Historically, one of the greatest benefits of living in a democracy has been the right to freely express one's opinion and to engage in open debate on issues where the facts are presented for all to see. The American Left has always prided itself on its openness to new ideas coupled with its disdain for secrecy and strong-arm tactics by those who have power.
However, when it comes to the issue of global warming, those on the Left seem to believe in this motto; "If you can't defeat your opponents, eliminate them!"
In a recent example, James R. Hansen, director of NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies and longtime global warming alarmist, told Congress this week that the executives of oil companies should be tried in court for their opposition to the view that humans are causing global warming. He said:
"Methods are sophisticated, including funding to help shape school textbook discussions of global warming. CEOs of fossil energy companies know what they are doing and are aware of the long-term consequences of continued business as usual. In my opinion, these CEOs should be tried for high crimes against humanity and nature."
Crimes against humanity? Keep in mind that this is an issue that is about 20 years old and for which the science is by no means settled. Many other distinguished scientists disagree with Hansen's conclusions. For these alarmists though, we do not have time to get it right...we must do something. (One could wish that the Left felt as strongly about the genocide of unborn children.)
Hansen, in the same testimony, said that coal plants should be phased out by 2025. Coal currently generates about 50% of electricity in the United States. How we would replace 50% of our electrical generation in 17 years is not something that Hansen mentioned in his testimony. It seems that the details are for the little people to work out but it would still amount to radical change in American lifestyle.
In another example, a couple of years ago, Heidi Cullen, then the host of the Weather Channel's Forecast Earth, suggested that those meteorologists who could not get on the global warming bandwagon should find themselves without work. She wrote in her blog:
"If a meteorologist has an AMS Seal of Approval, which is used to confer legitimacy to TV meteorologists, then meteorologists have a responsibility to truly educate themselves on the science of global warming. If a meteorologist can't speak to the fundamental science of climate change, then maybe the AMS shouldn't give them a seal of approval."
James Spann, longtime Alabama meteorologist, responded by saying that, in 30 years of forecasting, he did not know of a single weather forecaster who believed that humans were causing global warming.
That's a lot of firings.
Kofi Annan, former UN Secretary-General (remember him?), spoke of the need for "climate justice."
"We must have climate justice. As an international community, we must recognise that the polluter must pay and not the poor and vulnerable. We cannot allow the extra cost of adapting to climate change to be siphoned off from the ongoing poverty challenge. We should act immediately to provide them with additional funding and appropriate technical assistance."
Any way you slice that, it amounts to income redistribution, which the Left, from the old Communists to the modern environmental extremists, have consistently advocated. They do not expect that this will come voluntarily but must be imposed by legislation or better, judicial fiat.
These examples demonstrate that the Left is more than willing to make up for their inability to win the global warming argument by an exercise of raw power that will impose their will upon the American people.
This is another reason why the Presidential election of 2008 is so important. We have a stake in this. Our children have a stake. Let's get out the vote and keep the radical Left out of the White House and out of our lives.
--Submitted by B. Bryant