Al Gore, Sheldon Whitehouse, Democrat AGs threaten to silence and bankrupt skeptics
Guest opinion by Paul Driessen
It’s been a rough stretch for Climate Armageddon religionists and totalitarians.
Real World science, climate and weather events just don’t support their manmade cataclysm narrative. The horrid consequences of anti-fossil fuel energy policies are increasingly in the news. And despite campaigns by the $1.5-trillion-per-year government-industry-activist-scientific Climate Crisis Consortium, Americans consistently rank global warming at the very bottom of their serious concerns.
But instead of debating their critics, or marshaling a more persuasive, evidence-based case that we really do face a manmade climate catastrophe, alarmists have ramped up their shrill rhetoric, imposed more anti-hydrocarbon edicts by executive fiat and unratified treaty – and launched RICO attacks on their critics.
Spurred on by Senator Sheldon “Torquemada” Whitehouse (D-RI), Jagadish Shukla and his RICO-20 agitators, and their comrades, 16 of the nation’s 18 Democratic attorneys general (the other 32 are Republican) announced on March 29 that they are going after those who commit the unpardonable offense of questioning “consensus” climate science.
If companies are “committing fraud,” by “knowingly deceiving” the public about the threat of man-made carbon dioxide emissions and climate change, New York AG Eric Schneiderman intoned, “we want to expose it and pursue them to the fullest extent of the law,” under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. “The First Amendment does not give you the right to commit fraud.”
Their initial target is ExxonMobil, but other companies, think tanks like CFACT and the Heartland Institute (with which I am affiliated), and even independent researchers and analysts (like myself) will be in their crosshairs – using a law intended for the Mafia. Incredibly, even United States Attorney General Loretta Lynch says her office has “discussed” similar actions and has “referred [the matter] to the FBI.”
These RICO investigations and prosecutions are chilling, unprecedented and blatantly un-American. They abuse our legal and judicial processes and obliterate the First Amendment freedom of speech rights of anyone who questions the catechism of climate cataclysm. The AGs’ actions are intended to browbeat skeptics into silence, and bankrupt them with monumental legal fees, fines and treble damages.
It is the campus “crime” of “unwelcome ideas” and “micro-aggression” on steroids. It is the inevitable result of President Obama’s determination to “fundamentally transform” the United States, ensure that electricity rates “necessarily skyrocket,” and carve his energy and climate policy legacy in granite.
Mr. O and his allies are on a mission: to rid the world of fossil fuels, replace them with “clean” biofuels (that are also carbon-based and also emit carbon dioxide when burned, but would require billions of acres of crop and habitat land) and “eco-friendly” bird-killing wind turbines and solar installations (that will require millions more acres) – and implement the goals of a dictatorial United Nations.
Former executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change Christiana Figueres put it in the bluntest terms: “We are setting ourselves the task of intentionally to change [sic] the economic development model that has been reigning for at least 150 years” – the free enterprise capitalist system. “The next world climate summit is actually an economic summit, during which the distribution of the world’s resources will be negotiated,” her UN climate crisis cohort Otmar Edendorfer added. “We will redistribute de facto the world’s wealth by climate policy.”
Thus, under the 2015 Paris climate treaty, developing nations will be under no obligation to reduce their fossil fuel use or greenhouse gas emissions. They will simply take voluntary steps, when doing so will not impair their efforts to drive economic growth and improve their people’s living standards. Meanwhile, they will be entitled to share $3 billion to $300 billion per year in “climate change adaptation, mitigation and reparation” money. In fact, Mr. Obama has already transferred $500 million in taxpayer money (illegally) from a State Department emergency fund to the UN’s Green Climate Fund.
No wonder developing nations were thrilled to sign the 2015 Paris not-a-treaty treaty.
Recent headlines portend what’s in store. EU electricity prices rise 63% over past decade. Rising energy costs, green policies threaten to kill steel industry and 4,000 to 40,000 jobs, as Tata Steel quits Britain. Thousands of Europeans lose jobs, as manufacturing moves to countries with lower energy prices. Unable to afford proper heat, 40,000 Europeans die of hypothermia during 2014 winter.
In Africa and other energy-deprived regions: Millions die in 2015 from lung and intestinal diseases – due to open cooking and heating fires, spoiled food and unsafe water, and absence of electricity.
Meanwhile, despite mandates, loan guarantees, feed-in tariffs, endangered species exemptions and other subsidies, renewable industries are barely surviving: SunEnergy, world’s largest green energy company, faces bankruptcy, as share prices fall 95% in one year. Solar company Abengoa US files for Chapter 15 bankruptcy. China stops building wind turbines, as grid is damaged and most electricity is wasted.
But Climate Crisis ruling elites pay little attention to this. They will be insulated, enriched, and protected from their decisions and deceptions – as they decide what energy, jobs, living standards and freedoms the poor, minority, blue-collar and middle classes will be permitted to have.
Equally disturbing, their drive for total control is based on a chaotic world that is totally at odds with what the rest of us see outside our windows. Even after “homogenizing” and massaging the raw data, climate alarmists can only show that global temperatures may have risen a few tenths of a degree (barely the margin of error) during the 2015 El Niño year, after 19 years of no temperature increase, following two decades of slight warming, following three decades of slight cooling and warming.
On the “extreme weather” front, tornadoes, snows, floods and droughts are no more frequent or intense than over the past century. No Category 3-5 hurricane has made US landfall in a record 125 months. Polar ice remains well within historic fluctuations, and sea levels are rising at barely seven inches per century.
Alarmists thus rely on computer models that predict even “worse catastrophes,” if global temperatures rise even 0.5 degrees C (0.8 F) more than they already have since the Little Ice Age ended and Industrial Era began. However, the models are hopelessly deficient, and totally unable to predict the climate.
They overstate the climate’s sensitivity to carbon dioxide and methane, atmospheric gases chosen because they result from fossil fuel use (and from many natural sources). They assume these two gases have become the primary forces in climate change – and ignore or downplay changing solar energy, cosmic ray and geomagnetic output; major periodic fluctuations in Pacific and North Atlantic Ocean circulation; volcanic activity; regional and planetary temperature cycles that recur over multiple decades, centuries or millennia; and other natural forces that have always driven planetary warming, cooling and weather.
The models and modelers do this because these factors and their roles in climate change are not well understood, are difficult to measure, and do not fit the “humans are at fault” meme. They compound these errors by assuming that any warming will be dangerous, rather than beneficial for people and agriculture.
These oversights can be characterized as careless, recklessly negligent, or even “knowingly deceitful” and fraudulent. So can “nine inconvenient untruths” that a United Kingdom judge highlighted in Al Gore’s infamous fake-documentary movie – and Mr. Gore’s recent claim that atmospheric CO2 is fueling Zika outbreaks. Likewise for James Hansen’s repeated assertion that sea levels could rise “several meters” (117 inches) over the next century, and the bogus studies behind the phony “97% consensus” claims.
Can you picture the cabal of AGs filing RICO actions in these cases? If you want the facts, and a few chuckles about climate alarmism, see the Climate Hustle movie, coming May 2 to a theater near you.