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I just returned from Paris for the UN’s COP-21 climate conference. There were a lot of nutty things that went on, but this might be the nuttiest, and most disturbing: at the so-called “People’s Climate Summit” in Montreuil, a suburb north of Paris, author Naomi Klein and climate activist Bill McKibben put on an event called “The People vs. ExxonMobil: A Public Trial for the Greatest Climate Crime of the Century.”
Mock trials are often a fun way for public advocacy groups to drill down into a serious issue. For instance, Freedom Fest — a libertarian convention The Heartland Institute has participated in for many years — put the Federal Reserve on trial last July. In 2012, we put Wall Street on the docket. Freedom Fest always asks for (and usually gets) people who are ideologically opposed to the audience to argue for the defense — such as in 2011, when Freedom Fest put public sector unions on trial and convinced Thea Lee, deputy chief of staff the AFL-CIO, to argue for the defense.
If you watch the clips at the links above, you’ll note how much fun everyone is having, and how there are two sides to the trial: the prosecution and the defense. Each gets to call witnesses, and the audience votes on the verdict of “guilty” or “not guilty.” (Some of the votes over the years have been surprising.)
Those basic elements of centuries-old Western law were nowhere to be found in the eco-radicals’ mock trial of ExxonMobil that marked its “fun” at COP-21. There were only prosecutors, Naomi Klein and Bill McKibben, and the slate of witnesses — such as members of Pacific Climate Warriors and ExxonSecrets — were there only to convict. Also, ExxonMobil’s mock fate was in the hands of three judges, including actor Peter Sarsgaard, rather than put to a jury. Even in jest, the totalitarian instincts of the professional left took over: gin-up bogus charges that ExxonMobil “lied” about global warming, and then rig the trial.
I know, I know. What’s the big deal, Jim? Why can’t you let them have their fun? I would … if the professional eco-left was only playing with putting those it labels as “enemies” on trial.
In just the last few months, we’ve seen Democratic presidential candidate Senator Bernie Sanders urge Obama’s Justice Department to open a criminal investigation on ExxonMobil, and some twenty prominent university professors and scientists are demanding that those who question the hypothesis of human-caused global warming be brought up on federal charges. US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and other prominent Democratic politicians in Washington called for the same thing earlier this year. [NB: Some of the most well-funded and prominent leftist organizations in America are behind the new tactic of using the anti-mafia RICO laws against climate “deniers.” Read more at Leftexposed.org.]
And a few days ago, a group of prominent Canadian leftists, led by something called “Ecojustice,” filed a complaint with authorities in Canada to bring criminal charges against The Heartland Institute. as well as our Canadian friends in the climate realism movement at the International Climate Science Coalition, and the Friends of Science.
If the eco-fascists had their way, their show trials would not just be for show anymore.
To read and view of all The Heartland Institute’s contingent did in Paris to bring climate realism to COP-21, visit this link.
[Post Script: Heartland is endlessly and falsely accused by the professional eco-left of being funded by ExxonMobil. The corporation’s modest gifts to Heartland ended in 2006, two years before Heartland started pushing hard for climate realism and “skepticism” of a human-caused global warming crisis. The Koch Brothers don’t fund us, either. More info here.]