Koch Brothers: Sorry, 1st Amendment Won't Let Us Divulge How We're Buying Climate-Change Deniers
The recent revelation that Wei-Hock Soon, one of the top "respectable" climate change deniers out there, gets most of his funding from the coal and oil industry has led Congressional Democrats to attempt to Follow The Money in the climate denial business. Well! Charles and David Koch will have you climate busybodies know that it is none of your damn business how they spend their money, which is a form of speech, and you should be ashamed of yourselves for even asking.
Three Democratic senators recently sent out 100 letters to fossil-fuel companies, asking them to voluntarily disclose whether they have funded research on climate. Among the recipients was Koch Industries, which didn't appreciate the Democrats' attempts to Tread On Them:
in a March 5 letter obtained by The Associated Press, Mark V. Holden, Koch's senior vice president and general counsel, wrote that such information treads on First Amendment rights.
"To the extent that your letter touches on matters that implicate the First Amendment, I am sure you recognize Koch's right to participate in the debate of important public policy issues and its right of free association," Holden writes.
How dare you attempt to crush free speech by asking a lot of nosy questions about who is doing the speeching! The Kochs don't need to show you no stinking research funding. Their money can say whatever it wants, you commies.
Democratic Senators Ed Markey (MA), Barbara Boxer (CA), and Sheldon Whitehouse (RI) launched their investigation into industry funding of climate denying research following the news that Soon had been paid $1.2 million by fossil-fuel companies in the past decade. Soon didn't disclose his industry funding in most of his scientific papers, which is an even greater scientific sin than putting your name at the top of the paper when your grad students did all the real work, which is dickish but common. Soon believes that climate is affected by variations in the sun's energy output more than by human-caused greenhouse gases, a conclusion that has been repeatedly debunked but which is very popular with people who coincidentally make tons of money from coal and oil, and who value their privacy.
Also too, Soon and his pals at the industry-supported Heartland Institute -- home of those "The Unabomber Still Believes in Global Warming" billboards -- are also quite peeved about how free speech is being trampled by activists revealing who pays Soon to speak:
In a statement issued by the Heartland Institute, Soon said he would be happy to comply with any disclosures at scientific journals and called the effort a shameless attempt to silence his scientific research.
Lord knows that publishing information that makes you look sloppy and corrupt is pretty much the same as censorship. Why don't all those rich climate scientists admit where their money comes from, huh? Not just the government grants that they list in their research, but the huge slush fund from Big Polar Bear? (Attempts to freeze the polar bears' assets have failed, however, since the Arctic is just too warm these days.)
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