Two George Mason University climate science professors reportedly plotted how to win support for a petition calling on the government to prosecute global warming critics.
Internal emails show how Jagadish Shukla and Edward Maibach even tried to manipulate the media with the controversial request that RICO laws be used to thwart climate skeptics, FoxNews.com reports.
According to the news site, Shukla ignored FoxNews.com's
questions about government grants he used to give himself about $500,000 in salary and benefits in 2014 — which the newssite reported last October —and reached out to the Washington Post instead.
"They were running a well-used page in their playbook … get the legacy media to play defense for them," Chris Horner, who obtained the internal emails with a Freedom of Information Act request, tells FoxNews.com.
Horner, who works at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, charges officials at the public university initially told him there weren't any records of the two professors discussing RICO prosecution in their official capacity.
Horner tells FoxNews.com he wanted the emails made public "to educate the public how taxpayer resources were used" to push for censorship of climate change skeptics.
"Ring-leading GMU is funded by my tax dollars, and is now exposed," he tells Fox News.
The emails, ordered released May 13, show Shukla and Maibach planning to create a stir in the media, and trying to win over conservatives, with their petition to the government for the RICO prosecution, FoxNews.com reports.
"If we can find one co-signer in every one of the nation's 435 Congressional districts, we will end up sending the letter to every member of Congress — which would be spectacular," Maibach emailed Shukla, the news site reports.
And in a request for help on how to make the petition appeal to conservatives, he writes conservative Alex Bozmoski: "I'm hoping you will highlight any language that screams 'liberal drivel' and suggest ways of incorporating language that resonate[s] with conservative values, such as accountability," FoxNews.com reports.
Bozmoski replies, according to the news site: "It's just an impossible topic to not scream hard-core left. You're talking about prosecuting conservatives… Sorry to not be sunnier :-)"
The emails also show Maibach also reached out to the Union of Concerned Scientists, but the group declined to support the petition, which ultimately got about 20 signatures before it was dropped, FoxNews.com reports.
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