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Global Warming Deniers Are Criminally Negligent

From Australia’s independent academic site, The Conversation:

Is misinformation about the climate criminally negligent?

By Lawrence Torcello | March 13, 2014

The importance of clearly communicating science to the public should not be underestimated. Accurately understanding our natural environment and sharing that information can be a matter of life or death. When it comes to global warming, much of the public remains in denial about a set of facts that the majority of scientists clearly agree on. With such high stakes, an organised campaign funding misinformation ought to be considered criminally negligent…

Many scientists recognize these civic and moral obligations. Climatologist Michael Mann is a good example; Mann has recently made the case for public engagement in a powerful New York Times opinion piece: If You See Something Say Something…

Mr. Mann has done ever more than that. He has taken to suing anyone who has the temerity to disagree with him for libel. (Cf. Mark Steyn.)

Misinformation and criminal negligence

We have good reason to consider the funding of climate denial to be criminally and morally negligent. The charge of criminal and moral negligence ought to extend to all activities of the climate deniers who receive funding as part of a sustained campaign to undermine the public’s understanding of scientific consensus.

‘So lock them up!’ says a college professor. (Really he is. See below.) By the way, what other scientific consensus should it be illegal to question? Evolution? The number of planets in our solar system?

Criminal negligence is normally understood to result from failures to avoid reasonably foreseeable harms, or the threat of harms to public safety, consequent of certain activities. Those funding climate denial campaigns can reasonably predict the public’s diminished ability to respond to climate change as a result of their behaviour. Indeed, public uncertainty regarding climate science, and the resulting failure to respond to climate change, is the intentional aim of politically and financially motivated denialists.

My argument probably raises an understandable, if misguided, concern regarding free speech. We must make the critical distinction between the protected voicing of one’s unpopular beliefs, and the funding of a strategically organised campaign to undermine the public’s ability to develop and voice informed opinions. Protecting the latter as a form of free speech stretches the definition of free speech to a degree that undermines the very concept.

In other words, if someone provides funding so an opposing view can be heard, they should be locked up. That is beyond any silly notions of ‘free speech.’

What are we to make of those behind the well documented corporate funding of global warming denial? Those who purposefully strive to make sure “inexact, incomplete and contradictory information” is given to the public? I believe we understand them correctly when we know them to be not only corrupt and deceitful, but criminally negligent in their willful disregard for human life.

And in the case of the evil Koch Brothers (whom Mr. Torcello is clearly referencing), they are also ‘un-American.’

It is time for modern societies to interpret and update their legal systems accordingly.

Le guillotine! Le guillotine!

Lawrence Torcello is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology

Mr. Torcello would have made a great prosecutor during the Spanish Inquisition. (Which, by the way, can’t hold a candle to the intolerance we are seeing from the global warmist hoaxers.)

This article was posted by Steve on Tuesday, March 18th, 2014. Comments are currently closed.

3 Responses to “Global Warming Deniers Are Criminally Negligent”

  1. BannedbytheTaliban says:

    What does a professor of the pseudoscience of philosophy know about the scientific method and testable hypotheses? His entire field is based on making assumptions about the unknown and unknowable. Also, I see his arguments promogulated many places. However, none of it’s proponents ever once mention a piece of misinformation or the set of facts on which scientist clearly agree. Instead they talk around it like the nebulous boogeyman they want it to be.

  2. GetBackJack says:

    The Stupid is strong with this one

  3. canary says:

    The author Lawrence Torcello should be criminalized. His Disclosure says he receives no funding for his opinion to criminalize those that don’t agree with him, and denies the press he used for his opinion is not funded either when in fact he and the newspaper are funded.
    Right beneath his name he is sure to lie for the benefit of his own job and other scientists.

    Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Rochester Institute of Technology

    Disclosure Statement

    Lawrence Torcello does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation[sic] that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.

    The Conversation is funded by the following universities: (etc)

    Torcello is a criminal hypocrite.

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