Radical environmentalism and an anti-human perversion of Darwinism spark an attempt at mass murder in the season-ending episode of the acclaimed TNT drama series The Closer.
As befits one of the most interesting, intelligent, and engaging series on television (admittedly not a great mountain to climb), the season (actually midseason) finale of the TNT show The Closer is about as politically incorrect as possible.
In the episode aired this past Monday, the police team headed up by Deputy Police Chief Brenda Leigh Johnson (Kyra Sedgwick), has had its name and mission changed from Priority Homicide to Major Crimes, the result of a biased (though basically accurate) news story in the Los Angeles Times by a politically motivated investigative reporter.
That’s both realistic (police departments are commonly subjected to all sorts of politically motivated directives and are full of politics themselves) and rather refreshing in that the reporter is at once politically left of center, openly engages in advocacy journalism and ethnic and cultural posturing, and is nakedly ambitious. For once the crusading journalist is not a sterling hero of unalloyed beneficent intentions but is in fact rather like a real person with complex motives and, as is true of many if not most political crusaders, a good deal more to dislike than to admire.
If that were all the episode accomplished (following as it does on a theme prevalent in the entire season’s episodes), it would be noteworthy, but there’s more.
Most surprisingly, the villains of the story are young men influenced by the Columbine killings, with the new angle being that they are driven by fanatical attachment to anti-human beliefs derived from Darwinism and radical environmentalism. These precocious and deluded high-schoolers are attempting to carry out a spectacular mass murder that will take the failed plans of the Columbine killers to a new level and kill many more people than the perpetrators of that crime managed.
The boys all sport tattoos of two E’s, signifying their common cause: Evolution’s End. Their belief, articulated by one of them during questioning by Johnson and one of her lieutenants, is that all of humankind is a pox on the earth, a foul disease that must be exterminated if the world is to survive.
What is perhaps most remarkable is that the character who articulates these thoughts almost directly quotes a notorious diatribe by University of Texas professor Eric Pianka given when accepting the Texas Academy of Science’s 2006 Distinguished Texas Scientist award. Pianka described human beings as a "scourge" on the Earth, said "We need to sterilize everybody on the Earth" (which elicited sympathetic laughter from the audience of scientists), and exclaimed, ‘We’re no better than bacteria!’"
Pianka went on to say, according to Forrest Mims, chairman of the academy’s Environmental Science Section, "AIDS is not an efficient killer, [Pianka] explained, because it is too slow. His favorite candidate for eliminating 90 percent of the world’s population is airborne Ebola (Ebola Reston), because it is both highly lethal and it kills in days, instead of years."
This outburst could be dismissed as the ravings of a fanatic if not for two things. One, Pianka’s statement echoed countless others by radical environmentalists and eco-terrorists making exactly the same point and often using the very same words and analogies. Two, in a truly chilling demonstration of the widespread acceptance of such radical, anti-human notions, the scientists, professors, and students gathered to honor Dr. Pianka gave him a standing ovation after this mad manifesto strongly reminiscent of ravings in Industrial Society and Its Future, by the "Unabomber" terrorist, Theodore Kaczynski.
Mims describes the scene as follows, quoted in Environment and Climate News:
"There was a gravely disturbing side to that otherwise scientifically significant meeting, for I watched in amazement as a few hundred members of the Texas Academy of Science rose to their feet and gave a standing ovation to a speech that enthusiastically advocated the elimination of 90 percent of Earth’s population by airborne Ebola."
The ovation was nearly unanimous, Mims notes. "Almost every scientist, professor, and college student present stood to their feet and vigorously applauded the man who had enthusiastically endorsed the elimination of 90 percent of the human population," Mims wrote. "Some even cheered. Dozens then mobbed the professor at the lectern to extend greetings and ask questions."
Mims is quoted as worrying about the possibility that "a Pianka-worshipping former student might someday become a professional biologist or physician with access to the most deadly strains of viruses and bacteria?"
That is the kind of scenario this evocative episode of The Closer considers so honestly and provocatively—and, one might say, given the ruthless suppression of dissent practiced by the modern environmental movement—rather courageously.
Programming note: the next scheduled showing of The Closer: "Time Bomb" is Saturday, September 20, at 10 a.m., EDT
Personal disclosure note: The author of this article serves as senior editor of Environment & Climate News, a source quoted in this story.