It seems the climate change hysteria crowd is having trouble convincing people that we are all going to die in a gargantuan fireball if we don’t start driving electric vehicles and eating crickets. To remedy this issue, some progressive senators have concocted a novel idea: Throw people in prison for arguing against left-wing ideas on climate change.
Sure, it’s a bit authoritarian, but it would be effective, wouldn’t it?
Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders led a gaggle of fellow lawmakers in writing a letter to the Justice Department demanding that it prosecute people in the fossil fuel industry for saying things about climate change that progressives don’t like:
A group of left-wing senators led by Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., are demanding that the Department of Justice (DOJ) prosecute the fossil fuel industry over its alleged climate disinformation campaign.
In a letter Monday to Attorney General Merrick Garland, the Senate coalition — joined also by Sens. Ed Markey, D-Mass., Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., and Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass. — argued fossil fuel companies have conducted a “longstanding and carefully coordinated campaign” to mislead Americans about the risks posed by global warming and “discredit climate science” in pursuit of profits. If the DOJ were to pursue such a case again the fossil fuel industry, it would mark the first time the federal government got involved in climate nuisance litigation.
“The actions of ExxonMobil, Shell, and potentially other fossil fuel companies represent a clear violation of federal racketeering laws, truth in advertising laws, consumer protection laws, and potentially other laws, and the Department must act swiftly to hold them accountable for their unlawful actions,” the four senators wrote to Garland on Monday.
“The fossil fuel industry has had scientific evidence about the dangers of climate change and the role that burning fossil fuels play in increasing global temperatures for more than 50 years,” the lawmakers continued. “Despite these companies’ knowledge about climate change and the role their industry was playing in driving carbon emissions, they chose to participate in a decades-long, carefully coordinated campaign of misinformation to obfuscate climate science and convince the public that fossil fuels are not the primary driver of climate change.”
The American Petroleum Institute (API), the fossil fuel industry’s primary trade association, slammed the letter and reaffirmed its commitment to reducing emissions.
“The record of the past two decades demonstrates that the industry is achieving its goal of providing affordable, reliable American energy to U.S. consumers while substantially reducing emissions and our environmental footprint,” a spokesperson said. “Any suggestion to the contrary is false.”
So, basically, Bernie and the gang think it’s a good idea to send men with guns and badges to throw people in jail cells because they contradict the progressive narrative on climate change. Free speech be damned, right?
This isn’t exactly a shocker, is it? It was only a matter of time before authoritarian leftists started seeking to threaten people with jail time for voicing ideas and opinions that contradict progressivism. If the Justice Department acts on this request, it could set a precedent for using the government to punish speech in other areas.
It is hard to see this as anything other than a ploy to send a message to those who might have differing opinions from Sanders and others who agree with him. They do not wish to advance their agenda through persuasion. They would rather silence people by threatening to imprison them. Hopefully, the Justice Department doesn’t go through with this. But if it does, perhaps the courts can put a stop to it.