Climate Skeptics Heads Up You Maybe Prosecuted 

Update 06-03-16:  California Senate shelves bill enabling lawsuits against climate “deniers” — for now

By Walter Olson

The California Senate has shelved, at least for now, a bill that would lay the groundwork for a campaign of lawsuits against so-called climate deniers. The California Climate Science Truth and Accountability Act of 2016 (Senate Bill 1161), which had passed two committee hurdles, would retrospectively lift what is now a four-year statute of limitations so as to allow unlimited lawsuits under the state’s notoriously pro-plaintiff Unfair Competition Law, or s. 17200, over advocacy related to climate change. While the deadline has now passed for the bill to be enacted on its own under ordinary legislative procedure, it could still pass this year under “gut-and-amend” procedures or a rules waiver. [Valerie Richardson/Washington Times and earlier, Andrew Stuttaford/National Review, Watts Up with That, thanks for quotes in all; earlier]


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

A landmark California bill gaining steam would make it illegal to engage in climate-change dissent, clearing the way for lawsuits against fossil-fuel companies, think-tanks and others that have “deceived or misled the public on the risks of climate change.”

The first-of-its-kind legislation — Senate Bill 1161, or the California Climate Science Truth and Accountability Act of 2016 — is scheduled for floor action Thursday after clearing Senate committees in April and May.

The measure would allow state and local prosecutors to pursue claims against climate-change skepticism as a violation of the state’s Unfair Competition Law [UCL], as well as extend the four-year statute of limitations for such claims retroactively to Jan. 1, 2021.

“This bill explicitly authorizes district attorneys and the Attorney General to pursue UCL claims alleging that a business or organization has directly or indirectly engaged in unfair competition with respect to scientific evidence regarding the existence, extent, or current or future impacts of anthropogenic induced climate change,” says the state Senate Rules Committee’s floor analysis.

More information HERE.

This is mind blowing, they are suspending the statute of limitations with this language:

(a) (1) Notwithstanding Section 17208 of the Business and Professions Code, an action pursuant to Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 17200) of Part 2 of Division 7 of the Business and Professions Code against a corporation, firm, partnership, joint stock company, association, or other organization of persons that has directly or indirectly engaged in unfair competition, as defined in Section 17200 of the Business and Professions Code, with respect to scientific evidence regarding the existence, extent, or current or future impacts of anthropogenic-induced climate change that would otherwise be barred as of January 1, 2017, solely because the statute of limitation has or had expired, is revived and, in that case, the action may be commenced within four years of January 1, 2017. Nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to alter the applicable limitation period of an action that is not time barred as of January 1, 2017.

Question: Will skeptical global warming blogs that allow advertising be threatened? Could Watts Up With That, the most read skeptical climate change blog be a target, because it is unfair to anthropogenic global warmer bloggers who do not have any readers? How about this blog?

About Russ Steele

Freelance writer and climate change blogger. Russ spent twenty years in the Air Force as a navigator specializing in electronics warfare and digital systems. After his service he was employed for sixteen years as concept developer for TRW, an aerospace and automotive company, and then was CEO of a non-profit Internet provider for 18 months. Russ's articles have appeared in Comstock's Business, Capitol Journal, Trailer Life, Monitoring Times, and Idaho Magazine.
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3 Responses to Climate Skeptics Heads Up You Maybe Prosecuted 

  1. aajaxx says:

    I think such a bill would be justified. The big energy interests that put out and support this stuff are knowingly engaging in fraud and deception for competitive advantage, as their internal documents in several cases have shown. They are not in good faith “engaging in dissent”.


  2. sean2829 says:

    Russ, you are warning the wrong people.
    This bill is not about prosecution of individuals and jail time, its about demonizing a product (or an element on the periodic table) and using that as a justification to apply a toll, just like what was done with cigarettes. Before the tobacco settlement, cigarettes were $1.50-$2 a pack and after the settlement, they jumped to nearly $4. Then $2 / pack taxes were added and now $6 is the norm. All this is justified by demonizing the product. But only about 15% of the population smokes, and its more of a habit of the poor than the well off, and their use is declining. Politicians need a new demon to justify revenue collection and the energy companies are the new target. They don’t want to put the energy companies out of business, free spending politicians want to be able to justify collection of a large fee for using a product. The people that need to be warned are anyone who used fossil fuel energy in the state of California.


    • Russ Steele says:

      Sean, I agree! We are paying through the nose due to AB-32 and now they want to raise fuel prices and reduce road maintenance to force people to use public transportation.


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