Manipulating Climate Change: Warming to RICO? by Christopher C. Horner 21 Nov 2009 post a comment Share This: For some time. several individuals have asked why we don’t just initiate suit against the obviously dishonest tactics and claims by the global warming industry under the Racketeer Influence and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO). This law commissions “private attorneys general” to pursue violations on their own, in essence as proxies for the state. I have explained with intermittent impatience that just serially lying or exaggerating to deceive are not on their face RICO "predicate" offenses. There must be three instances of a certain type of enumerated behavior over ten years to constitute a pattern in violation of RICO. I have received an email from someone who has much appropriate training and experience and which causes me to revisit the issue. He writes, “Well, now it really does look like a massive conspiracy to defraud the government. When I was in law school, one of my profs noted dryly that once in a while the Massachusetts Attorney General would sternly announce ‘we are going to investigate this matter of ____,’ and the sky of Boston would blacken with the smoke of burning documents. I bet there was a blip in electricity use this morning from emails being deleted by the climate change community.” Well, it is certainly true that, on its face this prospect has to be taken seriously barring revelation that words do not actually mean what they appear, in full context of the issue and the email, to mean (which so far has been the principal substantive defense). Fraud is a RICO predicate offense. If what we are seeing unfold is evidence of fraud, a RICO complaint is a possibility, along with what the “discovery” process would reveal. The email and data authors (and massagers, playing “tricks” with the data to “hide the decline” in temperatures) do appear to be true believers in their cause, and often in their data, neither of which is dispositive. They also are candid in ways triggering tortuous arguments explaining how those words don’t really mean what they say. The defenders say the literal readings – that’s plural, not a one-off remark – represent “sinister interpretations” (New York Times), and the implausible is actually the appropriate reading. For example, we’re now, for the first time, told that calling something the researchers did with data a “trick” to “hide the decline” in temperatures is actually very typical application of common lingo about scientific methods purporting to represent findings. This is the first I have encountered in this context a benign meaning for that. This defense might have currency had not the actions in question already been exposed by private investigations and being, in fact, a “trick” “hiding the decline” in temperatures. The U.S. taxpayer has much exposure here in the joint projects and collaborations which operated in reliance upon what the University of East Anglia’s Climate Research Unit was doing, on the data CRU have been denying access to and recently claiming simply, if again implausibly, to have lost. As well as on the taxpayer-funded IPCC process, and the peer-review process addressed in these emails as having been corrupted with a particular outcome in mind. Also, there are U.S. taxpayer-funded offices and individuals involved in the machinations addressed in the emails, and in the emails themselves. The plain reading of what has been revealed so far, if the documents are indeed authentic as a blanket admission yesterday seemed to make clear, does give the appearance of a conspiracy to defraud, by parties working in taxpayer funded agencies collaborating on ways to misrepresent material on which an awful lot of taxpayer money rides. In fact, their centers and careers and reputations ride on there being a “global warming” crisis, or at least there being some semblance of acceptance thereof. I am not yet drawing conclusions on this, but all of the above is food for thought. I will look into this further when I’m back from travel and able to give it some attention, as will some colleagues. We also must confront the truth hinted at by the jibe about the massive email deleting that has surely taken place in the past 72 hours. The ability to permanently delete such material, and codes and other files, is not something I am at all expert in, but an issue on which the viability of pursuing any such actions would hinge. So, hopefully more later.