Despite no rise in average global temperature for nearly two decades, some two dozen scientists with major U.S. universities are urging President Obama to use RICO laws to prosecute opponents who deny mankind is causing catastrophic changes in the climate.
That's the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which can put people in jail.
In a letter addressed to Obama, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and Office of Science and Technology Policy Director John Holdren, the scientists said they "appreciate that you are making aggressive and imaginative use of the limited tools available to you in the face of a recalcitrant Congress."
"One additional tool – recently proposed by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse – is a RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) investigation of corporations and other organizations that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change, as a means to forestall America's response to climate change," they wrote, according to Politico.
The scientists said their critics' actions have been documented in various publications.
"The methods of these organizations are quite similar to those used earlier by the tobacco industry. A RICO investigation (1999 to 2006) played an important role in stopping the tobacco industry from continuing to deceive the American people about the dangers of smoking," the scientists said.
"If corporations in the fossil fuel industry and their supporters are guilty of the misdeeds that have been documented in books and journal articles, it is imperative that these misdeeds be stopped as soon as possible so that America and the world can get on with the critically important business of finding effective ways to restabilize the Earth's climate, before even more lasting damage is done," they said.
Whitehouse lobbied for the extremist response in a commentary in the Washington Post last year.
He wrote that the "parallels between what the tobacco industry did and what the fossil fuel industry is doing now are striking."
He noted the tobacco industry "joined together in a common enterprise and coordinated strategy."
"The fossil fuel industry, its trade associations and the conservative policy institutes that often do the industry's dirty work met at the Washington office of the American Petroleum Institute," the senator said.
"A memo from that meeting that was leaked to the New York Times documented their plans for a multimillion-dollar public relations campaign to undermine climate science and to raise 'questions among those (e.g. Congress) who chart the future U.S. course on global climate change.'"
At that point, Whitehouse admitted to a lack of evidence.
"To be clear: I don't know whether the fossil fuel industry and its allies engaged in the same kind of racketeering activity as the tobacco industry. We don't have enough information to make that conclusions. ... But there's an awful lot of smoke," he wrote.
Climate expert Marc Morano at Climate Depot said such threats weren't new.
Morano cited Robert F. Kennedy Jr.'s threat to "jail" his opponents, accusing the Koch brothers of "treason" over the issue.
The "warmist" Gawker website, Morano pointed out, wrote: "Arrest Climate-Change Deniers."
In 2009, he noted, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman accused congressmen who voted against climate cap-and-trade bill of "treason against the planet."
The threats have been more that just for legal prosecution and punishment, Morano reported.
"On June 5, 2009, Joe Romm of Climate Progress defended a posting on his website warning that climate skeptics would be strangled in bed for rejecting the view that we face a man-made climate crisis," Climate Depot reported. "'An entire generation will soon be ready to strangle you and your kind while you sleep in your beds,' warned the message posted on Climate Progress," he wrote.
Romm later insisted it was "not a threat but a prediction," Climate Depot said.
Climate Depot posted: "The warmists have it exactly backwards. It is the global warming proponents who are guilty of the tobacco tactics."
Blogger Steven Goddard at Real Science cited information from the National Snow and Ice Data Center in Boulder, Colorado, showing the Arctic ice mass, as of Sept. 7, is substantially bigger than it was in September 2012.
"Nobel Prize winning climate experts and journalists tell us that the Arctic is ice-free, because they are propagandists pushing an agenda, not actual scientists or journalists," he said.
In the past three years, he pointed out, the Arctic ice mass "has gained hundreds of miles ... much of which is thick, multi-year ice."
WND long has reported the predictions of an ice-free Arctic by scientists who believe mankind is causing global warming.
But in just last few winters, Cairo saw its first snow in 100 years. And Oregon, like several other states, reached its coldest temperature in 40 years. Chicago saw the coldest days ever recorded, and – as if to add finality to the trend – Antarctica reached the coldest temperature ever recorded anywhere on earth.
The holes in the theories that form the basis of ice-free Arctic forecasts are evident.
For example, London's Independent newspaper declared at the turn of the millennium "Snowfalls are now just a thing of the past." The report quoted David Viner, senior research scientist at the Climatic Research Unit of the University of East Anglia, long considered an authoritative resource for global warming research, saying snow would soon be "a very rare and exciting event" in Britain.
"Children just aren't going to know what snow is," he claimed at the time.
Former vice president and current carbon-credit entrepreneur Al Gore told an audience in a 2009 speech that "the entire north polar ice cap during some of the summer months could be completely ice-free within the next five to seven years." And his 2006 documentary "An Inconvenient Truth" famously predicted increasing temperatures would cause earth's oceans to rise by 20 feet, a claim many scientists say is utterly without rational basis.
A 2013 column by Mark Hertsgaard was headlined: "The End of the Arctic? Ocean Could be Ice Free by 2015."
He wrote: "Say goodbye to polar bears and a whole lot of ice. New research suggests the Arctic Ocean could be ice-free by 2015, with devastating consequences for the world. Can it be stopped?"
Goddard also cited another of Gore's predictions, that the "polar ice cap may disappear by 2014."
Taking one more step back in time, the BBC said the Arctic summers would be ice-free by 2013.
Sierra Club Canada also said in 2013 that the Arctic sea ice would vanish that year.
Tim Ball, a former University of Winnipeg climatology professor, said global temperatures have been dropping since the turn of the century, prompting the change in terminology from "global warming" to "climate change."
Activists are also spending less time discussing temperatures and more time pointing to more extreme events such as tornadoes, droughts, cold snaps and heat waves. Ball said there's a shred of truth there, but it's being badly distorted.
"Yes, there's been slightly more extremes," he said in an interview with WND and Radio America. "That's because the jet stream patterns are changing, because the earth is cooling down. All the arguments about sea-level rise, about Arctic ice disappearing, if you recall it's not that long ago that our friend Al Gore was saying that there would be no summer ice in the Arctic. I think the year he set for it was 2014. That proved to be completely wrong."
Listen to the WND/Radio America interview with Tim Ball:
Well-known scientist Art Robinson has spearheaded The Petition Project, which to date has gathered the signatures of 31,487 scientists who agree that there is "no convincing scientific evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane, or other greenhouse gases is causing or will, in the foreseeable future, cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate."
They say, "Moreover, there is substantial scientific evidence that increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plan and animal environments of the Earth."
Robinson, who has a Ph.D. in chemistry from Cal Tech, where he served on the faculty, co-founded the Linus Pauling Institute with Nobel-recipient Linus Pauling, where he was president and research professor. He later founded the Oregon Institute of Science and Medicine.