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Earth Politics Your Rights Online

A Call To RICO Climate Change Science Deniers 737

GregLaden writes: The argument could be made that the organized effort to disrupt climate change science and the development of effective policies to address climate change is criminal, costing life and property. The effort is known to be generally funded by various actors and there are people and organizations that certainly make money on this seemingly nefarious activity. A group of prominent scientists have written a letter to President Obama, Attorney General Lynch, and OSTP Director Holdren asking for this to be investigated under RICO laws, which were originally designed to address organized crime.
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A Call To RICO Climate Change Science Deniers

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  • Science! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @02:42PM (#50556761)

    Because arresting people is what science is about now.

    • Re:Science! (Score:5, Insightful)

      by RugRat ( 323562 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @02:45PM (#50556793)

      Because arresting people is what science is about now.

      So, you opposed the RICO investigation (1999-2006) of the so-called "science" which said that cigarettes are safe?

      • Re:Science! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @02:50PM (#50556815)

        Yes. I'm opposed to arresting people and/or bullying people for thought crimes or speech crimes or for advancing "wrong" ideas. You're not?

        • by Gr8Apes ( 679165 )
          I suppose you're not opposed to Bernie Madoff's investment plan then, nor WorldCom's Ebber's statements about the finances? Or a host of others that "thought" differently.
        • Re:Science! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 19, 2015 @03:27PM (#50557001)

          Free speech is not black and white. There is a difference between lying/misleading for commercial gain and simply advocating controversial ideas. Global warming deniers at the corporate/scientific level (i.e. the fossil fuel industry and groups they fund) are basically committing fraud and should be prosecuted.

          To put it another way, if you're opposed to arresting people for "speech crimes", would you be in favor of legalizing all fraud? After all, the primary basis of fraud is simply the "speech crime" of lying. By way of example:

          Insurance fraud: a doctor lies about performing 100 heart surgeries and bills the insurance company accordingly.
          Bank fraud: a person lies about their identity so that the bank gives them the balance of a savings account.

          In each case, a "speech crime" was committed for commercial gain. And I think they should be arrested.

          • Re:Science! (Score:5, Insightful)

            by Kohath ( 38547 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @03:39PM (#50557067)

            Free speech is not black and white.

            It's never black and white when you want to justify oppressing people. That's the nature of wanting to hurt people while still maintaining the idea that you're not evil.

            • Re:Science! (Score:4, Interesting)

              by turkeyfish ( 950384 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @06:44PM (#50558065)

              You seem to think that condemning humanity to extinction isn't a form of "oppression".

              If so, then go on advocating for climate denial as somehow equal in nature to recognizing the immediate necessity to start reducing fossil fuels so that something can quickly be done to avert human extinction. However, also prepare for both the extinction of Homo sapiens and for the hate that will be directed toward you by your advocating for human extinction.

              • Re:Science! (Score:4, Funny)

                by SEE ( 7681 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @06:57PM (#50558131) Homepage

                You seem to think that condemning humanity to extinction isn't a form of "oppression".

                Sure I do. Which is why every single member and employee of every single environmentalist group that's opposed nuclear power since the 1979 National Academy of Science report on the greenhouse effect belongs in prison, for their complicity in preventing the replacement of coal power with nuclear, thus blocking the reduction in the use of fossil fuels necessary to prevent human extinction.

              • It's amazing that you appear to actually believe what you are saying. I suggest that if we criminalize thought that you do not like, we need to do the same for the brainwashed thought you are demonstrating.

                First, there is absolutely no credible evidence, scientific or not, that humanity is or will be damned to extinction. Second, there is no credible evidence saying reducing fossil fuel use is the only cure for global warming or that adaptation is not a viable if not harsh alternative. You know, survival o

          • To clarify. It's fraud when people who disseminate false information know that it is false, but still do it because it results in personal gain for them. The only problem is that you have to very reliably prove that they have known it to be false. If this is something that requires "beyond a reasonable doubt" level of proof, then I suppose it would be a valid application.

        • Re:Science! (Score:4, Insightful)

          by whistlingtony ( 691548 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @03:30PM (#50557007)

          No one is criminalizing wrong ideas, as much as you'd like to paint yourself as a victim. What's being criminalized is hurting people and lying about it. You'd have no problems with criminal proceedings if someone knowingly put toxic waste into your drinking water and covered it up. Same Thing, pretty much exactly.

        • Re:Science! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Anonymous Coward on Saturday September 19, 2015 @03:33PM (#50557027)

          Yes. I'm opposed to arresting people and/or bullying people for thought crimes or speech crimes or for advancing "wrong" ideas. You're not?

          That depends on whether or not those 'wrong' ideas are causing damage to others or not. I, for example, do not give a hoot if Judeo-Crhristian priests/rabbis are advancing the idea that Jews are god's chosen people who are more beloved by god than other peoples of this earth even though god supposedly loves all his creations equally. Anybody who is dumb enough to believe that they are a lower form of human deserves their fate. If on the other hand some of these clowns are persuading their followers to marry off their 10 year old daughters to fully grown men I fully support arresting the perverted bastards and locking them up. The same pretty much goes for climate change. I would gladly let the idiots who actually believe that climate change is a left-environmentalist lie and part of a conspiracy to destroy world capitalism suffer the consequences of their stupidity were it not for the fact that in this instance it would harm an awful lot of innocent people. If millions of people are being rendered landless by climate change and rich industrialists are facilitating the process of aggravating climate change by convincing portions of the public who are too badly educated to recognise the idiocy of what these bastards are claiming then yes, I also support the idea of arresting the bastards and trying them and if RICO is what's required to achieve that then I'm fine with it.

      • Re:Science! (Score:5, Insightful)

        by ShanghaiBill ( 739463 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @02:54PM (#50556843)

        So, you opposed the RICO investigation (1999-2006) of the so-called "science" which said that cigarettes are safe?

        Yes. The way to counter speech that you disagree with, is not censorship, but MORE SPEECH. It is especially effective if you can back up your speech with data.

        • by Xyrus ( 755017 )

          So, you opposed the RICO investigation (1999-2006) of the so-called "science" which said that cigarettes are safe?

          Yes. The way to counter speech that you disagree with, is not censorship, but MORE SPEECH. It is especially effective if you can back up your speech with data.

          Well if you are just talking about speech, then sure. But this isn't about speech. This is about organized attempts at burying scientific fact under piles of FUD so that certain companies can continue to profit while causing harm.

          This isn't anything new. There is a very long history of companies doing this. Leaded gasoline, CFCs, smoking, acid rain. I've seen this movie many times. AGW just happens to be the latest target, and you can be certain that it won't be the last.

      • The RICO against the cigarette companies was a "think of the children" thing. The companies were accused of:

        1) Marketing to minors
        2) Advertising "low-tar" cigarettes as safer (when they knew they weren't)
        3) Manipulating nicotine levels to make cigarettes more addictive

        Yes, misleading the public on scientific research was part of it, but by itself, I don't think they would have had success. Especially since by 1999, everyone knew cigarettes were dangerous. The government needed to prove that damage had
    • Yep, we're turning the clock back hundreds of years with this crap. Disagree with the majority and get put in prison or executed. And they call themselves "scientists"! They don't know what a scientist is. Most here don't, either.

      If an idea can't stand on its own without silencing opposing opinions, then it's not much of an idea to start with.
  • Works both ways (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuperKendall ( 25149 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @02:45PM (#50556787)

    We know from emails that climate alarmists have fabricated data, and excluded scientists with heretical views from publication in scientific journals.

    How does any of this behavior differ in any way from any other organized crime ring? Why are they immune from punishment for what amounts to an organized ring of terror, silencing all opposition for monetary or pelican gain?

  • pffffft (Score:4, Interesting)

    by harvey the nerd ( 582806 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @02:45PM (#50556795)
    RICO is more clearly an issue for the Climategate authors. Socialist nonsense and bulllying are reaching high tide in Amerika. Notice how many guns people are buying. Those aren't their best weapons either.
  • Instead of suing people, shouldn't the global warming crowd be evacuating the areas of the country that will be underwater in the next 5 - 10 years?

    • by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      shouldn't the global warming crowd be evacuating the areas of the country that will be underwater...

      Better yet, sell it to Republicans. You get money and natural justice in one.

      • by Kohath ( 38547 )

        Please. Sell me your beach house at an "end of the world" discount. It's practically underwater already, but I like you, so I'm willing do you a favor and take it off your hands.

        • AlGore paid millions for an on-the-beach mansion, which is prima facie evidence that even HE doesn't really believe in "global warming".

      • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

        No, because the Republicans will then demand billions spent to protect (as well as further develop) their investments. Everyone will be on the hook while they get subsidies on their purchases that should have never been purchased.

        See reference: New Orleans

      • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

        shouldn't the global warming crowd be evacuating the areas of the country that will be underwater...

        Better yet, sell it to Republicans. You get money and natural justice in one.

        Don't be silly, they'll never have to take responsibility. They'll just make the government (i.e. everyone else) bail them out when their property really does go under later.

      • by amiga3D ( 567632 )

        Well hell, I'll buy it for the right price.

  • by Karmashock ( 2415832 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @02:56PM (#50556859)

    If you chaps don't mind the environmental lobbying groups audited... and the financial paperwork of AL Gore's carbon trading schemes checked out... Pull the trigger.

    Double dare you.

    • by phantomfive ( 622387 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @03:19PM (#50556971) Journal
      RICO allows a private citizen to sue for racketeering damages, they don't need to wait. They can file their own lawsuit.
      The problem is, they'll need to show that someone was damaged. So far, there has been no damage that you can point to and say, "This was caused by global warming."
      • scamming the government out of grants or other assorted fraud would be viable in this case.

        • scamming the government out of grants

          That seems unlikely, as long as they actually did the research they said they would do.

          • And why was the grant issued to researcher X instead of Y?

            And why was amount M instead of L paid out for the grant?

            There is plenty to audit in the grant system. You presume there is nothing to hide so you can't imagine finding anything.

            If you do a RICO investigation then the investigators assume there is wrong doing. Understand... the investigators... not the courts. The courts are bound to presume innocence but when you conduct a criminal investigation you do not presume innocence. You presume wrong doing

    • Done! Let's do it. I'm so happy you proposed this. Let's start Let's put some sunshine into this whole mess!

      Mind you, it's not like more data is going to convince you any time soon though, so what is the point again?

  • “I'm sick and tired of people who say that if you debate and disagree with this administration, somehow you're not patriotic. We need to stand up and say we're Americans, and we have the right to debate and disagree with any administration.”

    That quote is/was NOT aimed at AGW advocates or deniers, but something else altogether. But 'disagreement and debate' is part and parcel of free speech.
    How far down the rabbit hole of silencing others do you want to go?
  • Edward Maibach [gmu.edu], for example, is the Director of Climate Change Communication, and holds a BA in social psychology from University of California at San Diego, an MPH in health promotion from San Diego State University, and a PhD in communication research from Stanford University. He teaches how to talk about climate, but he doesn't study it.

  • by kenwd0elq ( 985465 ) <kenwd0elq@gmail.com> on Saturday September 19, 2015 @03:27PM (#50556999)

    When you have to file lawsuits to silence your opposition, that's the clearest possible sign that you are not a scientist, and what you're doing is nothing CLOSE to being a "science".

    • by Sycraft-fu ( 314770 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @04:36PM (#50557371)

      I don't think some people understand how much shit like this hurts their argument.This is the kind of thing that scammers and charlatans do. When someone challenges their view they do whatever they can to silence them, very often including trying to abuse the court system.

      So when someone advocates using tactics like that, well it makes some people wonder: What do they have to hide? Why are they acting like scammers?

      I mean you don't see this with evolution. You don't see people trying to sue creationists, no they just make fun of them and point out how wrong their arguments are.

      This shit needs to stop.

  • by mindmaster064 ( 690036 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @03:48PM (#50557119) Homepage
    Climate change deniers are scientists too. The earth is not nor has it ever been outside of its normal range of possible temperatures -- we are still not even close to the "The Great Minoan Warm-up" -- and, the most polluted place on the planet -- Linfen, China has only raised 2 degrees F in 50 years. (You can confirm that with wolfram alpha if you like... You can chew Linfen's air -- that's how nasty it is... Anyway, our whole planet would have to look like Linfen to have this global impact and it just isn't going to happen since we don't actually live on most of the planet -- it's water. Does that mean we shouldn't control emissions? No, we definitely should -- there are health considerations to this, but it doesn't matter what we do... The planet will warm or cool as it pleases like it always has. Mostly, this is coming off to meas an NOAA funding scam -- because no one cares what the do so they have no money without a climate change media scare... And, consensus reality doesn't presume truth -- truth is from data and analysis.... These opinions are not congruent with the data... We're facing normal warming patterns so far -- we've had times in history where the Arctic ice completely melted off before -- this is nothing new. We are also in an El Nino pattern in the USA and historically that has lead to warmer wetter winters and cool summers -- they are projecting that it will last 2-5 years. Early in the 1900s and earlier the Arctic was experiencing and abnormally cold period and we're just going back to normal. In 2007 there was a "great rapid decline" that was probably climate related, but by the next year or so the ice had grown right back to where it was. We're not losing ice so much as the ice there is "new". Most of the melt is old ice -- that could be due to contaminates or just the fact that older ice reflects solar energy differently... either way it is still there... I have links.. But, I don't want to cream every related site with slashdotters... Mostly, I am not concerned that was should do everything we can to reduce our carbon footprint -- I am concerned that we shouldn't emit chemicals for health considerations. The heat won't kill us quickly, but a floating airborne cancer soup will. Do _NOT_ trust the US media at all with these issues -- they have been telling lies about other things as well... Try to get data from overseas sources who aren't influenced from the corporate world.... The EPA for example used to have air quality charts for years in the past for most of the world -- they took them off their site. Search: "Iceland 10000 year climate study" "Arctic Ice Cap Growing" (it has since 2012!)
  • Actors (Score:4, Funny)

    by wonkey_monkey ( 2592601 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @03:49PM (#50557131) Homepage

    The effort is known to be generally funded by various actors

    Curse you Matt Damon!

  • dissent? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by david_bonn ( 259998 ) <davidbonn@ma c . c om> on Saturday September 19, 2015 @04:10PM (#50557229) Homepage Journal

    There is a hellacious difference (both moral and legal) between someone who genuinely has drawn a different conclusion from the data and someone who is being paid to confuse and obfuscate that data in the pursuit of profit.

  • by PineHall ( 206441 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @04:40PM (#50557387)

    A survey [blogspot.com] from 5 years ago found that a large majority of Americans (75%) believe in human caused warming of the atmosphere.

    When respondents were asked if they thought that the earth’s temperature probably had been heating up over the last 100 years, 74 percent answered affirmatively. And 75 percent of respondents said that human behavior was substantially responsible for any warming that has occurred.

    And

    Fully 86 percent of our respondents said they wanted the federal government to limit the amount of air pollution that businesses emit, and 76 percent favored government limiting business’s emissions of greenhouse gases in particular.

    However

    Large majorities opposed taxes on electricity (78 percent) and gasoline (72 percent) to reduce consumption. But 84 percent favored the federal government offering tax breaks to encourage utilities to make more electricity from water, wind and solar power.

    And huge majorities favored government requiring, or offering tax breaks to encourage, each of the following: manufacturing cars that use less gasoline (81 percent); manufacturing appliances that use less electricity (80 percent); and building homes and office buildings that require less energy to heat and cool (80 percent).

    So Americans are in favor of tax incentives but are against tax increases to solve the problem. The debate needs to shift to dealing with solutions and promoting solutions now. The longer we wait the more the unpopular choices will be needed. We need to highlight to the politicians that the public is in favor of tax incentives and by opposing these measures they are in the minority and are less electable.

  • Fair enough, IF... (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Applehu Akbar ( 2968043 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @05:46PM (#50557753)

    Go ahead and RICO climate skeptics, so long as we get to RICO climate fans who try to stand in the way of the massive nuclear program it will take to go carbon free.

  • by mschuyler ( 197441 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @06:02PM (#50557837) Homepage Journal

    Remember "Hide the Decline"? That's when bona fide "scientists" came across an inconvenient truth. In a multi-variate graph of several measurements showing the temperature was rising, one recalcitrant measurement trended downward to contradict very accurate contemporary thermometers. Rater than show the data they had, these "scientists" used a hiccup in the data to make it disappear. It went into the pile of lines, but did not come out. If they had left it in there it would have been a red flag they would have to explain, so they "hid the decline." This was one of many revelations in the Climategate e-mails so many people have conveniently forgotten.

    So what exactly was this recalcitrant measurement? It came from tree-ring data. Why is this somewhat important? Because tree-ring data was used as a proxy for thermometers to show the temperature thousands of years ago. Those tree-ring data "prove" the temperature is rising. But the modern graph of tree-ring data shows the temperature falling when everything else shows it rising. What's up with that.

    Well, it's a lot easier to hide this uncomfortable issue than it is to explain it. That's how "science" "works."

    How about applying RICO to that bunch?

  • by MarkvW ( 1037596 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @07:12PM (#50558197)

    Freedom of speech is all about listening to other peoples' lies and bullshit.

  • by TaleSpinner ( 96034 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @07:31PM (#50558305)

    If you can't produce the evidence you have to shut up the people who want to see it. That's the Democratic SOP. They are no longer capable of even attempting a rational argument, all they want to do it drown them out, shut them off, close them down, do whatever they have to do to "win" - whether they are right or not is something they never think about, or care about.

    The evidence FOR warming has been years in the custody of true believers, most of whom have been caught fudging the data, all of whom have other agendas besides saving the planet from heat - these range from destroying capitalism, as the UN has admitted is its real target for GW alarmism, to just plain power and favors, like Obama doling out money to his backers, who then shutter their bogus solar power companies, take the money, and run - and they don't have to run far because Obama never allows them to be followed.

    I'm tired of it. I'm tired of all the lying, I'm tired of the endless invective, the endless, aggressive pushing of "solutions" that will eat up trillions of dollars but which will budge the thermometer literally only HUNDRETHS of a degree IF THE GLOBAL WARMERS ARE RIGHT. Never mind the net effect if they aren't.

    You want to find the culprit you follow the money, and the money is huge, it is vast, it is not being monitored and it's being spent like they can print it for free on paper. Which is just what they are doing. It's a shell game, played by liars, to rob the suckers - which is you, folks. All you. Oh, me, too. Maybe I should become a bundler for some socialist moron and get myself on the gravy train, too. Then I could join the choir and shout "the global warming is coming!" knowing the money we milk out of the idiot voters will end up in MY accounts.

    But then I couldn't sleep at night. And I wonder how Democrats manage to do so, and do so in spite of the fact they apparently also sleep right through the daytime, too...

    IF GOD HAD NOT MEANT VOTERS TO BE SHEARED HE WOULD NOT HAVE MADE THEM SHEEP. Calvera said something like that to Chris in the "Magnificent 7" and you know what? He was right. It didn't make him a nicer person.

  • by mbone ( 558574 ) on Saturday September 19, 2015 @11:29PM (#50559261)

    RICO is a bad law, tailor-made for prosecutorial overreach, and this would be a bad use of it.

    I really dislike what the heavily funded "denialist" campaign has done to any chances of actually dealing usefully with this problem (not to mention what it has done rational discourse in this country), and if someone feels they can prove damages, more power to them if they sue everyone they can find behind the astro-turf, but please don't use this abominable law in the process.

  • by jcochran ( 309950 ) on Sunday September 20, 2015 @12:33AM (#50559471)

    The thing I find most annoying about the global warming issue is that there's entirely too much politics and too little science. For instance, ask people the question "What greenhouse gas has the most influence on Earth's temperature?" and the vast majority will say "Carbon Dioxide."
    Only problem with that answer is that it's wrong.
    Water vapor accounts for about 95% of the total greenhouse effect on earth. Only about 5% is due to carbon dioxide. And the interesting thing is that most of that 5% is totally natural. Mankind only creates about 5% of that 5% giving about 0.27% of the total greenhouse effect that is contributed by mankind. Yes, just a smidge over one fourth of one percent.

    Do I believe that global warming is real? Yes, I do.
    Do I believe that global warming is due to mankind? No, I do not.

    Some minor little details that the global warming crowd ignore that they really need to address.
    1. Viking farms underneath the glaciers in Greenland. Archeologists have found these farms. Interesting thing. The existence of those farms indicate that Earth was warmer in the past than it currently is. Else those farms wouldn't be covered by glaciers. And given when those farms were made, mankind wasn't generating appreciable levels of carbon dioxide. That little detail right there makes their "global warming is due to mankind" argument more than a bit suspect.

    2. Scientists have found a definite correlation between carbon dioxide levels and global temperature by analyzing ice core samples, tree growth rings, etc. It is a proven fact that higher global temperatures are associated with higher levels of carbon dioxide. Sounds like something good for the global warming crowd doesn't it? However, there is one slight problem. The correlation is skewed over time. It turns out that carbon dioxide level changes lag global temperature changes by approximately 40 to 50 years. That's right folks, when the temperature changes, the CO2 changes about 4 decades later. If you have a cause and effect relationship between two variables, I would expect the variable that changes first to be considered the cause, and the variable that changes later to be the effect. And the data doesn't look good for the "global warming is caused by mankind" crowd.

    Why would CO2 levels change after a temperature change? One theory is that the solubility of CO2 in water decreases with increasing temperature and increases with decreasing temperature. And we have a very large body of water on this planet. The oceans can be acting as a huge CO2 repository and when they get warming, they release some of that CO2 and when they get colder, they absorb some of that CO2. That would definitely explain the lag.

    Right now in my opinion, the global warming caused by mankind crowd are using CO2 as a means of demonizing the west. After all, it is a proven fact that burning fossil fuel does generate CO2. So those people can point to the west and say "See? They're harming the environment." They can't demonize plain old water vapor, even though water vapor is the biggest contributor to the green house effect. Are we having a significant effect on Earth's temperature? I wouldn't think so since we're only having about one fourth of one percent of the total effect.

  • ...but I wasn't a climate change denier, so I kept silent

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