Enemies of Freedom in our Midst?

There are many instances in history where one group of people attempts to stifle the views of their opponents.

This has been abhorrent to Americans who believe in freedom, and has seldom been attempted in the United States.

But now, the government is attempting to delegitimatize and jail those who disagree with it on climate change.

An Attorney General issued a subpoena last week on the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI), as part of the government’s effort to prove that Exxon defrauded the people of the United States. It demonstrates that the government can issue a subpoena on any engineer or scientist who has disagreed with the government on climate change.

This attack on free speech can only be viewed as rooted in fascism.

Historically, there have been many attempts around the world to suppress free speech.

Here is a small sampling of pertinent quotes:

“The people can always be brought to the bidding of their leaders. All you have to do is tell them that they are in danger … “

“The [party] will prevent in the future, by force if necessary, all meetings and lectures which are likely to exercise a depressing [opposing] influence on the state.”

“It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent.”

“[Using RICO] civil discovery would reveal whether and to what extent the fossil fuel industry has crossed this same line. We do know that it has funded research that directly contradicts the vast majority of peer-reviewed climate science.”

The last statement was made by a sitting US Senator, Senator Whitehouse.

Official Photo of Senator Whitehouse (D) of Rhode Island
Official Photo of Senator Whitehouse (D) of Rhode Island

Senator Whitehouse said, “[Conduct a] RICO 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.”
(Emphasis added)

This has a familiar ring when compared to the above quotations.
For example:

“It’s vitally important for the state to stop dissent.” (Because of the danger of climate change.)

“Prevent meetings and lectures opposing the state.” (That contradict the views of the state on climate change.)

“State to use all of its powers to repress dissent.” (Professors requesting that climate change deniers be suppressed, and AGs subpoenaing organizations.)

Twenty professors sent President Obama a request asking that deniers be suppressed. This letter, in itself, can be viewed as an amazing expression of fascism residing in universities where free speech should be vigorously protected.

In addition, the highest legal officer in the United States, Attorney General Loretta Lynch, said she has explored ways to “take action” on turning climate-change denial into a federal crime.

But Attorneys General are already taking action.

A group of Attorneys General have organized to investigate how EXXON mislead investors and the public about the impact of climate change on their businesses. The group includes, Attorneys General William Sorrell of Vermont, George Jepsen of Connecticut, Brian E. Frosh of Maryland, Maura Healey of Massachusetts, Mark Herring of Virginia, Claude Walker of the U.S. Virgin Islands, (See below) and former Vice President Al Gore.

In a related action, California Senator Ben Allen (D-Santa Monica) proposed the Climate Science Truth & Accountability Act to extend the statute of limitations under California’s Unfair Competition Law from four to 30 years, giving prosecutors authority to file civil charges in connection with the conduct of fossil fuel companies going back decades.

Exxon has the financial strength to defend itself, but ordinary scientists and engineers do not. In addition, every corporation in the United States will be intimidated into remaining silent, or worse yet, be forced into actions contrary to the interests of their shareholders … and all Americans.

In conclusion, as a result of these calls to suppress dissent, we now have an effort underway to throw scientists and engineers into jail who have studied the climate change issue and decided, based on science, that climate change is not caused by CO2.

At the very least, it will scare some scientists and engineers into being silent, for fear of being further ostracized and having to face financial ruin defending themselves in court.

Two years ago, when it was suggested that so-called deniers should be thrown in jail, it was viewed as a bad joke.

Today, with leaders in Congress, some states, and the Administration pursuing a legal attack on scientists and engineers, it’s no longer a joke, but a threat to every American.

The attorney general for the Virgin Islands, Claude E. Walker, issued a subpoena on April 4, in the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, against CEI, asking for:

“A decade’s worth of communications, emails, statements, drafts, and other documents regarding CEI’s work on climate change and energy policy, including private donor information. It demands that CEI produce these materials from 20 years ago, from 1997-2007, by April 30, 2016.”

A copy of the subpoena with its attachment containing 14 pages of instructions is available at http://bit.ly/1SGmb6y

It’s also worth reading what others have to say about this issue:

A law professor has addressed the free speech legal issues stemming from this attack by The Virgin Islands AG, in a USA Today article at http://usat.ly/23rxFWz

Americans should think very carefully about whether the call for legal action against other Americans is an attack on every Americans freedom.

Today, it’s scientists and engineers being threatened, tomorrow its reporters, or writers, or doctors or lawyers, or any group that doesn’t agree with the government.

* * * * * *

Nothing to Fear, Chapters 1 & 2, describes how the UNFCCC and IPCC view climate change as a way to change society.
Nothing to Fear is available from Amazon and some independent book sellers.

Link to Amazon: http://amzn.to/1miBhXy

Book Cover, Nothing to Fear
Book Cover, Nothing to Fear

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0 thoughts on “Enemies of Freedom in our Midst?

  1. If intentionally misleading the public is a crime, then most politicians should be prosecuted.
    The free exchange of ideas, including unpopular ideas, lies at the base of all intellectual endeavors, including the scientific method.
    Efforts to stifle such exchange is the goal of tyrants. Today it may be directed toward those you disagree with. Tomorrow it may be directed toward you.

  2. Donn,

    I have purchased and read your book. Your conclusions are based on what appears sound bodies of facts and evidence. It is often true that if people look at the whole set of facts, many “green” technologies hold promise, but too often rely on incredible levels of government subsidy for too long to be proven or disproved. When they don’t work out over life cycle timelines the taxpayers are left with picking up the tab.

    As an environmental professional with 30 years experience I find it utterly appalling and straight away scary that the Justice system in America could be manipulated perversely to pursue dissenters to the climate change popular theory.

    First, politicians are not scientists nor engineers in general with possibly a few exceptions. They are generally attorneys themselves and think and act with a certain mindset limited to criminality within the context of laws, which hopefully exist. Engineers and scientists are the “what if” people in the room. They can challenge the representation of data and either find error or confirm what others hypothesize using the Scientific Method (remember that from your grade school science teachers?).

    The scientific community can agree, sometimes we’re right, sometimes we’re mostly right, sometimes we’re barely right. As open minded thinkers, we embrace the challenge of disputing a certain set of facts, or independently looking at the same or other criteria to confirm or dispute the facts based on sound science and not hearsay,

    If we punish the dissenters and the innovators and outside the box thinkers, we won’t progress. Freedom is precious in this country. Or that’s what we tell others around the world as we send servicemen and women to protect every day. That’s what we tell our children at home and in school every day.

    This is not a matter of legal determination. This is a matter of sound science.

  3. Donn Dears:

    Thankyou for your clear defence of freedom, free speech and truth.

    I am not an American. I am British and a left-wing socialist of the old-fashioned British kind. So I admit that I am an ‘outsider’, but I hope you will not think me impertient in writing to comment on your excellent article that concerns American politics.

    Many of us watching American politics from ‘across the pond’ have been desparing at what we are seeing at this time of American electioneering. There seems to be an American desire for a return to McArthyist ‘witch hunts’ against any who disagree with a point of view. Your article is a reminder that there are still Americans who champion freedom, diversity and free speech.

    I especially applaud your clear statement saying,
    “This attack on free speech can only be viewed as rooted in fascism.”
    YES!

    Again, thankyou for your excellent article and I offer sincere wishes that your message will be widely accepted by your countrymen. Your message should be supported by all people of good will from both left and right of the political center and I hope you are not offended that a non-American has written to support it.

    Richard

    • Richard: Thank you very much for your comments. I have long been an admirer of your country, going back to WWII when I heard Prime Minister Churchill speak during the blitz. His Fulton MO speech was the most important wake up call we had to fight for freedom against the Soviet Union.
      Unbelievably, we have a situation in the US today that threatens free speech and freedom. I was glad to be able to write about it, and appreciate your kind comments.

  4. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #222 | Watts Up With That?

    • Thanks for the update, i.e., Virgin Islands AG has withdrawn subpoena, and CEI is suing for damages. This is a story that won’t end soon.
      The NY AG’s subpoena against Exxon is still in effect.

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