Via Mark Hemingway, this is how American liberals deal with blasphemy. Rather than stoning or beheading the infidels, as Islamists do, the left threatens them with an army of lawyers from Obama’s corrupt “Justice” department. I’m not sure what’s worse.
Fossil fuel companies and their allies are funding a massive and sophisticated campaign to mislead the American people about the environmental harm caused by carbon pollution.
Their activities are often compared to those of Big Tobacco denying the health dangers of smoking. Big Tobacco’s denial scheme was ultimately found by a federal judge to have amounted to a racketeering enterprise.
The Big Tobacco playbook looked something like this: (1) pay scientists to produce studies defending your product; (2) develop an intricate web of PR experts and front groups to spread doubt about the real science; (3) relentlessly attack your opponents.
Thankfully, the government had a playbook, too: the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO. In 1999, the Justice Department filed a civil RICO lawsuit against the major tobacco companies and their associated industry groups, alleging that the companies “engaged in and executed — and continue to engage in and execute — a massive 50-year scheme to defraud the public, including consumers of cigarettes, in violation of RICO.”
The parallels between what the tobacco industry did and what the fossil fuel industry is doing now are striking.
In the case of fossil fuels, just as with tobacco, the industry joined together in a common enterprise and coordinated strategy. In 1998, the Clinton administration was building support for international climate action under the Kyoto Protocol. 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. 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.”
Keep in mind, this brilliance comes from the same insufferable buffoon who two years ago cited a tornado in tornado alley as evidence of global warming. Of course if we all renounce our heresy and agree to sacrifice cheap, reliable sources of energy on the alter of non-existent global warming in favor of enormously expensive sources that don’t actually work but just happen to be provided by the left’s cronies (see Solyndra), all will be forgiven. But for those of us skeptics who require empirical evidence that subtle, short-term changes in climate are anything other than the natural, cyclical changes which have been occurring for hundreds of millions of years before we willingly destroy our living standards, who knows what Whitehouse will propose next? Perhaps something akin to the Cambodian re-education camps circa 1975?