused global warming *is* accelerating.
    Right now.
    But not to worry!
    Beginning in January 2017 president Donald "I'm worth 10 billion and had three deferments" Trump, or president Hillary "I don't understand how email works but fortunately I married and stuck with Bill" Clinton will lead not just the U.S. back to greatness.

  66. So Hitler thought hunger would outstrip crop improvements, that science had failed. Sound familiar? From Malthus to Hitler to Lenin to Ehrlich to Holdren to ...2015 environmentalism.

    Cornucopian Julian Simon proved all these dangerous people wrong. (Ask Erhlich; see The Bet).

    How ironic and paradoxical. Hitler whipped up fear of resource scarcity based on what we now know to be bad science (and even worse "science", eugenics). His PR machine, Goebbels, used that fear to political advantage to gain acceptance of an ideology that killed millions. All based on pseudo-science/bad science and a media machine. Sound familiar?

    "By 'polluting the atmosphere' with greenhouse gases, the US has done more than any other nation to bring about the next ecological panic". OK so you're telling me that if the US never burned another ounce of fossil fuels starting tomorrow that "ecological panic" will be eliminated in the Middle East, Africa, and elsewhere? Now do you get the irony of even mentioning Goebbels, NY Times?

    Because we "deniers" (ultimate irony..) question your science we hold a position that is "intellectually close to Hitler's"? Try because EcoLeftist's hold Totalitarian positions (Nuremburg trials for deniers!) based on flawed science, YOU are the ones intellectually close to Hitler?

    This is yet another example of the Totalitarian nature of modern environmentalism, which is no more about saving the planet and humanity than Communism was about "protecting laborers".

  67. This essay speaks to the reason I believe that anyone concerned about climate change and in particular its effects on human civilization should devote at least as much thought and effort to nuclear disarmament as to green energy and conservation. See level rise will inundate many of the world's population centers, and collapsing fisheries and shifts in patterns of rainfall will stress global food production, perhaps severely, but it is unlikely that climate change per se will destroy civiliaztion. A nuclear exchange triggered by environmental stress, however, certainly could.

    Picture this: It's the year 2150. The world's coastal metropolises have been abandoned. The global population is 12 billion, and China's population is only a little short of 2 billion. The Gobi Desert has expanded dramatically, and China's agricultural productivity has plummeted. Famine in China is an imminent possibility. Meanwhile, the Siberian steppe has become increasingly fertile. What happens when some Chinese Hitler of the future argues, not without a certain logic, that the Asian landmass in its entirety should belong to the Han Chinese, that his people will not be allowed to starve while rich Siberian farmland sits by underpopulated and underutilized? Would the overwhelmed Russians accept the annexation of the Russian Far East as an inevitability? Or would they unleash a nuclear holocaust?

  68. By now you must wonder why the AGW proponents are totally resistant to reasoning and new information. "The science has been settled" 0bama stated. Make no mistake, there is no need to discuss it.
    Transparency be damned.
    Wrong ! Jonathan Gruber meant the democrats, not all of us.
    AGW is strictly an ideological and money driven hoax, which is elaborately hidden behind the arguable "facts".
    The key figures occasionally slip enough to reveal their true motivations.

    At a news conference last week in Brussels, Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of U.N.'s Framework Convention on Climate Change, admitted that the goal of environmental activists is not to save the world from ecological calamity but to destroy capitalism. Oops, there go the biblical calamity fairy tales. 11 FEB. 2015.
    What ideology would you assign to Christiana's declaration? I agree.
    Voila! Mystery resolved. Shame on the Global Warming pseudo-scientific arguments.
    We are dealing with closet Marxist radicals who are the true National Security threat.
    Their stupor was incomprehensible to me until I took this into account.
    Chairman Mao and Chairman 0bama, Karl Marx didn't say anything about "carbon credits" in his Communist Manifesto. Take your favorite ideology elsewhere and leave America to the people who want to cherish it, and embrace improving the capitalist nature of our success, as opposed to both of you.

  69. I expect all accessible fossil fuel on this planet to be burned over the next 150 years, and the melting of all the ice in Antarctica will be inevitable.

  70. Amazing. Prof. Snyder seems to claim that he knows a "Camelot Secret" ... he knows how to stop droughts, floods and other forms of Extreme Weather... because, as we all know, Extreme Weather never existed prior to the existence electric power plants and SUVs.

    Professors today say the darnedest things...

  71. Snyder writes in an unusual, emotive style. Conflation and contradiction abound in this particular screed. I did however, enjoy his interesting idea that Nazi Germany was motivated by unscientific economic ideas rather than euro-centric nationalist politics. I do enjoy historical revisionism!
    Also impressed by the way he insinuated current migration, historic weather and genocide events into an imagined climate catastrophe.
    As a finale, Snider was also able to suggest that Russia relies on the EU for energy income, rather than the EU being captive to Russian gas exports for its own prosperity. All with a straight face!
    (ps Adolf took the Ukraine to get the Caucasus oil fields to power his war machine). For a history professor I give this a C-!

  72. I give it D-.

  73. But would they commit genocide when they could all just ask for asylum in Sweden?

  74. The inevitable, devastating environmental damages of drought, desertification, torrential storms, flooding, generating uncontrollable mass migrations from rising seas, a wrecked global economy with whole nation states collapsing in an economic and environmental Dark Age, whole ecosystems lost forever by habitat destruction on which civilization relies in the interdependence of all life, the astronomical mass extinction of countless species, starvation from food and water shortage, and man-made environmental disasters are all already happening. Genocide is screaming at the doors of the third world, and their refugees.

  75. Our war on the environment is the only war of consequence, and yet we are almost completely ignorant this most important war.

  76. Reining in population growth is another key element in assuring that the demand for natural resources and food does not outstrip the supply. But if done too quickly, it can lead to serious economic instability.

  77. Where does one begin with such a blatant Globull Warming propaganda peice such as this one?

    "The war that brought Jews under German control was fought because Hitler believed that Germany needed more land and food to survive and maintain its standard of living — and that Jews, and their ideas, posed a threat to his violent expansionist program."

    Really? It had nothing to do with Hitler's fanatical hatred of the Jews? Thanks for clearing that up for the rest of us.

    "The quest for German domination was premised on the denial of science."

    It was more a corruption of science in order to prove that Jews were "untermensch", i.e. subhuman. The Globull Warmist cult knows a few things about corrupting science they have had their thumb on the scales for decades. Now that mother nature has been most uncooperative these past eighteen years and has refused to validate their expensive models they have become ever more shrill. Thus we get articles such as these that would make Joseph Goebbels blush.

    Argumentum ad Hitlerum, a tactic those who have lost the argument resort to as a last chance to win. I guess we should take it as a sign that the left will soon be looking for new horse to bet on now that Globull Warming is found wanting.

  78. When you have a shrinking world it's a totally different ballgame from an era of growth and prosperity. The dark side of morality, religion and politics comes out from the shadows. Preparing for this does not mean heading for the hills with survival gear. It means reforming political and economic systems to be fairer, and expecting and challenging governments to pursue the public interest, not just the interests of the richest one percent.

    The author is exactly right to draw the analogy between Hitler and Climate Change denial. People who are blinded by prejudice and ideology, as is the case of the modern day Deniers, are the people who will fall prey to the demagogues and psychopaths, just as the European anti-semites fell under Hitler's sway ninety years ago.

  79. Well, it's a good thing Warmunists aren't blinded by ideology even despite the facts.

    Who are you kidding?

  80. Precisely. See Donald Trump.

  81. “It is always the Jew,” argued Hitler, “who seeks and succeeds in implanting such lethal ways of thinking.”

    The demagogues of this world find the answer to every problem in employing lethality instead of rationality. Such individuals never think to anticipate that they may become the victims of their own, immediate actions sooner than suffer the consequences of any impending problem .

  82. Jewish pacifism is the opposite of "lethal".

  83. Interestingly, this article leapfrogged Godwin's Law — "As an online discussion grows longer, the probability of a comparison involving Nazis or Hitler approaches" — by forcefully placing the oddly mustachioed Evil One into the center of its argument. I applaud the author for his efficiency.
    That said, there are good arguments to be made for equating the evils of Nazism with those of climtae-change denialism. Both twist science to their own selfish, "Hell with you, Jack, I've got mine" ends; both place their own cultural cohort above those whom their aggressive self-preservation would destroy; and both — not to put too fine a point on it — understood/understand that control of popular opinion is vastly more important to narrow, selfish success than the investigation of and distribution of truth and compassion.
    In our century, the National Socialist movement is acknowledged by somewhere in the high 90th percentile of humans as not only an error, but an evil one promoted by those who sought benefits through the destruction of others. In the next century, the climate-change denialists of today, those who — either cynically or through fear-blinded foolishness — delay or prevent mitigation may very well be equally reviled.

  84. Bonjour de Paris; Very interesting analysis, but so many ideas, so many statements in such a short article, so many dubious claims, it is very dangerous to agglomerate so many dangerous ideas in one pie. Most probably the author is right about Hitlers believe in the need of "Lebensraum" but this idea has been going through the history of man since man existed. Has the author read the true story of the Wilhelm Gustloff a ship sunk at the end of the second WW with 6000 refuges on board and life boats for 2000 persons, those in the life boats killing those who tried to board them? Can we say with truthfulness that if our land is shrinking, for whatever reason, we would not kill those trying to share it? Here around Paris we already have the problems, the farmers are at their wits end on how to protect their crops and equipment from them, hunger thefts or economic thefts? As you are quoting the example of the Great Lakes Region where the tensions have been going on for more than a thousand years, we had another system, farmers would grow crops and soldiers would harvest the bags. Be they Hutu or Tutsi. Writing as an old agronomist, I have no doubts that we can produce enough food for the coming increase of the population, our Guide Borlaug did it, another genius will do it again. But I am less sure than we can guarantee that hope will not fade (Ambabelle)

  85. Interesting piece. Global environmental catastrophe may indeed bring out the worst in humanity; but if Hitler's crisis was imagined or based on a misunderstanding, the analogy with the horrors of a "real" crisis seems perhaps a bit off the mark (and the analogy with American climate-change deniers seems to have it "backwards")?

  86. Unfortunately, those who believe in a technological solution simply are not living in reality. They do not or are not willing to accept that every step further toward technical progress, inflicts irreparable harm on the fragile eco system. Irrigation diverts water from its natural streams and rivers, and scientific manipulation of the food supply with hybrids and genetically altered clones, threatens the heirloom varieties which they are dependent on. As science tries to find alternatives to war and conquest, it inevitably ends up creating problems which are worse, creating an endless cycle. Each new discovery is an attempt to divert the outcome of the last. As realist, Oswald Spengler noted: "Optimism is cowardice." To Hitler and the Germans, the choice was simple, the only way humanity could have been spared the technological catastrophe was to abandon optimistic pipe dreams that science was the answer. From their perspective, science or at least the type of science that dominated the world today, was the problem.

  87. Hitler was a JERK! That's all one needs to know.

  88. In as far as Darwinism is science evolution is based on conflict for land and food. Therefore one cannot really say that the denial of the hope that "science" will continue to provide sufficient food for the world's population is a denial of science. It is the denial of the hope that people will work together to provide for all, rather than compete as the Nazis did to provide for themselves, as in "survival of the fittest" and "the selfish gene."

  89. Evolution is about producing successful offspring who produce successful offspring in their turn. All else is secondary.

  90. " I am saying how things have evolved. I am not saying how we humans morally ought to behave....Let us understand what our own selfish genes are up to, because we may then at least have the chance to upset their designs."

    - Dawkins, The Selfish Gene, p. 2-3

    It's important to read books before criticizing them.

  91. This article strings together some facts with a large amount of attempted justification. Germany did not have a problem with being able to feed its people and Hitler did not select the Jews for extermination because they were scientists. As an industralized nation, Germany could sell its manufactured goods for an ample supply of food. Aside from his own personal hatred of Jews, a not uncommon feeling among many Europeans [England didn't allow Jews to flee there because they did not want to be "invaded" by a people they had expelled centuries before, France also had a large anti-Semitic population], Hitler had to select a disliked minority group that had some economic power so could be blamed for financial woes. He wanted Germany to return to a farming country because he was a primitive, not because he was afraid of food shortages. Sure, during bad economic times there are food shortages and some people turn toward violence, but these are not farm experts who study gross per acre yields plotted against expanding populations [in fact, farming societies have a much higher birth rate and history has clearly shown that industralization of a society leads to increased economic health]. Mass murders occurred for a variety of justifications. The article is poorly thought out.

  92. This is so far the only realistic response to the article

  93. Food and water - and probably the latter first - will be the underlying cause for the next major war even if we try and find other reasons for the confrontation and killing.
    A viable solution to both looming shortages is already with us - cut down on our dependence on ineffective convertors that we now use by making small dietary changes. Meat production is a terribly inefficient way to convert grain to protein and most wasteful in terms of water utilisation - in addition to being a major source of greenhouse emissions.

  94. About a billion human beings lack access to clean fresh drinking water, Another billion persons do not have sanitary storm, sewer and garbage water disposal. About 800 million human beings are starving and/or malnourished. About 17 million people die of infectious disease.

    What, if anything, does this have to with climate change or science?

  95. You have. Got to be kidding. Mr. Snyder obviously did a lot of historic research and came to hypothesis in a well written piece. But to compare the holocaust with a half degree rise in global tempuratures over the next 100 years is complete moonbats.

  96. I heard this week that the predicted rise by the end of this century is between 2 and 3 degrees C. Latest figures seem to indicate largest potion of half percent rise has already happened. The Northwest Passage is open! Doesn't that indicate something.

  97. Scientific reports by hundreds of scientists indicate the world temp can and will increase between 4 and 11 degrees F by the end of this century if we do not move on controlling it SOON.

    They recommend we keep it below 4 degrees and even then horrendous changes in world economy, agriculture and turmoil.

    The higher end numbers would be catastrophic.

    You really need to get our of your denial and do some reading.

  98. Australia, unfortunately, joins the U.S. as a place where political and economic elites deny climate change. Just this week, the minister of immigration was recorded on microphone as telling a joke to the prime minister, who chuckled, about how the small Island nations in the South Pacific were going to sink into the ocean soon. I met two government economists who told me to my face that they believe that global warming is a fraud.

  99. Not a fraud, simply overly exaggerated and laced with unprovable supposition and uneconomic prescriptions.

  100. Suggesting that Hitler's schemes for world conquest and hatred of the Jews was somehow based on ecological issues is somewhat ingenious. He perhaps justified his military actions in this fashion but his hatred of the Jews had deep antecedent roots in Europe's attitudes towards the Jews as Christ killers. Similarly, the conquest of foreign lands goes back to Europe's colonial expansion world wide well before Hitler decided the German people needed Lebenstraum. I suggest the psychopathology displayed by Hitler coupled with Europe's genocide of native peoples for centuries before him is a better explanation than putting things in the context of climate change and need for food supply.

  101. Hitler as a child was an avid reader of dime store novels about cowboys and Indians in the American west. Later in life, pursuing his attack to the east, he referred to the Slavs and other inhabitants there as 'redskins'. As Snyder points out in his latest book, Hitler dreamed of conquering the east for Germany the same way the US conquered the west for the white settlers.

  102. Apparently the author has not heard that, using the most accurate data available, RSS, UAH & USCRN, the Earth quit warming 10-20 years ago.
    Many solar experts are predicting that we are entering a climate cooling based on the link between the sun and climate, something the $1.5 TRILLON climate alarm industry ignores.

  103. That would be convenient. A fantasy, but a nice one.

  104. This is dishonest from start to finish. For example, the temperature record:
    "131 years of global warming in 26 seconds"

    How this decline (which even on those terms is now over) was created was by using the hot spike years 1997-98 (previous El Nino) as a "low". Move the goalposts much?

    Hottest years (NASA Climate Change site is an excellent resource for facts presented in a useful format). Below are the 10 hottest years in descending order:

    2014 (about to be exceeded by 2015)

    As to money, the trillions are going to big fossil, and the scientific resources and support are not at all comparable.

  105. You obviously don't get your information from respected journals like AAAS "Science".

  106. As noted by the article, the resource wars are already starting.

    The Green Revolution has lead to this unprecedented increase in human population, and in the areas of the world that are the poorest, driest, and most vulnerable, the population growth remains exponential. As we see so graphically now, people will NOT sit in place and starve, like they "used to" but will get up and move.
    Will we stop them?
    Should we stop them?
    If we don't stop them, what then?
    What happens when we can't feed them any more, because we can't feed our own children?

    One example:
    India is currently building a wall along the Bangladeshi border. Bangladesh is projected to be completely subsumed by the Indian Ocean by sea level rise due to climate change/fossil fuel burning. Bangladesh has 147+ million people and one of the fastest population growth of all nations, because of religion, lack of education/access to birth control for women.
    Where are these people going to go, when the water comes?
    What will happen, when they start beating on that wall?

    All of our problems come down to this one problem: too many people.

  107. I expect all accessible fossil fuel to be burned because fossil fuel is the only thing sustaining the present population.

  108. We are the proverbial frog in the pot on the stove unaware of the rising temperature of the water around us. There is one major difference: our flippers have reached over the edge of the pot and are turning the heat up. There is no invisible hand warming our water and all our prayers to heaven will not change physics.

  109. "Denying science imperils the future by summoning the ghosts of the past."

    Well-said. What I did not see in this commentary, though, are two issues that the left continues to deny in the scientific realm.

    First, corn ethanol. Subsidizing corn ethanol creates all the wrong incentives, and environmentalists are in agreement that these subsidies should cease immediately. It makes no economic sense, it makes no environmental sense, and it makes no engineering sense. In addition, it creates the wrong incentives for farmers, who now grow corn not for food but for gas tanks.

    Second, genetically modified organisms. The science is settled, and GMO's are safe and create more hardy crops against pests and disease. In addition, they often are less susceptible to drought conditions. Let's start using them worldwide.

  110. "the left", sigh

    While I agree there is much prejudice about GMOs which we all need and use, some of which is sadly ill informed, and prejudice against big ag, specifically Monsanto, there is some excuse for it in Monsanto's own declaration that they want to control world food. There are many cases where they victimize people trying to make a living and prosecute anyone who steps on their toes. And the idea that a poor farmer has to buy nnew seeds year after year is typical of the new ownership classes, making billions from the needs of struggling working stiffs.

    As to corn ethanol, that too was misguided but it is hard to reverse on it, giving our sluggish legislative response across the board to making necessary changes.

    And just to triple my radical "left" opinions, I'm also pro nuclear, though sadly that is subject to the same difficulties as we face elsewhere; the financial and political resources to build nearly fully recyclable plants instand of grandfathering the level 2 ones that strain infrastructure with their continually increasing waste.

    So don't lump "left" in with lack of knowledge. There's a lot more ignorance and prejudice and denial on the "right", readily observable in the presidential candidates and our Congress.

  111. Nuclear power is safe too.

  112. Great, sobering article. I will go and rewatch “3 days of the Condor” the amazing Sidney Pollack’s gem.

  113. The Earth's resources are finite, and thinking the planet will be able to feed the billions of humans that are going to be added to an already too large humanity and not crash is just foolish. Infinite growth is not possible on a finite planet. Of course many will say this is Malthusian, thinking Malthus’ theories proven incorrect because the mass die-off of humans he predicted did not come to pass, but Malthus was right, he just did not anticipate humanity being able to pawn the dying off on other species; by the time humanity has grown by billions more the only life on this planet will be us humans, the species we exploit and the pests we can't eradicate; not much of a legacy for future generations. We will have forsaken our children’s future by having too many of them!

  114. "We will have forsaken our children’s future by having too many of them!"
    Yes Indeed. But we have been doing this since the beginning & will continue along this terrible path. It is already Much too Late.
    The Insane need to Populate every inch of this tiny Planet will continue right up until the day it doesn't.
    If you are fortunate enough to have a Good Life - do what you can to enjoy it while it is here. And hopefully do the little you can to Help others & Possibly pass on Good Will to those you can.

  115. Exactly. We are reducing a world of beauty and diversity of species to one of the lowest common denominator. There is a real connection between over 7 billion humans and less than 3000 wild tigers and all the other bell weather species that are being squeezed out by our need to reproduce far beyond the capacity of the planet to support us. There is only so much of earth to go around. If we use it up, everything else must by necessity be reduced. Eventually it has to catch up to us. Of course, by that time any semblance of lifestyle will have gone by the way as we are reduced to just survival.

  116. If we Americans tomorrow stop burning all forms of carbon, it will have no discernable effect overall. If the entire world tomorrow stops burning carbon, it will have no discernable effect. The effort worldwide to take the truly meaningfully steps are simply not politically, morally or logically feasible with the worlds present population or mindset. However after a century of worldwide famine, violent mass migrations and of course war, we might by then decide it is in humanity's best interest to do so. So, in the time being, move further inland, stock your pantry's with copious amounts of non-perishable food, buy a gun, learn how to shoot it and the last, but certainly not least, harden your heart, to the things that we as individual's and as a nation will have to do in order to survive, because the great die-off is right around the corner.

  117. If the troubles are so long lasting, your shelves won't hold enough to make a difference. Your ammo won't last either.

    Their is no individualist, survivalist, way out of the global warming troubles. This has been known for along time. John Donne told us in the early 1600's, no man is an island. No man can make himself an island apart from something like global warming.

  118. What nonsense, and dangerous, at that. What we need to understand is we are all in this together and must work together to save ourselves, not divide up into selfish, "me-first killer" groups favored by SCARED conservatives and those needing violence.

  119. Surprise me. End your comment with the words, "I am not a scientist."

  120. The claim that "that Jews, and their ideas, posed a threat to his violent expansionist program" is both ridiculous on its face, in addition to the obvious fact that the author of this piece never read the Nazi literature in which they explain their reasons for wanting to annihilate the Jews.
    How would the ideas of anyone, including the Jews, pose a threat to a violent expansionist program. A violent program is by definition a program that is enacted through the brutal use of force.
    In addition one would think that the people of the nations whose land was being expanded into and their ideas about it would have posed the bigger threat. Certainly a greater threat that the ideas of individual Jews living in lands that were not part of the expansionist plans, such as France, Italy or the Netherlands.

  121. If the troubles are so long lasting, your shelves won't hold enough to make a difference. Your ammo won't last either.

    Their is no individualist, survivalist, way out of the global warming troubles. This has been known for along time. John Donne told us in the early 1600's, no man is an island. No man can make himself an island apart from something like global warming.

  122. Above all, Jewish pacifism seems to have angered the little man.

  123. Attempting to attach the potential for genocide to climate change is simple desperation. The atrocities in Rwanda may have been over land but had nothing to do with AGW.

  124. Rwanda's repeating episodes of mass murder appear to be the only thing limiting its population.

  125. There are strong scientific studies of global warming that can show the earth will have warmed anywhere between 4 and 11 degrees Fahrenheit by the end of this century if we do not SOON start controlling emissions. Scientists suggest we struggle to keep this rise to 3.6 degrees F; this 3.6 in itself will cause large scale changes to the world economy, agriculture and stability.

    No desperation here; climate change could be catastrophic and I suggest you start reading, FAST. Combined with over-population we do have the oncoming potential for genocide and other unimaginables.

    You do not understand.

  126. Brand, sure, creating a bridge between Nazi atrocities and climate change may seem a bit of a stretch, but I would think most would agree that these conflicts always arise out of competition for scarce resources. In countries where breads and grains are a staple of the daily diet, a sharp contraction in supply as a result of drought can lead to price increases beyond the reach of many. It would not seem implausible that in this type of landscape escalation could result in conflict.

  127. Some of the commenters are saying that we can't equate climate change with genocide. What do they think will happen when the coasts flood and millions, if not billions, of people move inland? Will they be welcome with open arms? Although they weren't killing them, lots of people in places like Texas were angry and resentful when the Katrina victims arrived. How will they feel when a billion people arrive? The military has already said we should prepare for wars over land when people are displaced from their homes because of climate change. Do the people who say war and genocide have nothing to do with climate change know more than the army does?

  128. Syria leads the way to the future global collision of overpopulation and climate change.

  129. You think climate change will drive billions moving inland? Simply not even a part of the most dire forecasts, try to stay withing the realm of reality. The fact that most live near coasts does not place most in flood zones.

  130. Many people know more than the army. What a silly question.

  131. Readers should note that this author, Timothy Snyder, has written two books on this subject, both of which are notable for controversy about his sweeping generalizations.

    No doubt he knows the material. What he does with it creates controversy among others who know the material. That is extensive. I won't try to summarize it in a short note, since that could not be fair. I would however draw readers to Google the author and his two books before accepting his generalizations.

    In particular, he is an historian who is practicing layman's psychiatry on a complexly twisted and sick man, Hitler, and then generalizing from that about the motives of millions of others over many years of activity. Doing so, he disagrees with many other knowledgeable people.

    New thinking is valuable to understanding, even if rejected, because it explores assumptions and tests ideas. That is not the same as accepting sweeping generalization uncritically.

  132. The objective of almost every country's policy is to increase population, because this increases its economic and military power. Every country also tries to obtain control of as many resources as possible, to sustain its population and raise the standard of living, and this continually leads to military action, such as that of the US in the Middle East. There is little morality now in the national competition for resources and no reason to think this will improve in the future. The world's most powerful religious authority, the Pope, sustains a policy of maximal reproduction, and so do many Protestant and Islamic religious authorities. Actions to limit population, such as the one-child policy of China and the less-successful efforts of India, are widely viewed as immoral.

    The problem for the future is bringing population growth under control. Whether global warming will reduce the Earth's capacity to produce food is unknown, but it is known that the Earth cannot sustain an exponentially increasing population.

  133. Competitive population growth for power and control was the first cause of war, and it will evidently be the last as well.

  134. Dear me, is Mr. Snyder really a historian or a hysterical with a part time job writing speeches for Liebermann?

    One thing is certain, all he has is hatred for Germans and things he does not understand like e.g. the 21. century.
    The days of German Nazi's are gone and agricultural science has made vast advances.
    This world is still able to feed it's population, the problem is somewhere else, it is in uncontrolled population growth triggered by religious beliefs and the notion that "my religion" has a right to conquer the earth and make it the House of Peace.

    Irrational thinking of Mr. Snyder is pretty much in the same league as the entirely irrational thinking of religious extremists who believe that all it takes is to flood this planet with enough believers and their offspring in order to conquer it and live off the fruits of the labour of the unbelievers.

    Yes, we will see a fight for "Lebensraum" but not because of a planned genocide or a flooding of coastal areas, but because some countries simply do not get it.
    Just look at the population growth of places like Indonesia, Pakistan, Bangladesh and others.
    Today, they are still able to provide enough food for heir population, but unless they understand that planned parenthood is a necessity they will outgrow their resources and will be forced to look for alternatives.
    Not because of some mad man's believes but because of real necessity.
    As the onnly alternative would be starvation.

    So stop religions and get real.

  135. Mr. Snyder's indicts the greedy and unrepentant United States for destroying the earth's climate. He further declares that man made global warming has been an established scientific fact for decades. Worse yet, he likens anyone who dares to disagree with the pseudo-scientific theology of man -made global warming as uncomfortably close being intellectually equivalent to Adolf Hitler and his policy of Lebensraum to meet Germany's need for living space and agricultural capacity.

    The religion of man-made global warming is really about a massive redistribution of wealth and the political and social transformation of the United States into a socialist "utopia" directed by the political and intellectual elites such Mr. Snyder. It is evolving into a something akin to a fundamentalist religion with its own theology, political and scientific high priests and their minions like Mr. Snyder, and anyone who has the audacity to question or disagree is a heretic and must be either converted or have their career or reputation destroyed. Sound familiar ?

    Mr. Snyder and his fellow travelers are a greater threat to the American way of life than man -made global warming.

  136. The greatest threat to the United States is the G.O.P., and it's morally vicious greed, racism, willful ignorance and embrace of elitist economics, militarism, unqualified support of Israel, and denial of basic science and education in its human aspects. In short, fascism is the driving force here with these people.
    See A. Schmookler's, "What We're Up Against."

  137. Thanks for your opinion Allan, clearly it is a very strongly held; however, it's a common one I see frequently from those on the denial side of the issue. My question to you and to those who take this position is and has always been what is the factual basis for the position taken other than the dark conspiracy theories you insinuate to be the case, e.g., the pseudo-scientific theology of man-made global warming being the underlying strategy employed by the intellectual elites to transform the country into a socialist utopia. By what logic do you arrive at such a conclusion? How does one morally come to that position and to your final conclusion re the ultimate danger to our way of life? The final query is always what if you are wrong? I have yet to get satisfactory answers to these questions.

  138. "Mr. Snyder and his fellow travelers are a greater threat to the American way of life than man -made global warming."
    You certainly confirm the fears of essayist, George Johnson, "Science Loses Out as the World of Hand-Picked Truths Widens", elsewhere in the Times this weekend: "On one front after another, the hard-won consensus of science is expected to accommodate personal beliefs, about the safety of vaccines, G.M.O.crops, fluoridation or cellphone radio waves, along with the validity of climate change."

  139. This article is a fine example of why I read the NYT. Snyder's visions are frightening, but critically important, and his arguments and comparisons are impelling. With many thanks --

  140. I had never before heard the connection between the genocide of 6 million people by the Germans because Germany needed more land for food. Although I understand the connection between global warming and change in productive agricultural land within nations, I think the stronger point is that increasing populations of people demanding higher standards of living, including food, could result in the next global war for resources. The Romans attempted to control the conquering Goths and Burgundians by ceding them settlements in Gaul. Unfortunately, a little land is never enough; first borders are ignored and then more land is taken by force. We can see from this article that history could easily repeat itself in Africa or elsewhere by the Chinese.

  141. Then there is the science of food industries that create fake "food" that actually is killing people...tastes great, always want more, more, more (insatiable demand is engineered into the food) and eventually kills the consumer. Same principle as genocide for resources except producers can get richer and richer while the masses slowly die.

  142. History should be a teacher and this article can serve to teach.

    Except for the last two paragraphs, perhaps. These are expressions more of the authors opinion which conflates as if cause and effect.

    It might be best to separate these ideas and pursue a solution to each, instead of implying technology will solve man's apparent hatred for man.

  143. To me, the point of the article is nicely summarized in those paragraphs, though perhaps there is some better locution than "science" to describe the collected knowledge and expertise of humanity. Denying it is certainly disastrous, and not acting on it has the same effect, so in effect laziness, despair, and apathy are problematical. This is the problem, that people are too ready to be told there is no problem until it is too late.

    There is no chance we can return to a simpler less populated time without the kind of devastation we are now seeing in Europe and elsewhere, so wise people would do well to embrace renewable energy solutions which are making great progress. It's even good business and a great jobs program.

    "Today we confront the same crucial choice between science and ideology that Germans once faced. Will we accept empirical evidence and support new energy technologies, or allow a wave of ecological panic to spread across the world?

    "Denying science imperils the future by summoning the ghosts of the past."

  144. Mr. Snyder makes good points about the clever smoke screen of Lebensraum, needed to insure adequate food supply, used by the Nazis to justify the holocaust.

    However, he falls into a similar trap when he, on the one hand, criticizes climate change deniers for ignoring science, but doesn’t point out the inconsistencies of those who believe in climate change but turn their backs on science when it comes to modern agricultural technologies such as GMO food production. These same people vehemently oppose GMO foods, in spite of wide spread scientific evidence that its consumption is totally safe, and allows us to produce more food using less land, less water & fewer pesticides than ever before. Frequently it is the same people who so passionately advocate for the value organic foods when, again scientific evidence of its benefits is totally lacking.

    By all means let's rigorously use science to shape our policies, but consistently please.

  145. GMO crops use more water and are drenched in pesticides, and as an added bonus, are LESS able to withstand varying climate shifts than their organic counterparts.

  146. I fear you are under the mistaken belief that populations can expand infinitely and the earth can be plundered without consequence. It should also be noted research shows that GMO foods do not carry the nutritional suite of vitamins and minerals that foods grown from heritage seeds do. Organically produced foods do not have the downstream polluting consequence of GMO crops, many of which rely on massive quantities of nitrogen-based chemicals to flourish.

  147. Actually the Nazi regime went a lot further than mere "food scare" on the Germans: there are very good footage by the US Department of Defense testifying that the Nazi were fabricating world domination and in particular were interested - for instance - in conquering the then Czechoslovakia's Skoda factory seen as a vital stock of raw material like iron ore and steel to develop more deadly weapons, but mostly were praying upon Czech ingenuity in vehicle building. All that was planned "scientifically" at university levels, and an excuse was needed for invading Czechoslovakia; the "Sudeten crisis" was crafted as the main thrust, where the Nazis were claiming that that territory was part of the German Reich being peopled by Czechs of German descent; and when the German army was marching along the Czechoslovakian streets, any Czech's resistance was thwarted asserting that the Germans were illegitimately attacked. All that to say that as the article points out, an "inversion of logic" is so exploited in such a way that any twisted statement by the power turns into an accepted idea as in Joseph Goebbels' "lie a million times until that lie becomes truth" is the case.

  148. "The Holocaust may seem a distant horror . . ."

    Dylann Storm Roof massacres people in their church with the same sentiments as the Einsatzgruppe commander just to remind us that it does not really seem all that distant.

  149. Fascinating article. The idea that environmental collapse due to climate change will cause wars, mass migration and other such conflicts has been with us for quite a while. Thomas Homer-Dixon published a book or two on this years ago and I'm sure the idea has been with us for decades. Many people have pointed out the connection in Rwanda, though that has also been connected to the effects of globalization, which encouraged the planting of cash crops which were unable to feed the population when the price of those crops collapsed. However, it is good to sound the alarm again. The author is certainly correct in pointing out the irresponsibility of the US public and political class in refusing to confront the reality of climate change even as they are directly responsible for creating most of it. The US exports the costs of its greed and overconsumption onto the rest of the world. However, I would add another point: as a Canadian, I do not at all doubt that the US will turn on its neighbors if the costs of climate change do come home to roost. If an environmental collapse occurs, say, in drought-stricken California or across the rest of the US Southwest, I am concerned about the consequences to Canada, its water, and its agricultural land. The idea of using violence to seek "lebensraum" is not confined to people in the developing world. Any group of people can come to think in the same way, given the right incentives.

  150. The Holocaust was not perpetrated in America by Americans against other Americans.

    The Russians call World War II the Great Patriotic War. A war that cost the Soviet Union 27.5 million lives.

    The Chinese call World War II the Chinese People's War of Resistance Against Japanese Aggression. Between 15-30 million Chinese died during World War II.

    About 1.5 million Armenians died at the hands of Turks.

    About 1 million Hutu and Tutsi were killed by the Hutu in Rwanda.

    African Americans were enslaved in America by other Americans.

    Native Americans were colonized in America by other Americans.

    In Operation Protective Edge in Gaza about 2100 Palestinians were killed by Israel and 75-80% were civilians including 550 kids.

    About 3 million citizens of the Democratic Republic of the Congo have died in their civil war.

    Nearly 2 million Sudanese died in their civil war.

    Why are there holocausts and the Holocaust?

    Denying humanity is the root of all evil. Some have proclaimed scientific justification for enslavement, genocide and colonization.

  151. Just back from 9 weeks in Southern Africa. The Chinese influence is everywhere, particularly in Namibia, where even the most humble and poorly paid of tour guides has a smattering of polite Chines phrases.

  152. "Denying science imperils the future by summoning the ghosts of the past." So true.

    Also, "The chief Nazi propagandist, Joseph Goebbels, could therefore define the purpose of a war of extermination...." Goebbels would have applauded this sentence: "By polluting the atmosphere with greenhouse gases, the United States has done more than any other nation to bring about the next ecological panic, yet it is the only country where climate science is still resisted by certain political and business elites." Propaganda at its best.

    So, please allow some truth to be told. Climate change is real, and humankind is the reason. There are too many people, especially in Africa and Asia, and those populations are growing too fast. Instead of sending food to Africa, we should send them condoms.

  153. Yes, in the matter of climate science expertise denial, he missed all the other English-speaking nations, Canada, the UK, Australia, and New Zealand which have been taken over by big fossil money and advocacy.

  154. "These deniers tend to present the empirical findings of scientists as a conspiracy and question the validity of science — an intellectual stance that is uncomfortably close to Hitler’s"

    Tying together those who question the degree of man's contribution to global warming by pointing to cyclic temperature variations over the centuries which deemphasizes man's contribution as "an intellectual stance that is uncomfortably close to Hitler’s" is a breath-taking charge, but not surprising in today's environment.

    In any event, there is nothing to show that Hitler was anti-science. On the contrary, he based his "purification of the Aryan race" by eliminating the Jews based on the "science" of eugenics which was imported from the US.

    The eugenics movement was well established in the United States before it spread to Germany. California, the foremost applier of eugenics, produced literature promoting eugenics and sterilization and sent it to German scientists and medical professionals. By 1933, California had subjected more people to forceful sterilization than all other U.S. states combined. The forced sterilization program engineered by the Nazis was, in part, inspired by California's programs.

    Even an institution as renowned as the Rockefeller Foundation helped develop and fund various German eugenics programs, including the one that Josef Mengele worked in before he went to Auschwitz.

    There may be settled law, but not so much settled science as Galileo pointed out.

  155. I fear that Mr. Snyder has fallen victim to that same myopic presentism that justified the military campaigns he cites. He concludes the article by presenting us with a choice : shall we choose "science" or "ideology"? But this differentiation that science is often but the tool of ideology and that ultimately one can design a scientific experiment in order to prove just about anything, though reality as it is lived may contend. There is something decidedly inhuman about neglecting the HUMAN cost of ecological crisis in the final decision; only snobbish academics in peril of derailing from the tenure track would choose science for science's sake. Rather, we ought to pursue a path of ecological responsibility because there are human lives at stake. I don't think science will mind.

  156. this is inflammatory. if you are going to use a specific example, why not use our own country?

  157. Very interesting connection of dots between the 1930's and today. I for one believe science and innovation will continue to find a way to enhance life; we are not even close to the end of human growth. In my 64 year lifetime I have seen Malthusian predictions fail to materialize. Human panic is something real to fear, however. One twist: Can you be sure the next great panic will not come from the catastrophic climate change hypothesis itself? Science is hard and needs continual updates and several distinguished scientists are questioning the modelers claims and assumptions.

  158. I dedicate this article to the 16 Deniers.

  159. Is it accidental that the article fails to mention all the anti-immigrant, and specifically anti Mexican sentiments expressed by many in the USA? As if the USA is immune from such a cancer.

  160. Anyone who thinks that the Holocaust was a one-off is deluding themselves. There have been many through history, some larger than others. Man's susceptibility to fear and loathing is the fatal weakness that knows no cure. With populations exploding and the world's resources becoming dearer, the makings of a vast calamity is not so far-fetched. Unfortunately, denying its possibility will only get you through the next few short hours.

  161. Factors surrounding behaviors can be attributed to many things. Certainly, resource allocations can be a factor. But it is a stretch to conflate potential climate change impacts, which remains highly uncertain as to specific outcomes. For instance, recent science suggests lower rainfalls in the southern US based on current views of climate change. Resource allocation as an excuse for war or genocide will always exist but it is not a transitive property.

  162. Good article. It might be helpful to include the concept of "planned parenthood" as well - completely voluntary - but humane, safe, and free or heavily subsidized methods of birth control - as a strategy as well. That's just simple math, and we already have many good options available.

  163. By the second paragraph I knew China would be mentioned. Members of the new Chinese middle class were the first tourists to arrive here in Newport in April and many are still here in September. Mostly pleasant people - I've taken their cameras and photographed them on America's Cup Avenue and otherwise interacted with them thanks to their halting English. There were no vacationing Chinese here in summer 20 years ago. It's been a sudden change and now like us they will fight to hold on to their lifestyles which include expensive vacations.

  164. American ag land is being bought up by other nations. However with multi-national holding companies owning big ag companies expect no sense of national pride or allegiance on the part of those corporate "persons". Those that control the food control the masses.

  165. Yet crop prices are all at or near historic lows because both yield and output are continually rising faster than demand. What a conundrum.

  166. Access to resources is a paramount concern for China, just as it is for the US. That this concern means China may occupy foreign lands is not supported by the evidence here which is their leasing of farmland in the Ukraine. This kind of violence depends on Step One: insistence on the ill-will of the Other.

  167. "The quest for German domination was premised on the denial of science. Hitler’s alternative to science"

    The Germans of the time accepted science, Hitler included. They accepted it uncritically and to extremes, such as the then-popular scientific theories of eugenics. They justified their horrors to themselves with science.

    Their problem wasn't a lack of science. It was a lack of values to restrain them. They threw off all restraints, not science. They then used science and technological solutions to make worse that lack of restraint.

    Without values, science can be used for evil, and they did.

  168. Re: "The Germans of the time accepted science, Hitler included."
    Not really. Rather, too many of them were duped into accepting "junk science".

  169. It's worth considering that this article and most all coverage of climate change misses a potentially very large impact on wealthy countries: That we live in an era where, for the first time in history, those affected by our actions can see how disproportionately affected they are by forces they did not create and, more importantly, relatively small groups of these affected people can deliver large-scale violence and destruction to those they feel have wronged them.

    In other words, if rich countries believe they can "adapt" to climate change behind high walls, systems of dikes to preserve their vulnerable coasts, sealed borders, localized food security and more, they are deluding themselves. The world where the disadvantaged can be effectively held under one's thumb while the advantaged remain comfortable no longer exists.

    Not a pretty reason for rich countries to get serious about climate change, and fast, but a good one nonetheless.

  170. The underlying problem is overpopulation! There is an ever increasing number of people competing for a finite set of resources. War is inevitable, as are other "natural" methods of thinning the population such as disease, flood, famine.

  171. What a relief to see this sobering message where it belongs- in our major newspapers who are at least attempting to wake up human beings to the larger dangers afoot in this fragile world. We are too often lulled by superficial entertainment of current political theater or the personal self centeredness of our own too busy lives. Humans are capable of unspeakable horror as history tells us so it is no surprise that Inherent greed and evil lurks in the human psyche today as it always has. How quickly we forget at our own peril.

  172. There were droughts and famines and wars and sociopaths recorded thousands of years back before the man made use of carbon products. Climate change has become the wizard behind the veil for the Left. The answer is Clinate Change whatever the question or the issue. And then once you agree with that, the solutions are redistribution of wealth and the elite deciding who warms their homes and who drives a car.

  173. The second paragraph is revisionist nonsense trying to convert repulsion at Hitler's anti-Semitic genocide into support for action to fight global warming and attendant environmental degradation. Those are worthy ends; the scare tactics are unworthy means--and diminish the moral atrocity of the Holocaust.

  174. Interesting essay. As one of the folks who brought genomics to crop improvement, I think the author is denying science, and its warnings. Yup, the world is in peril because we are no longer increasing food production faster than population growth, and distribution systems are pretty close to maxxed. There are far too few crop and livestock improvement scientists available to tailor new crop and animal breeds for the new environments we're creating. The problem is worst in developing countries, and in regions that have traditionally been net food importers. We're in for a bumpy ride.

  175. Our worship of free-market capitalism, paired with our history of abundant natural resources, has thoroughly imbued the American spirit with a boom-town mentality in which we will always choose the greatest short-term gain and damn the consequences. Until and unless this changes, the outcome is quite predictable.

  176. Thank you for this important example of why historical scholarship matters. I would suggest also Mike Davis's "Late Victorian Holocausts," which examines how the confluence of climate disruption (el nino caused draught across large swaths of the southern hemisphere), global grain markets, and industrial transportation that enabled those markets caused soaring grain prices and the largest famines in history in the late 18th century. There was no absolute shortage of grain, it just was siphoned off to people in wealthy countries who could afford to buy it in the newly globalized capitalist system. I expect we are headed towards a repeat on larger scale, and Snyder's both complicates and reinforces this awful tendency.

    Lastly, on liebensraum and genocide, the similarity to our own national expansion, to manifest destiny and the genocidal conquest of the continent, is inescapable but, of course, largely unspeakable and so unnoticed by most people. Always remember, we literally do not have a homeland here; it was all stolen, and violently. If you go back far enough, of course, that's true for most people's, but at the continental scale and with such ferocious efficiency, I believe we stand out as unique. Even Hitler could not come close to accomplishing what we Americans did.

  177. Why is it that the genocide of Native People in the United States is never, if ever, recognized for what it is? Why is it excluded from this op-ed? Why?

  178. It is a very significant omission!!!

  179. The typical excuse is disease did the dirty work.

  180. Wonderful and important article. Last week I found myself teaching climate to middle school students on 9/11 in a STEM (science, technology, engineering and math). We made a connection to terror and sustainability challenges the world faces. Why would people resort to such extreme groups as ISIS or Taliban? A perception (based in desperation, not rationality) that it is their only path to survival, desperation fueled by reduced capacity of the planetary systems to provide, and ignorance of science and tech solutions. Indeed, these topics are part of what we need to include in STEM education. I'm going to share this article with them in the coming week.

  181. ..........Hitler denied science and exploited ecological panic........

    Gee almost sounds like a lot of Republicans........

  182. Oh yea, the tried (and tired) and true Hitler comparison - always a last refuge if you've nothing else.

  183. This essay resonated with me; it brings together the real dangers of climate change and the massive competition going on now for control of world resources, as developed countries scramble to preserve their advantages and the rest of the world acquires armaments to try to gain whatever advantage possible from that. We already pretty much ( in the US) dismiss the human consequences of our actions - despite beyond ' food secure.' And we have too many politicians willing to demonize other groups for 'stealing' resources ( " the Mexicans" per Trump and McCarthy-like Cruz) because scapegoating does work in politics - while taking difficult steps - or using scientific approaches to change - does not.

  184. Not to mention the right wing obsession with eliminating contraception...animal populations produce fewer offspring in seasons when food is scarce; we , in our arrogance, keep popping them out.

  185. The Internet meme called Godwin's Law is now 25 years old. Mr. Snyder appears to have written not only an entire specious essay invoking the specter of Hitler in his arguments, but, apparently, has written an entire book using the same basic logic. I'm no expert on Hitler's rise, but I think racial superiority had as least as much to do with the extermination of Jews, and others considered undesirable, by the German high command as any concerns about land use and food scarcity. And calling this concern over land usage an "ecological" issue also seems like a stretch. One of Professor Snyder's main rhetorical methods is to use an overwhelmingly dark analogy to today's crises in order to get the reader's attention. This crude, fear-mongering approach from a Yale history professor is a bit surprising.

  186. prof snyder,s longer essay in this week's new york review of books puuts the ecological points as following from the racial supremacy. u might find it is more in line w ur sense of the central issues

  187. I won't dispute the thesis that ecological issues contributed to the Holocaust, but what you ignore is the the primary driver was anti-Semitism. The "Jews" have always been seen as the "Other" for more than a thousand years and have been subject to persecution in one place after another with very few exceptions. Towards the end of the war, the Nazis and their collaborators used precious resources to keep the extermination camps running. The goal was not having fewer mouths to feed, but to eliminate every Jew they could find and end the Jewish "race".
    Today not only do we see the rise of violent conflict in areas with too few resources to support the local population but we also see the rise in anti-Semitism in areas that have sufficient resources. In global surveys anti-Semitism is growing in Western Europe and can be found in places where people have never seen a Jew. This hatred is as universal as the fact that environmental stress causes conflict.
    This article minimizes the role that anti-Semitisim played in the Holocaust to prove a thesis. If we are to learn from it we will heed the advice in this column and step up to fight anti-Semitism...both are needed.

  188. Totally agree. The author has some valid points, but is revisionist in minimizing pure bigotry and the ability of demagogues to gain support among the paranoid by openly expressing that bigotry. Wanting the Germans to have full bellies is far too benign an analysis of what led to a war of monstrous proportions and the annihilation of a people, the Jews. We need to be on guard against the ginning up of that sort of hatred.

  189. Over 200 years ago, the economist Thomas Malthus pointed out that populations tend to grow 'geometrically', i.e. they grow at a rate that is proportional to their size. Malthus, concerned that the earth would eventually become unable to provide enough sustenance to satisfy the nutritional needs of its population. Years later, Adolph Hitler, similarly concerned, as he expressed in his book, Mein Kampf, arrived at the need to seek 'Lebensraum' (Living Room) for the German-people - all of which led directly to WW-II and the Holocaust.
    Since then, humans have been busy creating pricisely the same problem that Malthus and Hitler found so disturbing, all those years ago, and have been procreating exactly as predicted by the mathematicians, while politicians enact laws (anti-abortion, 'abstinance-only', etc) that only exacerbate the problem.
    As Captain Quint of the good ship ORCA observed: 'We're gonna need a bigger boat'

  190. Why doesn't this article confront the deniers in the Republican party that are now throughout all levels of government?

  191. Cherry picking history and ignoring the politics of the day make for a stupid article, I'm afraid. No matter how much you people keep telling the lie it will never make it the truth.

  192. The GOP fits into this description of the future very well.

  193. Mr. Snyder is suggesting that if Germany had adequate food supplies the Nazis would have had no interest in totally eliminating the Jewish population of the world. I think he's wrong.

  194. Realistic article, obviously the ways to come. However, it does not mention the gorilla in in the room. Population! No matter what we do, trust science or not, use alternate energy or not, etc., unless we stop and actually decrease our numbers we face the same future. Nature will decrease our number for us.

  195. I agree. Mother nature will eventually deal with the human population explosion that neither governments, religions nor individuals are willing to face. 2.5 billion people lived on planet earth when I was born 69 years ago. 9 billion are expected to inhabit our planet by the time I depart. Totally unsustainable.

  196. And also appearing on the front page is the article about the amazingly bright young man admitted to Harvard - educated at a special school in Somaliland - who comes from a family of 18 siblings with divorced parents?! - figure that out. Bottom line - we and I mean the world "we" need to advocate for the one child rule in every country and ethnic group NOW - China had it and relaxed it and are eating themselves out of their own country. When the population in in billions of course there will be climate or man made catastrophes which occur to reduce it - but a few hundred thousand starving is but a drop in the bucket of the ever increasing population.

  197. I'm uncomfortable with how the author overlooks (denies?) the different issues in U.S., Nazi, and Putin-era politics as it relates to commerce, science and religion. U.S. based resistance to popular sentiment on climate-change is not religious - it's smart commercial suspicion of government funded research that concludes that heavy government-regulation of resources is "the answer" to climate change. My suspicion is not at all about science-denial, it's about wanting to deny my government any more control over energy resources. Once a heavy-handed government rules resources, it rules poorly. War and genocide is inevitable on the part of heavy-handed governments like Hitler's and Putin's: inherently it cannot properly manage resources and it will resort to any means to take resources from outside its borders in a vain attempt to stave off domestic disasters that it is causing through its own poor management.

  198. Heavy-handedness is a problem in any construct,regardless of ideology.I cannot imagine "resources" in the hands of profiteers inasmuch as the very people we are discussing are the ones most neglected."Checks and Balances" works for me.

  199. Sadly, those who conflate empirical evidence and big government often also conflate no regulation with progress.
    For such as you, fighting big government AND fighting irresponsible hydrocarbon use can and must go hand in hand.... it's far too late, and this is far too important, to put the former battle before the latter...

  200. The canary in the coal mine is tweeting us but we won't hear him and he can't type. And soon he will have died and we blissfully go on and on never looking in the mine to see if he is OK.

  201. Poverty is to me a more fearful cause of global problems than climate change, though certainly we should be doing more to alleviate both.

  202. I would just add a few points.

    1. The Chinese are not just buying up agribusinesses and farmlands in third world nations, but may be buying that farmland in your own state or if you live in an rural community in your own neighborhood. I think if the Times did an investigation on the amount of farmland being bought up by the Chinese, and other foreign interests I am sure, in the US, it may surprise some. I am not being xenophobic, but just pointing out what may be a reality. How this will play out in the future is anyone's guess.

    2. As populations increase and the demand for agricultural products grow, we need to curtail the use of turning good arable land into the next big subdivision. It is amazing the amount of good farmland that we lose to turn good farmland into houses that may sit on the market for years and are then bought by speculators. We need to have stricter local zoning laws and state agricultural laws to keep our farmlands and that will discourage needless destruction of arable land.

    Perhaps, ironically, the country that has recently done more harm to its own domestic agriculture is China. It has destroyed countless thousands of acres of arable land to build its ghost cities. Is it any wonder, it seeks food sources elsewhere?

  203. One thing Prof. Synder neglects to mention is that most of the nations of today's world were founded on genocide. Most recently were those of the American continent; but in the history of practically every nation of Europe is at least one violent displacement of an ancient people by a more modern one that migrated into their territory. The same is true of other continents. Most of these displacements occurred far back enough in time that we don't know the details, but the basic nature of the events is clear. Perhaps it is actually a sign of progress that today we condemn such events and at least bemoan them, even if we don't try to stop them.

  204. The first step in this process would be the realization that we are simply devices for the propagation of nucleic acids and are not some manifestation of a shadowy removed God that has some plan for us and this world that is parceled out to a hand picked elect. Tell a group what it wants to hear about itself and that group will be manipulated for whatever purpose--typically to destroy another group perceived as different on some predictably flimsy basis This has gone on forever--Joshua fit the battle of Jericho.

  205. Good that comments are now being allowed by the NYTimes opinion dept on your piece "The Next Genocide", Mr. Snyder. Yes, the Holocaust, the Shoah, may seem a distant horror but it is alive and well today for Jews of all suasions in the global diaspora. Today German domination and "lebensraum" and Goebbels and Der Spiegel and Goring in 1939: "if one enemy bomber reaches the Ruhr, you can call me 'Meyer" - "hello, Meyer!" are the bitter fruit of Das Dritte Reich and 12 years of totalitarian domination in Asia and Europe, till the Allies put paid to the thousand year Reich. But what happened before, in history, can happen again. Are climate change and drought as horrific as Hitler was? Millions of refugees from subSahara, Mediterranean rim countries, and tribal wars in the Middle East are migrating desperately toward Europe and the UK. "National borders" mean diddly to starving refugees. China starved its population many times over the centuries. "Fortified colonies" by the Chinese in Africa may result from ecological panic. The ghastly triumph of the New Caliphate, ISIL/ISIS, The Islamic State - totalitarianism writ large in the Middle East - is the thin edge of the genocidal wedge in our time. Science cannot be denied. Can Lebensraum be denied? Can genocide today be denied?

  206. One need only to consider who the beneficiaries of state Fascism were: the oligarchs who owned Germany's large corporations. Similarly, our wonderful Koch brothers assiduously use their own media, that they own outright, to propagandize their audience with the messages of climate change denial and hatred of non-caucasian people and alternative lifestyles. Those whose grandparents may have thought Hitler was wonderful, during the 1930s at least, out here in the Midwest, have descendants who eat up the Koch-funded garbage with two forks. And they vote.

  207. And how might we deal with the US violent expansion program, for which all of the last 11 presidents including Obama should be indicted (Noam Chomsky). The crimes of the third reich are being challenged by the past 70 years of US foreign policy.

  208. At best, a misguided and mostly spectacular exhibition of stupidity, seemingly triggered by the frustration of growing and mass rejection of the "climatists" fantasies. At worst a pathetic summoning of the Nazis history to try to shock a reconsideration of their basic stupidity.

    Sorry, the conventional world is more and familiar with the sensationalist tactics since trying the merits is a resounding failure.

  209. But denying science is the major plank of one of our political parties in the US, and their spreading of the belief that anyone with an education, anyone who can actually read beyond "WALMART" is suspect and is "puttin' on airs" and "not keepin' it real" (except for YOUR doctor/lawyer, of course.) We have gone from a nation of immigrants who desperately wanted their children to be absorbed into our culture to one where national pride in one’s home country overshadows any sense of becoming an American. Murdering anyone who does not believe in some version of the completely mythical idea of the "Puritan Ethic" and who, as Judge Smails said, “does not fit-in (wink-wink, nudge, nudge),” is the goal. No matter that the lying, cheating, stealing, and total lawlessness of our current "ruling class" (the so-called 1%) who have taken over the country by purchasing the government are neither Puritans nor ethical by any logical definition of the word.

    Once the rest of the violent nations of the world have nuclear bombs AND an effective way to deliver them, "ethnic" cleansing, as practiced in nations across our planet today, will become rampant. The resources for survival--food/clean water, shelter/breathable air, clothing--will become more scarce as those in power deny them to those out of power. The "new" Holocaust is already in progress and it will endure as the belief in the science of climate change is squashed by those who profit from its denial. Is that "real" enough for you?

  210. A problem about accepting or denying science is that it is a function of the powerful, political or industrial. We've got to face the fact that the majority of the human race is not equipped to analyze the data and decide for themselves.

    Even if all are created equal, even if we are "all equal in the eyes of God," we are not equal in our capacity to comprehend the consequences of global or even national actions of humans. I recall many discussions that foundered on that fact. One very nice man wanted to discuss the problems of workers and the middle class, but when I mentioned outsourcing and globalization, he threw his hands up and said that such issues were beyond him.

    This is a challenge for democracy and for leadership. The solution is not some kind of exclusion test. Better to have all inside the tent than to have many outside throwing grenades. that what's happened with the Tea Party and the Trumpite grenade throwers?

  211. The statement: "Americans will have spent years spreading climate disaster around the world" is not supported by facts in this article.

    And what of China's mine fires that have been burning for decades and longer? Has Mr. Snyder tried walking around Peking while breathing?

    The very existence of Israel was a result of one ethnic group's desire to live on another group's land. And what of the Crusades? Were they started by the growth of Arab populations and expansion?

    Look at Russian history and the Mongols or Europe and the Vikings. A big empty space just begging for a few hoards of horsemen to come romping across it or a weak feudal system that might have put up a sign: "Invaders Welcome." World history is, in effect, a history of population growth and the results thereof. China's very power comes from it's cheap labor, a result of over-population.

    So, great scientists are going to solve everything? Not hardly. Who is going to point the finger at Arab, European, Chinese, Africans or any other group and say: "You, over there, quit reproducing so much!"? Certainly no scientist.

    Mother nature, however, will certainly do just that.

    Mr. Snyder's shotgun approach might interest the next cheap, blow-em-up disaster movie producer, but comparing all the world's problem to a baseline of a group of German people who were a power for less than one decade, is not a well thought out premise.

  212. A brilliant analysis and warning, which many people in the U.S. are unlikely to heed. In the name of profits, large corporations and others have distorted and campaigned against ecological scientific inquiry. Scientists have been besmirched and scientific papers censored occasionally by politicians (as happened with some papers by NASA scientists). When politics combined with greed work against science, nothing good can come from it. It is sad that anti-science propaganda is accepted by so many people who are not getting the profits but are manipulated to work against their own and particularly their children's best interests. Another world war or smaller but continual skirmishes are inevitable because we have so many small-minded leaders and politicians.

  213. The world's population has tripled since 1940 and the world's resurces have not. Oops!

  214. "When mass killing is on the way, it won’t announce itself in the language we are familiar with"....

    This statement seems like Mr. Synder has not paid any attention to any news the past several decades, since mass killings have been occurring since the 1970's.......

    Sadly the "Middle Eastern " problems, resulting in the migration of refugees into Europe are transforming in other issues where ideologies on how to accommodate and cope will clash in the attempt not to repeat history, yet at the same time it seems there is more emphasis in the US "social media" hearts and minds of the public showing more concern for "same sex" rights than what is happening in the Middle East and Europe....

    Is the American public foolishly thinking we are isolated from these issues by the Atlantic Ocean and/or this is not an American problem but a European one?

    Perhaps more NY times readers should read some of the articles the NY Times provides in their archives, where one can read the entire paper from before World War I up until today......