Politics is about evoking emotions, nothing more, so this is what it has come to. A California Democrat, one of the self-appointed Guardians of the Earth, and otherwise True Believer, has proposed using the legal system to impose fines and\or jail time on non-believers in Global Warming. Libertarians have been predicting this kind of control for hundreds of years.
Do not think about, write about or deal with human behavior without determining the effects of incentives. It’s not their money, of course they’ll waste it.
Proposal by California Dem. would allow prosecution of climate change skeptics
If California state state Sen. Ben Allen, D-Santa Monica, has his way, those who disagree with the idea of man-made climate change could be sued by prosecutors for allegedly deceiving the public on the risks of climate change, the Washington Times reported Thursday. The bill, known as Senate Bill 1161, or the "California Climate Science Truth and Accountability Act of 2016," died after the state Senate failed to take it up before the deadline.
According to the Times, the measure would have given a four-year window on the statute of limitations on alleged violations of the state’s Unfair Competition Law. If passed, it would have given prosecutors until January 1, 2017, to go after companies and groups for allegations of "climate change fraud" extending indefinitely.
“This bill explicitly authorizes district attorneys and the Attorney General to pursue UCL claims alleging that a business or organization has directly or indirectly engaged in unfair competition with respect to scientific evidence regarding the existence, extent, or current or future impacts of anthropogenic induced climate change,” the state Senate Rules Committee said in the floor analysis of the measure. The bill, according to the Times, had already cleared two Senate committees.
The Civil Justice Association of California led the fight against the bill, and was joined by pro-business groups like the California Chamber of Commerce and the California Business Roundtable. Justice association President Kim Stone, the Times said, was pleased the state Senate “realized this bill was extreme.”
“Our concern about the bill is that by eliminating the statute of limitations and reviving claims from forever in the past, it’s fundamentally unfair,” she said. Stone also compared it to being audited by the IRS for tax returns filed by one’s grandparents.
“This bill would be as if the IRS now said that we could audit you for the first year you filed your taxes, or your parents’ taxes, or even for your grandparents’ taxes. Would you have the documentation required to defend yourself if you were accused of having done something wrong?” she said. “No, nobody would have saved their papers because everyone knows the IRS has three years to audit you.”
California Political Review editor Stephen Frank echoed the sentiments of many when he called it a “totalitarian statement by Democrats that the First Amendment is now dead.” He rattled off a series of McCarthy-like questions skeptics could be asked.
“Did you donate to the Pacific Legal Foundation? Do you support Americans for Prosperity? Are you a member of the California Republican Party, which has a platform approving of all forms of energy, including fossil fuel (oil)? Do you work for a gas station, an oil company, have you written a letter to the editor in favor of oil drilling?” he asked. "If so, you could find yourself with being charged in a court of law, thanks to SB 1161."
Walter Olson also expressed concerns at the website Overlawyered. “Combined with the plans laid by California Attorney General Kamala Harris — part of the alliance of AGs that has sought to investigate not only oil, gas and coal companies, but private advocacy groups and university scientists who have played a role in what is characterized as ‘climate denial’ — the bill would begin laying the legal groundwork for an astonishingly broad campaign of inquisition and, potentially, expropriation,” he wrote.
The bill may be dead for now, but it’s not completely gone. According to the Times, the language could be reintroduced or inserted into another bill as part of the amendment process.
If there were an anti-stupidity league, it would undoubtedly against any such bill.
If you don’t believe in our faith, you are unworthy and must be punished. Where is Monty Python when we so desperately need them?
Government Job or Respect–Which’ll It Be?
Cheerio and ttfn,
Grant Coulson, Ph.D.
Author, “Power Teaching: How to Find Someone to Teach Your Child when the Education System has Failed.”
Cui Bono–Cherchez les Contingencies