I never bought Black’s Law Dictionary. Truth be told, I was already spending more than I wanted to on tuition and books–I think my Civil Procedure casebook alone cost $160–and didn’t want to drop another $100 or more on another volume. Plus, in a pinch, any number of legal dictionaries will do just fine.
The legal dictionary at Law.com, for example, defines “fraud” as follows:
The intentional use of deceit, a trick or some dishonest means to deprive another of his/her/its money, property or a legal right. A party who has lost something due to fraud is entitled to file a lawsuit for damages against the party acting fraudulently, and the damages may include punitive damages as a punishment or public example due to the malicious nature of the fraud. Quite often there are several persons involved in a scheme to commit fraud and each and all may be liable for the total damages.
Inherent in fraud is an unjust advantage over another which injures that person or entity. It includes failing to point out a known mistake in a contract or other writing (such as a deed), or not revealing a fact which he/she has a duty to communicate, such as a survey which shows there are only 10 acres of land being purchased and not 20 as originally understood.
For a better example, consider a common type of lawsuit I see as I go through the motions at my day job. Let’s say, for a moment, that you and eleven of your friends sit on the board as officers in ABC Widgets, Inc. You know that ABC is in financial trouble, but in order to induce investors into buying shares of ABC you leave out a few details or fudge the numbers on your balance sheet. Believing that ABC is in better financial health than it is, investors purchase ABC stock. Then, the hammer drops.
Now, consider what we’ve seen in the ongoing farce that is the theory of man-made global warming. For three decades now, leftists around the world have cloaked an agenda of wealth redistribution in pseudo-scientific non-truths, insisting that the seas are rising, the deserts are expanding, species are going extinct, and all would reach a cataclysmic fever pitch unless first-world nations scale back industry and force a reduction in energy usage. The science was settled, Al Gore said. The debate, he said, is over.
Time after time, world leaders from Gore to Gordon Brown to every other nincompoop at the United Nations predicted devastation if this agreement or that agreement wasn’t signed, or if radical changes did not occur within six months, nine months, this year or next. Deadline after deadline passed. Nothing.
In fact, the world grew cooler. Nearly every major climate change summit coincided with massive amounts of snow in one place or another. Then, the leaked e-mails from the East Anglia Climate Research Unit showed that data which had been relied upon by so many enviro-scientists had been doctored, omitted or just plain fabricated. They showed a conspiracy to artificially maintain the global warming hysteria. And that’s where the issue of fraud comes in.
Now, one of the scientists at the center of it all, Phil Jones, has admitted that the world isn’t warming after all, that warming periods have occurred before and without the help of man, and that much of his raw data is missing. From the U.K. Daily Mail:
The academic at the centre of the ‘Climategate’ affair, whose raw data is crucial to the theory of climate change, has admitted that he has trouble ‘keeping track’ of the information.
Colleagues say that the reason Professor Phil Jones has refused Freedom of Information requests is that he may have actually lost the relevant papers.
Professor Jones told the BBC yesterday there was truth in the observations of colleagues that he lacked organisational skills, that his office was swamped with piles of paper and that his record keeping is ‘not as good as it should be’.
The data is crucial to the famous ‘hockey stick graph’ used by climate change advocates to support the theory.
Professor Jones also conceded the possibility that the world was warmer in medieval times than now – suggesting global warming may not be a man-made phenomenon.
And he said that for the past 15 years there has been no ‘statistically significant’ warming.
That’s all nice and wonderful–surely, it’s nice for all of us who have been shouting to the rooftops about the abject silliness for years to be able to say “I told you so”–but where are the fraud charges?
How many jobs have been lost because of factories which closed due to the added burden of additional environmental regulations? How much higher are energy costs now because of the hardly cost effective trend toward renewables? How much further are we away from true energy independence because of unfounded concerns about oil drilling and nuclear power? How much more money is being pulled from the average American family because of higher food costs due to higher transportation costs? How much has this “green” movement, a side effect of this wholly manufactured environmental crisis, cost us all?
Remember, folks: the intentional use of deceit, a trick or some dishonest means to deprive another of his/her/its money, property or a legal right — that’s fraud.
Al Gore claimed that polar bears were dying, but in reality the polar bear population has increased by some 300 percent since 1972. He says that carbon emissions cause increasing temperatures, yet the temperature on Mars is increasing as well without human help. Nearly every single one of his sensationalist claims can be debunked, line by line, and yet all are still parroted as fact by many on the political left.
I see deceit. I see dishonesty. I see hundreds of millions of people who have been deprived of their hard-earned money at some point in the stream of commerce due to added costs and burdens which came along with global warming awareness. I see an administration now which would still like to pass cap-and-trade legislation which would cause the average American family’s electricity bill to increase by 77 to 129 percent, the cost of filling at the pump to increase by 60 to 144 percent, the price of home heating oil and natural gas to nearly double, and the national debt to increase by nearly 30 percent over the next two decades.
The manufactured hysteria was never about the environment in the first place. It was about global socialism, not global warming. In his fantastic book, Blue Planet in Green Shackles, Czech Republic President Vaclav Klaus declares: “The largest threat to freedom, democracy, the market economy, and prosperity at the end of the 20th and at the beginning of the 21st century is no longer socialism. It is, instead, the ambitious, arrogant, unscrupulous ideology of environmentalism.” And he is right.
Only, here, the fraud behind the threat has been exposed. The veil has been lifted. The curtain has been pushed aside and the wizard exposed for what he truly is. Yet, as I look around and see $6 compact fluorescent light bulbs and costlier construction contracts and a coal industry staring down the barrel of forced bankruptcy, I can’t help but wonder when the facilitators of this fraud will get their due.
And, amid all of the ambition and arrogance, where are the charges? Phil Jones, Al Gore, James Hansen and the rest of the people who stifled dissent and sold the world a bill of goods rife with fraudulent misrepresentations and omissions should, for the rest of their lives, be saddled with a debt to the world they deceived.