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.
Wherein we see that some believe in the value of coercion in support of religious-like beliefs.
After years of vigorous debate over whether or not humans are causing climate change, and just exactly what kinds of public policies should be enacted as a result, the public remains divided. Despite repeated claims of having “settled science” on their side, the political left and their allies in the Democratic Party as are losing this debate. They have been seeking criminalize, and otherwise stifle, those who are skeptics of the notion that humans cause climate change and this requires drastic changes in energy and economic policy that those skeptics argue will decimate the economy.
The latest assault on free and open debate over climate change policy comes in the form of a Resolution, soon to be introduced in Congress, by Rep. Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI). The resolution states it is “Expressing the sense of Congress relating to the disapproval of certain companies, trade associations, foundations, and organizations” in regard to their communications about climate change.
The resolution compares the activities of climate change skeptics quite fallaciously to those of the tobacco companies before the huge anti-tobacco lawsuits, and calls on Congress to “disapprove” of the organizations engaged in the skeptical side of debate about climate change policy.
Sen. Whitehouse has, in the past, called for conservative policy groups and trade associations to be prosecuted under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), a law enacted for use against organized crime groups. Just last year, 20 climate scientists sent a letter to President Obama and Attorney General Loretta Lynch urging just such a RICO investigation against climate change skeptics.
Just last week, Claude Walker, Attorney General of the U.S. Virgin Islands, withdrew a subpoena he had filed in Washington D.C. against the Competitive Enterprise Institute for its role in the climate change debate. But action was followed by similar moves by others, including California Attorney General Kamala Harris and New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman.
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey, on behalf of a larger group of state attorneys general, has initiated an inquisition of ExxonMobil and any organizations they might have communicated with in regard to climate change. Several organizations, including the Competitive Enterprise Institute, the Center for Industrial Progress, and several other organizations that advance the skeptical view of human caused climate change. Alex Epstein, the President and Founder of the Center for Industrial Progress, returned a response to Healey’s subpoena saying, “buzz off, fascist” but using a different word than buzz.
All the instigators of this nonsense are Democrats although not all Democrats are so frighteningly zealous. Those who believe their personal beliefs must be backed by the law are the “Anointed” who belief their wisdom is so great all must have it.
Even the Obama Administration has sought to advance this assault on free speech. Attorney General Loretta Lynch admitted to Congress earlier this year to having had discussions about taking civil legal action against the fossil fuel industry for allegedly denying the “threat of carbon emissions” in climate change.
One recent effort to criminalize climate change dissent failed in California, where progressive sought to pass a bill called the “California Climate Science Truth and Accountability Act of 2016.” This legislation would have authorized the prosecution of climate change skeptics that allegedly have “deceived or misled the public on the risks of climate change.”
This is not just the objective of a few on the fringes of the American left, it is officially part of the platform of the Democratic Party this year. A call for investigation and prosecution of companies who “misled” shareholders about climate change is incorporated into the party’s “Progressive Democratic Values” section of their platform.
These efforts to criminalize climate change dissent might be illegal, argues University of Tennessee law professor Glenn Harlan Reynolds, who cites a federal law that makes it a felony “for two or more persons to agree together to injure, threaten, or intimidate a person in any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the Unites States…”
Sen. Whitehouse and Rep. Lieu should be ashamed to even suggest the notion, that those who disagree on any issue in public debate, should be bullied by the force of government into silence. No member of Congress who respects the Bill of Rights, and the citizens they represented, should even consider voting for this authoritarian resolution. That such a move was made in Congress by the evangelists of human-caused climate change should demonstrate how desperate they are to silence the other side of a debate they are losing with the American public.
Ninety eighty four arrives in 2016. You will believe.
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