Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Suppressing 'Climate Denialists' Can Backfire

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Suppressing 'Climate Denialists' Can Backfire

Article excerpt

Jim LeJeune ("Last Gasps of Denial," May 2 letters), in rebutting George F. Will's column "Climate Consensus du Jour" (April 25), misses Mr. Will's point. As a consequence, Mr. LeJeune argues for policies he likely won't enjoy.

Mr. Will's point was that we shouldn't deploy state authority to suppress speech we disagree with. Two suppression tactics mentioned were using lawsuits to impose financial costs and using RICO statutes to criminalize cooperation among such speakers: Faced with financial ruin and/or imprisonment, most of us will decide it's wiser to just keep quiet.

Science questions. Any true scientist, faced with a well-drawn challenge to accepted theory, will likely find that interesting and want to test it. It is religion that demands we accept things on faith - that we not question. …

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