The Global Warming Jihadists Seek to Silence the Dissenters

By: Benjamin Weingarten

“The world must not belong to those who slander the prophets of Global Warming, Climate Change, or Climate Disruption.”

So said Democratic U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse in a fatwa issued in the Washington Post.

Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI) delivers a speech on the Senate floor on May 18, 2015. (Image Source: YouTube screengrab)

OK — perhaps that was not what he said verbatim, but it might as well have been.

Whitehouse intimated that racketeering charges be considered regarding Big Oil’s support of research challenging the supposed climate change consensus.

Without a hint of irony given the nature and activities of the climate change movement, Whitehouse compared the oil industry – which after the American people will be most harmed by regulations putatively relating to climate — to the RICO-violating tobacco business:

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.

In a point almost beyond parody, Whitehouse relies on a report by a Drexel University professor whose “environmental justice” work has been funded by federal grants worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. A nakedly partisan voice, the “Culture and Communication” department professor lists as areas of research and teaching “Critical Theory,” “Social Movements” and “Social Change,” to go along with the more relevant “Environmental Sociology.”

The professor writes that the “climate denial network”

span[s] a wide range of activities, including political lobbying, contributions to political candidates, and a large number of communication and media efforts that aim at undermining climate science.

None of these activities are illegal, or even unethical – though if Whitehouse gets his way the thought crime of challenging global warming may soon be.

All of these activities one can ascribe to the very environmentalist cause to which the professor is a part, except that academics like himself and other global warming proponents are also again showered with government support to the tune of $2.5 billion in research funding annually.

Is government money in the hands of policy advocates any more or less corrupting than private money? Should not private enterprise be allowed to dispense with its funds as it wishes?

One wonders whether Whitehouse has considered the conflict of interest or free enterprise considerations at hand.

Moreover, while Whitehouse questions Big Oil’s motives and actions, he ignores the dubious track record of those on his side of the climate debate.

Specifically, Whitehouse’s recent diatribe was silent with respect to Climategate, the inaccurate models on which the global warming crowd relies and the significant flaws in the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports. Is the senator aware that the science is decidedly not settled — even according to President Barack Obama’s former undersecretary of science in the Department of Energy?

More broadly, Whitehouse’s irresponsible op-ed — which raises the prospect of civil discovery — represents a chilling threat to those who dissent from the orthodoxy of the political elite.

Coincidentally, this chill has already crossed the pond, sending a shiver down the spine of European oil companies.

Just last week, the heads of BP, Royal Dutch Shell and several other executives issued a public letter in which they effectively raised the white flag in the face of governments hell-bent on further regulating their activities in the name of global warming.

Resigned to this fate, the companies called for a rational, clear and consistent set of rules governing carbon credits, and asked for a spot at the table in discussions with the U.N. and other political bodies in order to protect themselves.

It is unclear whether U.S. companies will go the way of their European counterparts. But what Whitehouse’s comments indicate is that our government is at least willing to explore using legal coercion if American enterprises do not submit to the environmentalist party line.

We have seen this “process as punishment” in the private sector, through actions such as climate scientist Michael Mann’s targeting of conservative commentator Mark Steyn and others, but the federal government’s threat to Big Oil would be of an entirely different size, scope and character.

Lost in all this is the fact that the global warming crusade against so-called “denialists” represents another area in which liberal illiberality threatens critical areas of speech.

Recent challenges to free speech whether as a means of enforcing de facto or de jure Shariah slander and blasphemy laws, stifling political messages or now crushing scientific dissent reveal a totalitarian impulse to end debate.

It is particularly galling in this instance because scientific discovery requires constantly questioning assumptions and testing hypotheses. Especially when science is being used as a basis for determining public policy that affects the lives of billions of people and concerns trillions of dollars worth of resources, the burden of proof must be immense.

Proponents of climate change should be providing an unprecedented amount of transparency and welcoming all scrutiny – indeed encouraging competition in the marketplace of ideas — if they really care about getting the science right.

While we can never know the true motivations of a politician, it stands to reason that Whitehouse and many of his colleagues may view environmentalism as as good a justification as any for seizing wealth from one of America’s few remaining booming industries.

If that is the case, all advocates of truth should prefer that he show the same candor as Rep. Maxine Waters, who called for “socializ—,” sorry, “taking over … [with] government running all … [of Shell’s] oil companies.”

While Waters may support violating the Fifth Amendment, it appears Whitehouse would rather challenge the First.

The consequences of the latter would be far more dire than the former.

For if the First Amendment falls, all of the rest shall soon follow.


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2 thoughts on “The Global Warming Jihadists Seek to Silence the Dissenters

  1. Let us reason together. The earth is 25,000 miles in circum. At the equator , with respect to the sun, the earth is moving at over 1200 miles per hour. Think on that !! Now, the earth is 70% water, and a wonderful heat sink by the way.And while continuing to spin, the earth is traveling around the sun on a path that is over 149 million miles….the speed happens to be 17,677 miles per hour….Think on that Norman !! and also that the temperature of the space that the earth hangs in is…..and get this…is minus 410 F. Utter cold…absolute cold Norman. Now remember in High School science that we learned the basic principle of thermal dynamics….heat travels from hot to cold..Remember from Hot to Cold !! That is fact. Now, what do you think happens while the earth is continually suspended in MiNUS 410 temperature.??
    Thats right, the heat travels from hot , which is the earth, to cold.
    Climate happens because we have a layer of of gas around the earth like the peel around an orange. It is about the length of Manhatten Island in height, and weighs about 15 pounds per square inch; and is visciously churned by the earth as it moves under the layer. Our weather results from the heat and cooling, and motion, night and day heat difference, and radiation from the land and oceans which are different. There is one way to change the climate friend.
    Move the earth closer or further away from the sun. Change the speed of rotation of the earth. Vary the evaporation rate from the oceans….By the way, there is NO global warming !!! None !!! As long as we have rain, it is impossible to have global warming. Rain cools when it falls, and then cools when it evaporates. Check the global wxmaps…the daily amount of rain on the earth is remarkable to behold. Oh, ice berg melt. remember heat goes from warm to cold…the melt in the artic occurs because of the water or land under the berg….not from the top which is always minus something.
    We are being deceived for some nefarious purpose. Very very troublesome.

  2. Recall that the class-action ambulance chasers made a fortune by getting AG’s to “hire” them under state auspices to sue the tobacco companies. They raked in hundreds of millions, if not billions, under the so-called tobacco settlement.

    Ostensibly the funds, after legal fees, were going to be devoted to smoking cessation, but most of the money got spent on the waste that politicians usually spend on.

    Looking for a new target, the ambulance chasers homed-in on lead paint — probably thinking that kids with lead ingestion issues would make for public / legal support and so grease the skids for their next corporate sack and burn, i.e., their next big payday.

    They found a willing front man in then Rhode Island AG Whitehouse, who was looking to run for Governor and so needed money, and who cooperated with making RI (with its old housing stock) the first test case.

    The lead firm was Motley Rice (I believe it’s called something else now), which didn’t have a presence in RI and so opened an office there just for purposes of the attempt to shakedown paint manufacturers.

    Funny how Whitehouse, if he really felt so strongly about lead paint couldn’t be bothered to find an existing RI firm to pursue it — more significantly — he did not put the case out for competitive bid to find a law firm that would pursue but take a smaller cut. This is because Motley Rice came to him and (in effect) gave him a kickback for allowing it to sue under the auspices of the office of RI AG.

    Ultimately this was too much even for the RI courts, and the case died!

    Once in the Senate, Whitehouse rewarded the lead lawyer from the Motley Rice Providence office with a federal judgeship.

    So Whitehouse has always been a whore for the mass tort ambulance chasers. Combine that with the Progressives’ fascist tendencies (see, e.g., the book “Liberal Fascism”) to suppress contrary opinion and opposition, and it’s not surprising that he saw some synergies in ambulance chasers and nullification of opposition (in this case to the Collectivists’ main avenue to impose global collectivism, the “climate change” fraud).

    So he’s probably not looking to file suit himself, but signaling an upcoming tactic to silence those who’d expose the climate change fraud, albeit to be executed by others (e.g., EPA hiring Motley Rice type firms).

    To borrow a phrase from William F. Buckley, the man and his party are “Satanically inspired” scum.

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