Conservative pundit and author Mark Steyn slammed Democrats and their allies for threatening legal action against those who disagree with them on the science fueling the global warming debate.
Steyn, a prominent critic of global warming alarmism, criticized attempts by Democratic lawmakers to use their office or the U.S. legal system to silence scientists and groups skeptical of certain conclusions drawn about global warming.
“It was an absolutely disgraceful letter,” Steyn told senators Tuesday, referring to a letter to universities by Arizona Democratic Rep. Raul Grijalva earlier this year demanding records about skeptic researchers. Steyn said this type of activity represents the next stage of “climate enforcement.”
“Your colleague Sen. Whitehouse has called for RICO laws, laws about racketeering, to be used against those who disagree with him on climate science,” Steyn added, talking about the Rhode Island’s calls for federal prosecution of global warming skeptics.
“You’re not dealing with science, you’re effectively forcing state ideology,” Steyn said.
Democrats have increasingly been calling for federal investigations of global warming skeptics and fossil fuel companies over their opposition to regulations to cut carbon dioxide emissions.
New York’s Democratic attorney general recently launched an investigation of ExxonMobil for allegedly lying to investors about the dangers of global warming. Democratic presidential candidates have also supported federal investigations of Exxon for “covering up” climate science.
But Steyn, who is currently being sued by Penn State university climatologist Michael Mann, said “the most important competitiveness in any society is the competitiveness of ideas.” Steyn argued that when politicians try to shut down the debate, it means their argument is weak.
“What they’re telling you is this idea is so weak it cannot be subject to the normal vigorous debate of free society,” Steyn said.
Steyn also slammed Mann and others for claiming they won the Nobel Prize in 2007. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and Al Gore won the Nobel Prize that year for their work on global warming, but many individual scientists have also laid claim to winning the prize since they contributed to the IPCC’s climate findings.
“There’s never been a misrepresentation of credentials on this scale,” Steyn said. “It used to be a very serious business, but apparently it is not when your cause is saving ‘saving the planet.’
“It gets to the heart of the problem here, that they are attempting to cloak the science in an authority it does, in fact, not posses,” he said.
Steyn argued that if you question these scientists you’re slapped with a lawsuit and marginalized.
“If you do, you suffer very serious consequences,” Steyn said.
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