Professor Wants to Use RICO to Punish “Climate Change Deniers”

Michael E. Kraft, professor emeritus at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, suggested in an op-ed in the Providence Journal on April 11 that the Department of Justice should use RICO statutes to punish “climate change deniers.”


“Those who intentionally misled the public about climate change should be held accountable,” Kraft concluded his article.


Kraft went so far as to refer favorably to those who would use the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO) to pursue charges against major fossil fuel companies for “knowingly deceiving the public — and investors — about the dangers of climate change.”


Kraft began his article with a reasonable enough premise:


Most of us recognize the value of science in dealing with complex problems that pose significant risks to public health and well-being.


Thus we expect reputable science to be reported and used in helping us make difficult policy choices, such as what to do about climate change.


Scientific findings and associated uncertainties should be scrutinized carefully and debated vigorously within the scientific community and among the public.


No honest scholar or scientist could take issue with such statements.


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