Opposition grows to liberal AGs targeting global warming skeptics

The opposition to investigations targeting of global warming skeptics is growing as newspapers, scientists and red state attorneys general come out against liberal prosecutors looking to silence those they believe to be misleading the public on climate science.

“Climate change campaigners argue the seriousness of the issue Daily Caller  New Foundationmeans extreme measures are warranted, but the exact opposite is the case,” reads a recent Financial Times editorial in opposition to investigations by liberal attorneys general into ExxonMobil and others.

“It is precisely because the stakes are so high that all arguments must be heard. The actions by the attorney-generals can only degrade the quality of that debate,” wrote FT’s editorial board.

The Financial Times isn’t alone in their opposition into climate investigations started by New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, a Democrat. The U.K.-based paper joins a growing chorus of critics to Schneiderman’s “witch hunt” — the mantle of which has now been taken up by AGs in California, Massachusetts and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Dr. Roger Pielke, Jr. joined FT in condemning liberal AGs’ probes into Exxon’s global warming stance, which have also ensared a libertarian think tank and a right-leaning PR firm. Pielke, no skeptic of global warming, researched climate issues until Democratic lawmakers targeted him in their own investigation in 2015. After that, he largely stopped publishing on climate.

Judith Curry, a climate scientist at Georgia Tech University, joined Pielke in condemning government prosecutors going after skeptics and oil companies for disagreements over science. Curry is a well-respected scientist and prominent skeptic of catastrophic man-made global warming.

Schneiderman and other state AGs recently held an event where they coordinated with top environmentalists on how to go about promoting federal global warming regulations and further their investigation into Exxon’s alleged misleading of the public on global warming.

It was in the wake of that meeting that Virgin Islands AG Claude Walked issued a subpoena to the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), a libertarian think tank, for its alleged ties to Exxon. Walker’s subpoena asked for 20 years of records from CEI, which the think tank is challenging in court.

“Court rulings make it clear that broad subpoenas aimed at restricting speech, especially in the context of policy debates, are invalid,” CEI president Kent Lassman and counsel Sam Kazman wrote in a Washington Post oped. “Time and again, the Supreme Court has held that the remedy for unwanted speech is more speech in response.”

“The chief law-enforcement officers of several states should know better, but their reaction to a dissenting policy position is punitive, coercive and unconstitutional,” they wrote.

Schneiderman’s and Walker’s investigations were prompted by reports by InsideClimate News and Columbia University alleging Exxon was misleading the public about global warming. Reports claim to show Exxon knew oil production would make global warming worse, but continued to conduct business and fund groups skeptical of global warming regulations.

InsideClimate and Columbia reports are meant to draw parallels between fossil fuel companies and the tobacco industry. In 1999, the federal government filed suit against tobacco companies, which eventually led to a conviction and millions of dollars in fines.

Democratic politicians and environmentalists have been calling for the Department of Justice (DOJ) to launch a Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO, investigation into groups they see as casting doubt on the theory of catastrophic global warming.

RICO is what the DOJ used to go after the tobacco industry for misleading the public about the dangers of smoking. Now, Democrats and activists want this law, created to take down organized crime rackets, to prosecute their political opponents.

Republican attorneys general have come out against investigations into skeptics, and constitutional lawyers have cautioned that these probes could be used to restrict free speech.

“Democrats — in the US the climate debate has become rigidly partisan — might applaud the attorney-generals’ actions now, but would be appalled if similar tactics were used by Republican officials in debates over abortion or gun control,” wrote FT’s editorial board.

“Opponents of action on climate change have also used the law to harass their opponents, for example in the investigation into the University of Virginia launched by the state’s attorney-general in 2010, but that is no defence. It is not in anyone’s interest for such tactics to be legitimised,” the editorial board wrote.

Follow Michael on Facebook and Twitter

This article originally appeared in The Daily Caller

Categories

About the Author: Michael Bastasch

Michael Bastasch writes on energy, climate and the environment for the Daily Caller.

  • Colleen

    http://nypost.com/2016/02/15/the-supreme-court-sided-with-science-against-obama/ they can’t prove carbon is the reason for temperature change, matter of fact temperature drives carbon not the other way around. Look it up. However we can prove their climate scams are harmful to the public. Wind turbines cause health issues, both solar and wind are harmful for wildlife, both solar and wind are financial nightmares requiring subsidies and still need fosil fuels for back up as they are unreliable and produce little of the required energy. Also to manufacture and transport a wind turbine will cause more co2 then it will save in its lifetime. All across Europe the wind and solar industry is failing and going bankrupt, yet these climate change radicals still push their agendas. I say turn the tables and start suing them for damages against the people in many forms. Intentionally causing health issues, killing wildlife as previously mentioned, but there is also fraud, misappropriation of funds, wilful blindness. They collect a carbon tax but can’t use it to lower carbon emissions as there is nothing we can do to effect change of more than .0001%. In Alberta notley even asked the constituents if we wanted to use it for teachers pensions or pay down the debt. That is fraud collecting for one reason and using for another. Carbon is plant food not pollution. If they would stop dumping sewage in the oceans and rivers we may believe they actually cared about the environment. But it is all about the money. Check out how much both Gore and Suzuki make in this business. Check out what they invest in and where they live.

    • Greg Henry

      You seem to care about wildlife and want a clean or at least a sewage-free environment yet you blindly support fossil fuels. An interesting contrast.

  • Dano2

    It is a big fat fib to assert anyone is targeting GW septics.

    No one is stupid enough to fall for it. Not even after this campaign of endless repetition drones on for months.

    Best,

    D

    • CTConservatives47

      You are delusional. The efforts by Democrat AGs is a matter of fact, as are the continued efforts by Senator Sheldon “Witless” Whitehouse to enlist Roberta Lynch in an effort to prosecute Exxon and skeptics under the RICO statutes. Whitehouse’s urging that Lynch do just that was televised. These people are the new fascists, attempting to stifle dissent from their scientifically illiterate posturing on the issue. To think this is all about a brief period of warming (1978-1997) that amounted to about threre-tenths of a degree Celsius, and that no one can prove is related to carbon dioxide. Anyone who can isolate the effects of CO2 in our vastly complex climate system is just playing totalitarian politics. Even if we were grant, for the sake of argument, that CO2 is responsible for 20% of that brief period of warming, that would amount to about .06 degrees. It is just further proof that “liberalism” is a mental disorder.

      • Dano2

        No one is targeting the denialist in the street, posting on FB or the tweeters. You were duped. Or fibbing cuz work for a law firm looking to game the coming wave of lawsuits.

        Best,

        D

    • Brin Jenkins

      REPETITION? lefties know all about 40k repetitions equaling one truth. Just explain why this is so and we might understand why you are fixated on C02 being a pollutant rather than a plant food.

      So far you have just repeat your dogma and creed.

      • Dano2

        Plant food! Drink!

        And everyone else is smart enough to see the rhetorical tactic of conflation. Not working on the rest of us.

        best,

        D

  • CTConservatives47

    Going to see “Climate Hustle” on Monday and telling all my friends. Way to go, CFACT!

  • Paullitely

    Went to see Climate Hustle last night… Finally the inconvenience truth as an answer to the inconvenient truth

  • Paullitely

    Dont listen to Posers who cannot comprehend science (or math?) Lording it over others by the power vested in peer pressure.