Should we just go ahead and throw global warming deniers in jail?
A surprising number of pundits and politicians suddenly seem to think that’s not such an outrageous idea. “Was it appropriate to jail the guys from Enron?” Bill Nye, a.k.a. the Science Guy, mused in an April interview with Climate Depot.
“We’ll see what happens. Was it appropriate to jail people from the cigarette industry who insisted that this addictive product was not addictive, and so on?” Nye, the former host of a popular PBS show in the 1990s, maintains that those who doubt the severity of, and human impact on, the warming climate, “are leaving the world worse than they found it because they are keeping us from getting to work. They are holding us back.”
Gosh, Bill! Sorry the other people on the planet are getting in the way of your utopian dream of total control.
In March, Al Gore appeared at a remarkable meeting of state attorneys general in New York City. Gore’s casually authoritarian remarks at the conference—the former vice president insisted that “we cannot continue to allow” the fossil fuel industry to pursue its current pastime of “mislead[ing] the public about the impact they have on the health of our people and the health of our planet”— echoed the intolerant sentiment that Nye had displayed in a Salon interview five months prior.
And then, this:
A landmark bill allowing for the prosecution of climate change dissent effectively died Thursday after the California Senate failed to take it up before the deadline.
Senate Bill 1161, or the California Climate Science Truth and Accountability Act of 2016, would have authorized prosecutors to sue fossil fuel companies, think tanks and others that have “deceived or misled the public on the risks of climate change.”
What has turned the hippies and their descendants into the man? In just the span of a few years, the left has gone from free thinking to authoritarian.
In New York State, the governor is punishing firms that advocate for divesting investments in Israel. [I actually tend to side with Israel in almost everything, but punishing people for taking a stand – even an incorrect stand – seems wrong. – Dave]
Lamenting that the legislative process is too “tedious,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order Sunday that will punish private firms for engaging in anti-Israel activism.
Lamenting that the legislative process is too “tedious,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo issued an executive order Sunday that will punish private firms for engaging in anti-Israel activism. – snip –
And make no mistake: this is a brazenly autocratic move on Cuomo’s part. Unilaterally deciding that private businesses will be punished for failing to hold political opinions deemed favorable by the government is wholly illiberal. Companies should be able to engage in political activity—to support, or decline to support, various movements—without fearing retaliation from the government.
I don’t care what you think about Climate Change, or Israel. (Well, not right now.)
Punishing individuals or companies for taking a position on a political controversy is nonsense. Cuomo, Gore and Nye should be ashamed that they advocate for such action. In Cuomo’s case, it should be an impeachable offense. He laments that going to the legislature is “too tedious.” Democracy is like that, Andrew.