But Nye isn’t just speculating about putting people in jail. He is referring to a specific attempt to use the model of those old tobacco lawsuits to prosecute any company that has ever funded research or advocacy skeptical of claims about global warming. This campaign was started last year and has taken its newest steps recently with a meeting of state attorneys general who vowed to launch “investigations into whether fossil fuel companies misled investors and the public on the impact of climate change.”
The attorney general of the U.S. Virgin Islands—whom you would think would have enough to deal with at home straightening out a notoriously dysfunctional office—has subpoenaed a leading free-market think tank, the Competitive Enterprise Institute, demanding all of its internal communications from 1997 through 2007. Why? Because CEI once committed the presumed crime of accepting money from a major oil company.
This is what you call a “fishing expedition.” The prosecutors are not demanding any specific evidence of criminal activity, because they have no specific grounds to suspect it. They’re just demanding everything, in the hope that once they fish through it, they will find something they can cast as incriminating, or at least embarrassing. It’s a well-known form of legal harassment.
To those who object that this will create a “chilling effect” on scientific debate over global warming, which is the obvious goal of the investigation, Nye says that’s just fine. More.
A Soviet bureaucrat once explained to Malcolm Muggeridge that the main reason for terrorizing people who hadn’t some much was to keep everyone afraid. If they only prosecuted/ persecuted/jailed people who had done something substantial, they would not have the control they needed.
Mark Steyn on Nye back in 2015:
Cry Havoc! And Let Slip the Dogs of Warm…
What a bore this time of year is. There seems to be only a couple of topics the ever shrinking list of approved speakers get to talk about to America’s youth. So Obama droned on about climate change and Mann-boosting hack Bill Nye the Science Guy discoursed on race. Maybe someone switched their speeches.
See also: Bill Nye open to jail time for climate change skeptics: Climate change is probably a test case for further such interventions. Once people have a truth that is their road to power, any evidence they do not control is just a problem.