From the Greenhouse to the Big House...
When liberals said global warming causes crime, no one knew it was because they planned on prosecuting their opponents! Late last week, climate alarmist Lawrence Torcello didn't do his movement any favors when he lobbied for jailing global warming skeptics (which, after yesterday's storm, might have included the entire city of Washington). It was a new low for an environmental movement that is already God's gift to late-night comedy.
Torcello, a professor at New York's Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT), tested the idea in an essay for "The Conversation," (an ironic name, since that's exactly what the Left is hoping to end). In particular, the professor takes aim at conservative groups trying to raise awareness about what the science really says about the manufactured crisis of global warming. "Consider cases in which science communication is intentionally undermined for political and financial gain," Torcello writes. "I submit that this is just what is happening with the current, well-documented funding of global warming denialism... 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."
Setting aside the criminal aspect, who are liberals to talk about the funding of a "sustained campaign to undermine the public's understanding" of science? They don't call it the "green" movement for nothing! Radical environmentalists have funneled billions of dollars into a global fact-twisting mission to drown out the truth. Torcello's hypocrisy, though, is just a footnote to the bigger outrage -- which is the idea that disbelief with liberals is grounds for imprisonment. Unfortunately for Torcello, there's no jail big enough to hold the millions of Americans unconvinced by the Left's "science."
Adding insult to the environmentalists' injury, global warming ranked almost dead-last in voters' political priorities as recently as January, according to Pew Research Center. For years, radical liberals have tried to frighten people into compliance with their agenda. Now that their climate arm-twisting isn't working, they're turning to more desperate measures. But to suggest a simple ideological disagreement is enough to throw someone behind bars is shocking even for these extremists.
Torcello acknowledges as much, writing, "My argument probably raises an understandable, if misguided, concern regarding free speech. We must make the critical distinction between the protecting of voicing one's unpopular beliefs, and the funding of a strategically organized campaign to undermine the public's ability to develop and voice informed opinion. Protecting the latter as a form of free speech stretches the definition of free speech to a degree that undermines the very concept."
Once again, this is evidence of just how intolerant and afraid of open debate the Left is. Isn't the world of academia about fighting censorship and advocating for the free flow of ideas and information? Does it only fight censorship of pornographic, anti-American, anti-religious speech, and is its advocacy only restricted to liberal ideas and teachings?
Believe it or not, this "if-you-can't-beat-em-jail-em" approach is not all that preposterous for liberals, who last year threatened a Christian baker with potential prison time for refusing to make a same-sex "wedding" cake. Now that environmentalists are losing their grip on public opinion, Americans are starting to see that what's actually in danger of extinction is civility.
FRC UN-derscores Importance of Life
Last week, the director of FRC's Center for Human Dignity, Arina Grossu, spoke in New York City at an event held parallel with the U.N.'s 58th Commission on the Status of Women. She sat in on some U.N. events with delegates and ambassadors from all over the world as well as parallel events sponsored by various NGOs. Arina spoke at an event on the causes of maternal mortality around the world and how to best address this problem. Her talk was well received in a room packed full of 80 people, and she was approached afterwards by people representing organizations in China, Australia, Taiwan, Ireland, Canada, Hungary, and the Middle East.
One woman in particular spoke about how Arina taught her what to ask for in order to help women in her country. As Arina said, pregnancy and babies are not the enemies. We can eliminate difficulties in maternal health without eliminating motherhood. Sadly, the U.N. continues to push a pro-abortion, anti-family agenda, especially in the developing world. All the more reason for our commitment to having people like Arina represent us there to make the case for life.
Partners for Faith, Family & Freedom
As the cadets at the U.S. Air Force Academy showed us last week, we're all stronger when we stand together. For more than 30 years, Family Research Council has been empowered to stand firm on Capitol Hill and in the public square to advance faith, family and freedom, because of friends like you faithfully partnering with us. That's why I am excited to remind you of a special program for our closest friends. FRC's Monthly Family Partners program allows you to conveniently and automatically partner with FRC each month from your bank account or credit card. Your ongoing financial support through this secure and hassle-free system will greatly increase FRC's ability to voice your values in today's policy debates that are shaping America's future.
When you partner with FRC, you'll be joining thousands of other concerned Americans and amplifying your influence to build a culture in which life is valued, families flourish and religious liberty thrives. Also, for a limited time, when you sign up as a Monthly Family Partner, you'll receive two free items, including my book, Personal Faith, Public Policy, and our FRC ceramic coffee mug. Click here to learn more about becoming a Monthly Family Partner with FRC and how you can make a difference today.
** Don't miss Eugene Volokh and Ilya Shapiro's great Wall Street Journal op-ed on the clash between religious liberty and marriage, "Choosing What to Photograph Is a Form of Speech."
Tony Perkins' Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.