Few citizens would include “climate change” among New York State’s top law-enforcement priorities. Few, that is, except the one citizen who happens to be New York’s attorney general: Eric Schneiderman. On November 4, Schneiderman launched an investigation of ExxonMobil for allegedly misrepresenting the risks of climate change. The first strike: a subpoena demanding Exxon hand over all of its documents relating to climate research from 1977 to the present, including any communications regarding such research with outside groups.
The use of government prosecutorial power to silence those who deviate from climate-change orthodoxy is an emerging goal of the green lobby. In recent months, more than 40 environmental groups as well as all the Democratic presidential candidates have called on U.S. attorney general Loretta Lynch to conduct a federal probe of Exxon—though the politicians and pressure groups cannot specify any crimes that the firm committed. Lynch hasn’t responded to this pressure; thus, it has fallen to Schneiderman to satiate the progressive bloodlust against energy companies. Already the New York AG has forced another company, Peabody Energy, to settle charges that it concealed the risks of climate change.
Ostensibly, the Exxon investigation focuses on whether the company disclosed to investors the financial risks arising from global warming; in particular, the risk that government regulation could require Exxon—and other oil companies—to leave reserves in the ground. But Exxon’s most recent annual report prominently highlights the risk of government regulation, warning that various measures under consideration “could make our products more expensive, lengthen project implementation times, and reduce demand for hydrocarbons, as well as shift hydrocarbon demand toward relatively lower-carbon sources such as natural gas. Current and pending greenhouse gas regulations may also increase our compliance costs, such as for monitoring or sequestering emissions.”
Read the whole thing — it’s in City Journal, so you know it’s good. It’s terrifying to contemplate that the Leftist “klimate-change” kookery can now enlist the iron fist of the state to squelch dissent, but to this we’ve come.
Mark Steyn, who’s in the middle of his battle with the Watermelon State, has some related thoughts here. I like this one:
The biggest single boon to the transnational Big Climate cartel was the cartoon climatology of Michael E Mann’s hockey stick. As I write in my new book:
Discussing ‘that unknown fraction of warming since 1950 that can be attributed to humans’, Dr Judith Curry cautioned that it’s important to include the A (for ‘anthropogenic’) in AGW:’If you leave out the “A”, people are misled into thinking that all warming for the past 1,000 years is caused by humans (the “hockey stick” argument).’
She’s right. Mann’s hockey stick showed that there was no such thing as ‘global warming’ until the Industrial Revolution took off. So, in Mannworld, 100 per cent of ‘global warming’ is anthropogenic. How did the IPCC come to promote an ‘outlier’ (as Dr Curtis Covey described the stick) by an obscure individual of no previous distinction as the consensus of the world’s scientists?