Should those who reject the idea of catastrophic man-made climate change be prosecuted for thinking this? Well, some people think so! Twenty climate scientists wrote a letter to US President Barack Obama thanking him for his “efforts to regulate emissions and other steps” he is supposedly taking to combat climate change.
In their letter, however, these scientists wrote that they are still unsatisfied. “We are now at high risk of seriously destabilizing the Earth’s climate and irreparably harming people around the world, especially the world’s poorest people.” And to add to this, they suggest that President Obama ought to investigate corporations and organizations “that have knowingly deceived the American people about the risks of climate change” using the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), passed in 1970 (to combat organized crime in the United States). Essentially, following such unsound logic, those who say they don’t believe that man-made climate change is a serious problem, which it isn’t, or who allegedly “deceive” the American people about this issue, could be found in violation of this act and prosecuted!
Well this effort is certainly an attempt to censor free speech here in America. Just because some scientists—for good reasons—refuse to agree with the consensus view, does not mean that they should be shut up and shut away. We live in a nation where our freedom of speech is precious and such an action, should the White House agree with these 20 scientists, would certainly be a violation of that fundamental freedom, guaranteed by our Constitution.
This is similar to tunes we’ve heard before. Those climate scientists who dare to disagree with the consensus are scarcely considered to be scientists by those with whom they disagree, despite their credentials. And some people even get upset when kids are potentially taught the controversy in school. We’ve certainly seen this before in relation to biblical creation. Creationists have been fired from their positions because they don’t agree with evolutionary teaching. Well-qualified scientists who start with the Bible’s history are degraded and told they “aren’t scientists” despite their exemplary education and work history. Sadly, when it comes to evolution and climate change, those who refuse to accept the consensus—for solid scientific and biblical reasons—often find themselves ridiculed for it. We live in a culture where freedom of speech and freedom of religion are under serious threat by intolerant people.
Now, when scientists call for censoring other scientists who don’t agree with them, and call for them to be investigated and possibly jailed by the government for daring to question their controversial beliefs, it shuts down scientific inquiry. Science has always progressed on examining the facts, drawing conclusions, testing those conclusions, and repeating this through a process of critical thinking and commentary. History is littered with examples of when the scientific consensus was wrong and it took an individual or a few individuals to realize this and be willing to question the consensus. To put people in jail for disagreeing with you is to stop scientific inquiry. Of course, we rarely see climate change alarmists or evolutionists who are interested in hearing what those from a biblical creation perspective have found in their research that questions evolutionary ideas and confirms God’s Word.
We’re often accused of denying climate change (e.g., a CNN interviewer falsely charged me with that last year on live TV). But creationists don’t deny climate change. What we do deny are the secular, evolutionary worldview-based assumptions and interpretations that lead to the idea of alarming, man-made climate change. You can learn more about climate change in the light of God’s Word and biblical creation in “Climate Change Facts: Should We Be Concerned?” and “Science Confirms Climate Change!”
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This item was written with the assistance of AiG’s research team.