From The Wall Street Journal:
"Last month George Mason Professor Jagadish Shukla and 19 others signed a letter to President Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and White House science adviser John Holdren urging punishment for climate dissenters. “One additional tool—recently proposed by Senator Sheldon Whitehouse—is a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) investigation of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America’s response to climate change,” they wrote.
In other words, they want the feds to use a law created to prosecute the mafia against lawful businesses and scientists. In a May op-ed in the Washington Post, Mr. Whitehouse specifically cited Willie Soon of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics, who has published politically inconvenient research on changes in solar radiation."
To quote some unnamed 1930's gangster movie, "Come and get me, you dirty screws!"
Before we get to my opinion on this particular and disturbing move, let's set the table on what I believe regarding "climate change".
1. Is the Earth getting warmer?
Yes. But that warming trend has slowed to a crawl in the past 18 years, to the point where statisticians have concluded that the rise in temperatures during this time is considered "statistically insignificant". To combat this troubling speed bump on the road to government action, climate change proponents have once again shifted their focus, this time from surface temperatures to subsurface temperatures below the sea. But the fact remains that the easiest media in which to affect global warming (air) has virtually stopped warming for the past 18 years.
2. Is man responsible for some portion of climate change?
Of course. What is yet to be proven is to what EXTENT man is responsible for that change. After all, if your claim is that man's ever increasing CO2 emissions into the atmosphere are the primary reason for global warming, how can global air temperatures be virtually unchanged for 18 years running?
3. Is it right to question the funding sources of climate change deniers?
Yes, as long as you question the funding sources of climate change proponents as well. After all, if you can cast aspersions on deniers / skeptics for taking money from the fossil fuel industry to fund their research, why does the vast majority of funding for climate change proponents coming from governments get a pass? Governments exist to control people, some for the good of the general populace, and all too many for other nefarious reasons. I'm all for controlling certain bad actors bent on doing direct harm, but let's determine the harm, if any, before we go and start controlling things that haven't been proven to harm.
Let's face it: If you're going to claim that skeptics are dancing to the tune of their fossil fuel masters in order to gain or continue funding their research and lifestyles, then climate change proponents are certainly dancing to the tune of their government masters for the same reasons.
Now to the topic at hand - the suppression of free speech.
Look, I can understand how some people like Jagadish Shukla and other signatories of the now-removed RICO 20 letter not born in the U.S. can fail to grasp our very first and most important amendment to the Constitution, but what excuse does a sitting U.S. Senator (Sheldon Whitehouse, (D-Clueless)) have? As has been noted before, the right to free speech is not absolute. The old adage, 'You can't falsely yell "FIRE!" in a crowded theater' is often used to justify government control of speech, and rightly so, as it could potentially harm others in a panic.
But invoking racketeering charges against climate change skeptics because they get their funding from a source other than the government?
I don't think so. It is at once laughable, disturbing and chilling. The bad news is that Obama's Justice Dept. didn't reject the request from Senator Clueless out of hand, but the good news is that once the media got hold of Jagadish Shukla's funding levels and their government sources (he's DEFINITELY been living high off the U.S. taxpayer), the letter was quickly removed from his organization's website.
And that's what we skeptics are going to need to do each and every time. Fight their disinformation with better information. Shine the same light on their activities as they are trying to shine on skeptics. QUESTION their conclusions with alternatives. Astrophysicists (the scientists who study the Sun) are just as adamant that solar activity is as much responsible, if not more, than any activity man can muster towards climate change. Certainly, their observations on reduced levels of solar radiation for the past 2 decades - Hey, that's pretty close to 18 years, isn't it? - certainly bears as much consideration as CO2 emissions, doesn't it.
Except that government can't control the Sun. Which is ultimately what this climate change brouhaha is all about, isn't it?
What do you think?
Hi! I'm Dave Richard, your host. I hope you enjoy your visit. We'll be talking about current events, politics, the occasional sports (I'm a HUGE New England Patriots fan, so get over it), and some "Get off my lawn!" issues.