According to scientist and environmental activist David Suzuki, politicians who disagree with the dogma of man-made global warming should be tossed in jail. He made that assertion while appearing on PBS recently, and, Newsbusters said Monday, host Bill Moyers suggested starting with Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., while worrying about the lack of prison space.
"Our politicians should be thrown in the slammer for willful blindness," Suzuki told PBS' Bill Moyers. "If we are in a position of being able to act, and we see something going on and we refuse to acknowledge the threat or act on it, we can be taken to court for willful blindness. I think that we are being willfully blind to the consequences for our children and grandchildren. It's an intergenerational crime."
Newsbusters' Paul Bremmer said it would be "completely un-American" to jail people for what amounts to a political opinion, calling it "reminiscent of George Orwell’s 1984." But, he added, Moyers didn't see it that way, citing logistical concerns.
"The problem is, if that should happen, if politicians were to be convicted of willful blindness to the fate of the Earth and future generations, there would have to be mass arrests and lots more funding for new prisons," he said. "We're not talking about a mere handful of culprits. It's hard even to know where to start."
But Moyers wasn't finished, suggesting that Rubio be the first jailed for disagreeing with the concept of man-made global warming.
"Perhaps with Marco Rubio, Republican senator from Florida. Back when he was a state legislator, Rubio favored cutting carbon emissions that contribute to global warming," Moyers said. "But now he's thinking about running for president in 2016 and has changed his tune, as ABC's Jonathan Karl learned this past weekend."
Bremmer said it's not the first time Suzuki has made such a call. While speaking at a Montreal conference in 2008, he suggested throwing politicians in jail for not accepting the idea of man-made global warming.
“What I would challenge you to do is to put a lot of effort into trying to see whether there’s a legal way of throwing our so-called leaders into jail because what they’re doing is a criminal act,” he told a packed house of some 600 people. The statement was warmly applauded, according to reports.
A spokesman reportedly said Suzuki was not to be taken literally, but, the National Post said, he made similar remarks a month earlier.
“He’s not advocating locking people up, but he is pulling his hair out," spokesman Dan Maceluch later said. Making matters worse, the Canadian news outlet said at the time, a legal blueprint for Suzuki's idea actually existed in a bill that requires Canada's government to abide by short-term environmental targets in the Kyoto Protocol.
“Every person who contravenes a regulation made under this Act is guilty of an offence punishable by indictment or on summary conviction, as prescribed by the regulations,” said the Kyoto Protocol Implementation Act, “and liable to a fine or to imprisonment as prescribed by the regulations.”
"The Conservative government said last year it would not abide by the Liberal-sponsored bill, since private member’s bills cannot force the government to spend money," the National Post said.