Barbara Kruger: Freedom of speech a casualty of climate change |

Barbara Kruger: Freedom of speech a casualty of climate change

Is anyone alarmed by the tone set in The Union’s article of April 14 titled “Climate Change doubter donates $1K to campaign” by Alan Riquelmy? In it, The Union reports that Board of Supervisor candidate Duane Strawser received a $1,000 contribution from a “climate change doubter.”

Are the authors of this article, and Heidi Hall, implying that Mr. Strawser is violating some sort of campaign finance law? Is it wrong to accept money from a “Climate change doubter?” Apparently so.

It will surprise you, as it did me, that RICO laws are being used to prosecute those who disagree, or who are a “doubter.” RICO stands for “Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act.” It is usually used to prosecute mobsters. It is now being used to prosecute those who call for testing the climate change null hypothesis. According to a recent article in the Wall Street Journal, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D., Rhode Island) last spring called on the Justice Department to bring charges against those behind a “coordinated strategy” to spread heterodox views on global warming, including the energy industry, trade associations, “conservative policy institutes” and scientists.

Good science always questions itself. Attempting to prove the “null hypothesis”, or intentionally trying to disprove yourself, is the cornerstone of the scientific method. So, “doubters” are not only part of the scientific method, “doubters” are a required part of the scientific method. One cannot have good science without doubt.

Hall apparently does not understand this basic tenant of the scientific method. Concerned that Strawser is “accepting money from people who reject science outright,” Hall implies that the only true science is her version of science. Apparently, the only people capable of generating credible scientific articles are climate change advocates.

The 92 percent of scientists who support climate change are probably right. The climate seems to be changing. However, there were probably more than 92 percent of thinking people who thought the earth was the center of the solar system and that Galileo was wrong. Where would we be if some of that 92 percent hadn’t questioned?

Remember the words “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances?” Yes, that’s right. It is part of the First Amendment to our Constitution.

Free speech doesn’t exist if the unlimited resources of the federal government are brought to bear on individuals who differ from the opinions of government officials. Science doesn’t exist if testing the null hypothesis is eliminated. You can’t have a debate if only one side gets to speak. When testing the null hypothesis is not allowed, the result is called dogma, not science. In politics, if debate is not allowed it is called tyranny … not democracy. RICO for those who disagree! Let that sink in people. We live in the United States of America. We live in Nevada County and we have a woman running for office who believes that it is wrong for a candidate to accept money from someone who disagrees with her. This is a free speech faux pas. She has clearly gotten the memo on how to polarize the political discourse and discredit your opponent.

The headline “Climate change doubter donates $1K to campaign” does not belong outside a paid political advertisement, and any candidate who proclaims that testing the null hypothesis is “rejecting science outright” does not belong in office.

Barbara Kruger lives in Penn Valley.

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