RICO for government climate deniers?
By Paul Driessen and Ron Arnold
A self-appointed coalition of Democrat state attorneys general is pursuing civil or criminal racketeering actions against ExxonMobil, the Competitive Enterprise Institute and other organizations. The AGs claim the groups are committing fraud, by "denying" climate change. The charge is bogus.
What we contest are false assertions that "humans are creating a dangerous climate change crisis." We do not accept false claims that "the science is settled" and will not be limited to discussing only "what we must do now to avert looming climate catastrophes."
That's not just constitutionally protected free speech. It is the foundation of scientific progress and informed public policy.
Meanwhile, EPA and other federal agencies, the UN's Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), climate activist organizations, state legal and environmental agencies, and legions of scientists who receive government grants for advancing the "manmade climate cataclysm" mantra are themselves engaging in what many say is truly misleading or fraudulent climate science, policy and regulation.
Millions in poor countries die annually from preventable diseases, because hysterical climate claims justify denying them access to affordable modern electricity and transportation that could be provided by coal, natural gas and petroleum products. In developed nations, climate hysteria has cost millions of jobs, adversely affecting people's living standards, health and welfare. In European countries, thousands are dying each winter, because they can no longer afford proper heat.
The problem is not human intervention in the climate; it's improper political intervention in climate science. It has corrupted scientific findings from the very beginning.
A 1995 document from the US State Department to the IPCC confirms this, or at least gives allegations of fraud and corruption sufficient credence to raise serious integrity questions.
When a recent FOIA lawsuit sought that 1995 document, the State Department said there is "no such correspondence in our files." But if we have a copy of the document, how come State doesn't? Attesting to its bona fides, Our copy has State's date-stamp, a Department official's signature – and 30 pages of detailed instructions on how the Clinton Administration wanted the IPCC to change its scientific findings and summary for policymakers, to reflect US climate and energy policy agendas.
The document is too complex and technical to summarize. So we've posted it in PDF form – unchanged in any way and exactly as received from a well known and credible source who must remain anonymous to avoid retribution by people like the RICO prosecutors. You'll be amazed at what it says.
It consists of a three-page cover letter to Sir John Houghton, head of the IPCC Science Working Group, from Day Mount, Acting State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for Environment and Development, introducing 30 pages of line-by-line "suggestions" from scientist Robert Watson and others. One wanted a correct statement about warming rates changed to a flat lie. "Change ‘continue to rise' to ‘rise by even greater amounts' to provide a sense of magnitude of the extended change," it says.
Talk about agendas dictating science. Moreover, this "ominous" warming ended just a couple years later, there has been virtually no planetary warming since then, and the warming followed 30 years of cooling.
The document raises serious questions about State Department actions on subsequent IPCC Assessment Reports. What did State do? Where are the correspondence and instructions to change the science in other IPCC reports? What are the State Department, EPA and other Obama agencies doing now to further corrupt climate science and advance their radical energy, social, economic and political agendas?
We know they won't answer truthfully. If they did, they'd have to investigate themselves under the Racketeering Influenced and Corrupt Organizations (RICO) Act. Worse, the corruption, deception, manipulation, exaggeration and fabrication have grown with every passing year, as alarmists sought to obfuscate their shenanigans and preserve their $1.5 trillion Climate Crisis Empire. The AG actions are designed to punish and silence organizations that are revealing the scientific flaws and deceptions.
The IPCC was set up in 1988 to examine possible human influences on Earth's climate, amid powerful natural forces that have always driven the complex, dynamic, turbulent, frequently changing climate. As we note in our book, Cracking Big Green, from the outset, Swedish meteorology professor and zealous warming advocate Bert Bolin wanted to help scientists "get global warming onto the political agenda."
By 1995, Bolin could finally say "the balance of evidence suggests a discernible human influence on global climate." Of course, "discernible" merely means "detectable." But it gave the State Department license to dictate the "science." Then "discernible" morphed into "dominant," which morphed into "sole." Suddenly humans had replaced the complex, interrelated natural forces that had driven innumerable climate changes throughout Earth's history. Voila. Climate hysteria began to drive the political agenda.
Behind the hysteria are carefully orchestrated efforts to find steadily increasing planetary temperatures, and claim floods, droughts, hurricanes, tornadoes, snowstorms and snowless winters are more frequent and intense – even though Real World records show they are not. Original data are "homogenized" with other data to create higher temperatures; student papers and activist news releases are presented as "peer-reviewed studies" in IPCC documents; computer models are presented as "proof" of chaos, even though actual observations contradict their predictions; and ClimateGate emails reveal more chicanery. As climatologist and professor David Legates explains, even the 97% consensus claims are fraudulent.
Organizations that pointed out these flaws and fabrications became a threat to politicians, activists, "warmist" scientists and bureaucrats who were determined to advance an anti-fossil-fuel agenda. Their money and efforts were not winning the non-debate. They needed a blitzkrieg counterattack.
In June 2012, the Union of Concerned Scientists and Climate Accountability Institute organized a "workshop" in La Jolla, CA for climate activists, scientists, lawyers and other experts. Their subsequent report detailed how successful attacks on tobacco companies could be used as a template for campaigns, RICO actions and other operations against "climate denier" companies and organizations.
By 2015, Senator Sheldon "Torquemada" Whitehouse (D-RI) was calling for RICO prosecutions. His actions prompted free market champion Alex Epstein to tell a congressional committee the senator should resign because of his "unconstitutional" attacks on free speech and the energy that powers our economy.
In January 2016, a secret meeting was held in the Rockefeller Family Fund's Manhattan offices. It brought 350.org founder Bill McKibben and a dozen other anti-hydrocarbon activists together, to refine their legal strategies against ExxonMobil and others who dared to challenge "the scientific consensus" that fossil fuels have brought humanity and our planet to the brink of "climate chaos."
Then, on March 29, 2016, New York AG Eric Schneiderman headlined a press conference of 16 state attorneys general, who announced their intention to go after organizations that were "committing fraud" by "knowingly deceiving" the public about the threat of manmade climate change. Within days, he had launched a RICO action against ExxonMobil, and the Virgin Islands had done likewise against CEI.
It is difficult not to perceive a pattern of collusion here, among the activists and their financiers, among the AGs, and probably among all of them. We are eager to see what emails and other documents might reveal – especially since Section 241 of US Code Title 18 makes it a felony "for two or more persons to agree together to injure, threaten or intimidate" another person in exercising their constitutional rights.
We have only begun to fight – for energy, jobs, sound science, free speech and human rights. CEI and Exxon are vigorously battling the outrageous RICO suits, and CFACT will present its new Climate Hustle movie in a one-day May 2 extravaganza in hundreds of theaters across the USA. We will not be silenced.
Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (www.CFACT.org). Ron Arnold is executive vice president of the Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise. They are coauthors of Cracking Big Green: To save the world from the Save-the-Earth money machine.