Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

Canadian journalist Donna Laframboise. Former National Post & Toronto Star columnist, past vice president of the Canadian Civil Liberties Association.

UNESCO: Prosecute Climate Criminals

If voters elect leaders who reject climate treaties, those leaders will be dragged before an international court. The UN: neutralizing dissent one way or another.

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UNESCO’s 2019 climate-themed magazine includes an article titled Climate crimes must be brought to justice. It may as well have been called Off With Their Heads!

Writer Catriona McKinnon, a professor of political theory at the University of Exeter, thinks she’s the Queen of Hearts in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Alternative perspectives shall not be tolerated. Non-compliance isn’t an option.

McKinnon wants to criminalize free speech. She wants to strip you and me of the right to determine our own destiny at the ballot box. Specifically, she wants to invent a new crime. The time has come, she says, to prosecute this crime.

Normally, laws get made by politicians. WHO ARE ANSWERABLE TO VOTERS. There’s supposed to be a shared understanding, in the jurisdiction in which a new law applies, that a particular behaviour harms the community, and that punishing it is therefore necessary.

In many countries, adultery isn’t a criminal matter. Elsewhere, it ends in death by stoning. Laws are an expression of a community’s values. We decide what’s a crime – and what isn’t – within our own borders.

From the heights of her ivory tower, however, Queen McKinnon has unilaterally declared that people should be charged, dragged before an international court, and convicted of crimes that aren’t actually crimes in their motherland.

Here’s how her article begins:

A fire has started in the theatre, from which there are no exits…Some people are trying to warn everyone so that the fire can be contained before it spreads out of control. Another group…is trying to shout loudly that there is no fire, or that it is not serious, or that there is plenty of time left to put it out…Many people in the theatre are confused by these…fire deniers…those shouting “no fire” ought to be silenced… [bold added]

In McKinnon’s fevered imagination, climate skeptics are evil villains who occupy “the most expensive seats” in the theatre. Rather than trampling everyone else on their way to the exits, they inhale smoke and perish. But first they take the time to shout in “emotive language” that the fire isn’t real and that the other side “is not to be trusted.” Yeah, that all sounds coherent.

On the basis of such outlandish nonsense, McKinnon argues that:

international criminal law should be expanded to include a new criminal offence that I call postericide. It is committed by intentional or reckless conduct fit to bring about the extinction of humanity…Just as international criminal law holds military leaders to account for genocide committed by their troops, it should hold political and economic leaders to account for postericide committed under their authority. These leaders should go to trial at the [International Criminal Court]…

It’s clear McKinnon thinks US President Donald Trump is guilty of this crime, due to the fact that he withdrew his country from the Paris Climate Accord.

According to this UK professor, American voters don’t get to decide. They don’t get to elect someone who opposes international climate treaties.

In her universe, there’s only one permissible position. Either the US signs up, or its president gets charged with murdering posterity. Off with his head!



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  • The masthead info at the beginning of UNESCO’s quarterly magazine, the Courier, begins by telling us this publication “promotes the ideals of UNESCO.” Please note that it’s “published thanks to the generous support of the People’s Republic of China,” hardly a stalwart of democracy.
  • At the end of this fine print, there’s a disclaimer: “Articles express the opinions of the authors and do not necessarily represent the opinions of UNESCO.”
  • I guarantee that an article written by me, a skeptical journalist, will never appear in that magazine. UNESCO would not, for one moment, give my well-researched, honestly-held perspective a platform. Yet it did give a platform to a person whose ideas, if taken to their logical conclusion, would make it a crime to reject certain UN proposals – essentially killing democracy dead. This wasn’t a debate, in which another writer was invited to point out the danger and highlight the shortcomings of McKinnon’s argument. UNESCO presents her ideas as if they are entirely acceptable.



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This entry was posted on February 24, 2020 by in ethical & philosophical, free speech and tagged , , .