In the 1950s, it was: “Are you now, or have you ever been, a member of the Communist Party?” Today, it’s: “Are you now, or have you ever been, a climate-change denier?”
I’m not referring simply to the fact that it’s politically incorrect to question assertions of man-made global warming. That’s bad enough, but no — I mean that if some powerful individuals get their way, it could soon be a federal crime to do so.
“The bottom line is simple,” New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said at a recent press conference. “Climate change is real.” He was joined by more than a dozen other state attorneys general who vowed to investigate — and quite possibly prosecute — individuals and organizations that criticize the conventional wisdom on climate change.
Their crusade has captured the sympathy of U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch, who on March 9 told the Senate Judiciary Committee that she has discussed internally the possibility of pursuing civil actions against “climate change deniers.” Worse, she has “referred it to the FBI to consider whether or not it meets the criteria for which we could take action.”
That struck committee member Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) as a great idea. After all, he had urged Lynch to prosecute those who “pretend that the science of carbon emissions’ dangers is unsettled.” He particularly wants to go after those in the “fossil fuel industry” who allegedly have a “climate denial apparatus” in place to say something Sen. Whitehouse disagrees with.