In the wake of Al Gore’s recent speech to the South by Southwest Festival in Austin, Texas, attention is being focused on the increasing trend among global warming activists to want to punish those who disagree with the concept of a manmade climate change.
“We need to put a price on carbon to accelerate these market trends,” Gore told the attendees, referring to a proposed federal cap-and-trade system that would penalize companies which exceed their carbon-emission limits. “And in order to do that, we need to put a price on denial in politics.”
Gore was merely echoing a growing worldwide movement to not merely dismiss, but to actively seek out and penalize, those with opposing opinions on the issue.
Environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy Jr. lamented that there were no current laws on the books to punish global-warming skeptics.
“I wish there were a law you could punish them with. I don’t think there is a law that you can punish those politicians under,” he said in a September 2014 interview with Climate Depot.
Nor is Kennedy the first to want to prosecute those who argue against the “consensus” of manmade climate change.
“Those denialists should face jail. They should face fines,” wrote Adam Weinstein, staff writer with Gawker.com. “They should face lawsuits from the classes of people whose lives and livelihoods are most threatened by denialist tactics. … [I]f you are actively trying to deny people the tools they need to inform themselves, to protect themselves against a scientifically proven threat to life and limb, you shouldn’t be part of the debate. You should be punished for your self-serving malice.”
On May 19, 2014, “PBS’ ‘Moyers & Company’ played a clip of scientist, David Suzuki, calling for politicians skeptical of man-made climate change to ‘be thrown in the slammer,'” reported NewsBusters. “[One] day later, a tweet by well-known alarmist Michael Mann suggested that skepticism could be a ‘crime against humanity.’ As least far back as 2006, and as recently as March 2014, liberal journalists and radical scientists have advocated punishing people who doubt catastrophic, man-made climate change.”
As Gore’s speech confirms, activists are still calling for punitive measures against skeptics. Some have termed this trend the New Inquisition.
An extreme example came in 2012 from Richard Parncutt, a professor at the University of Graz in Austria, who called for the death penalty as “an appropriate punishment for influential GW deniers” because “they are already causing the deaths of hundreds of millions of future people.”
“I don’t think that mass murderers of the usual kind … should face the death penalty,” wrote Parncutt on his personal pages at the University of Graz website. “Nor do I think tobacco denialists are guilty enough to warrant the death penalty, in spite of the enormous number of deaths that resulted more or less directly from tobacco denialism. GW is different. With high probability it will cause hundreds of millions of deaths. For this reason I propose that the death penalty is appropriate for influential GW deniers. More generally, I propose that we limit the death penalty to people whose actions will with a high probability cause millions of future deaths.”
Parncutt later retracted the statement and removed it from the university website. To its credit, the university said it was “shocked and appalled by the article and rejects its arguments entirely,” and issued an apology.
Militant climate change alarmists are backed by the mainstream media, most educational institutions (K-12 through university level) and powerful lobbies in Congress. These formidable allies control most prevailing information disseminated to the public, and use smear tactics to silence dissent. Critics of manmade climate change face professional and personal slander that can affect careers, funding and reputations.
“The climate activists are frustrated,” Marc Morano, former staff of U.S. Senate Environmental and Public Works Committee and founder of the skeptical blog Climate Depot, said in an interview with WND. “The global warming activists think they can achieve victory if they silence their critics. When anyone challenges their assumptions, conclusions or claims, they want to silence, intimidate, bully and eliminate their opposition.”
“CEOs of energy companies are being accused of crimes against humanity,” he said. “This is the atmosphere we’re dealing with. Climate activists are attempting to silence the voice of prominent scientists who dissent on global warming; and if they can’t silence them, they attempt to discredit them.”
Global-warming skeptics may be denied funding, or their professional credentials are questioned if they don’t fall in line with the alleged consensus. On Feb. 24, University of Colorado climate expert Dr. Roger Pielke Jr. became the subject of investigation when U.S. Rep. Raúl Grijalva, D-Ariz., ranking member of the House of Representatives Committee on Environment and Natural Resources, sent a letter to the president of the university.
“I know with complete certainty that this investigation is a politically motivated ‘witch hunt’ designed to intimidate me (and others) and to smear my name,” wrote Pielke. “[T]he congressman and his staff, along with compliant journalists, are busy characterizing me in public as a ‘climate skeptic’ opposed to action on climate change. This, of course, is a lie. I have written a book calling for a carbon tax, I have publicly supported President Obama’s proposed EPA carbon regulations, and I have just published another book strongly defending the scientific assessment of the IPCC with respect to disasters and climate change. All of this is public record, so the smears against me must be an intentional effort to delegitimize my academic research.”
Pielke’s crime was to testify before the Senate that it is “incorrect to associate the increasing costs of disasters with the emission of greenhouse gases.”
“Congressman Grijalva doesn’t have any evidence of any wrongdoing on my part, either ethical or legal, because there is none,” wrote Pielke. “He simply disagrees with the substance of my testimony – which is based on peer-reviewed research funded by the U.S. taxpayer, and which also happens to be the consensus of the IPCC. … The incessant attacks and smears are effective, no doubt, I have already shifted all of my academic work away from climate issues.”
Morano rejects the claim that 97 percent of scientists are in consensus on manmade global warming.
“A U.N. climate panel lead author’s own investigation found that the 97 percent number is literally ‘pulled from thin air,'” he said. “If you look at the numbers, what you see is 97 percent of scientific studies don’t challenge global warming for the simple reason they did not address the cause of warming, and instead assumed the premise of CO2 driving temperatures to be true, and then looked at potential impacts. But these scientists and studies still become part of the ‘consensus.’ It’s an exercise in group-think and self-reinforcement.”
Climate-change activists often attempt to smear skeptics by tying their opponents’ interests to big oil or other boogeymen. However a hard look at funding numbers reveals global warming critics usually survive on a shoestring, whereas climate-change proponents have massive budgets through foundation grants, U.N. funding, support from international organizations and other support structures.
“There is a big new 92-page minority staff Senate report on ‘the billionaires club’ that funnels money through labyrinthine mechanisms and sophisticated tax loopholes to conceal the source of the funding,” reports JoNova. “[A] dominant organization in this movement is Sea Change Foundation, a private California foundation, which relies on funding from a foreign company with undisclosed donors. In turn, Sea Change funnels tens of millions of dollars to other large but discreet foundations and prominent environmental activists who strive to control both policy and politics.”
“The real question,” noted Morano, “is how a small disorganized group of skeptics scattered around the world managed to derail and inflict so much damage to the well-organized and well-funded global warming activists. The fact is, they’re afraid. They’re afraid the skeptics will derail their objectives.”
These objectives are the U.N. Climate Treaty, the EPA climate regulations and to a lesser extent the 2016 elections.
“The activists are trying to bully Republicans into silence whenever they dare to challenge the so-called consensus,” said Morano. “If a Republican makes any statement not in line with Al Gore or the U.N., they’re attacked in the media and portrayed as buffoons. Climate activists know from history that intimidation is a very effective tool. Climate activists also know that if a Republican wins the presidency in 2016, any potential U.N. Climate Treaty and the EPA climate regulations may face dismantling.”