AOC and Mother Jones Are Wrong About LibertyCon
[Washington, D.C.] — Last week, Mother Jones reported that LibertyCon, Students For Liberty’s annual event in Washington, D.C., was an event which promoted climate change denial. This was followed up by a letter from Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine), publically decrying three sponsors of the event, Google, Facebook, and Microsoft for their participation.
Students For Liberty prides itself on hosting events which value open, respectful debate on topics often deemed too controversial or complicated to debate in traditional political forums. Students For Liberty often invites speakers and sponsors from opposing viewpoints to attend for the purpose of such debates.
Contrary to what the Mother Jones article suggests, climate change denial is not a policy position or initiative of Students For Liberty. When it comes to climate change policy, Students For Liberty focuses more on proactive solutions to climate change instead of the debate on whether it exists. What Mother Jones left out of its report is that the conference also featured a high profile debate on the use of carbon taxes to combat climate change and that the conference is also sponsored by organizations that urge against increased C02 emissions.
It is, therefore, discouraging to see the response from Rep. Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Rep. Pingree (D-Maine), which attempts to shame our sponsors from future participation at LibertyCon. This event aims to bring together a multitude of perspectives on controversial issues, no matter their political identification or geographic location.
In response to the growing controversy, SFL’s CEO Dr. Wolf von Laer responded with the following:
“I would encourage Reps. Ocasio-Cortez and Pingree to engage in productive debates about pragmatic climate change policies rather than using their positions of power to execute a smear campaign. At LibertyCon, we bring together individuals and organizations from across the political spectrum to participate in engaging debates. Google, Facebook, and Microsoft sponsored LibertyCon to participate in our technology policy sessions, not to debate climate change solutions, or the countless other topics covered at LibertyCon.”
Students For Liberty will continue to host events which welcome individuals and organizations across the ideological spectrum, for the purpose of finding common ground and viable solutions to the most controversial topics in the public forum.
We would like to welcome Reps. Ocasio-Cortez and Pingree to join us at LibertyCon 2020 to debate proactive solutions to climate change, as we understand that the best solutions occur when all viewpoints are heard in an open, respectful forum.
LibertyCon 2020 will take place April 3-5, at the Marriott Marquis in Washington, D.C.
Students For Liberty is a rapidly growing network of pro-liberty students from all over the world. Our mission is to educate, develop, and empower the next generation of leaders of liberty. We are the largest libertarian student organization in the world.