In his article "Jailing Climate Deniers" over at EcoWatch, prominent environmental activist Robert Kennedy, Jr., magnanimously allows that individual Americans—even misguided souls who question the scientific consensus on man-made global warming—have a First Amendment right to speak their piece. Corporations and think tanks, however, are another matter. Kennedy argues that such organizations do not enjoy free speech protections and therefore can and should be targeted for death by activist state attorneys general. As Kennedy explains:
Laws in every state maintain that companies that fail to comply with prescribed standards of corporate behavior may be either dissolved or, in the case of foreign corporations, lose their rights to operate within that state's borders. These rules can be quite expansive and, in contrast to the U.S. Supreme Court's recent rulings on campaign finance law, companies, under state laws, enjoy far less protection than human beings. New York, for example, prescribes corporate death whenever a company fails to "serve the common good" and "to cause no harm."…
Any state attorney general with the will, resolve and viscera to stand to up to the dangerous and duplicitous corporate propagandists, has authority to annul the charters of each of these mercenary merchants of deceit. An attorney general with particularly potent glands could revoke the charters not just oil industry surrogates like AEI and CEI, he or she could also withdraw state operating authority from the soulless, nationless oil companies that have sponsored "Big Lie" campaigns and force them to sell their in-state assets to more responsible competitors.
Koch Industries and ExxonMobil have particularly distinguished themselves as candidates for corporate death. No other companies have worked harder or spent more money to impede the government from taking action on global warming to safeguard public welfare. Both companies have employed artifice on a massive scale and spent tens of millions of dollars to purchase fraudulent junk science. The greedy, immoral, anti-social pathology behind ExxonMobil and Koch's mendacious crusade is even starker given the open acknowledgment since 2007 by the other major oil companies including Shell, Chevron and BP, that burning oil is causing climate change.
Besides the usual suspects of ExxonMobil and Koch Industries, Kennedy offers a preliminary list of groups that he thinks deserve execution:
Among the groups that have received millions from Exxon and Koch Industries are the Cato Institute, The Heritage Foundation, Cooler Heads Coalition, Global Climate Coalition, American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC), Americans for Prosperity, Heartland Institute, Committee for a Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT), George C. Marshall Institute, State Policy Network, Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) and American Enterprise Institute (AEI).
Of course, this kind of thing could get out of hand. Who knows but that some brave state attorneys-general might decide to "execute" prominent organizations that misrepresent the science on the safety of, say, biotech crops or vaccines?
For more background, see my article, "Confessions of an Alleged ExxonMobil Whore."