I don’t know if he’s actually referring to every person who’s questioned manmade global warming theory, or if he’s only talking about the fossil fuel industry bosses.
RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act) laws have been used to bring down Mafia bosses and other organized crime leaders. Even though the leaders may not have necessarily committed murder themselves, the RICO Act allowed prosecutors to go after them based on the fact that they ordered others to do it for them.
So, perhaps this Senator is suggesting that we just go after the fossil fuel crime syndicate leaders and then only give us everyday skeptics minimal sentences since we were “led astray” by our crime bosses.
RICO has been used by prosecutors to go after the tobacco industry, calling their efforts to cover up unfavorable health studies racketeering. If you think it’s a stretch to treat the tobacco industry like the Mafia, how much more of a stretch is it to treat global warming skeptics like the Mafia? Here’s what Senator Sheldon Whitehouse from Rhode Island said in a Washington Post op-ed
In 2006, Judge Gladys Kessler of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia decided that the tobacco companies’ fraudulent campaign amounted to a racketeering enterprise. According to the court: “Defendants coordinated significant aspects of their public relations, scientific, legal, and marketing activity in furtherance of a shared objective — to . . . maximize industry profits by preserving and expanding the market for cigarettes through a scheme to deceive the public.”
The parallels between what the tobacco industry did and what the fossil fuel industry is doing now are striking. … The coordinated tactics of the climate denial network, Brulle’s report states, “span 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.” Compare that again to the findings in the tobacco case.
The tobacco industry was proved to have conducted research that showed the direct opposite of what the industry stated publicly — namely, that tobacco use had serious health effects. Civil discovery would reveal whether and to what extent the fossil fuel industry has crossed this same line. We do know that it has funded research that — to its benefit — directly contradicts the vast majority of peer-reviewed climate science. One scientist who consistently published papers downplaying the role of carbon emissions in climate change, Willie Soon, reportedly received more than half of his funding from oil and electric utility interests: more than $1.2 million.
To be clear: I don’t know whether the fossil fuel industry and its allies engaged in the same kind of racketeering activity as the tobacco industry. We don’t have enough information to make that conclusion. Perhaps it’s all smoke and no fire. But there’s an awful lot of smoke.
One immediate difference that I notice is that in the tobacco case, their own studies showed that cigarette smoking was bad, and they tried covering those up. In the case of climate science, there are myriad of studies showing that global warming has slowed, even halted 20 years ago. This is public information, and it creates a serious problem for those intent on believing that our activities and energy choices are what drive the global climate, necessarily resulting in higher temperatures.
All parties involved have access to the same information. It all depends on how it’s interpreted and whether or not they’re going to mess with the data. Those in favor of raking in hundreds of billions in subsidies for the green industry and bankrupting the fossil fuel industry would of course deliberately skew the data in their favor. Climate alarmists are the ones who’d want to cover up their own studies to protect their investments and enterprises.
Looking back at the judge’s statement in the tobacco industry case quoted by Whitehouse in his op-ed, it looks like practically everyone in Washington should be tried and prosecuted for racketeering. You just have to substitute “political power” in place of “cigarettes.
“Defendants coordinated significant aspects of their public relations, scientific, legal, and marketing activity in furtherance of a shared objective — to . . . maximize industry profits by preserving and expanding the market for their own political power through a scheme to deceive the public.”
That’s all politicians and lobbyists do these days. They “deceive the public” for their own gain. Washington is worse than the Mafia.