Saturday, September 3, 2016

Free Speech and Opus 400 - A Look Back at SLB

Subtitle: Reflections on 400 Articles and Free Speech

Sowell exercising Free Speech right
at Tulane Law School in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 2011
I lectured on US Energy Policy and Peak Oil.
This article is number 400.  That is not much in the internet world, where some blogs publish for quantity and strive for readership and high volume of comments.   Four hundred in 8 years is just an average of 50 articles per year, approximately one per week.  

Still, I have fun writing SLB and reading the comments.  Readership has grown over the years and now averages approximately 3,000 views per month.   The pace of articles has also increased, with a recent average of 2 per week. 

The topics on SLB continue with global warming (the science is so bad there is zero cause for alarm), nuclear power generation (costs are far too high and safety is horrible), legal aspects of science and technology, space exploration (Mars colony is a death trap), fresh water (we have plenty, sometimes too much, in the wrong places), California policy stupidity (far too many to list), electric power issues and grid changes, renewable power sources (wind and solar are already cheaper than conventional), new technologies that enable grid improvements (grid-scale battery storage), and some others.  

A topic of considerable interest to me is the legality of suppressing speech from climate skeptics such as myself.  A popular topic is #ExxonKnew, which is shorthand for ExxonMobil failed to warn their millions of customers that their oil-based products could or would create dangerous global warming, even though they had research that showed the possible danger.  An extension of this is an effort to criminalize speech that criticizes the global warming belief, and to put in jail those who dare to speak out against the science behind global warming. 

This will be the topic of an in-depth article here on SLB, in which I argue that the US Constitution's First Amendment protects such dissenting speech under the Free Speech clause.  There are ample cases to support the free expression of dissenting views on matters of public concern, many from the US Supreme Court.   Recognizing that some forms of speech have been made illegal, such as defamation, clear and present danger, and false advertising, climate skeptics who speak out without violating those forms of speech are making a protected form of speech.  

A private citizen who writes or speaks verbally, or makes an act that is considered a form of speech (carrying a sign with a slogan), all to express his or her views on the subject of global warming science and policies, is protected under the Free Speech clause.  

Wishing all a happy holiday weekend, for here in the USA it is Labor Day weekend. 

Roger E. Sowell, Esq.
Marina del Rey, California
copyright (c) 2016 by Roger Sowell - all rights reserved 

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