A publicity campaign ruthlessly bent on dumbing down our collective understanding of critically important issues deserves to be called criminal and prosecuted. Why? Because our leaders and citizens have the right, the need, to learn what serious competent scientists have been observing and learning about our planet and this climate system that we are absolutely depend on.
With a big thank you to Dana Nuccitelli, John Mashey, John Cook and the hard working volunteers at SkepticalScience.com I present:
Last week, Senate Democrats, including presidential candidate Bernie Sanders and vice presidential contenders Elizabeth Warren and Al Franken signed a Resolution expressing congressional disapproval of the fossil fuel industry’s misinformation campaign.19 Senate Democrats also took to the floor of the Senate to speak out against the web of denial, with repeated references to the tobacco/fossil connections.
The First Amendment, ladies and gentlemen, does not give you the right to commit fraud
As Smith claimed:
The Committee has a responsibility to protect First Amendment rights of companies, academic institutions, scientists, and nonprofit organizations. That is why the Committee is obligated to ask for information from the attorneys general and others.
- developed a sophisticated and deceitful campaign that funded think tanks and front groups, and paid public relations firms to deny, counter, andobfuscate peer-reviewed science; and
- (B) used that misinformation campaign to mislead the public and cast doubt in order to protect their financial interest
The attorneys general investigating Exxon have a strong case that the fossil fuel industry is similarly guilty of racketeering by deceiving the public in order to maximize profits. Exxon and other fossil fuel companies knew of the dangers of carbon pollution more than three decades ago, and yet funneled tens of millions of dollars to think tanks that disseminate misinformation to try to convince the public and policymakers otherwise.
I think a RICO action is plausible and should be considered