William M. Briggs

Statistician to the Stars!

Prosecute Global Warming Heretics. Update 2: Kill, Nuremberg Them, Too!

Prosecute the heretics! is the new cry from the high priests of global warming. Climate “deniers”, they say, are no better than mobsters, good fellas who are extorting the climate, toughs who put the muscle on temperatures.

How? Never mind. What’s important is that characters like Yours Truly who are skeptical of claims of doom should go to jail and in a hurry before our ideas contaminate the innocent.

Nobody expects the scientific inquisition. But they should have.

Our modern day would-be Torquemada is Naomi Oreskes, who has made her career by counting the number of articles in various publications which take positions she finds agreeable, and then telling those counts to a world which never asked for them. This would be harmless and a typical waste of money except that Oreskes, like journalists who cover politicians, is under the impression that because she writes about scientists, what she says has scientific importance. Scientists, against like politicians, flattered by the attention, never correct her delusion.

Did you ever notice that most of the cries of “climate apocalypse” come from non-climatologists?

Never mind. Start at 1:12:30 in the video “Crossing the 2014 Climate Divide: Scientists, Skeptics & the Media”, a panel of supreme self-importance of which Oreskes was a member.

You heard right. RICO-style prosecution. For what tangible crime? Well, heresy.

(Has to be heresy. The amount of money I have extorted from my skepticism hovers between nada and nil.)

This put me in mind of a passage from from Dawn to Decadence by the indispensable Jacques Barzun (pp 271-272):

The smallest divergence from the absolute is grave error and wickedness. From there it is a short step to declaring war on the misbelievers. When faith is both intellectual and visceral, the overwhelming justification is that heresy imperils other souls. If the erring sheep will not recant, he or she becomes a source of error in others….[P]ersecution is a health measure that stops the spread of an infectious disease—all the more necessary that souls matter more than bodies.

Even though not all admit this, their actions prove that souls are more important than bodies. Thought crimes are in many senses worse than physical crimes; they excite more comment and are more difficult to be forgiven for. Perhaps the worst crime is to be accused of racism (the charges needn’t be, and frequently are not, true; the accusation makes the charge true enough). It is now a thought crime to speak out against sodomy (and to say you personally are a participant is a matter of media celebration).

Barzun said that sins against political correctness “so far” have only been punished by “opprobrium, loss of employment, and virtual exclusion from the profession.” (I can confirm these.) Barzun said, “any form of persecution implies an amazing belief in the power of ideas, indeed of mere words casually spoken.”

The Enlightened, who simper when calling each other “free thinkers”, in one of their favorite myths tell us how they left the crime of heresy behind. The word has been forgotten, maybe, but not the idea.

Stalin sent his victims to the firing squad for the crime of “counter-revolution”, not heresy. Being repulsed by sodomy is not heresy, it is “homophobic”. Believing in God and practicing that belief is not heresy, but “fundamentalism.” Cautioning that affirmative action may cause the pains the program is meant to alleviate isn’t heresy, but “racism.” Saying that unskillful Climate models which routinely bust their predictions should not be trusted is not heresy, but is “anti-science.”

Boy, has Science come up in the world to be a personage one can sin against.

Want evidence of thought crimes? Write a letter to the campus newspaper saying the Women’s Studies department should be disbanded and its members quietly retired. Or recommend the Office of Diversity (many colleges have several such offices, not just one) be dissolved. If you survive, you will form a perfect understanding of heresy.

Those who preach tolerance can tolerate anything except tolerance.

Update I stupidly forgot that the New York Times doesn’t want to prosecute but to kill global warming skeptics. With icicles.

Update Apropos, in a roundabout way. Group Preferences: Opiate of the Intellectuals.

Update “Nuremberg-style trials must be held for senior corporate (including corporate media) and political executives responsible for crimes against humanity and planet that almost defy belief. They must be held to account for their crimes.” link

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Thanks to Tom Nelson (@tan123) and Willie Soon for alerting us to this latest silliness.

40 Comments

  1. You should ask for the following punishment, Briggs.

    “…at his trial, when Socrates was asked to propose his own punishment, he suggested a wage paid by the government and free dinners for the rest of his life instead, to finance the time he spent as Athens’ benefactor.” from Wikipedia.

  2. Global Warming – Sick Souled Religion: http://www.nevilleawards.com/gw.shtml

    RE From Dawn to Decadence: “The smallest divergence from the absolute is grave error and wickedness. From there it is a short step to declaring war on the misbelievers. When faith is both intellectual and visceral, the overwhelming justification is that heresy imperils other souls. If the erring sheep will not recant, he or she becomes a source of error in others….[P]ersecution is a health measure that stops the spread of an infectious disease—all the more necessary that souls matter more than bodies.”

    WHAT, PRECISELY, is the “heresy [that] imperils other souls” where global warming theology is concerned?

    It would seem to be the facts that the belief held is itself wrong; “deniers” are [to be] attacked because the attacker doesn’t want to change their personal belief. It’s not just others they strive to protect (as J. Barzun* cites).

    * J. Barzun publishes a facet of mob behavior liberals hate to acknowledge in themselves–the vicious striving to suppress anyone that would reveal their cherished beliefs, or image, to be false (also see Ann Coulter’s “Demonic” where she compares the same with LeBron’s observations of 100+ yrs ago; it’s not just that they have such flawed/wrong beliefs–they will go to great lengths to ensure they can continue to self-delude themselves such beliefs are true). The movie “Devil’s Advocate” curiously puts an E. Barzoon (same pronunciation) in the same role, and he gets murdered for it…

  3. I should add that unfortunately Socrates’ request was honoured.

    The real question is why the useful idiot academics never learn from history that it never ends well for them. Do they forget Robespierre? Maybe it is an example of the greater fool theory in economics and they hope to cash out before this happens.

  4. “Those who preach tolerance can tolerate anything except tolerance.”
    Another great Briggs sentence. Add the corollary

  5. Sodomy the wrong analogy: in Uganda you now can go to prison if you are gay.

  6. These people are so brave. What if we called for their murders and mass arrests? These people are just showing what we have always known them to be: fascists.

  7. Briggs

    February 24, 2014 at 12:58 pm

    Hans,

    Sodomy a great example (it wasn’t meant as an analogy). Sodomy is an act, not a thought. Saying you find it abhorrent is a thought, not an act (in the same sense).

    And you’re wrong about Uganda. You are not imprisoned for “being gay” (whatever that might mean), but for sodomy, for specific acts. See this Reuters article.

  8. This is the woman who released a study that stated out of 1000+ papers released last year only ONE was against AGW. This got a little attention at first until, HUNDREDS of papers against AGW were revealed. It seemed that she basically disqualified any paper that didn’t agree with her.

    This woman is a psychopath.

  9. Hmmmm…

    You heard right. RICO-style prosecution. For what tangible crime? Well, heresy.

    Really? ‘Cause I listened to the clip and I could have sworn that she said something about RICO-style prosecution “….if laws has been broken.”

    I guess I just must have missed the statement about heresy, eh?

    Careful there, fella – you’re coming dangerously close to providing evidence for Lew.

  10. If you listen from about 1:04 to 1:13 or so you can see that Merchants of Doubt author speaker thought RICO worked great against tobacco – because they actually broke the law. Then, as Joshua points out – she circled back to RICO – if that law was broken.

    So, in context, she is arguing for going after companies (or possibly individuals) using RICO (i.e. the justice department) – if laws were broken.

    So I don’t think she is really arguing for going after skeptics with RICO just because they are skeptics.

    Just my opinion.

  11. Briggs

    February 24, 2014 at 1:24 pm

    Joshua,

    Next thing you’ll tell me is the NYT didn’t literally want to murder skeptics with icicles.

  12. Thanks, RickA.

    BTW – I also liked your follow-on comments over at Judith’s. It’s nice to be able to share perspectives in good faith across the great divide sometimes. I hope this is the start of a beautiful dialog.

  13. Briggs –

    Your response was actually non-responsive.

    “Look! Squirrel!” doesn’t cut it in my book.

  14. Steve Hayward and I ran into the climate inquisition back in 2005, when we dared to propose to study the utility of IPCC climate models. We wrote about it in Scenes from the Climate Inquisition: http://goo.gl/ooD2zc

  15. RickA and Joshua,

    From Wikipedia:
    Under the law, the meaning of racketeering activity is set out at 18 U.S.C. § 1961. As currently amended it includes:
    Any violation of state statutes against gambling, murder, kidnapping, extortion, arson, robbery, bribery, dealing in obscene matter, or dealing in a controlled substance or listed chemical (as defined in the Controlled Substances Act);
    Any act of bribery, counterfeiting, theft, embezzlement, fraud, dealing in obscene matter, obstruction of justice, slavery, racketeering, gambling, money laundering, commission of murder-for-hire, and many other offenses covered under the Federal criminal code (Title 18);
    Embezzlement of union funds;
    Bankruptcy fraud or securities fraud;
    Drug trafficking; long-term and elaborate drug networks can also be prosecuted using the Continuing Criminal Enterprise Statute;
    Criminal copyright infringement;
    Money laundering and related offenses;
    Bringing in, aiding or assisting aliens in illegally entering the country (if the action was for financial gain);
    Acts of terrorism.

    Which of these laws is a climate skeptic most likely to break by being a climate skeptic?

  16. Dr. Briggs,
    As soon as Obama appoints Al Gore as Prefect of the Congregation for the Doctrine of the Global Warming Faith, you will be in serious trouble. It’s the auto-de-fe for those who don’t eagerly advocate global warming or

  17. Apologies in my world sodomites and gays are synonyms, you are right sodomites are illegal in Uganda, but I will always defend your right of free speech to fulminate against sodomites (gays are sitting in the closet, so they are no danger to you).

  18. Steve E –

    Which of these laws is a climate skeptic most likely to break by being a climate skeptic?

    I don’t response to LOOK! SQUIRREL!

    The statement was made that consideration should be made of prosecution (under Rico) for breaking laws. That got morphed, by tribalistically-inclined “skeptics,” into a call to prosecute “skeptics” for “heresy.” I would be more than happy to discus with you why “skeptics” have a tendency to make that kind of error, if you’d like.

  19. Joshua,

    it’s called rhetoric. Its rules are not like logic. You are quite correct in your cold assessment, but that (a cold assessment) is not the problem with the Oreskes’ opinion.

    To see why, imagine that she had said “we can use RICO-style persecution” against jews “if they break the law”. Or brown people. Or blacks. Or sodomites.

    Or even against reasonable people who don’t notice the difference between rhetoric and logic.

  20. Steve E:

    None.

  21. Mariner:

    I agree as to protected classes – based on race, religion, national origin, etc. 15th amendment and equal protection apply.

    I don’t agree if you substitute words like “tobacco” or “oil companies”.

    We can use RICO-style prosecution against companies like tobacco or oil companies, that break the law.

    That doesn’t sound so off to me.

  22. I meant 14th amendment – not 15th.

  23. Mariner –

    To see why, imagine that she had said “we can use RICO-style persecution” against jews “if they break the law”. Or brown people. Or blacks. Or sodomites.

    What she said was that RICO could potentially be used to prosecute law-breakers IF there are “skepics” who have broken laws. That is why we have a legal system. To prosecute law-breakers. If you have no confidence in our judicial system, that’s on you and not her.

    As a Jew, I take no offense if someone says that Jews who break the law should be prosecuted. None whatsoever. I would certainly not drama-queen from someone saying that to hand-wringing that they wanted to persecute Jews merely for enjoying lox and bagels. That would be the parallel to Briggs drama-queening and going from Orestes saying that “skeptics” who break the law should be prosecuted to saying that she’s advocating that “skeptics” (as a class) be prosecuted for “heresy” (presumably meaning that he’s arguing that “skeptics” be prosecuted simply for having opinions different than his).

    Yes, Briggs reaction was rhetoric. Ridiculous, tribalistic, and hyperbolic rhetoric.

  24. Briggs

    February 24, 2014 at 5:33 pm

    Joshua,

    You must be a riot at parties.

    Look! Squirrel!

  25. Hans Erren,

    Sodomites and gays might be synonyms, but sodomy and sodomite are not.

  26. Joshua, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act is not meant to deal with run of the mill lawbreakers as you imply. To suggest that climate skeptics fit the description of racketeering is to seriously miss the plot. Your defence fails on the face of it. I also don’t believe that RICO had anything to do with the tobacco law suit or that it was even about law breaking at all. It was a civil suit I believe, but if you have information to the contrary please enlighten us.

    Personally I believe that it is a bad law that will be misused and corrupted with time.

  27. Scotian:

    I argue with Joshua on other sites. However, on this thread I will defend Joshua.

    He never said he supported using RICO to deal with skeptics, just because they are skeptics.

    He said that the speaker on the tape wasn’t suggesting using RICO for skeptics, but for law breakers (i.e. people who fall within the RICO law).

    I am a skeptic and I certainly do not support the use of RICO against myself, just because of that. Nor do I think that skeptics violate RICO.

    It is just that I think the lady was being taken out of context in this post.

  28. Rick A,

    Let’s see what we have here: you are telling me what Joshua means when Joshua is telling Briggs what Oreskes means. This chain of reasoning is way too tenuous for me. Your Honour the defence is: even though the defendant clearly stated a desire to use RICO to get those pesky skeptics organizations she didn’t actually mean that at all. What she was really doing was day dreaming about the plot of a possible novel where a criminal skeptic organization was up on RICO charges. Objection your Honour: assumes facts not in evidence. Sustained.

  29. Evading FOIA requests? No problem. Hiding the decline? No problem. “Adjusting” the data? No problem. Losing the original data? No problem. But if I question the integrity of bung holes that do those things, I should be prosecuted?

    That’s brilliant. As in she must-be-a-professor-to-be-that-stupid kind of brilliant.

    The left grows increasingly intolerant as this becomes their political rather than scientific baby. Fear the tyranny of a stupid and majority.

  30. HWR, they were always intolerant. What is happening now is that they are becoming more brazen. This will lead to their downfall but the real question is, how many of the rest of us will they take down with them? It is time for the fellow travellers to run for cover.

  31. when Joshua is telling Briggs what Oreskes means.

    Dude. I’m not telling you what she means. I’m telling you what she freakin’ said. As opposed to Briggs’ drama-queened version of what she said.

  32. Joshua, quote “I’m not telling you what she means. I’m telling you what she freakin’ said.”

    I must have missed the place where you supplied the transcript of her words. Could you point it out for me? If you can not I must assume that you are telling us your interpretation after listening to the video and that it is quite different than mine. Insulting Briggs will not get you far here and until you place facts into evidence the objection remains sustained.

  33. Could you point it out for me? If you can not I must assume that you are telling us your interpretation after listening to the video and that it is quite different than mine.

    ???? Are you questioning that she said that Rico could be used against people who committed crimes? Are you really saying that you listened to the video and heard something else?

    Interesting.

    Insulting Briggs will not get you far here

    I’m not insulting him. I’m sure he’s a wonderful and smart man. Probably treats his family and puppies very well.

    I’m describing what he did. We all get overly emotional at times. It isn’t an insult to point that out.

  34. Briggs et al, I have just re-listened to the video and it appears that “RICO-style prosecution” has been replaced by “legal-style prosecution”. If I am right this changes everything, so would a few other people check this out for me before I comment further.

  35. I have double checked on the YouTube website where I have noticed that previous comments have been hidden (blocked) for this video. Curiouser and curiouser. Do you have a comment Joshua? Maybe Oreskes knew exactly what she was saying even if you didn’t. Also note that the expression “legal-style prosecution” is completely redundant as well as awkward and thus in itself indicates a patch on the original. I predict the Barbra Streisand effect.

  36. “RICO-style prosecution” has been replaced by “legal-style prosecution”.

    Step away from the tin foil.

  37. Fletcher Christian

    February 25, 2014 at 6:18 am

    MattS – Sodomites and gays are not synonymous. I’ve never heard that lesbians practice sodomy. Nor does even male homosexual activity necessarily involve sodomy, although probably it usually does. Sodomy can (IIRC) be practiced by heterosexuals as well. All, of course, if we take the definition of sodomy as being anal sex, which isn’t universally accepted.

    While I’m writing a comment – can we please, please, please stop using the word “gay” for homosexuals?

  38. Joshua,

    the context of her statement was “what can we do to deal with skeptics?” Her next suggestion was a “Nixon goes to China” moment (meaning, a conservative leader that defends decisive action in the subject at hand; she continues by defending carbon taxes).

    You are treating it as if this were a debate on RICO and where it is applicable, but that’s not what the discussion was about. Bringing up criminal measures as a possibility is a rhetorical move. Honestly, I don’t regard Ms. Oreskes as the brightest advocate of carbon taxes, and I don’t think she realizes the rhetorical nature of her sentence, or how it is quite a despicable move; I think her mind was following her mouth, rather than the opposite. But her obliviousness does not influence the [despicable] effect of her move.

    Again, the best way to see this is to imagine some analogous and similarly controversial discussion involving government action — imagine that this was a debate about abortion, or campaign finances, or the soda consumption in NY. And imagine how you would react if there was the suggestion to deal with dissenters (pick a side, it doesn’t matter for the analogy) by RICO-style proceedings. If they break the law, of course.

    Does this scenario sound all right to you? Or would you feel that the suggestion is out of place, disproportionate?

    If you don’t feel it in the case at hand, it only goes to show how far advanced are the propaganda efforts against dissenters in climate policy.

  39. Is that all you’ve got Joshua or is this a squirrel moment of your own?

  40. Mariner –

    I respect the rights of people who find abortion morally objectionable. I still think, however, that people who bomb abortion clinics should be prosecuted.

    Just the way I roll, I guess.

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