Jim covered Congress and The White House during the George W. Bush administration for The Washington Times, and worked as a reporter, editorial writer and columnist for newspapers in Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California. He has appeared on the Fox News Channel, CNN, MSNBC, C-Span, and many local and national talk radio shows to talk politics and policy.
Latest posts by Jim Lakely (see all)
PARIS — There are a lot of nutty things going on here in Paris for the COP-21 UN climate conference, 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 are putting on an event called “The People vs. ExxonMobil: A Public Trial for the Greatest Climate Crime of the Century.”
Mock trials are often fun ways for public advocacy groups to drill down into a serious issue. For instance, Freedom Fest — a libertarian convention Heartland has participated in for many years — put the Federal Reserve on trial last July. In 2012, Wall Street was 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, an also how there are two sides to the trial: the prosecution and the defense. Each side 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 is not a feature of the eco-radicals’ mock trial of ExxonMobil that marks its “fun” at COP-21. There are only prosecutors, Naomi Klein and Bill McKibben, and the slate of witnesses — such as members of Pacific Climate Warriors and ExxonSecrets — are there only to convict. Also, ExxonMobil’s mock fate is in the hands of three judges, including actor Peter Sarsgaard, and not a jury. So even in jest, the totalitarian instincts of the professional left takes 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 Bernie Sanders urge Obama’s Justice Department to open a criminal investigation on ExxonMobil, and some 20 prominent university professors and scientists are demanding that those who question the hypothesis of human-caused global warming be brought up on federal charges. U.S. Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island and other prominent Democratic politicians in Washington called for the same thing earlier this year. [NOTE: Some of the most well-funded and prominent leftist organizations in America are behind the RICO Epidemic. Read more at Leftexposed.org.]
And on Thursday, a group of prominent Canadian leftists, led by something called “Ecojustice,” has 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-radicals had their way, their show trials would not just be for show anymore.
[Post Script: Heartland is endlessly 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. More info here.]