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Right Hooks

Too Many Americans Are OK With Punishing Climate Skeptics

Let's not sugar coat a new survey's findings.

Jordan Candler · Nov. 16, 2015

A Nov. 12 article by Rasmussen says there’s “Little Support for Punishing Global Warming Foes” — an idea that sparked public outcry after a group of researchers suggested climate dissenters should be imprisoned under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. But that title wasn’t our takeaway after rummaging the data. In fact, we’re more than just a little concerned about what the survey suggests.

According to Rasmussen, 68% of polled voters say the government should refrain from punishing climate skeptics. By definition, that’s an overwhelming majority, but it’s nevertheless alarmingly low considering what’s at stake. Specifically, the survey found, “Just over one-in-four Democrats (27%) … favor prosecuting those who don’t agree with global warming. Only 11% of Republicans and 12% of voters not affiliated with either major party agree.” Yes, you read that right. Twenty-seven percent of Democrats are fine with prosecuting climate skeptics, but so are 11% of Republicans. For a party that’s about defending liberty, including freedom of speech, that’s a harrowing discovery.

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