Democrat Wants to Prosecute Climate Skeptics

According to Democratic Senator Sheldon Whitehouse, the government should deal with global warming skeptics the same way the courts dealt with the tobacco companies. Writing in the Washington Post, Whitehouse cites the U.S. District Court’s 2006 decision that determined that tobacco companies had been engaged in a fraudulent racketeering attempt to “maximize industry profits.” According to Whitehouse, this is exactly the case when it comes to climate change.

“The parallels,” he writes, “between what the tobacco industry did and what the fossil fuel industry is doing now are striking.” As far as Whitehouse is concerned, the only thing stopping proactive attempts to move away from fossil fuels are the industries that rely on them. These companies and their representatives in Washington are harming the environment so that they can protect their shareholders.

Covering his bases, he adds a little disclaimer to the end of his op-ed. “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 conclusion. Perhaps it’s all smoke and no fire. But there’s an awful lot of smoke.”

And that’s an awful big allegation to make, especially when it’s coming from an elected official. One might expect a bit of prudence from someone sworn to defend the Constitution. Especially when he is advocating the use of RICO laws against people who are exercising their right to free speech. If you needed any further proof that today’s Democratic Party has disappeared into its own…donkey…then this should be enough to clear up the confusion.

There’s no question that there are Republican lawmakers who are skeptical of climate change solely because of the industries funding their campaigns. The same can be said of any issue and any party. Power corrupts, money corrupts, and we see very few politicians wholly above this influence.

That said, it works both ways. Lobbyists reach out to politicians already sympathetic to their cause. That sweet, sweet fossil fuel money is just as available to Democrats as it is Republicans. Are we supposed to believe that Democrats are above this kind of thing? Don’t make me laugh. They are just getting their money from other sources. Green companies, for instance. Should we start prosecuting Democrats for throwing endless amounts of government money into grants for alternative energy? Wait, don’t answer that. Trying to make a point here.

The point is that money will always be a factor. Democrats go to this well when they are no longer willing to engage the arguments. Oppose climate change regulations? You’re funded by the oil companies. Oppose gun control? You’re funded by the NRA. They’ve decided they are right on these issues, and there is no room for coherent disagreement. Thus, it must be greed.

But Republican greed doesn’t explain the millions of American voters who are just as skeptical about climate change. Your average guy on the street isn’t being funded by Exxon. Why does he believe that the hype on global warming has exceeded the facts? Could it be because this issue isn’t as “settled” as Democrats think?

Liberals can believe whatever they want about climate change or any other issue. When they start talking about making it illegal to think otherwise, though, we have to call it out. There are some lines we just can’t cross.

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