On 13 March 2014 Australian academic, Lawrence Torcello,Â Assistant Professor of Philosophy atÂ Rochester Institute of Technology, wrote a post on a state funded website advocating for the prosecution of people for simply holding a contrary view on climate change to him.
For someone who studiesÂ ethical theory, and applied ethics, social and political philosophy he sure has a funny way of showing his support for freedom of speech…in other words he wants to silence dissenters.
The site he posted on is funded byÂ CSIRO, Melbourne, Monash, RMIT, UTS, UWA, ACU, ANU, ASB, Canberra, CDU, Curtin, Deakin, Flinders, Griffith, JCU, La Trobe, Massey, Murdoch, Newcastle, QUT, SAHMRI, Swinburne, Sydney, UNE, UniSA, USC, USQ, UTAS, UWS, VU and Wollongong.
This is what he advocates:
The importance of clearly communicating science to the public should not be underestimated. Accurately understanding our natural environment and sharing that information can be a matter of life or death. When it comes to global warming, much of the public remains in denial about a set of facts that theÂ majority of scientists clearly agree on. With such high stakes, an organised campaign funding misinformation ought to be considered criminally negligent.
We have good reason to consider the funding of climate denial to be criminally and morally negligent. The charge of criminal and moral negligence ought to extend to all activities of the climate deniers who receive funding as part of a sustained campaign to undermine the publicâ€™s understanding of scientific consensus.
Criminal negligenceÂ is normally understood to result from failures to avoid reasonably foreseeable harms, or the threat of harms to public safety, consequent of certain activities. Those funding climate denial campaigns can reasonably predict the publicâ€™s diminished ability to respond to climate change as a result of their behaviour. Indeed, public uncertainty regarding climate science, and the resulting failure to respond to climate change, is theÂ intentional aim of politically and financially motivated denialists.Â Read more »