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Defcon1 Legal Threat: California’s near miss on new laws to jail climate skeptics

Here’s how a democracy becomes a technocracy: when the legislation decrees a government department edit is “truth” and threatens to jail anyone who disagrees. For a whole 3 months California’s Senate didn’t treat this bill like the democratic-leprosy that it is. Today it’s just been “moved to inactive” which means it is out of action for the moment — immediate threat over — but the fact that it was proposed and passed several Senate committee stages in California should rattle the bones of every freeman. A tyranny beckons.

There are already laws that stop people from profiting from lies and deception. They apply to everyone. Why do they need climate skeptic specific laws? Because the skeptics speak the truth.

This is nuclear stuff:

Senate Bill 1161, or the California Climate Science Truth and Accountability Act of 2016, would have authorized prosecutors to sue fossil fuel companies, think tanks and others that have “deceived or misled the public on the risks of climate change.”

So close. Washington Post:

A landmark bill allowing for the prosecution of climate change dissent effectively died Thursday after the California Senate failed to take it up before the deadline.

Senate Bill 1161, or the California Climate Science Truth and Accountability Act of 2016, would have authorized prosecutors to sue fossil fuel companies, think tanks and others that have “deceived or misled the public on the risks of climate change.”

The measure, which cleared two Senate committees, provided a four-year window in the statute of limitations on violations of the state’s Unfair Competition Law, allowing legal action to be brought until Jan. 1 on charges of climate change “fraud” extending back indefinitely.

Legislate scientific laws? (Make govt departments untouchable.)

Rather than being a law that applies to one and all, the bill starts by defining their “truths”, entrenching falsehoods, and an immature corrupted scientific field into legislation — hard to believe. If a government department was — banish the thought — wrong about something, this type of legislation would jail people for saying so — all hail the US EPA?

SEC. 2. (a) The Legislature finds and declares all of the following:

(1) There is broad scientific consensus that anthropogenic global warming is occurring and changing the world’s climate patterns, and that the primary cause is the emission of greenhouse gases from the production and combustion of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil, and natural gas.

(2) The United States Environmental Protection Agency (USEPA) states that the buildup of atmospheric greenhouse gases results in impacts that include the following:

(A) Changing temperature and precipitation patterns.

(B) Increases in ocean temperatures, sea level, and acidity.

(C) Melting of glaciers and sea ice.

(D) Changes in the frequency, intensity, and duration of extreme weather events.

(E) Shifts in ecosystem characteristics, such as the length of the growing season, timing of flower blooms, and migration of birds.

(F) Increased threats to human health.

So “the legislature” firstly declares there is a broad scientific consensus, despite there being not one single study or even so much as an anonymous internet poll that demonstrates that. There is not even a consensus among climate scientists.  Two-thirds of geoscientists and engineers are skeptics, aren’t they scientists? Oh-yessity, and their branch is the kind that doesn’t need a consensus. When was the last time a state legislated that Dept of Transport declares there is Conservation of Momentum? There is a good reason we don’t make laws about more complex phenomena — otherwise we’d have jailed people for saying that continents drift, eggs are healthy, and crash diets might stop diabetes.

The legislation has a few other little bombs — like retrospectively removing the statute of limitations:

Walter Olson

An extraordinary bill in the California legislature, promoted as making it easier to sue fossil fuel companies over their involvements in public debate, would lift the four-year statute of limitations of the state’s already extremely liberal Unfair Competition Law, otherwise known as s. 17200 — and retrospectively, so as to revive decades’ worth of time-lapsed claims “with respect to scientific evidence regarding the existence, extent, or current or future impacts of anthropogenic induced anthropogenic-induced climate change.” Despite a 2004 round of voter-sponsored reform which curbed some of its worst applications, s. 17200 still enables what a California court called “legal shakedown” operations in which “ridiculously minor” violations serve as the predicate for automatic entitlement to damages, attorneys’ fees, and other relief.

If skeptics were profiting from lies, they would already be in jail.

h/t Lubos, Anthony Watts, Joffa, Climate Depot

WUWT:  The first amendment is now dead in California: New California bill would allow prosecution of climate-change skeptics

UPDATE: A potential ticking bomb or a test run?

From Agimarc in comments #15 —

It’s not dead. The legislation can be offered up as an amendment or a gut and pass (replace the contents of any bill moving thru the legislature) at the last minute and passed with little or no notice. I think this was a trial balloon to see how loud the pushback was going to be so that the democrat majority would know how devious they need to be to pass it. It is a targeted attack not only on the First Amendment, but anyone who would commit badthink. The totalitarian impulse runs strong among democrats these days and it is going to get a lot uglier before it gets better. Solution may end up being dusting off the Vigilance Committees of the California Gold Rush years. Cheers –

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