John Locke

Post image for No Faith With Skeptics

(Revised March 8, 2012)

Donna Laframboise asks the key question about Fakegate: “Where do Gleick Apologists Draw the Line?

In a recent post on her Web site, No Frakking Consensus, she provides excerpts from scientists, ethicists, and activists who excuse or even lionize Peter Gleick for stealing Heartland Institute budget documents, impersonating a Heartland board member, misrepresenting himself to bloggers as an anonymous “Heartland insider,” and palming off as genuine — maybe also authoring — a fake climate strategy document in which Koch supposedly funds Heartland to keep opposing voices out of Forbes magazine, sell doubt as their product, and dissuade teachers from teaching science.

Laframboise comments: “Climate change is a strange beast. When it enters the room, even ethicists lose the ability to think straight.”

At the end of her post, she asks Gleick’s apologists what other unlawful actions they believe would be justified if necessary to advance their cause:

I get it. Lying and stealing and misleading are OK so long as they help advance a good cause. What else is acceptable? Old fashioned burglary? Arson? Car bombs?

Where is the line? [click to continue…]

EPA’s end-run around democracy is just the most egregious example of a more pervasive disorder. Regulation without representation — Congress’s delegation of lawmaking power to non-elected bureaucrats — is the malady.  The cure is the Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny (REINS) Act, which would require congressional approval before major agency rules can take effect.

Or so I argue today in “Put the REINS on EPA,” at Pajamas Media.Com.

My column harks back to the political philosphy of the American Founders and one of their great teachers, the English philosopher John Locke, who said:

The legislative cannot transfer the power of making laws to any other hands, for it being but a delegated power from the people, they who have it cannot pass it on to others.