For Democrats, First Amendment Rights Stop at Climate Change – By Jeff Stier

Are people supporting Hillary really in favor of losing their first amendment rights?

Democrats’ grand plan for this election year doesn’t seem to include free speech. The group that drafted the Democratic Party platform recently called for the Justice Department to prosecute energy companies that don’t agree with Democrats on climate change.  

But is that wise? If the government is allowed to punish those who merely question climate change, it should also be allowed to punish climate alarmists for false doomsday predictions.

That reasoning doesn’t make sense. Democrats should end their crusade before they start feeling the brunt of their own logic.

Unfortunately, silencing climate dissenters with laws didn’t start with the DNC platform. It’s part of a growing trend.

Twenty state attorney generals nationwide have started investigating oil companies.  The AGs allege that to maintain high profits, Big Oil purposely misled investors and the public about climate change consequences.

Right- and libertarian-leaning policy centers — such as the Heartland Institute and Competitive Enterprise Institute – are also facing scrutiny.   My employer, the National Center for Public Policy Research was even targeted on the Senate floor. The green crusaders claim we were all accomplices in helping oil companies obscure environmental threats.  

Meanwhile, Attorney General Loretta Lynch recently acknowledged that the Justice Department may use a federal law originally created to fight organized crime to prosecute climate skeptics.  In the Obama administration’s distorted reality, the analogy isn’t much of a stretch.

Ironically, the state AGs unveiled their crusade at a press conference in March with former vice president and climate Svengali Al Gore.  Gore, who predicted that the North Pole would be ice-free by 2013,  has repeatedly cried wolf about the coming environmental apocalypse — while snatching millions by promoting dubious green investments.  

But what’s to stop a newly formed league of climate-agnostic attorneys general, emboldened by the strategies of their green colleagues, from prosecuting those like Gore who have become rich off doomsday predictions?

Gore isn’t alone. In 2008, ABC News predicted that because of climate change, New York City would be submerged by 2015.  Concurrently, the United Nations warned that there were only eight years left to prevent a “dangerous” rise in global temperatures.  

In 2007, the head of the organization’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change cautioned that it would be “too late” by 2012 without immediate global action.  Previously, the UN warned that global warming was about to usher in a huge period of population disruption, creating 50 million climate refugees by 2010.  

These are just a smattering of inaccurate predictions from environmentalists. Some utilized flawed models. Some were propaganda to influence public opinion and legislation. Others just wanted to get rich off government-subsidies for green technology.

Those motives are no better than the ones said to be driving oil companies. Were the tables turned and green zealots held accountable for misleading the public, many of the prosecutors would be the prosecuted.

Realistically, investigations like the one the state AGs are now pursuing are about harassing political opponents — not protecting the public.

The investigation into these oil companies and think tanks is a flagrant attempt to bypass the Constitution and stifle political speech. It should be opposed regardless of their stance on climate change. It’s shameful that a major political party has so little regard for free speech.

Jeff Stier is a Senior Fellow at the National Center for Public Policy Research in Washington, D.C., and heads its Risk Analysis Division.

© Copyright 2016 Tanna K, All rights Reserved. Written For: Tinytown Unleashed
Share