Political science professor Michael E. Kraft at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay wrote an op-ed entitled “Climate Change Deniers Deserve Punishment.”
Throughout his opinion piece published in the Providence Journal, he compares “climate change deniers” and the fossil fuel industry to the tobacco industry, which was sued and charged with violating the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO).
According to the lawsuit, tobacco companies had intentionally covered up studies linking tobacco use to health problems such as cancer. Kraft pointed out that the Justice Department accused tobacco companies of a “massive 50-year scheme to defraud the public, including consumers of cigarettes.”
Kraft argued that the fossil fuel industry – and even “think tanks and advocacy groups” – should be punished under the RICO Act in a similar way:
“Is there a parallel to current controversies over climate change science? Some members of Congress say there is. Members of Congress have asked the Justice Department to pursue charges under RICO against major fossil fuel companies for knowingly deceiving the public — and investors — about the dangers of climate change when their own studies showed the reality of the threat. Under questioning by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Attorney General Loretta Lynch revealed she has referred the matter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for study.
In addition, in late March, more than a dozen state attorneys general meeting in New York also said they would “aggressively” investigate whether fossil fuel companies misled the public and investors about the risks of climate change. Several state attorneys general already have initiated such investigations under consumer and investor protection laws.
Some ask whether such inquiries should be limited to fossil fuel companies. What about extending the liability, they say, to certain think tanks and advocacy groups?
Some such groups have been heavily funded by the fossil fuel industry and have misrepresented climate change risks to the public. That might be a tougher sell, given rights to free speech, but it could be given consideration.”
Kraft isn’t the only manmade global warming proponent to suggest punishing manmade climate change deniers in some way.
There is a professor at the University of Graz in Austria who believes climate change deniers should be executed. And he doesn’t even support the death penalty for mass murderers. But he makes an exception for deniers, because they’re causing “the deaths of hundreds of millions of future people.” He said that more than likely, there would be billions of people’s lives at stake, but that hundreds of millions is a “conservative estimate.”
Al Gore has voiced a similar sentiment as Michael Kraft. The Chicago Tribune had reported that Gore spoke of the need to “punish climate change deniers, saying politicians should pay a price for rejecting ‘accepted science.’”