I regularly compare Tobacco Control and global warming alarmism. So do other people:
Dismissal of well-established climate science has parallels to decades of debate over tobacco use and its effects on health. Tobacco companies long denied any causal relation between smoking and disease even when their own studies showed the opposite to be true.
Similarly, some fossil fuel companies for decades publicly rejected established climate science and the role of burning fossil fuels in anthropogenic climate change while their internal studies confirmed both.
The tobacco companies eventually paid a steep price for their actions. In 1999, the Justice Department filed a civil lawsuit against them, charging that they “engaged in and executed” a “massive 50-year scheme to defraud the public, including consumers of cigarettes,” in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, or RICO.
Specifically, the lawsuit said the companies engaged in a conspiracy to launch a public relations campaign challenging scientific evidence that demonstrated the health risks of smoking at the same time that their own research confirmed smoking’s danger.
The tobacco companies lost the suit. The federal courts found them in violation of RICO, in particular for fraudulently covering up scientific evidence of health risks linked to smoking. The courts rejected the tobacco companies’ argument that their statements were protected under the First Amendment’s guarantee of free speech.
Is there a parallel to current controversies over climate change science? Some members of Congress say there is. Members of Congress have asked the Justice Department to pursue charges under RICO against major fossil fuel companies for knowingly deceiving the public — and investors — about the dangers of climate change when their own studies showed the reality of the threat. Under questioning by Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., Attorney General Loretta Lynch revealed she has referred the matter to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for study.
In addition, in late March, more than a dozen state attorneys general meeting in New York also said they would “aggressively” investigate whether fossil fuel companies misled the public and investors about the risks of climate change. Several state attorneys general already have initiated such investigations under consumer and investor protection laws.
In this case, the claim is that Big Oil is just as evil and mendacious as Big Tobacco.
But these days I think Big Tobacco has been just as much demonised as smokers now are. In fact, Big Tobacco was being demonised a long time before smokers.
Yet I think Big Tobacco is simply a bunch of companies selling a product that people want to buy: tobacco. And they’ve been doing it for hundreds of years. And Big Oil is another bunch of companies selling another product that people want to buy: petroleum.
And now the demonisation process is being extended to other companies that also sell products that people want to buy. Big Alcohol. Big Sugar. Big Salt. Big Food. Any sort of industry that makes anything that people want to buy is a potential target for the demonisers. I often wonder when they’ll start on Big Coffee and Big Tea.
We’ll end up being told that every industry is just a racket making profits selling death to their customers. Everything should carry a health warning, and be sold in plain packaging from behind shutters. All industries will end up demonised. And so will their customers.
The demonisers have no product that anyone wants to buy. All they have is hate and fear. They are purely parasitic on the industries they demonise. And they’re slowly throttling the global economy, as they tell people to stop buying everything. Is it any surprise we’re living in a deepening global depression?