Science Blogger Backs Prof Who Wants Climate ‘Deniers’ Tried for ‘Criminal Negligence’

Philosophy professor just latest to call for prosecution of skeptics.

Science blogger and biological anthropologist Greg Laden once said that taking away the future from generations by promoting climate denial was a “criminal act.” He doubled down on that March 16, saying that was only “wishful thinking” at the moment and defending a professor who said denialists ought to be charged with “criminal negligence.”

The professor he defended was just the latest in a long line of people who have called for prosecution or worse for skeptics. In 2006, one person called for “Nuremberg” style trials, but had to apologize and retract the remark.

Clinging to the “science is settled” mantra of the climate-alarmist movement, Laden ignored the “slowdown” in global warming since 2000 or so as well as the 1,000+ scientists who disagree in some way from the so-called consensus. He argued that climate change threatens to turn half the planet into a Syria-like “failed state.”

“There actually isn’t a law against ruining the planet and ending civilization as we know it, against taking part in the death and misery of countless humans, against carrying out acts of such utterly despicable selfishness and general terror that you will be placed among the ranks of the genocidal once all is said and done, if you get your way. Nope. That’s totally legal,” Laden wrote. “Or is it? Or, at least, should it be?”

Laden then defended Lawrence Torcello, a philosophy professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, who recently wrote an essay called, "Is Misinformation About The Climate Criminally Negligent?" according to Breitbart London.

In the minds of Laden and Torcello, there is no such thing as honest scientific dissent from climate lockstep. It must be the nefarious result of corporate funding and there should be consequences.

Breitbart quoted Torcello’s essay in which he said, “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. It is time for modern societies to interpret and update their legal systems accordingly.”

In other words, off to prison with you if you disagree with the consensus. How very authoritarian of them.

Of course, inappropriate metaphors and calls for climate skeptics to be punished are not new. A musicologist in Austria called for the death penalty for climate deniers, retracting it after people were upset, according to American Thinker. That article about the violent rhetoric used against climate skeptics also mentioned statements made by Climate Progress’ Joe Romm and NASA’s James Hansen.

Grist.org’s David Roberts called for a “climate Nuremberg,” on Sept. 20, 2006, saying that “When we’ve finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we’re in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards — some sort of climate Nuremberg.”

He apologized for the Nuremberg remark calling it “woefully inappropriate” and “stupid” on Oct. 13, 2006, but held to the view that anyone “knowingly disseminating falsehoods and distortions about global warming. They deserve to be held publicly accountable.”

— Julia A. Seymour is Assistant Managing Editor for the Business and Media Institute at the Media Research Center. Follow Julia A. Seymour on Twitter.