Sunday, May 1, 2016

Rhode Island Senator Wants to Use RICO Statutes Against "Climate Deniers"

This is what it must have felt like for Galileo and others in the 17th century who went against ruling orthodoxy and stated that the earth revolved around the sun and not the other way around.

In 1632, Galileo was ordered to appear before the Inquisition in Rome because of his theory about the earth and sun. He appeared before ten judges. He was ordered to refrain from "teaching or discussing" Copernicanism in any way. Publicly, Galileo recanted his beliefs that the earth moved around the sun. His sentence of imprisonment was changed to banishment. He was ordered to recite once a week for three years the seven Penitential Psalms, and he remained confined to his estate just outside Florence, where he lived until his death in 1642.

Government is again playing a role in attempting to snuff out present day non-orthodox scientific views.

Claude Walker, attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands, has issued a subpoena demanding that the Competitive Enterprise Institute cough up a decade of emails and policy work, as well as a list of private donors.

"Mr. Walker is frustrated that the free-market think tank won’t join the modern church of climatology," writes WSJ.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman started the assault last autumn with a subpoena barrage on Exxon Mobil. His demand for documents followed reports by Inside Climate News and the Los Angeles Times that claimed Exxon scientists had "known" for years that greenhouse gases cause global warming but hid the truth from the public and shareholders.

Those reports selectively quoted from Exxon documents, which in any case were publicly available and often peer-reviewed in academic journals, notesWSJ.

A WSJ editorial states:
Mr. Walker belongs to this climate prosecution club and so he unleashed his subpoena attack on CEI, as well as on DCI Group, a Washington-based PR firm that represents free-market and fossil fuel groups. His demand for a decade’s worth of papers on climate research is a form of harassment. The process is itself punishment, intended to raise the cost of speaking freely on climate policy lest it invite legal bills and other political headaches....

Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has asked the Justice Department to use the RICO statutes to bring civil cases against climate dissenters. Attorney General Loretta Lynch recently referred to the FBI a request from two Democrat Congressmen seeking a criminal probe of Exxon. Democrats on Capitol Hill have sent letters pressuring companies to disavow the Chamber of Commerce for its climate heresy.
I personally hold no view on the role of carbon dioxide on the earth's climate. I consider it an extremely complex scientific matter, where almost all who hold opinions on the subject have nowhere near the scientific and methodological understanding to form a sound opinion. That said, it is absolutely horrific for government to in any way take the position that it must play a judicial role in such a debate.

Scientific debate should be appreciated and encouraged, not suffocated by the hands of  prosecutors attempting to gain personal resume glory.

It should be kept in mind. every school child today knows the names of Copernicus and Galileo, but the names of the ten judges who sentenced Galileo have reached the black hole of history never to be retrieived.



  1. On a techical point Galileo got the sack because he continued to teach the planets going around the sun as fact not just as a theory because nobody could prove it. Everybody suspected it was true but the Church insisted on proof.

    1. Yeah, because we all know how focused the church was on proof. They considered the bible proof and mathematics theory.

    2. yes they did. how do you think we got a modern university system for instance? a lot of the stuff making the catholics look bad was written by protestants, as if they knew any better.

  2. Man made global warming is nothing more than a scheme to pass a global carbon tax. The earth warms and cools without the help of man...glaciers anyone?

    We certainly are capable of global man made climate change via nuclear war and we can be nasty polluters. The case for CO2 causing warming has completely fell apart as every single prediction made in the 90s has failed. The sun is the main driver. The "science" will never be settled on this until the govt gives up on the global tax scheme.

    1. Yep, I think RW is being coy about global warming 'cause he doesn't want the comments to devolve into "he said - she said" yawners.

  3. "Experts" have been "predicting" the future climate for many decades and they seem to always get it wrong, at least on the time frames we can observe. My money is on the climate scientists of the 1970s and that we are much more likely heading into a mini ice age. So bundle up. Man's conceit apparently knows no bounds. What the Sun does and will do totally trumps what we humans do here on Earth.

  4. Great post Robert. Love the comparison.

    As far as "personally hold no view on the role of carbon dioxide on the earth's climate"
    -I humbly recommend this episode of The Tom Woods show and then the book which it is about, The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels.

    You can skip the podcast and just get the book, but it is one of my favorite TWS episodes as well.

  5. If carbon dioxide is so bad, then why do plants rely upon it for their survival? This is the mental disconnect that is the hallmark of idiots, fools and liberals.
    The more CO2 in the atmosphere, the better it is for the flora of the world, right? In case anybody here has forgot their lessons from grammar school, plants take up CO2 and use photosynthesis via chlorophyll, along with water, to make sugars and starches. Oxygen is given off in the process as a waste, which WE need to breathe! Don't nurseries use greenhouses so the plants grow better? Sometimes they use yeast in sugar water to make additional CO2 for the plants.

    1. From a quarter to half of Earth’s vegetated lands has shown significant greening over the last 35 years largely due to rising levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide, according to a new study published in the journal Nature Climate Change on April 25.