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Saturday, September 19, 2015

Prosecute Climate Deniers

For John, BLUFOr is that "persecute"?  Nothing to see here; just move along.

It is The Daily Caller (Reporter Michel Bastasch), but still, it is based on a Press Release from the Institute of Global Environment and Society (IGES).  The article is headlined "Scientists Ask Obama To Prosecute Global Warming Skeptics" The lede plus one:
The science on global warming is settled, so settled that 20 climate scientists are asking President Barack Obama to prosecute people who disagree with them on the science behind man-made global warming.

Scientists from several universities and research centers even asked Obama to use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to prosecute groups that “have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change.”

I would have said it was all a very sophisticated put-on, except we do have Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, mentioned in the Press Release, writing an OpEd on this back on 29 May 2015, in The Washington Post, "The fossil-fuel industry’s campaign to mislead the American people".  The Huffington Post liked it.

I still wonder if this Press Release is a hoax, but the invocation of RICO is chilling to me.  This is a lesson in why we need to reduce the number of laws on the books and stop being a "Ham Sandwich Nation".  The RICO statute was a strong tool against the Mafia.  It was a strong tool against the tobacco manufacturers, in the mistaken belief, it would seem, that we can stop people smoking by prosecuting other people.  Didn't work.  Then there was the plan to use RICO against abortion protestors.  The use of the law to punish differences of opinion can be ruinous.  The suggestion that "climate deniers" are like "holocaust deniers" is an indication of people who have no sense of proportion.

Hat tip to Drudge.

Regards  —  Cliff

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