Essay by Eric Worrall
Could voicing support for a climate skeptic position land you with a million dollar fine, if Biden’s “RESTRICT Act” is passed?
Section 3 C of the act appears to give the Attorney General the power to declare receiving news from overseas sources off limits to US Citizens.
In General.—The Secretary, in consultation with the relevant executive department and agency heads, is authorized to and shall take action to identify, deter, disrupt, prevent, prohibit, investigate, or otherwise mitigate, including by negotiating, entering into, or imposing, and enforcing any mitigation measure to address any risk arising from any covered transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States that the Secretary determines … coercive or criminal activities by a foreign adversary that are designed to undermine democratic processes and institutions or steer policy and regulatory decisions in favor of the strategic objectives of a foreign adversary to the detriment of the national security of the United States, as determined in coordination with the Attorney General, the Director of National Intelligence, the Secretary of Treasury, and the Federal Election Commission; or
(2) otherwise poses an undue or unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States or the safety of United States persons.Read more: https://www.congress.gov/bill/118th-congress/senate-bill/686/text?s=1&r=15
The Biden Administration frequently defines climate skepticism as disinformation.
The head of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) and Deputy Assistant to the President Dr. Alondra Nelsonapplauded the roundtable participants for providing knowledge which will help to inform and accelerate federal climate action, and cited their work as an example of the value of combining social science with physical science:
Now, given the realities of climate change and global warming — including the rigor and soundness of the science, and the increasing evidence of its impacts — one could be tempted to ask, “what’s taken so long?” That brings us to another reality, which this group knows better than most: that there have been for decades, and still are, forces arrayed against the cause of climate action — running the gamut from self-interest and short-term thinking, to deliberate disinformation campaigns that are as insidious as they are invidious.”
In closing remarks, White House Senior Advisor Neera Tanden said, “It’s clear that a variety of special interests have had a vested interest in sowing doubt on climate change and feeding denialism and delay. We need to confront that reality. However, despite this organized campaign, a strong majority of the country wants climate action because they understand the consequences of inaction.” …Read more: https://www.whitehouse.gov/ostp/news-updates/2022/02/25/readout-of-white-house-climate-science-roundtable-on-countering-delayism-and-communicating-the-urgency-of-climate-action/
What kinds of penalties are in store for people caught violating the RESTRICT Act?
(1) IN GENERAL.—A person who willfully commits, willfully attempts to commit, or willfully conspires to commit, or aids or abets in the commission of an unlawful act described in subsection (a) shall, upon conviction, be fined not more than $1,000,000, or if a natural person, may be imprisoned for not more than 20 years, or both.Read more: https://www.congress.gov/bill/118th-congress/senate-bill/686/text?s=1&r=15
I’m not a lawyer, so maybe I have misinterpreted the act. But falling afoul of this act does not appear to require that a crime be committed, all that the act appears to require is a “transaction”, the transmission of information or use of a communication device which the Biden Administration determines is a threat to national security. And there seems little doubt the Biden Administration considers climate skepticism to be a serious threat to national security, going by communiques from the White House on the subject.
Obviously this bill, if passed, would affect a lot more than climate skepticism. In my opinion it would have a chilling effect on all forms of online free speech.
Putting the worst plausible reading of a bill as a starting point is probably being optimistic.
Looks like using a cannon to shoot Tik Tok. Same as using a Sidewinder missile to shoot down a Chinese balloon. But a total control as a side effect brings us much closer to 1930s Germany.
Many Republicans in Congress are reacting very negatively to this bill.
I don’t think it is going to fly.
Many Republicans… boy, that’s not very reassuring! All Republicans and 80% of Democrats should be reacting very negatively.
Excuse me a moment. There, I just had to pick myself up off the floor I was laughing so hard.
Famous Last words when referring to the Republican Body of Politicians “I don’t think [Fill in any evil legislation authored by the Leftist Central Authoritarian State Here] is going to fly” Which is often uttered right before the free folk are flattened by bureaucratic overreach as our Judicial system looks the other way.
Tom you might has well have said Hey the Republicans in Congress have a great sieve to plug that liberties hole. Kiss them goodbye.
I think there is a new breed of Republican in Congress. I don’t know if there are enough of them to make the difference.
We still have some of the Old Guard Republican Congresscritters that don’t seem to be able to see the danger the radical Democrats and their agenda pose for the United States.
Unfortunately, most of these Old Guard Republicans are in the U.S. Senate which gives the radical Democrats a leg up on their communist agenda.
They’ll only be offering the most conclusive proof of their vision and their desire for total power over us in this crushing blow to free speech. And even if this comes to pass, the majority who voted for him will think it’s fine.
“…majority who voted for him….”
Yeh, more votes than Obama!
The Party apparently believes in resurrection?
Headline: North Korean teenagers ‘executed for watching TV shows from South’
Note of desperation here?
“Could voicing support for a climate skeptic position land you with a million dollar fine, if Biden’s “RESTRICT Act” is passed?”
they have something like this in Russia- if you complain about the war, you get sent to the front! They recently arrested a teen age girl for some innocuous comment about the war on social media – then arrested her father for being a bad father. Somehow she managed to escape and get to Lithuania. They accused her of being a terrorist. The Russians are getting almost as crazy as climate alarmists. 🙂
Totalitarians can’t afford to be seen as weak. The worse the war goes for Putin, the more he has to crack down on the population to prevent any possibility of individuals organizing against him.
Yeah, but it looks like Joe Biden’s Admin is trying do the same thing!
That’s fine, lock me up.
No bills to pay, 3 square a day, warm room, free TV – what’s not to like, in the winter anyway.
Are you Pajama Boy?
I had no idea what you were talking about so had to look it up.
The answer is no, and please can you, or someone, explain the comment ‘cos I don’t understand it.
S.686 is scary, and unconstitutional, on many levels. The CCP will be dancing in the streets if this bill passes as it is potentially more draconian than their own restrictions. Scarier yet is that it is supported by both parties and the Whitehouse.
I seem to recall reading somewhere (Maybe the Bill of Rights?) that should prevent this.
SCOTUS isn’t bound to only rule after a suit has gone through the lower courts. This is so blatant a violation that that should rule before the ink dries from Brandon’s pen.
(If it ever reaches his Hospital Chair!)
SCOTUS can actually initiate a case on its own?
There is nothing in the constitution that would prevent someone from bringing a case directly to the supreme court.
Don’t rely on SCOTUS. I remember when they ruled in favor of Obama Care. It seemed pretty obvious that requiring people to purchase health insurance would be no more Constitutional than requiring them to buy, say, a pizza. Turns out, it was no problem for SCOTUS to justify the penalty for not buying health insurance as just another tax.
You have your facts wrong. SCOTUS declared that only Congress can make or change tax law and SCOTUS cannot. That was the correct position. It just took Congress several years to zero out the tax.
Now you can argue that it wasn’t a tax in the first place, but that is different. Once SCOTUS ruled it a tax, their position was in accordance with the separation of powers.
as a tax, did it come from the house of representatives?
‘Now you can argue that it wasn’t a tax in the first place, but that is different.’
Actually, that was the Obama administration’s point, which they maintained in order to ease passage through Congress. So it was ironic of SCOTUS to have rescued the legislation by arguing its opponents position.
The point I should have made, above, is that relying on SCOTUS to protect us against Federal overreach is akin to clutching at straws. This is because there is a huge gulf between the body of Constitutional Law, as it has evolved over time, and the meaning of the Constitution itself, as it was presented by those who argued in favor of its ratification.
Cynics could say that health insurance didn’t exist back then. However does anyone really think that the Constitution would have been ratified, or that the newly formed Federal government would have long survived, if had become apparent to the people of the States that they could now be forced to either buy a cow or pay a penalty for not doing so?
‘So it was ironic of SCOTUS to have rescued the legislation by arguing its opponents position.‘
that was roberts. betraying all usa citizens by temporarily playing legislator. piece of …..stuff
The courts are reactive, not proactive. Someone with standing has to start the ball rolling.
The US continues to lead.
Looks like freedom of speech has its price.
Dollars are preferable to sacks of Siberian salt.
“I’m not a lawyer, so maybe I have misinterpreted the act. But falling afoul of this act does not appear to require that a crime be committed, all that the act appears to require is a “transaction”, the transmission of information or use of a communication device which the Biden Administration determines is a threat to national security. And there seems little doubt the Biden Administration considers climate skepticism to be a serious threat to national security, going by communiques from the White House on the subject.”
Prepare yourself, the thought police are coming. You don’t to think for yourself about what is and isn’t true regarding the climate — Orwellian Big Brother does that for you.
“War is peace
Freedom is slavery
Ignorance is strength”
it’s starting to sound like the Spanish Inquisition
No-one expects the Spanish Inquisition.
At this point I think everyone expects the Spanish Inquisition. It’s the Scandanavian Inquisition nobody expects.
Let them ban tik tok. It is a Chinese spy platform. I am reasonably comfortable with the first amendment.
Yes, let them ban Tik Tok. But that’s not what this bill is about, is it?
The Restrict Act has no chance of passing Congress. And if it somehow were to, would be struck by SCOTUS as a clear violation of the first Amendment.
What is so frightening is that it actually got proposed by Congress, and cosponsored by Sen. Lindsay Graham, who Jesse Watters exposed last night on US national television. Was not a good,look for Miss Lindsay.
You have a lot more confidence in our courts than I do. Chief Justice Roberts is political. He will vote with the left just to show the court isn’t political.
We just can’t rely on the courts to do the right thing.
“He will vote with the left just to show the court isn’t political.”
Maybe- but only if he can think up a reasonable opinion to justify it- he would probably be the one write it. I bet he’s concerned with his legacy so he’s more likely to bend to the left for an easy one- not this one.
If he rules by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights (and the amendments), we’re fine. If he rules by his opinion and finds a “precedent” to justify it, not so fine.
I remember when even Mitt Romney appeared to be a Conservative. But he’s never been more than an “Obama-Lite”. (I think “Obama Care” was modeled after what he did in Massachusetts?)
Lindsay Graham has stood at times and caved at times. He’s usually shined in the Left-Dem darkness.
(“Massachusetts”. Can anybody spell that right on the first try? 😎
“What is so frightening is that it actually got proposed by Congress, and cosponsored by Sen. Lindsay Graham, who Jesse Watters exposed last night on US national television. Was not a good,look for Miss Lindsay.”
No, it wasn’t a good look for Graham. He did end up doing a lot of back pedaling.
I didn’t see Waters’ exposé the other night so I don’t know what he covered. But, Sen. Graham probably had as much impact on the last election as anyone when he proposed a federal bill to outlaw abortion. Before that the general position proposed by most Republicans was that abortion belonged to the states and each state could support it or outlaw it at their choosing. When Sen. Graham came out with his proposal to make it federal he caused many women to change their vote to Democratic.
I think you might be correct. The abortion issue may have brought out a lot of Democrat voters who might not have voted except for that issue.
Something has to explain why American voters put the same people (Democrats) back into office that have been killing the American economy since 2020.
By all rights, it should have been an overwhelming victory for the Republcans. But it wasn’t. Why? It might have been the abortion issue.
Now, that this issue is in the past, maybe the voters will start focusing on the U.S. economy and the damage the radical Democrats have done to it, and the personal finances of ordinary people.
Brandon can’t introduce a bill. He needs someone in the Senate or the House to do it for him.
Who introduced it for him?
Sen.Mark Warner. With now 24 bipartisan cosponsors including Graham.
March 15th has passed but, how many stabs were delivered to Caesar?
Things are not much better in Canada:
Trudeau’s Battle Against a Free Internet
Somebody said not long ago that Canadians needed to enhance their internet skills. That sound like good advice.
Trudeau is a threat to the personal freedoms of Canadians. There is a dictator behind that mask he wears.
Wait a minute
– or has that been discussed earlier and I didn’t remember it ?
Supernova Rates and Burial of Organic Matter
Life on Earth appears to have evolved under the influence of supernovae activity in the solar neighborhood. Supernovae frequency regulates the flux of cosmic ray particles arriving at the top of the Earth’s atmosphere, where empirical evidence supports a close connection between cosmic rays, clouds, and climate. Burial of organic matter in marine sediments follows cosmic rays variations for more than 3.5 Gyr and in detail during the last 500 Myr. The supernovae link to the burial of organic matter may be due to climate-induced changes in the atmospheric and oceanic circulation affecting the availability of nutrients and the bioproductivity in the oceans. A higher bioproductivity then leads to a more extensive burial of organic matter. Support for this scenario comes from a proxy of nutrient concentrations in the ocean which covaries with the supernovae frequency. The results suggest a fundamental connection between supernovae rates and life on Earth.
From the article: “That brings us to another reality, which this group knows better than most: that there have been for decades, and still are, forces arrayed against the cause of climate action”
And that would be because for decades there has been no evidence produced which requires humans to take any action on the climate.
There is no evidence that CO2 can change the climate, no matter how much of it humans put in the atmosphere.
The problem for these climate change alarmists is when skeptics say “where’s the evidence”, the alarmists have no answer, and so the alarmist want to shut up the skeptics so the the public doesn’t find out that the alarmists don’t know what they are talking about.
You dangerous subversive you, don’t you know demanding evidence from a climate scientist is a terrorist act, a threat to national security?
It’s my favorite pastime. 🙂
It gets kind of ridiculous because they never have an answer. And that’s because there is no evidence they can offer, and they know it, otherwise they would be all over me and others who request they prove their case. So alarmists have to hold their tongue.
Perhaps the silence of the alarmists will clue in those who are trying to understand the CO2/Climate Change situation. What the public should learn from the silence is that the climate alarmists don’t have the answers they claim to have and their silence proves it.
The key to climate science is to be able to tell the difference between evidence and speculation. All the climate change alarmists have is the basic greenhouse gas theory, which is not, in and of itself, dangerous or frightening, and a ton of unsubstantiated speculation built up on top of it.
No alarmist will contradict what I just wrote. We will have more silence from them.
The reason “where’s the evidence” is may favorite pastime, is because back in the 1970’s when I was reading about Human-caused Global Cooling in Scientific American and other publications, I noticed that this narrative was all assumptions and no evidence.
At first, I thought this must just be an oversight on the part of an author or two, but as time went along I realized these people didn’t have the evidence to back up their claims.
And I wanted to complain about it. But this was in the 1970’s, before the Internet, so I had no outlet for my frustrations with what I was seeing.
Now, I have an outlet for my frustrations: WUWT. An outlet that the authors of these terrrible climate change articles just might read, and then they just might read my criticisms of their claims. And that makes me very happy! Thanks, WUWT! Thanks, Internet! 🙂
I sure did want to blister the ears of those Global Cooling advocates. I got so frustrated with them presenting speculation as established fact that I cancelled my subscription to Scientific American and other science publications because of the lies they were putting out. And they are still putting out lies, only this time they are claiming humans are overheating the Earth. Again, without any corroborating evidence.
But now they are going to hear about it.
I don’t think it’s as big a deal as you make it. Probably not a big deal at all in fact.
First, Donald Trump, much as I loved what he did as President and his willingness to fight back against Democrats and the bureaucratic state (but I repeat myself), says provocative things all the time, some of which turn out to be not exactly as he describes. This is one of them.
Second, you are conflating two unrelated things: the RESTRICT Act and a White House meeting about climate change messaging that has nothing to do with the RESTRICT Act and never mentions it.
Third, the act has some very clear and constrained definitions. For example:
“Foreign Adversary” is clearly defined in Sec. 2 (8)
any foreign government or regime, determined by the Secretary, pursuant to sections 3 and 5, to have engaged in a long-term pattern or serious instances of conduct significantly adverse to the national security of the United States or the security and safety of United States persons and includes:
-Venezuela under the regime of Nicolás Maduro
Sec. 3 (a) (2) could appear to be problematic unless you read it in context with its preface. Here they are concatenated together:
“The Secretary, blah blah blah… shall take action to identify, deter, disrupt, prevent, prohibit, investigate, or otherwise mitigate, including by negotiating, entering into, or imposing, and enforcing any mitigation measure to address any risk arising from any covered transaction by any person, or with respect to any property, subject to the jurisdiction of the United States that the Secretary determines—otherwise poses an undue or unacceptable risk to the national security of the United States or the safety of United States persons.”
“Covered Transaction” is also clearly defined in Sec. 2 (4)
It means a transaction by a company that has any “interest” in (and/or a contract to provide a technology or service to) any foreign adversary (see above), or any entity (company) under the jurisdiction of, or organized under the laws of, a foreign adversary.
What it means in plain language is the government can go after foreign adversaries and their affiliated organizations and the technology or data services they provide that pose an undue or unacceptable risk to the national security of the U.S. or the safety of its citizens.
It’s safe to say that Democrats will try at some point to twist the well-defined meaning of the act to include domestic organizations and “climate” or other “disinformation” that they don’t like but they will be subject to court challenges because the source must be entities that are…wait for it…foreign adversaries.
And it is long past time that our government got serious about Chinese espionage in the U.S. As for Russian “interference” in our elections? Not so much (yet) since they amount to no perceptible effect on election outcomes.
Think you are right. The Bill has nothing to do with climate, doesn’t mention it once. Does not mention disinformation either. The climate meeting does not seem to have had anything to do with the Bill.
The climate pronoucements are idiotic of course and should be rebutted on their merits. But this piece shows a rather unfortunate recent trend here: rushing to wild alarmist conclusions from no real evidence, and connecting events which show no signs of being related.
If it were true that there is a connection between Bill and Climate Meetings and alleged disinformation, that would indeed be interesting and ominous. But there is zero evidence of any such link and its very misleading to treat the two in this way,
thanks for pointing this out. I don’t like to see a false narrative propagated no matter where where or who it comes from.
Even if the worst reading of this bill turns out to be fiction, our younger comrades want us placed in jail for questioning their religion.
This religious takeover of science and freedom is exactly how civilization was brought so low in the Middle Ages.
I’m reminded of the poor Russian father who was sent to hard labor because his daughter went to school and created a drawing that reflected his views on the invasion of Ukraine.
We are now in an age when “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” are considered hallmarks of white supremacy. They know the climate isn’t changing in any meaningful manner and CO2 is not a major trigger.
This is really about enlarging the government and enforcing equity – every individual is reduced to the lowest common denominator and every member of the ruling party in government lives like kings.
If this happens, our leaders are no less evil than Putin and Kim Jong Un.
Thank you for covering this subject. You remain the best climate end energy reporter on the internet — I read 24 climate and energy articles every day — that’s a big complement.
I could only find two articles on RESTRICT Act to recommend on Thursday, after being alerted by Tucker Carlson on Wednesday night.
RESTRICT is yet another step toward totalitarianism in the US.
A journey that led me to make only my third prediction since 1997, and it is a sad prediction. Climate change was the start of that journey toward totalitarianism. Here’s what I wrote about the destination:
Honest Climate Science and Energy Blog: America’s decent towards totalitarianism continues