A recent H-L article quoted the CEO of Murray Energy Corp. as saying "global warming is a hoax". It's good that the company is privately held. Otherwise stockholders would surely clamor for the removal of a CEO who displays such willful ignorance, wishful thinking, outright dishonesty, or all of the above.
97% of the world's climate scientists have concluded that the evidence for human-caused global warming is overwhelming. 99% of all scientists concur. Denialists say climate scientists get more grants for supporting global warming. But what about the 99% of scientists in other fields? What is their motivation?
If global warming were a hoax, it would mean thousands of scientists were falsifying data, and collaborating to keep the data consistent. Most scientists are motivated by a love for data, logic, and discovery. They are not trained to be conspirators, and would be easily found out.
On the other hand, fossil fuel companies are dedicated to one thing: extracting as much as possible of the $27 trillion in fossil fuels still in the ground. They want their money, and if it leads to millions of deaths and trillions of dollars of losses from unchecked global warming, so be it.
The Pentagon has declared climate change to be a clear and present danger to the security of the US. I have seen calls to charge denialists with treason. That seems a bit much. Maybe wanton endangerment might be a starting point for charges, and we see where can go from there?
Well, that's my 250 words for the Herald Leader. I wanted to include this as well, but, no room :-( I think I'll send this one in next week.
The First Amendment famously does not protect yelling "Fire!" in a crowded theater. Global warming denialists are standing by the exits of a crowded theater that is on fire and yelling "There's no fire! Stay in your seats and enjoy the movie!" What crimes would you be charged with for this behavior?