An attorney asks: Are Climate Skeptics Legally Liable for Criminal Negligence?

Attorney arguing his case

Guest essay by Roger E. Sowell, Esq. reposted with permission from Sowell’s Law Blog

In the past month, several articles appeared calling for the jailing of those who provide financial support for research into climate science with an objective of proving that man-made climate change does not exist.  An overview is provided at WattsUpWithThat (see link).  Responses to the call for jailing are numerous.

The background on this is that three sides exist in the climate change argument: one, the warmists, those who fervently believe that man’s activities by
burning fossil fuels will drive up the Earth’s temperature and cause all manner of horrible happenings; two, the skeptics, those who understand that the science simply does not support the warmists’ view, that any increase in global temperature is related to natural cycles but not to man’s fossil fuel consumption; and three, lukewarmers, those whose views fall in between the warmists and the skeptics.   Disclosure: my own view after long and careful study and based on engineering, science, and mathematics, is that of a confirmed skeptic with a full understanding that carbon dioxide, CO2, does indeed absorb and emit thermal radiant energy.

My previous articles on SLB outline my views.  (see My Journey, Warmists are Wrong, Chemical Engineer Takes on Warming, Cold Winters, Climate Science is Not Settled, and others). The leading climate scientists whose views most close approximate my own include Dr. S. Fred Singer of University of Virginia, and Dr. Richard Lindzen of MIT, who stated that “The claims that the earth has been warming, that there is a greenhouse effect, and that man’s activities have contributed to warming, are trivially true and essentially meaningless in terms of alarm.”

The basis for the jailing of skeptics is that many, perhaps millions, of human deaths will occur inevitably if drastic action is not taken immediately to prevent additional fossil fuel use.  By fossil fuel use, what is meant is the burning of coal and natural gas in power plants and process plants, plus burning petroleum products as transportation and heating fuel.   The supposed legal theory is that a person can be found criminally negligent if his (or her) actions cause serious harm or death to another.  In this particular case, the assertion is that those who promote research into climate change to show that no alarm is justified will cause the death of millions of people due to events such as ice caps melting, subsequent sealevel rise and coastal inundation, droughts, and heat waves.   It is criminal negligence, they assert, to try to prevent the alarm from being sounded when the consequences are so dire.

With that as background, it is necessary to examine the legal requirements of a criminal negligence case.   There are two possible crimes, first is Involuntary Manslaughter with criminal negligence as an element, the second is Voluntary Manslaughter.   Under existing California law, the following must be proven.

Involuntary Manslaughter

To prove that the defendant is guilty of Involuntary Manslaughter, the State must prove that:

1. The defendant committed a lawful act in an unlawful manner;

2. The defendant committed the act with criminal negligence; and

3. The defendant’s acts caused the death of another person.

Criminal negligence involves more than ordinary carelessness, inattention, or mistake in judgment. A person acts with criminal negligence when:

1. He or she acts in a reckless way that creates a high risk of death or great bodily injury; and

2. A reasonable person would have known that acting in that way would create such a risk.

In other words, a person acts with criminal negligence when the way he or she acts is so different from the way an ordinarily careful person would act in the same situation that his or her act amounts to disregard for human life or indifference to the consequences of that act.

With the legal rules for Involuntary Manslaughter set forth, it is possible to examine the claim that it is criminal negligence to support research into climate change to show no reason for alarm exists.

First, was there a lawful act?  The answer must be yes, conducting research into climate change is lawful.

Next, was the research done in an unlawful manner, meaning with criminal negligence?  To prove criminal negligence, two things must be proven: the acts were performed in a reckless way that creates a high risk of death or great bodily injury; and those acts caused the death of another person.

The act of conducting climate research from a skeptic view might be held to be performed recklessly and to create a risk of death or great bodily injury, but only if the research chose only data that confirmed the pre-conceived conclusion, or improper analyses were performed, or unwarranted conclusions were drawn from the data and analysis, or some combination of all the above.   It is notable that the peer-review process exists to eliminate, or at least minimize, such research techniques because they lead to bad science and poor policy decisions when those policy decisions are informed by the bad science.  The trial attorneys would identify and present evidence to show what the skeptic climate research used as data, the analysis techniques, and the conclusions.  It seems more likely that the skeptics have an excellent claim to performing good science, with the many hundreds of peer-reviewed publications that support the claim of no alarm is justified.   Indeed, the NIPCC reports show exactly such skeptical publications.

Third and finally, the research must have caused the death of another person, but in this case, as discussed below in Voluntary Manslaughter, linking any human deaths to research into climate change is extremely unlikely.  Even though the concentration of carbon dioxide continues to increase in the atmosphere, severe weather events are declining in number and intensity.

The crime of Involuntary Manslaughter, by criminal negligence, would very likely not be provable beyond a reasonable doubt.  First, there are no deaths that can be causally linked to such research, and second, the research has not been conducted in a reckless manner designed to create a risk of serious bodily harm or death.

Voluntary Manslaughter

In California, Voluntary Manslaughter has the following elements that must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt, for a conviction to be had.

1. The defendant intentionally committed an act that caused the death of another person;

2. The natural consequences of the act were dangerous to human life;

3. At the time he acted, he knew the act was dangerous to human life; and

4. He deliberately acted with conscious disregard for human life.

Causation

In California, an act or omission causes injury or death if the injury or death is the direct, natural, and probable consequence of the act or omission, and the injury or death would not have happened without the act or omission.  A natural and probable consequence is one that a reasonable person would know is likely to happen if nothing unusual intervenes.   In deciding whether a consequence is natural and probable, the jury is to consider all the circumstances established by the evidence.   There may be more than one cause of injury or death.   An act or omission causes injury or death only if it is a substantial factor in causing the injury or death.   A substantial factor is more than a trivial or remote factor.  However, it does not have to be the only factor that causes the injury or death.

See: California Pen. Code § 192(a); People v. Rios (2000) 23 Cal.4th 450, 463, 469 [97 Cal.Rptr.2d 512, 2 P.3d 1066].

With the legal rules above set forth, it is possible to examine the claim that it is criminal negligence to support research into climate change to show no reason for alarm exists.

First, did defendant, who supported climate research to show no reason for alarm exists, intentionally commit an act that caused injury or death to another person?

It must be determined if there were any deaths.  If no deaths exist, then there is no need to examine any of the additional elements.  At this writing, first quarter of 2014, there appear to be no human deaths that are attributable to man-made climate change.   However, a World Health Organization study from 2009 concluded that 140,000 human deaths per year are attributable to increased warming since the 1970s.  The events that caused the deaths are rather vague, but it appears the WHO claims events such as floods, severe storms, and a 2003 heat wave in Europe. Yet, the same organization admits that measuring the health effects of climate change can only be very approximate.   WHO also states that there are benefits to human life from warming, as fewer deaths occur that can be attributed to cold weather. see link

Allowing for the WHO estimate to be true, that is, 140,000 deaths occurred each year from various weather events, the question to be answered is then, is there a causal link between the severe weather events and the almost trivial increase in global temperatures?   A jury would be presented with expert testimony on the subject, most likely that no credible scientist holds the view that there is any link between the trivial amount of warming and weather events.  In fact, almost every form of weather event can be shown to be either decreasing, such as tropical storms or hurricanes, or to be no worse today than those that occurred in the past.  Droughts, floods, heat waves, all have been much worse in the past compared to today.

From the definition of Causation above, “an act or omission causes injury or death if the injury or death is the direct, natural, and probable consequence of the act or omission, and the injury or death would not have happened without the act or omission.”

Two questions then must be asked, first, were the 140,000 weather-related deaths the direct, natural, and probable consequence of research into climate change to show that no cause for alarm exists?  And, second, would the 140,000 weather-related deaths have happened without research into climate change to show that no cause for alarm exists?

To answer the first question, on deaths being the direct, natural, and probable consequence of climate research, it must be established whether those who died did so because they had no idea that the weather events would be more severe, more intense, and more deadly.  If the only word issuing from the climate researchers was that there is no cause for alarm, that proposition might be true.  However, the alarmists from above have for many years clogged the media, the airways, and the internet blogs, with dire predictions of doom.   The fact is, and this would be introduced in a trial, that warmists claim almost a consensus exists that global warming is not only real, but man’s fossil fuel consumption is the cause.  That alleged consensus is found in print, in broadcasts, and electronically on the internet.  It is unlikely that a jury would concluded that any weather-related deaths were the result of skeptical climate research.   The fact that, for example, hurricanes have decreased in intensity and number over the past 40 years is not debatable, it is a fact.  Similarly for tornadoes, droughts, and heat waves.  see link and “Global Hurricane Frequency”

From the causation definition, the jury is to consider all the circumstances established by the evidence.   This means that the conclusions by the leading warmists, the IPCC, must be considered.  The IPCC admits that there is no conclusive evidence to link severe weather events with global warming.  Indeed, it would be hard to conclude otherwise, with the hard evidence that hurricanes are less frequent and less intense, and all the other severe weather simply not matching known events from earlier years.  The key evidence on this is the warmists’ admission that events that occurred before 1970 were not related at all to man’s fossil fuel consumption; instead, they were entirely of natural causes.  Thus, all heat waves such as the long and strong heat wave of the 1930s, all droughts including the severe drought of the 1950s, and the many strong hurricanes pre-1970 all were natural occurrences.

It must be concluded, then, that element 1 from above is not true; it cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  Even if defendant intentionally performed skeptical climate science research, that research could not have caused the death of another person.

In a criminal trial, the accused is acquitted if any element is not proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  However, the defense attorney cannot know which, if any, of the elements will be found not proven to that standard, so he continues on to the other elements.  One never knows what a jury will decide until the verdict is read.

Moving then to the second element, the State must prove that the natural consequences of the act were dangerous to human life.  As above, the act is skeptical climate research.    What are the natural consequences of skeptical climate research?  As time has shown, skeptical climate research has produced many hundreds of peer-reviewed and published scholarly papers that show there is no cause for alarm due to man’s fossil fuel consumption.   Also, since there is no causal link between such research and human deaths, there can be no danger to human life.  The element, too, must fail in the State’s case.  (see link)  (and this link to hundreds of peer-reviewed skeptical papers)

The third element of Voluntary Manslaughter is: at the time he acted, he knew the act was dangerous to human life.  Again, the act is performing skeptical climate research.  The jury would be told that the results of the skeptical climate research is that there is no danger.  The reasons for that conclusion would be explained in great detail, with large and colorful graphs and visual displays to emphasize each point.  The defendant, who performed the skeptical climate research, would know quite the opposite: he would know that there was no danger to human life.  Element three then would also fail in the State’s case.

Finally, the fourth element is: he deliberately acted with conscious disregard for human life.  On this point, the State must prove that defendant performed his skeptical climate research knowing that human life would be at stake, and consciously disregarded that threat to life.  Quite the contrary exists, however.  Skeptical research has shown that there is no cause for alarm, for the reasons outlined above.

The inevitable conclusion, then, would be a verdict of Not Guilty on a charge of voluntary manslaughter for those who perform skeptical climate research.  Each of the four required elements is found in the negative, that is, the State cannot prove the element exists beyond a reasonable doubt.

It is interesting, however, that those who seek an arrest and conviction for criminal negligence, or voluntary manslaughter, want the crime to be charged before the victims are dead.  The usual cry from the alarmists uses the future tense, as polar ice caps WILL melt, and sea levels WILL rise.  Or, more often, the conditional form is used, saying sea levels COULD rise by 20 feet in 100 years.

There are some crimes where a conviction may be obtained without a death, such as attempted murder, but there is no crime in California of conspiracy to commit murder ( People v. Iniguez (2002) 96 Cal.App.4th 75).  There is also a crime of attempted voluntary manslaughter, but it requires the fact of heat of passion that does not arise in the climate research context (People v. Van Ronk (1985) 171 Cal.App.3d 818).

Conclusion:

The facts related to the conduct of climate research that results in a conclusion of no alarm is warranted do not yield a conviction on a charge of voluntary manslaughter, or criminal negligence as described above.   The facts show that, even if some people have died from violent weather events, those weather events are in no way connected with man-made global warming that results from the consumption of fossil fuels.  The clear evidence shows that hundreds of peer-reviewed scholarly papers have been published that show there is no reason for concern, indeed, the leading body of warmist scientists also conclude there is no link between global warming and severe weather.   For a criminal conviction, each element of a crime must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt.  Here, each element of the charge would be shown to be discredited, not proven at all.   The exception is that a lawful act, climate research, was committed, however, that act was performed in a lawful manner.

The above is written to provide an overview of a general area of the law, and is not intended, nor is it to be relied on, as legal advice for a particular set of facts.  Specific legal advice is available from Mr. Sowell and anyone who seeks such advice is encouraged to contact Mr. Sowell.

 

 

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170 thoughts on “An attorney asks: Are Climate Skeptics Legally Liable for Criminal Negligence?

  1. More to the point….are climate alarmists responsible for the waste of time and money, as well as the stress they have caused, with their fear mongering?

  2. When I first saw the “throw the skeptics in jail” meme I just wrote it off as the ravings of a loon that no one would listen to.

    But after the last couple decades of government and academic lunacy you can’t be too sure.

    What is happening to the people entrusted with governance and scholarship?

  3. And now we look at the case that an elderly person freezes to death during winter because they cannot afford heating after green legislations based on flimsy science drove them into fuel poverty …

  4. Is there a typo or error in “The third element of Voluntary Manslaughter”? The logic seems wrong : “The jury would be told that the results of the skeptical climate research is that there is no danger. [..] The defendant, who performed the skeptical climate research, would know quite the opposite: he would know that there was no danger to human life.”.

  5. The real issue is whether warmists should be liable for damage caused by their unscientific and inaccurate models as well as their policy prescriptions for an imaginary problem. Several thousand deaths in the U.K. caused by cold and the high cost of energy are the responsibility of warmists.

    JD

  6. The statements I have seen refer to funding, so presumably the funding parties would be accused, not the actual scientists carrying out the research.

    The law is a double edged sword. Much of the above could be directed against those that set out to prove global warming, if events prove them wrong. Just as much hardship and death could be laid at their doorstep due to ill conceived policies and taxation. And in their case causation is more direct and traceable.

  7. Better yet, let’s bring a class action against all the alarmists (Mann, Gore, Obama, etc.) and the organisations that support them including the IPCC, UNEP and WMO under the civil RICO Act (racketeering influenced corrupt organisations)–never has a case been more appropriate, and it provides for recovery of treble damages and attorneys fees!!

  8. Seems like we already have a very close analogy. Anyone remember the Salem Witch trials?

    With less of a stretch one could prosecute alarmists for fraud, theft, and planned genocide as well as terrorist activities.
    .

  9. Not long ago, overpopulation was considered a worse problem than global warming. The popular solution was to limit the number of children a family could have to a maximum of 2

    By the logic of global warming, if you had a third child you were causing the death of someone else. Your child child was in effect taking someone else’s seat on planet earth, causing the death of that other person. Thus in giving birth you were committing murder and the call went out to jail (or worse) anyone that had 3 or more children.

    The more things change, the more they remain the same.

  10. Since deaths from fuel poverty and the cold will occur now, its easy to prove the alarmists are causing deaths.

    Deaths from warming are a long way in the future.

    They should be careful what they are asking for

  11. An attorney asks: Are Climate Skeptics Legally Liable for Criminal Negligence?

    M’ Lord i would like to present my first witness for the defense.

    if you would like to take the stand-

    “now sir, swear on the bible , the truth , whole truth etc”

    “have the deserts been greening around the world”

    ” well,
    Increased levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) have helped boost green foliage across the world’s arid regions over the past 30 years through a process called CO2 fertilisation, according to CSIRO research.

    our findings based on satellite observations, CSIRO, in collaboration with the Australian National University (ANU), found that this CO2 fertilisation correlated with an 11 per cent increase in foliage cover from 1982-2010 across parts of the arid areas studied in Australia, North America, the Middle East and Africa, according to CSIRO research scientist, Dr Randall Donohue.
    “In Australia, our native vegetation is superbly adapted to surviving in arid environments and it consequently uses water very efficiently,” Dr Donohue said. “Australian vegetation seems quite sensitive to CO2 fertilisation.
    This, along with the vast extents of arid landscapes, means Australia featured prominently in our results.”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/07/130708103521.htm

    “I rest my case m’lord”

  12. Hopefully the people calling deniers to be jailed will read this and realize the alarmist researchers are the ones guilty of malpractice & manslaughter.

  13. “Nik says:

    The law is a double edged sword. Much of the above could be directed against those that set out to prove global warming, if events prove them wrong. Just as much hardship and death could be laid at their doorstep due to ill conceived policies and taxation. And in their case causation is more direct and traceable.”

    Certainly people in third world countries who still suffer high mortality rates from lack of modern energy to provide clean water, light, refrigeration and a prosperous economy that have seen their food costs go up as a direct result of the western world’s attack on global warming could make that case right now.

  14. Poor naive lawyer. Do you suppose that current laws have, or would have, any bearing on the matter?

    Those who grasp for power sow hate and fear against their opponents. If they are successful, they rise in power on the back of popular support for their hate. They then seize power on the promise to do something about all those hated people.

    Current law has nothing to do with matters such as these. Counter the hate mongering because if it takes root, all the lawyers on the planet and all the laws as they currently stand will do you no good.

  15. I’d rather like to see a full and reasonable accounting of the amount of money pissed away on climate alarmism. And then I’d like to see a class action lawsuit against the top 50 or so players.

  16. I think if someone were murdered with a gun, the person who shot the gun should be the first person to go to jail. If it turned out that someone on TV or the internet made a public disinformation that it was okay to shoot people — everyone does it, chinese are for sure gonna do it, and anyway there’s a good chance people won’t die when shot anyway — and that was a direct influence on the murderer’s decision to murder, then maybe a case could be made for that person being punished in some way as well. Probably the same standard should apply to murders committed using weather. The first person jailed should be the person who burned the fossil fuel the victim was murdered with. Then we can talk about whether Anthony Watts talked them into burning that fuel or not.

  17. What is happening to the people entrusted with governance and scholarship?
    ==================
    When it cost millions of dollars to wage a political campaign to win an office that only pays thousands, who in their right mind would run for office?

    Rational, law abiding people don’t spend millions to receive thousands. So what you are left with are crazies and crooks running for office. In the US one set is called Democrats and the other Republicans. The crazies are incompetent and waste your money. The crooks are competent and take your money for themselves. Either way your lose.

  18. With the added death’s from the cold in England. Couldn’t the case be made against the alarmist, and with much grater possibility to succeed?

  19. Two things:

    There is no such thing as skeptical science, there is just science. And many alarmists have been guilty of not doing science, hence the current situation.

    There is a precedent, to use a legal term, for complete idiocy regarding science and loss of life, I refer to the seismologists recently jailed in Italy. I know it is a different jurisdiction, but it holds itself up as an example of how ignorant a legal system, or government can be.

  20. Certainly people in third world countries … could make that case right now.
    ============
    They are. Led by China the third world is demanding hundreds of billions of dollars in reparations for the climate damage done by the West as a condition of any climate treaty.

    The Law of Unintended Consequences. Prove that Global Warming is caused by industrialization and that this has harmed the Third World and the Industrialized World becomes liable for the damages.

    The EPA in the US has played right into the UN’s hand in this matter, by accepting the IPCC as a scientific authority for US policy. US policy thus becomes subservient to the UN. With the industrialized world far outnumbered at the UN by third world countries, when it comes to a vote it is guaranteed who will lose.

  21. Dear Lawyer

    Since when did any government bother with the law if it got in the way of what they wanted to do? (US & UK invading Iraq, NSA spying, US exporting Saudi nationals post 9/11, The recent Russian invasion, et al.)

    Respectfully

    Sean

  22. Though a lawyer, I believe you are missing a step here. The accusation of causing future deaths assumes that the sceptics are in control of the power plants and economies and governments and are directly making government policy and law. This is hilariously false. The sceptics are a tiny minority and have no power at all, no newspapers at their disposal, no governments in their pocket. The elephant is claiming he can’t go out in that field because there is an ant there which is totally thwarting his purpose and actions. If the case for alarm is so strong as to be unassailable but Steve and Anthony single handedly have prevented the world from being saved, then this is the most remarkable David and Goliath story ever told. Furthermore, any government policy, no matter how many people it saves or good it does, is opposed by some people. 100% unanimity is never achieved. To say that anyone who opposes a good government action is guilty of treachery is to move to North Korea, where even the allowable haircuts are determined by the government.

  23. It seems to me that somewhere in the chain of causality between the research and the alleged harm are (1) A petitioning of the Government for a redress of grievances and (2) government action or inaction as a result.

    I never did any criminal work, but my guess is that precedent for applying involuntary manslaughter in a fact situation such as that is, well, scarce–independently of whether the alleged harm actually occurred the actor’s belief was insincere.

  24. The question is where do you live. In a Free country or in a country like North Korea.The big problem we face is that the ‘Free’ world everyday that passes looks more like North Korea.

  25. Are the climate alarmists liable for participating in a corrupt organization, taking funds under false pretenses, or inciting a riot?

  26. Meanwhile, bio-fuel is actually causing death and destruction around globe. Third world families that used to have to spend 80% of their income on food are now spending 100% and coming up short on getting enough food. That leaves them the option of watching all their children starve a little or abandoning their youngest ones so the rest will have enough food.

    Rich people burning food in their machines, (or any other crop taking away resources that could have been planted as food), will only keeping raising the price of food. Rich people can afford the resulting higher price of food – poor people cannot. That is what makes bio-fuel evil and it should banned worldwide.

    I’d like to see Roger E. Sowell’s opinion on the culpability of those pushing bio-fuel in this regard.

    We recently saw liberals all turn a blind eye when Obama waved his hand to allow the slaughter of bald eagles in the name of “sustainability”. What will liberals say when he and the UN do the same to allow the starvation of third world children in the name of “sustainability”? And even if they finally wake up to realize the evil it will be too late because there will no court to convict them.

  27. Government is not reason; it is not eloquent; it is force. Like fire, it is a dangerous servant and a fearful master.

  28. How about prosecuting communists and socialists based on the tens of millions who died at the hands of or through the policies of such in previous generations?

  29. I find it incredible that the UN etc predicts the world population to be 9 billion by 2100 , half of this number to be African. For this to happen the weather and agriculture will have to be in complete synch, almost perfect as the weather was for agriculture in the US in 2004.

    They cannot have it both ways ,talk of armageddon and increasingly bad weather and at the same time say the worlds population will increase.

  30. So, in practical terms, what is this drastic action that we should be taking but are being prevented from taking due to the very existence of sceptics?

  31. Roger, thank you very much for your excellent article.

    At te same time I would like to ask you if there is a case to take on the UN and all in support for abuse of science and scare mongering promoting punishing caps, taxes and restrictions of fossil fuel use and social behavior manipulations to execute their UN Agenda 21 which in principle is a centralist take over (coup) of the entire world, it’s economies, it’s financial system, it’s resources, you name it.
    Now this would be a productive move that would bring us forward instead of defending our views with our back against the wall.

    I have come to the conclusion that we have arrived in a mortal struggle for the survival of our western civilization and thought it was better to check for legal options before we blow up the world because that’s where we’re heading if these idiots continue to push their insane plans.

    In fact we already have numerous human deaths as a direct result from the US and EU bio fuel mandate which triggered the Arab Spring Revolution started as food protests and energy poverty is already killing numerous people, even in the Western nations.

    The practices of the totally corrupted UN is going to turn very ugly soon if we don’t undertake something more structural than trying to establish a dialogue with the warmists, an initiative I gave up years ago.

    I know this question is in the same category as ” Could a lawyer have stopped the Nazi’s from starting WWII and root out the Jews” but still.

    Here we have a bunch of crazies destroying Western civilization by raping science and bribing politicians, NGO’s and scientists while they completely wreck our economies leaving written and physical evidence all over the place.

    I am looking forward to your response.

  32. We could approach the legal question in another way. To commit any crime there must be an act (“the actus reus”) plus there must be the intention to do the actus (“the mens rea”). So a person who was out hunting and who killed his friend because he mistook him for a deer committed the actus reus (homicide) but did not have the mens rea, (intention).

    Negligence can take the place of intention if the person acted in a reckless way, with disregard for the consequences of the actus reus or with insufficient care to avoid harm to others.

    In regard to climate skeptics, whether or not the act of promoting climate skepticism causes harm is a question regarding the actus reus and would not be sufficient in itself to qualify as a criminal act.

    The question also must be asked whether or not the person accused intended to cause harm or was negligent concerning the risk of harm that would occur to other persons, for example by not reading the relevant reports by climate experts and economists.

    A defense would be: The accused person believed that efforts to mitigate the effect of CO2 emissions will cause more harm than the global warming effects of CO2. His intention in promoting skepticism was to promote public welfare (pro bono publico).

  33. Reblogged this on Power To The People and commented:
    Catastrophic Climate Change Believers or Warmists have put humanity on trial for the crime of destroying the earth via their use of fossil fuel and found humanity guilty. Humanity’s sentence is rolling back the Industrial Age and reverting back to the Dark Ages when life was short and brutal. The reason the Warmists are now using threats of legal liability for opposing their views that humanity are evil pests who deserve to be punished for the sin of destroying the earth; is that if their misanthropic beliefs were put on trial they are the ones who would likely be held criminally liable for all the pain and suffering to humanity and to Nature their beliefs have already been responsible for. Perhaps this is why Warmists are ramping up a Climate Of Fear to attack anyone who dares to expose the basic foundation of their beliefs is fear and loathing of humanity.. As the so called “science” of Climate Change crumbles via exposure by so called “Deniers” the Warmists defense is to intimidate the “Deniers” into silence before the whole house of Climate Change cards collapses and their true agenda is exposed.
    The IPCC and EPA Should be investigated for Green Climate Crimes:
    IPCC Climate Report has led to EPA regulations that are All Pain For No Gain:

    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/finance/economics/10644867/We-have-failed-to-prevent-global-warming-so-we-must-adapt-to-it.html

    The IPCC and EPA Facilitates the Rich Getting Richer for example in the US http://greencorruption.blogspot.com
    While the Poor Get Shafted with “skyrocketing” fuel costs they cannot afford to pay for that condemns the poor to a life time of poverty.

    http://wp.me/p7y4l-lnm

    http://www.frontpagemag.com/2014/dgreenfield/the-environmentalist-eugenics-of-the-left/#.UyHMYICh0uM.twitter

    IPCC Climate Report lead to EPA regulations that:
    Destroy Nature with Bird and Bat killing Wind Turbines/Solar
    and Biofuel crops that
    Destroys vast areas of natural habitats and
    Land that grows food crops for people
    Produces a fraction of the energy fossil fuel does at very high costs that hurt the poor the most
    Are weather dependent and do not work in severe weather.

    http://www.examiner.com/article/green-energy-solar-farm-cooks-birds-mid-flight

    The IPCC and EPA Use politics (not science) to form their reports when the empirical data contradicts their doom and gloom findings:
    How the Global Warming Scare Began http://youtu.be/SyUDGfCNC-k

  34. I’ll file this under “The Titanic is unsinkable” “that’ll never happen” and “works-in-progress.”

  35. Stonyground says:
    March 31, 2014 at 7:21 am
    So, in practical terms, what is this drastic action that we should be taking but are being prevented from taking due to the very existence of sceptics?

    Ahh there’s the rub in it all. If you read the literature of some of the players, the answer is to MURDER 9/10 ths of the world population, destroy all industrial conveniences and live as our stone-age ancestors did. (Except for a small cadre of “elites” who would have all the modern convenience to better “guide” over the stone age remainder.)

    I wish the above was sarcasm, but it is the unfortunate reality of what we are up against.

  36. The real crime that the alarmists are so upset about is best described as “Lese Majeste” – insulting the Majesty and Dignity of those who consider themselves to be our natural born rulers.

    And for that, Death has always been the most favored punishment. As the Red Queen said; “Off with their Heads!!! Off with their Heads!!!”

  37. There is a slippery slope to linking scientific research and predictions to legal culpability.
    Just imagine the possible litigation from a weather report that understands or overstates the level of precipitation.

    Of course, the horror of horrors would be to extend this level of culpability to political promises.

  38. Don’t the AGW people have to prove they are correct before anyone can be tried? To date, the proof is the AGW advocates have been wrong – their models are highly inaccurate, their science shoddy, and their predictions have not come true. And because of their advocacy, hundreds of billions of dollars have been wasted, lives have been lost and many thousands live in misery. So if anyone should be tried, it should be the AGW advocates. A good start would be Gore and Mann tried for crimes against humanity.

  39. AnonyMoose says:
    March 31, 2014 at 7:01 am
    Are the climate alarmists liable for participating in a corrupt organization, taking funds under false pretenses, or inciting a riot?

    About half the comments thus far go to the point that it’s the alarmists who should be fearing incarceration, but for corruption and the resulting chaos, not manslaughter.

    When the Left is up to something, say voter fraud, or a war on women, their favorite tactic is to accuse the Right of the same, as a means of distracting from their own efforts.

    Similarly, the alarmists are now coming to realize that they’ve committed crimes against humanity with their ludicrous fear-mongering resulting in higher energy costs, blatant misdirection of government resources, and outright scams to obtain research funding, etc. Fearing eventual jail time as the population comes to realize the magnitude of the waste and scams, they misdirect as usual, claiming that skeptics are the ones that deserve to serve the time, or worse.

  40. Well if the earth didn’t rotate there wouldn’t be any hurricanes. Perhaps we should sue the earth. Of course we wouldn’t be here if the earth didn’t rotate but at least there wouldn’t be any hurricanes.

    On another note didn’t Italy send some scientists to prison for not predicting an earthquake (or something like that)?

  41. Years ago, in a desperate attempt to acquire at least a minimum degree of protection from my sister, my fiendish older sister, I purchased a voodoo doll with her likeness – terrifying though that was. (Do you get the idea she was a pain in the a.. to deal with?)

    Anyway, compelled by self preservation, I proceeded to stick pins deep into everyplace imaginable on that voodoo doll. I was just an innocent child with his voodoo doll. She was an older monster.

    Now, a half century later, she is in her 70s and ludicrously complains that her stiff back, sore knees, irritable bowel syndrome, frequent urination problems, lack of libido, and uncontrollable flatulence are the result of my voodoo doll pin sticking days. I tell her it’s old age.

    Who do you really think’s gonna win in a court of law if she presses charges against me for willful malice?

    Oops, let me rephrase that question: Who do you think’s gonna win so long as she doesn’t press charges in a court in Berkeley?

  42. Can’t do I think there is a bit of a problem. To go to court and claim skeptics are a danger for humans by dismissing climate change they must proof there wright. On the other hand skeptics get the change to proof there wright to.

    Don’t think models stand a change a gains real life data so there must be a real stupid judge out there for the alarmist to win that one.

  43. There is no court action. The Obama administration’s EPA has decided that CO2 is the problem and are now regulating and enforcing those regulations. There is no skeptic position other than subservience in this administration.

  44. I see the call by climate alarmists that skeptics should be imprisoned as simply another indication that CAGW is a religion for them. Skeptics are the heretics of the CAGW religion and the call for imprisonment is a modern Inquisition.

  45. John Boles says: March 31, 2014 at 7:51 am “So then warmists who use coal/oil/gas are defacto guilty.”

    Yes all animals are equal but some animals are more equal than others.

  46. Ronald says: “… so there must be a real stupid judge out there for the alarmist to win that one.”

    You can worry about them, I’m worried about the well greased ones.

  47. What about the adverse consequences of holding to a belief?

    What about deliberately not dredging rivers and then finding they flood a flood plain and cause lots of damage because it was believed that the climate would be drier or it was feared wildlife habitats would be damaged?

    What about deliberately storing water in flood plains believing the climate would be drier and then it rains a great deal naturally, as it has before, and there is nowhere to store the sudden excess water so much flood damage is caused?

    What about spreading the message that we won’t see snow again, raising fuel prices and then many old folk die, when the lights go out, in a severe winter, when the wind isn’t blowing, that was believed shouldn’t have happened because of climate change.

    What about believing some trains are “death trains” and protest so preventing them carrying coal to powerstations with inevitable comnsequenses because it is believed that climate catastophe will ensue?

    97% of scientists adhere to beliefs that are a foundation to events similar to the above.

  48. He comes to the proper conclusion. Now I’d like to see an eminent attorney argue the opposite. Just to see what tortured lengths he will have to go to to justify such a thing.

    Prosecution for negligence in cases like this is really not as far-fetched as it seems. Witness the idiocy in Italy where geologists have been convicted of failing to properly warn the population of a disastrous earthquake. Apparently in Italy, you now have to have the powers of a soothsayer to practice seismic geology without fear of arrest. I’m guessing that applications for employment in that particular field in Italy have fallen off precipitously as a result.

    And the mere posing of the question above is proof of how skewed the debate over this has become. It would never occur to the warmists that they would be culpable for wasting trillions of dollars of hard-earned human wealth on a clearly (to them) imminent world crisis that turned out to be a false alarm. If we go into a long term cooling trend for another 17 years or even if temperatures stay in stasis, it will definitely falsify CAGW. (Some will claim that will occur long before then.) And what will people like Mann, Jones, and Trenberth say? “I’m sorry. We were wrong.” And that will be the end of it.

  49. Absent incitement to riot, libel or slander, I personally, in my sole discretion, will be the judge of any proposition I assert, addressing any audience on any occasion in any circumstances whatsoever.

    Klimat Kooks who bleat-and-squeak, fuss-and-bluster, wilt-and-fade at prospects of rational debate had best be warned that appeals to propagandists’ Ministry of Truth do cut both ways. Truth is a weapon: We’ll grasp the hilt, let coprophagic proctocranials fumble with the blade.

    PCBS types proclaiming “All power to the Soviets” have more than “skeptics” to deal with.

  50. You would be much better off charging skeptics in England.

    We now have laws on the statute books which criminalise people “condoning or glorifying terrorism”. In other words, it is a criminal act just to say that you think that a political group is right if the government have declared it banned.

    I would never have thought England would come to that. But it is obviously a very good precedent for attacking people who do not believe in climate alarmism…

  51. Roger:

    Thanks for the summary. I would be interested to see when those currently demanding prison for skeptics get around to demanding the same for legislators who fail to act. After all, people like Anthony Watts have no power except to persuade those who voluntarily come to his site. But Senator Inhofe has actually materially impeded legislation deemed so vital to combat global warming climate change. Surely his crimes must be of a higher order.

    Despite all the legal sabre-rattling by people almost entirely ignorant of the law, I really doubt we will see any attempt to bring prosecution. Civil actions hosever are another matter. It is only necessary to convince a majority of the jury that it is more likely true than not that the defendant’s actions will lead to harm, suffering, death, etc. Plus as Mark Steyn has observed, in the US courts the process is the punishment.

    Quite a number of attorneys make a very good living by peddling junk science to gullible juries. John Edwards comes to mind. There is no penalty for filing meritless suits and awards are not revoked when the “science” is later shown to be unfounded. Take for example “recovered memory syndrome”; to my knowledge nobody has been called to account for that travesty.

  52. Does anyone really believe that the warmists would want to take their case to a court where an oath of truth is required and evidence cannot be hidden or not shared with the defense? Wouldn’t you like to see the witness from NASA being cross examined by a Trey Gowdy type lawyer? Wouldn’t you like to see the emails and source documents entered into the court records and the authors questioned? IMO the warmists don’t want to go to a court on this.

  53. The watermelons – green on the outside marxist/socialists on the inside -are working to circumvent Anglo-Saxon protection of individual freedom.The EPA and “presidential decree” and The European Commision and “carbon pollution” are the wedges to splt apart centuries of law making that protect the rights of the individual over a protected elite – the greens- or a coercive state. We have been here before. The parallels are unmistakable.
    Please read The Road to Serfdom by H A Hayek.
    I think many have no idea of what Western society learnt the hard way and are sleep walking into a Statist future. Oppose the vocal green minority at every opportunity.
    Logic, rational thought and the rights of the individual, in a word Liberty.

  54. Curious why it’s all good and kosher to label people ‘warmist’ and ‘alarmist’, but if anyone uses the term ‘dee nile ist’ it’s an unnatural crime against one’s mother for some reason? No one from Anthony Watts down ever noticed the glaring hypocrisy here? No, no doubt, but I just thought it weird and wanted to mention that in passing. No biggy, but you really should know that it is very obvious to anyone who’s not asleep. Hypocrisy is never a good look, even on naked celebrities.

    As for the wisdom of the good lawyer, I had to chuckle about this “This is crucial, something is preventing the ice from melting. Yet we know CO2 is rising. Why isn’t CO2 causing the Arctic to warm up like it’s supposed to? Again, another model bust.”

    this was about arctic sea ice …. so he pulled out the latest graph of the time here to prove his ‘scientific credentials’ of how bad all the ‘warmist’ science was.

    Yeah, picked 2012 which was about to become the lowest ice extent ever, with 100% melting of ice with massive warming across Greenland even at 12,000 feet altitude ………. not to mention recent temperature readings of the arctic this northern winter just out with the lowest march winter maximum ice extent ever.

    Oh the weather … it can make liars out of all of us, yes? :-)

    Hey just saying …. don’t shoot the messenger holding the telegram …. he deserves a tip for the free delivery service provided. Or are people really that frightened of being charged with 2nd degree murder? Like are you really serious – writing this stuff and then even bothering to read it – or is it really just such a slow news day today with the WGII report being released and all over the world news?

    Maybe you should all sue the news media for reporting that the IPCC and Michael Mann exist? Now there’s a ‘solid’ litigation idea that might actually work.

    [snip. Links labeling WUWT readers “little Hitlers” violates site Policy. ~mod]

  55. Some 7 1/2 years ago, David Roberts of Grist Magazine infamously wrote “When we’ve finally gotten serious about global warming, when the impacts are really hitting us and we’re in a full worldwide scramble to minimize the damage, we should have war crimes trials for these bastards — some sort of climate Nuremberg.”
    In an odd way, he was being clairvoyant; only what he was “seeing” was that his side would one day be put on trial, and found guilty of crimes against humanity.
    They have made their hatred of humanity perfectly clear, too.

  56. If this is the case then it is also true that should the earth cool, causing millions of deaths. Then the global alarmists will themselves be guilty of the deaths of millions through their alarmist propaganda to raise vast sums of money for research. They of course will also be guilty of fraud, theft of money, obtaining money through false pretenses when they knew full well, or had at least been warned, that their science was to say the least dubious. Maybe if it is proved that these alarmists are guilty they should at least serve a sentence of life in prison. And for the worse offenders, such as Gore. Execution.

  57. Given climategate falsifying the data sets used for the ‘evidence’ should then have a death sentence?
    didn’t the warmists ask for immunity from prosecution.?
    when science gets to law courts then u know its no longer science.

  58. Mike says:
    March 31, 2014 at 8:33 am

    This posting was stupid. I am not sure why it was even allowed on wattsupwiththat

    Your comment is much better directed at Professor Torcello, Adam Weinstein and others who have been calling for arrests and prosecutions. Roger is performing a valuable service setting forth the basic legal standards for manslaughter, as many on both sides of this debate frequently reveal considerable ignorance on this topic.

  59. Mike,

    Explain why this is a “stupid” article. Make it good, or we will conclude that you are being stupid.

    =========================

    While reading this article, the imprisoning of the Italian scientists also came to mind. I am thoroughly skeptical of the idea that society is inclined toward rationality. It is not. Laws are made, among other reasons, to curb the irrational impulses that crowds have.

    It seems entirely possible, maybe even likely, that this movement to imprison scientists for simply having a different position is takeing root, and eventually a jury will provide a conviction. That will scare hell out of the scientific community. Is it worth your freedom and your financial savings to speak your mind? Most would say no. Emphatically.

    That seems to be the goal of this movement. A single conviction, even if overturned, would be huge. Remember The Runaway Jury ? Two activists on the jury brought about an enormous verdict. As I see it, that could easily happen in this case.

    Mr. Sowell lives in a rational world. Not all jurors do. All it would take is one verdict punishing a scientific skeptic. The resulting fallout would be astronomical.

  60. Hi Roger. In order to successfully prosecute climate skeptics, the prosecution must prove the validity of the AGW hypothesis beyond a reasonable doubt to establish causation for the alleged crime. That cannot happen because among other things the model scenarios used to support the hypothesis are hypothetical and therefor inadmissible as evidence. Without admissible model outputs, expert testimony on the subject would also be inadmissible because of the lack foundation evidence.

  61. Thank you to all for the responses, and to you, Anthony, for the posting on WUWT.

    I will try to respond to comments, as best I can considering this is a legal topic and attorneys are heavily constrained in what we can say or write in a public forum such as this. Please understand that no attorney can give legal advice on a blog. I would love to write much more than I am allowed under the law.

    Like most of you, my day is full so I will try to respond after about 5:30 pm Pacific.

    Roger

  62. There was another another article published recently on this same topic, I commented that I thought if they are going to prosecute Skeptics, then they should hold the same standards to the CAGW types. If it turns out that the predictions of global warming catastrophe never come to pass over the next ten years, then all of the CAGW types should be held liable for all the damage they will have done. Perhaps millions will die due to energy poverty and the inabilitly to afford food and and decent health care. The comment was deleted shortly after it was posted of course.

  63. [SNIP - calling an attorney a "wank" probably isn't a good idea, especially when done in the context of a rant - I'm going to save you from your own rhetoric - Anthony]

  64. http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/03/31/an-attorney-asks-are-climate-skeptics-legally-liable-for-criminal-negligence/#comment-1602453

    Alan Watt: I think you are probably aware of this, but no politician in the US and I think in nearly all the Western democracies, can be prosecuted for statements or actions made in performance of legislative duties. They have complete impunity, unless they commit crimes. For example, if you offer up legislation that was bought and paid for by a lobbyist, you can be prosecuted. But unless you commit crimes, you are free to write and say just about anything you want as a legislator.

    If that were not the case they would all be in jail, mostly on trumped up charges, and no one would be proposing legislation for fear of arrest.

  65. Walter says: [ ... ]

    Oh. ‘Scuse me, “Wally”, but you are seemingly unaware that many climate alarmists refer to themselves that way. They are sounding an alarm, see? Even though it is a false alarm.

    OTOH, no scientific skeptic [the only honest kind of scientist] wants to be equated with a Holocaust denier.

    You really do write like the erstwhile Walter…

  66. I’d posit that the ones showing true negligence are those that preach AGW yet have done nothing themselves to reduce their own carbon footprint.

  67. It would be informative to see a similar review of “hate speech” laws. Are those persons referenced in the first paragraph in violation of such laws when they call for jailing, or worse, of skeptics?

  68. [snip - take a 24 hour time out to get your mind settled, we don't care much for your rants here -mod]
    REPLY: Turns out this is another sockpuppet (different name and email) for the same guy “Walter K.” who’s already been told he’s done here for bad behavior violating site policy. No 24 hour timeout, its a permanent one. – Anthony

  69. Rachel Carson wrote “Silent Spring” about DDT & 30 million Africans died from Malaria as a result of that book. http://www.forbes.com/sites/henrymiller/2012/09/05/rachel-carsons-deadly-fantasies/2/

    Ancel Keys cheated & thousands of needless deaths from Breast & Prostate cancer & heart disease were the results. http://openheart.bmj.com/content/1/1/e000032.full?sid=5e6b0cad-75ea-41a1-85e6-e5461d77846c

    Those two people are dead, but the people who implemented the policies are still alive. Prosecute them I say.

  70. In describing the sceptical research that would be culpable, Sowell says it “might be held to be performed recklessly and to create a risk of death or great bodily injury, but only if the research chose only data that confirmed the pre-conceived conclusion, or improper analyses were performed, or unwarranted conclusions were drawn from the data and analysis, or some combination of all the above.”

    I haven’t read all of the comments or even all of Sowell’s posting, but has occurred to anyone else that this is a perfect description of most so-called climate science as promulgated by the IPCC?

  71. Research is defined in Merriam Webster as:

    Full Definition of RESEARCH
    1 : careful or diligent search
    2: studious inquiry or examination; especially : investigation or experimentation aimed at the discovery and interpretation of facts, revision of accepted theories or laws in the light of new facts, or practical application of such new or revised theories or laws
    3: the collecting of information about a particular subject

    http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/research

    Nobody from either side of the debate apart from politicians, would say that everything is known about climate systems. Therefore there is a need for more research. The assumption made by these ‘non-skeptics’ is that research is carried out to achieve a ‘result’. This seems to be a case of psychological projection as that is precisely how hockey sticks keep on appearing. However, in real research, observations lead to the development of hypotheses then experiments or more observations are carried out with the intention of falsifying the hypothesis. So the research hypothesis that anthropogenic activities do not cause global warming would be tested by trying to show that anthropogenic activities do cause global warming.

    Are those who call for the jailing of researchers really going to succeed when they try to jail them for attempting to falsify the hypothesis that “anthropogenic activities do not cause global warming? Surely, these potential litigants would want the researchers to succeed in their falsification? And as long as all original data, calculations and algorithms are published for repeatability failure of the researchers can only strengthen the case for AGW.

    The problem is climate ‘science’ is not used to this type of ethical repeatable research,. These potential litigants project onto others their own behavior of provision to the funding authority the results they want to hear and the ‘loss’ of original data and the fighting of court battles to hide their algorithms calculations and assumptions -and even their emails on the subject.

    Indeed, the more these people demand legal action and litigation the more they expose their fundamental ignorance of scientific ethics and the scientific method.

  72. Sorry, but as a UK lawyer I don’t wholly agree with this, speaking as from the UK – and the fundamental legal principles don’t differ much as between US and UK criminal jurisdictions.

    If (so-called) climate skeptics stay rigorously within the bounds of postulating scientific theory, this means they never commit any “actus reus” (guilty physical act) directed against specific individuals, a necessary element of any crime (unless the definition of crime comes to be changed …). The clearest indication of staying within these bounds is that the theory is presented expressly as theory and with a realistic nul hypothesis, acknowledging that the theory fails if the nul hypothesis comes to occur.

    However research is the difficulty: if a scientist carries out (or, arguably, a financier pays for) research into any theory, the research could easily comprise a series of actus rei so that if (objectively) the consequences of the acts could be dangerous to human life the defendant researcher or financier might be left facing trial for manslaughter.

    And davidmhoffer says “Those who grasp for power sow hate and fear against their opponents. If they are successful, they rise in power on the back of popular support for their hate. They then seize power on the promise to do something about all those hated people.”

    Thank goodness for the Founding Fathers’ wisdom in framing the US Constitution then – the “do something” popular promise must still be constitutional to get past SCOTUS even if (these days) authorised by executive order. And, here in the UK, I believe HM would just have a quiet word with the PM at a Tuesday audience, to put a stop to anything purely driven by hatred. But I accept this isn’t working out too well in Ukraine …

  73. Climate change profiteers can and should be charged with: Fraud, extortion and assorted environmental crimes. (death of millions of birds, anyone?) Prison and restitution would be in order as well.
    Yes, Our former Veep is at the top of the list.

  74. One must assume by these arguments that the first ‘person’ to be put in the dock would have to be the Lord Above, since the Good Book clearly describes the most heinous outcomes of weather extremes, be they floods evaded by Noah; the seven year cycles of feast and famine in ancient Egypt etc etc.

    Would Rowan Williams like to take the lead in prosecuting his Heavenly Father?!

  75. I wonder if the model makers could be held strictly liable under products liability laws. They were paid to come up with models, people and governments relied upon the models and spent billions of dollars based upon the models, and now the models have proven to be wrong (defective).

  76. Roger E. Sowell
    Thanks for your legal review.
    I encourage you to examine legal implications of the converse:

    1) Are climate mitigation policies increasing deaths among the extreme poor?
    Indur Goklany (2011) quantitatively evaluated the biofuel mandates and found that they caused 192,000 “premature” deaths in 2010 alone by increasing grain prices.
    Indur Goklany (2011) Could Biofuel Policies Increase Death and Disease in Developing Countries? Journal of American Physicians and Surgeons Volume 16 Number 1 Spring 2011 pp 9-13.

    2. Are climate mitigation policies reducing economic development, thus causing more deaths than expected benefits under business as usual among the extreme poor?
    Bjorn Lomborg quantifies these issues. e.g. The Poverty of Renewable Energy:

    Solar and wind power was subsidized by $60 billion in 2012. This means that the world spent $60 billion more on energy than was needed. And, because the total climate benefit was a paltry $1.4 billion, the subsidies essentially wasted $58.6 billion. Biofuels were subsidized by another $19 billion, with essentially no climate benefit. All of that money could have been used to improve health care, hire more teachers, build better roads, or lower taxes.

    Lomborg further observes:

    They cook and keep warm by burning twigs and dung, producing indoor air pollution that causes 3.5 million deaths per year – by far the world’s biggest environmental problem.

    Western principles of resource stewardship are built on Jesus’ parable of the Talents.
    Contrast the projected benefits that could have been provided the poor with the wasted resources. See The Copenhagen Consensus. Scorecard for Humanity 2013

    Is it criminal negligence to bury money in a hole with no benefit that could have been used to save millions of extreme poor from death?

  77. “the skeptics, those who understand that the science simply does not support the warmists’ view…”

    I disagree with the attempt to lump all skeptics into one category. To be skeptical means to “have doubts or reservations.” It is not proper to brand all skeptics as those who have gone beyond having doubts to the point of being convinced that the warmists’ view is wrong. There are degrees of skepticism. Lukewarmers fall on one side of the spectrum because they have doubts about some of the claims being made, but not all. Extreme skeptics, who doubt everything the warmists say, fall on the other side of the spectrum. Then there are skeptics who are in between. I fall in that category because I think warmists have jumped to conclusions based on too little data. They have exaggerated what they know about the climate because of political bias, extreme environmentalism, or the desire for grant money. We don’t have enough reliable data to declare a verdict one way or the other. The error bars on the data we do have are much larger than climate researchers admit, and we simply do not have a way to take an accurate temperature of the entire planet. So it makes sense to doubt the claims of those who say “the science is settled” and who want to force everyone to make drastic changes in lifestyle based on incomplete and/or fudged data. The many predictions of gloom and doom have not come to pass. There is no reason not to wait for more data before we act. Those who do not want to wait, but want to act now, seem to be afraid that additional data will prove them wrong. They are using climate as a means to an end and don’t care if the means are valid. That’s why I’m skeptical of their claims. But being skeptical does not mean I’m convinced. I need more data to be convinced.

  78. It does little good to speak of the Law (with a capital “L”) to people who take the law into their own hands.

    I am not reassured that those who “adjust” data to suit their own needs have the respect for the Truth (with a capital “T”) necessary for a proper understanding of the Law.

    They may have some tentative grip on a vague, dimly-remembered idealism based on Truth, but when lying becomes habitual the grip on idealism starts to slip. What began as righteous indignation gradually dissolves into cankering animosity, if not foaming rage.

    The golden threads of Truth are woven into the very fabric of reality by a divine touch, and those who scoff at the Law are sawing at the very limbs they venture out on. The Law cannot be mocked. It must be obeyed or troubles result, and, just an an engineer cannot say, “this bridge will hold traffic in the future though I neglected to put in supports in the present,” when a person says “the ends justify the means” they are neglecting the Law and the Truth and expecting good to come of it. It is not all that different from Wimpy’s line, “I will gladly pay you next Thursday for a hamburger today,” only while Wimpy is a cartoon character, these people are no joke.

    The people who mock the Law and the Truth think they are free from its consequences, but the consequences are inescapable. Such lawless people are completely fooling themselves.

  79. Ian W says:
    March 31, 2014 at 9:45 am: [ ... ]

    Excellent comment, well thought out.

    ===========================

    Steve from Rockwood says:

    An even simpler issue is can climate skeptics be held liable for being wrong?

    Isn’t that exactly what happened to the Italian scientists? They were prosecuted for failing to predict an earthquake. In other words, for being wrong [I know that is a simplistic explanation, but that is essentially what happened].

    I would like to see anyone predict an earthquake. Los Angeles just experienced a 5.1 magnitude quake last Friday. As far as I know, no one predicted it – and LA has a lot of experience with earthquakes.

    Predicting the [non-] effects of runaway global warming [AKA: 'climate change'] appears to be far more difficult than predicting earthquakes. So far, every climate model prediction has been wrong: not one of the multi-million dollar GCMs was able to predict the current, 17 year long halt to global warming. They were all wrong. In fact, they are still wrong. None of them can predict when, or if, global warming will resume.

    Are the programmers of those GCMs to be prosecuted for being wrong?

  80. Hmm.. One could just as easily reverse the issue.

    If some fat American with a 4×4 arrived in my ‘market’ and proceeded to buy up all the ‘grains’ for prices that excluded everyone else and then proceeded to pour them into his ‘gas tank’ while my children starved then what is he guilty of?

    The idea that ‘slowing progress on climate change’ is some kind of ‘future crime’ is nonsense. There are no laws dealing with future crime.

    Dead children whose parents couldn’t ‘out bid’ the ethanol scammers is a crime of the now. Can we charge them with killing children in the ‘third world’ and, probably a better chance of success, the murder of hundreds of thousands of people in the ‘first world’ who had to deicide between fuel and food?

    Green shirts everywhere should to remember that one can only be charged by actual crimes. Right now … They are the only ones heading to ‘Nuremberg’ with actual bodies on the charge sheet.

  81. you could probably argue that the burning of fossil fuels is saving lives, we had one of the coldest winters of the century this year. I can only imagine how many people would have frozen to death.

    secondly you might argue that a warmer earth is likely to support a higher population due to an increase in growing season and being able to provide more food for the global population.

    this could get confusing, what if the earth doesnt warm over the next 15 years, are you then having to pay skeptics reperatations for prosecuting them under bogus terms? And what of all the money wasted that could have been used for more worthwhile pursuits.

  82. I would go so far to say, are the scare mongers and their believers liable for fraud, misappropriation of government funds and probably a host of other crimes.

  83. As with all things liberal (er, now “progressive”), it is always far less about the complaint or worry of the moment, and far more about the goal the complaint or worry helps to achieve.

    Global Warming/Climate Change is no different. In this case, we are being scolded that we must change now so that we prevent some climate disaster that computer models assure us will happen based on trends in hyrdocarbon fuel use Now these models are based on estimates and “adjusted” climate data. We already have many models that have been shown to be at substantial odds with the real climate just a few years later.

    It is no coincidence that the same people who are so frantic to prevent this disaster that they are even willing to shoot and jail people who remain skeptical of these models, cannot accept the mathematical certainty of financial disaster should our government continue to spend beyond its means and not address over $100 trillion in future unfunded government obligations.

    The reason that I say there is no coincidence is because both situations have the same harmonious goal in mind. To use government to control people and to accrue power to the socialists who love big government.

  84. The fact that we are even having this conversation should be a concern to everyone. The last time I checked private citizens can pontificate in public on a whole range of issues they have no expertise at. And if we’re going to imprison people (preemptively I might say, as none of the dire events have come to fruition), then state AGs can indict and arrest the hundreds if not thousands of “climate experts” who have directly impacted policies, laws, and regulation that have resulted in the loss of thousands if not millions of jobs, hundreds of billions in costs, and trillions tax liabilities. Two can play the game. AGW advocacy has led to the use of corn as a fuel (running up costs of food and energy), AGW advocacy has led to the increased CAFE standards, which have increased the price of autos and resulted in more traffic fatalities and casualties; AGW advocacy has led to the rise in electricity costs, which in turn have resulted in utilities being shut off for tens of thousands of customers who no longer can afford them.

    We could go on and on and on. As a matter of fact, we should lobby state AGs to begin grand jury proceedings against the entire Team. That is one sure way to stop this insanity.

  85. “ferdberple says:
    March 31, 2014 at 6:49 am
    Certainly people in third world countries … could make that case right now.
    ============
    They are. Led by China the third world is demanding hundreds of billions of dollars in reparations for the climate damage done by the West as a condition of any climate treaty.”

    What’s interesting here is that China is feeding off both ends of the trough here – on the one hand, they are claiming to be a third-world, developing country, yet on the other, they are a huge economy and manufacturing base, sooner or later to dictate what gets built/sold, and at what price.

    Their CO2 and pollutant output dwarfs that of the rest of the world, and yet they want reparations for “first world pollution”. This self-centeredness is breathtaking, and yet we just wink it away….

    Great line from the musical Starlight Express – when asked “Whose side are you on [race between
    Rusty, Diesel, and Electra] Caboose replies “I’m on MY side”.

    Similar with China and Russia….the US and Europe could cut CO2 (and pretty much all other) emissions to zero, and it wouldn’t be a drop in the bucket compared to China, and/or India.

  86. pottereaton says:
    March 31, 2014 at 9:10 am

    Alan Watt: … They have complete impunity, …

    I think you probably meant “immunity” here, but sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference with our Congress. Clearly your Freudian sub-conscious agrees.

    But you are correct; members of Congress have immunity for any actions or failures to act in their official duties, even if they would otherwise be criminally liable for the results (as do the courts; they have no liability civil or criminal no matter how much damage their orders cause). Note that my speculation was when the neo-totalitarians would call for their prosecution, in which question my understanding of the law is irrelevant. Given Roger Sowell’s admirable summary of why you and I could not be prosecuted given long established statutory and case law on manslaughter, it is clear the Khemer Verte mobs demanding prosecution regardless lack both respect and knowledge of the law. Which is why my speculation is probably not completely idle.

  87. Let’s put their evidence before a jury and see. We might actually get to see a real debate on climate, if this were presented in a court of law.

  88. Damian says:
    March 31, 2014 at 9:47 am

    How about false claims about warming go to jail. Like yelling fire in a global movie theater.

    It’s complicated:
    falsely shouting fire …
    Schenck

    “Holmes dissented, reiterating his view that expressions of honest opinion were entitled to near absolute protection under the First Amendment, but that expressions made with the intent to cause a criminal harm, or that threatened clear and present danger of such harm, could be punished.” (from Schenck wiki cited above)

    It isn’t necessary that anyone has to die before there can be criminal charges. It isn’t even necessary to prove intent. it is only necessary for a court to conclude that a “reasonable person” would have known that there existed a ‘clear and present danger’.

    Chief Judge Learned Hand … interpreted the [clear and present danger] phrase as follows: ‘In each case, [courts] must ask whether the gravity of the “evil”, discounted by its improbability, justifies such invasion of free speech as is necessary to avoid the danger.’ We adopt this statement of the rule. As articulated by Chief Judge Hand, it is as succinct and inclusive as any other we might devise at this time. It takes into consideration those factors which we deem relevant, and relates their significances. More we cannot expect from words. wiki

    Translation: It’s complicated.

  89. Nice posting but you perhaps miss the lynch mob mentality. these losers are calling for government force to impose their vision upon all.
    Any who doubt their divine truth is the devil incarnate, what we are hearing is powerless morons ranting”Burn the Witch”, as their cult implodes.
    They have been unable to impose their utopia by stampeding the masses, failed to convince the voters via democracy and now they clamour for naked force to silence those who mock them.
    If it was not for the complicity of the fools and bandits who infest our bureaus, I would be merely amused, however there is a tiny chance that some of their demented behaviour will be imposed by regulators.
    Time to cull the inhabitants of our watchdog agencies.
    When the watchdogs are rabid, strange activities flourish.

    I say this because I see the entire CAGW meme as a creation of our bureaus, with the intent to permanently impose a benefit to the parasitic class of citizens.(The govt functionary)
    How better for unelected, unaccountable minions to satisfy their lust for money and power, than through a tax in air, administered by the United Nations.(AKA Useless Nutjobs)

  90. ferberple says:

    “Certainly people in third world countries … could make that case right now.
    ============
    They are. Led by China the third world is demanding hundreds of billions of dollars in reparations for the climate damage done by the West as a condition of any climate treaty.

    The Law of Unintended Consequences. Prove that Global Warming is caused by industrialization and that this has harmed the Third World and the Industrialized World becomes liable for the damages.”

    **************
    Isn’t there another side to this argument?

    Since CO2 is food or fertilizer for plant life, isn’t our contribution to the CO2 levels in the atmosphere contributing to crop yields worldwide, including the Third World? Doesn’t that increase in the world’s crop yield from our CO2 contribution add to the monetary value of that crop yield? And the country’s GDP? Didn’t it cost us to produce the energy that yielded our CO2 contribution to the atmosphere?

    It seems to me that if the answer to any or all of those questions above is ‘yes’, then we are perhaps even steven with the Third World…. or perhaps THEY owe US? Or am I barking up a dead tree here (pardon the pun)?

  91. I am surprised at the complex comments and nobody mentions that the warmistas think that every function and freedom afforded by their existence in a free society are at ther whim and disposal to inflict whatever form of persecution they imagine their elevated self importance and narcissistic point of view warrants on those who are lesser beings.
    As numerous commenters have pointed out, their proposed actions are “pari passu” with skeptics.

  92. “Don’t the AGW people have to prove they are correct before anyone can be tried?”

    In our Brave New World, asking that question will be a crime punishable by death.

  93. All very well reasoned out. The problem lies in that the suit or charge would not be brought in a United States Federal or State Court. It would be brought before the World Court and we can all be sure that the charge or suit would have plenty of proponents to the charge/suit being brought and the outcome and that the trial itself would not have the logical and legal foundations and precedents to prevent a finding of guilty by those members (in the majority) that have an ideological bias towards those charged/sued.

    In other words; they’d go court shopping for the verdict they want. Nothing they’ve done has been logical or reasonable so far (except their pursuit of their own reputations/glory/research funding and prestige) so why would they stop now and become reasonable and logical when trying to find anyone, anyone at all responsible for breaking their rice bowl?

  94. Can people be legally liable for something that may happen in the future?
    Can you be arrested and convicted for future crimes you’re deemed likely to commit? According to the Gulag Archipelago, tens of thousands (perhaps hundreds of thousands) were in the old Soviet Union. How far away from that are we?

  95. I would think, that you would need a corpse, to establish that some individual living person, had actually died from severe climate change syndrome (see death certificate from the coroner’s office), and then you would have to prove (beyond reasonable doubt) that that person died primarily as a result of some climate change event that was a direct result of a specific action or lack thereof, by the defendant.

    Given that climate change is only logarithmically related to CO2, it would be difficult to show that CO2 emitted by the defendant, was the cause of the person’s demise; rather than actions taken by others.

  96. The ultimate question would be, ‘which scientists caused you to doubt climate science? Was it Lindzen, Christy, Singer, Currie?’

    No, it was Mann, Hansen, Jones, Trenberth, Gleick, Lewandowsky, Steig, Marcott, the IPCC and any scientist who decided I needed my science with extra spin.

  97. dbstealey says:
    March 31, 2014 at 11:11 am

    [...]

    Isn’t that exactly what happened to the Italian scientists? They were prosecuted for failing to predict an earthquake. In other words, for being wrong [I know that is a simplistic explanation, but that is essentially what happened].

    No. The Italian scientists were not convicted for “failing to predict an earthquake”. They were convicted of under-estimating the risk of an earthquake to the townspeople.

    The defense argued that you cannot be held responsible for something that cannot be predicted.

    The prosecution argued that the scientists gave “incomplete, imprecise and contradictory information” on the risk of an earthquake, just a few days before the tragedy, making it impossible for the residents to judge the risk for themselves. Instead of highlighting the danger as revealed by a series of smaller quakes preceding the earthquake, the scientists downplayed the risks saying the shocks were a “normal geologic phenomenon”. The prosecution asked for a 4 year sentence. The judge sentenced the scientists and one politician to 6 years.

    I saw this case as hopeful that government scientists should be held to some accountability for their behaviour. If you tell people it is very dangerous to live in a region that has suffered several large magnitude earthquakes for all of recorded history, you look pretty smart when the next one happens. But if you keep telling people not to worry, well, it will take 6 years off of your life.

  98. RE: hp says:
    March 31, 2014 at 11:20 am

    “…this could get confusing, what if the earth doesn’t warm over the next 15 years, are you then having to pay skeptics reparations for prosecuting them under bogus terms?…”

    I’ve taken my fair share of abuse for asking Alarmists simple questions, but, before I see a nickle for my poor, hurt feelings, I’d like to see the Alarmists shell out a couple trillion for the child abuse they have committed, by doling out nightmarish scenarios to little kids.

  99. A great deal of the worlds population believes abortion is murder. At the very least, an ultrasound reveals a solid linkage of life in the womb, more so than linkage to co2 and temperature. One can look at Dr Vincent Grays chart here and see there is no provable linkage:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2013/06/04/dr-vincent-gray-on-historical-carbon-dioxide-levels/

    What I personally believe on the matter is not the point. The point is that far more people believe that life starts in the womb, including the 2.2 Billion Muslims,

    http://www.roseod.f2s.com/_pdf_leaflets/islam_and_abortion.PDF

    than believe I am causing the deaths of future millions, and want me put away for it.
    Odd since there is a large segment of the worlds population as mentioned above that believe abortion is killing people now. Question: No matter what you or I believe about abortion, is it right to call for the arrest and jailing of people supporting the pro choice side? There is no more vivid example of the double standard than this. It would be interesting to poll the people demanding the jailing of skeptics on these high moral grounds of theirs on their feelings on a matter than alot of people believe is a a visible case of outright murder. A sociologist can have a field day on this subject.

    Yet here we stand dealing with people with a selective tolerance. So who is the bigger danger, the skeptic, or pro lifer, who seeks to change peoples hearts by showing them facts that their mind can get a hold of, or these people with their irrational intolerance to a matter that can clearly be shown to run counter to their beliefs. Perhaps they should be jailed for the misery they are causing so many now!

    Given an agenda of population control is also high on their list, the idea that we are killing millions of people that they would deem a threat to Gaia is rich , to say the least.

    Let me be clear… what I believe about abortion is not the issue here. The issue is that there are many more people that think that is killing NOW, than these people in their fantasy world of future events that can never be measured, and if they had their druthers, would have less people anyway. So how are they allowed to get away with this nonsense, without someone shoving their hypocrisy and intolerance back in their face. Why do they not get a double dose, using this as an example and then demanding they account for the misery their hysteria is causing now!

    This issue has nothing to do with science. Its mans inhumanity to man on full display when you peal away their pretense of moral superiority. They are exposed for the naked fools they are

  100. Oh good grief.

    Now we have lawyers feeding at the trough…they’ve done such a good job elsewhere.

    I mean at feeding…

  101. So of the comments seem to operate from the basis that there is popular support for such action. Those of us that work in the scientific community are well aware of many scientists who keep quiet because of mob rule. However in the general community the vast majority do not believe the AGW meme, hence there is no popular support and hence the politicians are unable to arrive at a suitable compromise. Long may it last.

  102. Steve from Rockwood says:

    The Italian scientists were not convicted for “failing to predict an earthquake”. They were convicted of under-estimating the risk of an earthquake to the townspeople.

    As I wrote: I know that is a simplistic explanation, but that is essentially what happened

    And that is essentially what happened. Scientists were convicted for not being able to predict the future. There was a lot more to that case than I want to discuss here, but the scientists were essentially made into scapegoats for not predicting a future earthquake. There have been numerous, repeated quakes in that area for all of recorded history. But when a scapegoat is required, you had better hope you are not in the government’s sights.

    It almost seems you agree with the Italian verdict. You wrote: The prosecution argued that the scientists gave “incomplete, imprecise and contradictory information” on the risk of an earthquake, just a few days before the tragedy, making it impossible for the residents to judge the risk for themselves.

    “Incomplete, imprecise, and contradictory information”?? That sounds mighty like being criticized for not being able to predict the future. And you know what? NO Italian scientist is going to stick his neck out now. Any benefit from earthquake research will be couched in such vague, mealymouthed language that it is completely useless for anything.

    That is exactly what the result would be, if an American scientist was ever convicted of anything mentioned in the article or comments here. And that is exactly what some folks want: to silence opposing views.

    That is the danger. One conviction would be worth hundreds of $millions annually in catastrophic AGW propaganda. Probably more. If there was a conviction, then no scientist would dare to take the position that CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere — without first stating that “carbon” is gonna getcha, and pretty soon, too.

    Can you not see the danger?

  103. Well, ya know— I’m gonna jump in here, and perhaps someone’s mentioned this (and if so, please ‘scuse….), but isn’t it funny that it’s always the OTHER guy who’s to blame?

    For example, for those “philosophy” types who cry for my arrest and sentencing for killing people for supporting research along skeptical lines…Just what is it they claim is killing people? What is the PROXIMATE CAUSE? Is it the research? No: it’s the warming. Ok, is the research creating the warming? No, per them, it’s the CO2. Does the research create the CO2? No: people who burn things do. Like oil, coal, gasoline, wood, etc. So creation of CO2 is really the crime, under their brand of “logic”, and not the research. The researchers would, under this construction, be the equivalent of someone standing off to the side saying, “I dare you!” to someone about to commit an act with reckless or depraved disregard for life or limb. That old advice our moms gave us about our friends jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge…? “I only killed that guy ’cause HE TOLD ME TO!! Honest!” Not a very good defense in court.

    Given this, anyone who uses electricity, or drives a car, or burns a campfire, or heats their home via the burning of hydrocarbon fuels, is guilty of manslaughter. In the case of cAGW believers, the crime is WORSE: you see, I don’t believe that man-made CO2 has a measureable effect right now, so if I turn on a light or drive my car, I’m behaving morally. But cAGW alarmists, who believe CO2 is the gas of all evil, who STILL heat their houses, who STILL eat cooked meals, who are not all frutarian-fruitcakes and the like, are KNOWINGLY being immoral.

    Funny that we didn’t hear about how Larry Torcello, or Andrew Wienstein, or any of those other charitable, understanding and tolerant alarmists, so dedicated to their truths, their green ethos, were going to move into the wilderness with the wolves and the bunnies to tough it out without having to create any more CO2, lest they share responsibility for untold number of deaths due to global warming they themselves helped create!

    Imagine that: a bunch of climate alarmists with one standard for them and another for everyone else…

    Is there theory, a “Dunning-Kruger Effect” sort of mechanism, to explain how the morally bankrupt can feel so holier-than-thou?

    Just wonderin’…

  104. Problem is… Under the auspices of “National Security”, the legal dynamics change dramatically. We know that global warming and energy fall within that specific area and has been manipulated for NATSEC and other purposes. It’s a really messy (and large) web to untangle.

    I am fairly confident that many of these cases may be dealt with fairly in the lower courts, but, moving along the legal food chain, there are political and economic interests that seem to have an ear in the higher courts (and congress).

    So far as I can see, the voice of reason seems to be moving forward but much more needs to be done.

    You all have done great work here and elsewhere, I hope it will continue as I will try to do the same.

  105. In a court i would ask the warmist this : Do you have a refrigerator ? Do you have air conditioning or heating in your abode ? Do you travel by a means that uses hydrocarbons ? Do you eat ?
    If the answer to any are yes , then you are also a contributor to supposed problem you are accusing others of denying . The case is closed ,bailiff clear the court !!

  106. dbstealey says:

    If the Italian scientists (with the help of the local politician) did not appear to reassure the town that everything was alright 3 days before a quake killed 309 people they wouldn’t have been charged. I don’t want to agree/disagree with the verdict because (as you say) there is more happening there than we could hope to discuss. But I do feel that if scientists step out into the public they should be held accountable for their actions.

    Not sure where you’re from but here in Canada government scientists want the right to talk directly to the public about their research (mostly in the area of environmental and climate science). I welcome this but with the caveat that they must be held responsible for their actions. Scientists are often under the misconception that only good can from their actions.

    If Michael Mann produces a graph that shows temperatures have fallen for a thousand years only to rise dramatically as human fossil fuel also dramatically rose and he is unwilling to share his data and code then it should be yanked from him by government. If subsequent analysis of his work shows he was fraudulent then he should go to jail. If he is found only to be incompetent then he should just lose his position at Penn State.

    You’re probably going to counter-argue that Mann wouldn’t be the target and that the government would be focused on the skeptics, after all, we’re downplaying the alarmism. But this is where I have hope. In Italy the courts did not side with the government scientists or the government official. It saw that the best interests of the people had not been met by people who had been hired by the government for that very reason. The court made the government responsible for its actions.

  107. I should add that if Mann’s work is vindicated he should be made a saint. And I’ll buy his stupid book.

  108. There is a flip side that Climastrologists and the church of Global Warming should consider:

    Italian Scientists Sentenced to 6 Years for Earthquake Statements – Scientific American
    Six Italian scientists and a government official have been sentenced to six years in prison over statements they made prior to a 2009 earthquake that killed 309 in the town of L’Aquila. A year-long trial came to a close today (Oct. 22) with the verdict, which alarmed earth scientists worldwide.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/italian-scientists-get/

  109. Re: Joe Bastardi says: (March 31, 2014 at 3:13 pm)

    A most excellent point Joe. It is indeed a double standard, especially as those who propose treating abortion as murder are liable to be prosecuted for “hate speech”. The figures on deaths by abortion are reasonably hard (although there are discrepancies between the state-reported totals and those of the Guttmacher Institute, who get otherwise unrecorded figures from Planned Parenthood), and in the US amount to slightly over 1 million per year, as of 2011. The figures on deaths to date attributable to climate change are pure speculation, if you are being charitable. Any claim on probable future climate change deaths is statistical masturbation.

  110. @ R. de Haan at March 31, 2014 at 7:22 am

    Roger, thank you very much for your excellent article.”

    Thank you, Ron!

    At te same time I would like to ask you if there is a case to take on the UN and all in support for abuse of science and scare mongering promoting punishing caps, taxes and restrictions of fossil fuel use and social behavior manipulations to execute their UN Agenda 21 which in principle is a centralist take over (coup) of the entire world, it’s economies, it’s financial system, it’s resources, you name it.”

    I am not versed in the law on seeking redress against the United Nations, so I really cannot answer. However, it would probably be a futile case because the UN can defend itself by saying “we used the consensus of peer-reviewed science from the IPCC in making our policies.”

    Science and technology law is an area in which I practice in California, and here the standard for making laws and policies based on science is to use peer-reviewed science. Essentially, any agency that makes a science-based law must submit the scientific portions used to develop that law to external peer review such as the National Academy of Sciences, University of California, California State University, or an equivalent body of reviewers. This is an area in which I try to make improvements, since clearly peer review alone allows some very bad science to be used.

    This is a very old situation, in fact, Gulliver’s Travels mentions this in the land where the king could not hear until a servant swatted him on the ear with a mallet (a soft one, it is hoped). The premise is that the person who holds the ear of the king, has great influence at court. The warmists currently have the ear of the king. My personal view is that soon, very soon, the cold will arrive with a vengeance and the warmists will be booted from the court.

  111. @ paddylol on March 31, 2014 at 9:03 am

    “model scenarios used to support the hypothesis are hypothetical and therefor inadmissible as evidence”.

    Actually, in most US jurisdictions, expert witnesses are allowed to testify using hypotheticals. I agree with you that establishing a causal link between deaths by severe weather events, and increase in the global average temperature is difficult, as I wrote in my article. The portion that begins with “no credible scientist” contains the idea.

  112. @ Gary March 31, 2014 at 9:22 am

    “It would be informative to see a similar review of “hate speech” laws. Are those persons referenced in the first paragraph in violation of such laws when they call for jailing, or worse, of skeptics?”

    Gary, hate crime laws typically require the defendant to commit a crime against a person because of that person’s special characteristic such as gender, race or ethnicity, sexual orientation, disability, nationality, or religion. At this time, at least, one’s views on climate change is not on the list. WUWT had an article recently by Lord Monckton in which free speech was discussed in the article and comments.

    See http://wattsupwiththat.com/2014/03/14/moncktons-letter-to-rochester-institute-of-technology-regarding-assistant-professor-lawrence-torcello/

  113. @ TimC at March 31, 2014 at 9:46 am

    Sorry, but as a UK lawyer I don’t wholly agree with this, speaking as from the UK – and the fundamental legal principles don’t differ much as between US and UK criminal jurisdictions.”

    The California law I gave above shows that actus reas for Involuntary Manslaughter is a lawful act carried out recklessly, and so on as put forth above. Similarly for Voluntary Manslaughter. The key here, as I tried to convey, is that there is no causal link between the research and any deaths.

  114. Re bio-fuels, as several have asked about.

    I own a flex-fuel car that can run on E85 or premium gasoline. E85 is 85 percent ethanol, the balance gasoline and perhaps a bit of butane for RVP. (Reid Vapor Pressure, for those who aren’t familiar with the term). I have never run the car on E85, nor will I simply as a matter of principle.

    I make speeches, as many of you know, and in some of those I discuss ethanol from corn and the US ethanol mandate. I tell the audience that “mandating corn-based ethanol is one of the dumbest things our government has ever done and should be repealed as soon as possible.”.
    see my Peak Oil speech at http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2011/04/speech-on-peak-oil-and-us-energy-policy.html

    I wrote at length on the wisdom of making ethanol from corn on my blog, SLB.
    see http://sowellslawblog.blogspot.com/2009/03/ab-32-and-low-carbon-fuel-standard.html

    plus several other articles that contain the search term “ethanol”

    Even leaving aside the CO2 in the atmosphere issue, there is no net energy gain from producing ethanol from corn. Even the US EPA and California’s Air Resources Board agree with that statement. On that basis alone, we should not mandate ethanol from corn.

  115. @ David L. Hagen March 31, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Regarding Bjorn Lomborg, I don’t agree with many of his views. He is dead wrong on wind subsidies, especially in his economic analysis. The subsidy to build the windturbines should not be credited against the project all in one year, but spread over the life of the project. There are other issues, but those can be deferred for later.

  116. Paul in Sweden says:
    March 31, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Italian Scientists Sentenced to 6 Years for Earthquake Statements – Scientific American …

    In addition to my usual disclaimer (I am not an attorney) I can now add — for the benefit of anyone unable to deduce it from the foregoing — that I am not an Italian attorney.

    This result seems completely screwy to me. You hold professionals responsible based on the state of knowledge in their discipline. Nobody should be legally required to be a seer. My understanding of geology as it relates to earthquakes (which is about on par with my knowledge of Italian law) is that accurate prediction is not possible with any useful degree of precision.

    Contrast this with the case of Captain Francesco Schettino, master of the Costa Concordia. Long established maritime law holds the master of a vessel underway responsible for (1) taking due care for the safety of the vessel and all persons on board in normal conditions, and (2) maintaining command of the vessel and crew in circumstances which require an evacuation of the vessel. Captain Schettino by all appearances failed in both duties and therefore is quite properly facing manslaughter charges. Discharging his duties as expected did not require super-human abilities or devotion “above and beyond” what woudl be expected of any professional in his position. In calm seas with modern navigation gear and no mechanical malfunctions, running aground in a well-surveyed waterway is inexcusable.

    Predicting future climate is simply not in the same state of the art as commanding a modern cruise ship, and people who venture into that activity cannot be held to the same standards. That some of them claim certainty is merely a manifestation of their arrogance, until they can find an insurer to write them an Accidents & Omissions policy for any damages incurred in following their advice. Good luck with that; you probably can’t find anyone who will offer A&O coverage for meteorologists predicting weather 3 days out, which we can do reasonably well.

  117. Roger Sowell says:
    March 31, 2014 at 5:29 pm

    . . . This is a very old situation, in fact, Gulliver’s Travels mentions this in the land where the king could not hear until a servant swatted him on the ear with a mallet (a soft one, it is hoped). The premise is that the person who holds the ear of the king, has great influence at court. The warmists currently have the ear of the king. My personal view is that soon, very soon, the cold will arrive with a vengeance and the warmists will be booted from the court.

    I hope you’re right. In the USA, the Warmists have not only the ear of the President, his Secretary of State, but all of his advisors, apparently all of the (so-called) Democratic Party, not to mention the upper levels of the learned Academies and of the Colleges and Universities. They also have the mainstream media to trumpet their persistent Alarmism and the apparently meaningless rallying cry, “Climate Change is real!”—which, is intended to signify that the Gospel of Global Warming is inviolate and no heresy (“d*nial”) shall be brooked.

    We are not, suffice it to say, that far away from the time when killing by fire, drowning, and weight of stones, of agents (witches, sorcerers) believed to be responsible for many of the ills that beset mankind, not least of which was the weather (or Climate Change), was not only countenanced but encouraged by the Authorities. And why not, since the consensus was well-understand by the savants of the time? As in fact it is now. Of course, the modern State has many more means of dealing with heretics and those it perceives as pernicious to the common good. . .

    /Mr Lynn

  118. Correction: “since the consensus was well-understand. . .” should be “since the consensus was well-understood. . .” /Mr L

  119. It is nice that a legal eagle wrote this, but didn’t we all know this anyway. In Australia, we have a defense …’of’ … show just cause’. In other words, ‘you are making up the whole lot’.

  120. interesting to say the least.

    I wonder how the alarmists would fair knowing that they intentionally lied about the MMGW and CO2 output to gain control over people which could lead to the deaths of millions. Noting that the act of cutting off fossil fuels removed heat from homes, power from all people, caused farms to fold and food manufacturing to falter and medical products from manufacture and use. Their acts are deliberate and with knowledge to obtain personal gain.

    Hmmmmmm Seems to meet all of the original posts criteria and warmists want to jail those who disagree with the position..

  121. @ Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:
    March 31, 2014 at 6:03 pm

    While I certainly do not endorse the jailing of scientists for their pronouncements; I think that Climastrologists & Members of the Church of Global Warning that are seeking to prosecute Global Warming Realists and actual Climate Scientists should consider their own culpability when held to the same absurd standards & liability they are seeking.

    What penalties, liabilities & charges would those individuals, institutions and NGOs that with great certainty and the full endorsement of Climate ‘Science’ caused a lack of preparedness in the UK this past season. The population was assured that drier than normal conditions would be hard felt. When will the flood water recede? What is the dollar cost for the lack of warning? What if the extreme policies now being endorsed by protectors of the Church of Global Warming had the their criminal penalties be applied to them equally for the waste of taxpayer funds in Australia on costly and useless offshore desalination facilities because the government was told that reservoirs & dams were not necessary as prolonged drought is what Climate ‘Science’ concluded with great confidence? What happens when cost benefit analysis is done & it is realized that CO2 is not reduced via the Church’s policies? We can go on and on with the waste of public funds, false alarms & constant Climate ‘Science’ predictions that are the antithesis of observed reality but seem to be solely based on the dogma of their Global Warming Church. Will their be a reckoning?

  122. Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7 says:
    March 31, 2014 at 6:03 pm
    —————————————–
    Alan, the Italian court did not find the seismologists guilty for failing to predict the earthquake. They were found guilty for not providing the proper risk assessment that would allow people to decide if they needed to take more precautions. As the meeting went, the politician responsible for risk assessment told people to go home and drink a nice glass of wine.

    I believe the judge made the correct decision. The case had nothing to do with seismology or earthquake prediction. It was based entirely on how scientists, who are tasked with the responsibility to inform the public, perform. When they do this they bear responsibility for their actions. If the scientists had been blunt and laid out the obvious risks then perhaps less people would have died as a result of taking more serious measures against a possible earthquake.

    If you read the many reactions to this decision you will see that many scientists who interact with the public are genuinely concerned. Could this decision also put them at risk when they deal with the public? The answer of course is yes. If you mislead the public you will pay a price.

    But the take away here is that they weren’t convicted for failing to predict an earthquake.

    People might be confused because the case deals with an unpredictable earthquake. So take a different example. Let’s say there is a meeting that discusses drinking water contamination in local water wells. The geologists and politicians who chair the meeting present a lot of technical data. They state the contamination can be poisonous but that the risk of migration to local wells is low. The take away with the crowd is that you don’t have to worry about your water. A few days later, four people are dead from tainted water. The geologists indicated that the contamination could be harmful if swallowed but the locals were left with a feeling there was nothing to worry about at the meeting. Do the geologists and politicians bear any responsibility for the deaths?

  123. If they come for me, I’ll give them a reason to jail me.
    BIG TIME.
    Revolution anyone?
    The US is ripe for it and getting riper.

  124. Steve from Rockwood says:

    I do feel that if scientists step out into the public they should be held accountable for their actions… It saw that the best interests of the people had not been met by people who had been hired by the government for that very reason. The court made the government responsible for its actions.

    Well, no. The government didn’t get sentenced to prison. The government had the responsibility to oversee it’s employees and retainers. It didn’t bother, and it was never held responsible.

    Instead, the government itself prosecuted scientists for not being able to fortell the future. Because if the scientists had been able to predict the future, they would not be in an Italian penitentiary right now. The government found it’s scapegoat. Case closed.

    Sorry, Steve, but that was a plain miscarriage of justice.

    The point is clear: if the gov’t or anyone else can blame scientists for “climate change”, it has turned into a witch doctor situation. And the government, being bigger and invincible WRT individual scientists, has the bigger juju. So the witch doctors win…

    …and we’re headed back to the Dark Ages again.

  125. There is no question, in my mind at least, that the alarmists have committed criminal acts: obtaining money on false pretenses (the entirety of the so-called “research” grants for global warming); perjuring themselves in testimony in court and before Congress; seizing real property on false pretenses (EPA and other agencies falsely declaring wetlands, endangered species reserves, etc.). Plus they bear direct responsibility for advocating and enforcing policies that have already resulted in millions of needless deaths from starvation and cold (while hypocritically, and without any basis in fact whatsoever, accusing skeptics of setting the stage for millions of deaths from global warming).

    Names can be quite easily named with regard to many of the individuals responsible for these criminal acts. Quite a few officials will be on this list.

  126. dbstealey says:
    March 31, 2014 at 7:22 pm
    [...]
    Well, no. The government didn’t get sentenced to prison. The government had the responsibility to oversee it’s employees and retainers. It didn’t bother, and it was never held responsible.
    ———————-
    It’s not possible to send the government to prison. However, it is possible to send a government employee to prison. This is what happened here. Not only were 6 scientists convicted but the politician who oversaw the meeting was also convicted.

    In Canada if you want to practice geoscience you must be a professional geoscientist. In Ontario it is APGO.

    “As a member of APGO, you gain a professional status to uphold the paramount safety of society as well as the well-being of our environment.”

    The ethics exam has a high percentage of legal questions. Interestingly government employees and university professors are not required to be registered professional geoscientists and yet they are often tasked with explaining risk to the public. To the credit of many government/university scientists they obtain the qualifications anyway (often as a P.Eng. or P.Geo. or both).

    I suspect the scientists in Italy had no idea the people who showed up to the meeting were there to get information on their safety. They left reassured that everything would be fine, even though there had been several tremors leading up to the major earthquake. The meeting could have gone very differently with information on those living in stone structures or older buildings, what to do if you feel a tremor and so on.

    My final 2 cents on the matter…

  127. I’m sure lawyers and the courts would love to spend years and millions of dollars in debating this question. What a pointless and unproductive waste that would be.

  128. Paul in Sweden says:
    March 31, 2014 at 6:32 pm

    We can go on and on with the waste of public funds, false alarms & constant Climate ‘Science’ predictions that are the antithesis of observed reality but seem to be solely based on the dogma of their Global Warming Church. Will their be a reckoning?

    All good questions. But I still object to the criminalization of error, just as I object to the deification of augery. The proper response to politicians consistently and flagrantly wasting public resources is to replace them, rather than try to criminalize those who gave bad advice in a discipline dominated by uncertainty.

    Human knowledge will always be limited; some things we simply do not know and perhaps will never know. It is arrogance to assume every question can be definitively resolved, and it is cowardly to cave in to self-proclaimed experts who claim certainty without putting them to the most rigorous test. Climate science, as manifested in the consensus manifesto, simply does not have a credible track record and should not be accepted as the sole basis for major decisions.

  129. In my opinion (I am a physicist) the greatest invention of mankind is still “Due Process” that was the work of lawyers.

    Sadly, Roger Sowell wants to undo the greatest achievement of his peers.

  130. gallopingcamel says:
    March 31, 2014 at 9:03 pm

    In my opinion (I am a physicist) the greatest invention of mankind is still “Due Process” that was the work of lawyers.

    Sadly, Roger Sowell wants to undo the greatest achievement of his peers.

    How on earth do you come up with that conclusion? Roger is attempting to explain the current prevailing California law concerning the crime of manslaughter to an audience of non-lawyers, and how that would apply to attempts to prosecute those who deny the “consensus” view of CAGW. Nothing in what he wrote is advocacy one way or the other.

  131. @ Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7,

    Thanks for that. I’m a bit puzzled how a physicist (gallopingcamel) would know very much about Due Process, and even more puzzled how what I wrote brings Due Process into play. I suspect that what I understand as Due Process is not what gallopingcamel thinks it is. And, you are correct, I did try to explain what would be the likely outcome, if skeptics were to be tried as criminals under the charge of criminal negligence, in California. They would most likely be acquitted.

  132. Mr Sowell, in which court would this be held in? In Australia if a person is charged in a magistrates court we have a defense retort ‘Show just cause’ particularly if it is a trivial accusation.

  133. If we applied the conviction of John Demianiuk aka NOT Ivan the Terrible on 27,000 counts of “accessory to murder” for being the lowest functionary (Ukrainian POW/guard in a German concentration camp) as case law, then the entire adult population (during the respective periods) of the USA would be accessories to murder for the invasions of Vietnam, Cuba, Panama, Iraq, Afghanistan, among sundry other War Crimes and Crimes against Humanity (most notably the denial of medicine and food to the children of Iraq after the first Gulf War).

    But not to worry, when the Chinese in their unbridled hubris manage to pollute the entire globe with radioactive material, all the lawyers in the world won’t make a bit of difference to the survivors. The Chinese survivors will likely resurrect the death of a thousand cuts for the politicians, engineers, and military leaders who created the disaster, and everyone will then get on with trying to prove they can survive radiation as well as the cockroaches.

  134. pottereaton : “And what will people like Mann, Jones, and Trenberth say? “I’m sorry. We were wrong.”“. No chance. Those guys are never ever going to say they were wrong. I have no idea what they will say – I simply can’t imagine anything that they could say – but time and time again people like these come up with barefaced lies and/or weasel words that get them off the hook. It’s a highly skilful art form, shared with dictators, crime bosses, psychopaths and others, and the amazing thing about it is that they all know exactly how to do it yet there is no school, university or any other course that teaches it.

  135. The real criminals are the IPCC and their moronic followers. Yes, climate change is a disaster that has already killed thousands of people. But it’s nothing to do with the climate, quite the opposite. This disaster is truly man-made (or should we say Mann-made). It is causing massive fuel and energy poverty (e.g. bio fuels) and, bizarrely, it is increasing the pressure on the tropical rain forests, again through bio fuels. Every time a pensioner who is unable to pay for necessary heating dies it’s yet another crime committed by these people.
    Chris

  136. Roger,

    E85 is 15% ethanol.

    Good article. Mann should be very concerned with regards to charging one with a crime for creating misleading research results. Many of the “team” are equally culpable.

    We live in interesting times.

  137. @Roger Sowell: “They would most likely be acquitted.“.

    I was rather hoping you would say an attempt to prosecute would be voted “no true bill” by any competent and ethical grand jury.

    Talk about charging people with crimes for what amounts to taking the wrong side in a political/religious debate to me often resembles juvenile bluster of the “my big brother can beat up your big brother” kind. If you can’t prevail in the argument, call in the brute squad.

    My opinion is our state of knowledge about the climate simply doesn’t support the level of certainty that meets the preponderance of evidence standard, let alone beyond a reasonable doubt. We shouldn’t hold people responsible for not knowing what cannot be known.

  138. I who want to know who personally we can take legal action against through THE RICO ACT for Global Dimming and the geoengineering(chemicals being sprayed in the sky) fiasco. The is no doubt this is destroying the health of unsuspecting humans from vitamin D deficency,air borne toxins and eviro contamination and destruction . Someone has some serious lawsuits and prison time coming and when TSHTF.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Racketeer_Influenced_and_Corrupt_Organizations_Act

  139. What about shouting fire in a crowded theater? Isn’t that the real intention? To stampede the public?

    Isn’t that the real method behind Gore and the IPCC? To stampede the public so law beneficial to those doing the stampeding can be passed.

    For example. Clearly Gore knew that warming caused CO2. This was discovered from the ice cores. Yet his wording in his movie hid this cause and effect relationship. In effect he shouted “Fire” while knowing that it was false. the obvious motive was to try and run up the value of CCX shares by passing cap and trade. and except for climategate he would have made it.

  140. @ Roger Sowell at March 31, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Thank you – and I wasn’t being wholly clear myself. I was trying to differentiate between theory formulation without actual experimentation (such as that planets rotate around the Sun, not the Earth as thought in days long gone by) on the one hand, and experimentation activities (which might of course be part of the research) on the other hand.

    I would suggest that the only possible actus rei involved in “pure” theory formulation is (a) lots of thumb-sucking and head-scratching and (b) submission of papers outlining the theory for possible publication. I can’t see that these could ever result in a homicide – apart of course from a submission paper being so huge that it fell off the back of the lorry and killed somebody.

    Realistically, it is only experimentation activities that can be actus rei of homicide – not postulating new theory.

    In short, always say something along the following lines “my own view and theory is that any increase in global temperature is related to natural cycles and not to man’s fossil fuel consumption, but I accept that my theory will be disproved if [Averaged Global Land Surface Temperature anomalies as from the 1981 to 2010 mean measured by satellite exceed 1°C at any time in future]” (or whatever). I think you will be entirely safe from prosecution under present law, even if you manage to shout all this out in the proverbial crowded theatre.

  141. davidmhoffer says: March 31, 2014 at 6:37 am “Do you suppose that current laws have, or would have, any bearing on the matter?”

    I wish you were wrong. You are not.

  142. Isn’t there a recognized mental illness induced from climate change induced neurosis? Could we all be sued for that? There must be somebody (probably in California, or perhaps the Seattle area) with a diagnosed climate changed obsession syndrome. They would surely have standing to sue.

    #onlyhalfjoking.

  143. Conversely–Are climate alarmists criminally liable for fraud and negligence for manufacturing false data and knowingly claiming false alarm when none exists? Should treble damages apply for restitution due to gross negligence and intentional wrongs?

  144. In the past month, several articles appeared calling for the jailing of those who provide financial support for research into climate science with an objective of proving that man-made climate change does not exist……

    Surely this is the necessary prerequisite of a court case proving that the climate scientists are the ones who should be tried and convicted of at the very least involuntary manslaughter as the deaths are proven not hypothetical. Also even the crudest five year lolling average filter on their own data shows that the trend closely follows a sine wave, now declining, and has followed that pattern for years, The use of simple slope is a mathematical trick to hide the real pattern. this proves that the taxation was done on a fraudulent basis, knowingly or otherwise and given the abuse by the term denier I would argue this proves the knowledge of the model failings was known to them for years..

  145. @Steve from Rockwood,

    “I saw this case as hopeful that government scientists should be held to some accountability for their behaviour. If you tell people it is very dangerous to live in a region that has suffered several large magnitude earthquakes for all of recorded history, you look pretty smart when the next one happens. But if you keep telling people not to worry, well, it will take 6 years off of your life.”

    The problem with punishing scientists with jail, especially for scientists who work in a very imprecise field, is you will either have these scientists over-warning, or issue publican announcements that are essentially worthless. Will there also be jail time for “over-warning”?
    In that case, you will see a mass exodus from the field.

  146. Is it not also a fact that the Environmental movement has deliberately stopped the progress of introducing electricity to poorer citizens (in India and Africa) by refusing to build dams to generate electricity and thereby condemning 100′s of thousands of women and children to an early death via ingestion of toxic fumes from cooking fires (WHO). Surely they should be held accountable for that deliberate mass extinction of human life! Just as they are responsible for the deaths of over 10 Million lives per year to Malaria and resulting viral encephalitis due to the false banning of DDT. They most certainly do not give a damn about that ongoing death rate. So who is really the criminal here?

  147. @JP. I see it differently. These scientists should stick to their science and not wade into judgement calls on public safety, something of which they know nothing as was demonstrated in Italy. Scientists have wandered into a minefield of wanting to speak directly to the public on issues of public safety without any responsibility for how their words are taken. My suggestion is to stay in your office and focus on your work. Let the politicians handle the public.

    Unless you are trained of course. A friend of mine is an environmental geophysicist specializing in groundwater contamination. He has worked in this field for over 30 years without incident. He stays away from giving advice directly to the public and uses careful terminology such as “conductive anomaly” in place of “contamination plume”.

    But to get back to Sowell’s excellent post “are skeptics legally liable for criminal negligence” – of course not as they do not play the role of advising the public on issues of safety.

  148. @ bushbunny at March 31, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    “Mr Sowell, in which court would this be held in? “

    Usually, a criminal case is tried in a court near where the crime occurred, in the same state at least.

  149. Fancy the IPCC suggesting Australia would suffer droughts, bush fires, floods . I wonder where they got that info from? LOL. And sea rises. (Tim Flannery). Tell us something new guys. They must think we are stupid South sea island cockneys, eh? Thank goodness, we have Tony Abbott and Co on board. And for once Greenpeace who contributed to Japan stopping whaling in the Southern seas and government involvement. Leave our whales alone.

  150. Thank you Mr Sowell, that will be hard to sought out won’t it. All those skeptics that are around the world, not just the USA. I would suspect in Australia as a class action it would be the supreme or federal courts.

  151. This reminds of the George Carlin joke:

    “John Barrow, a Vermont man, is suing his minister for religious malpractice. He claims the minister wrongfully included him in a prayer being said to shrink the size of another man’s brain tumor. Although the cancer patient has completely recovered, Barrow says his own head is the size of a walnut.”

    .

  152. Roger Sowell says:
    April 1, 2014 at 4:35 pm
    =========

    Thank you sir. You are correct. E85 is 85% ethanol.

    I thought it was simply and additional 5% (up from current 10% govt. mandate) or what would amount to a 50% increase in the volume of ethanol.

    It’s worse than I thought! ;-)

  153. Didn’t Mao do this, anyone that disagreed with him, got the chop, or named the Gang of Four?
    Including his own wife? Where has our democratic system disappeared too, what a load of jerks,
    they are no longer content with being labelled frauds and liars, but adding bullies and cranks too.

  154. ” Roger Sowell says:
    April 1, 2014 at 4:30 pm

    @ bushbunny at March 31, 2014 at 10:03 pm

    “Mr Sowell, in which court would this be held in? “

    Usually, a criminal case is tried in a court near where the crime occurred, in the same state at least.”

    Not up here in Canada. In Canada, you can be tried for a (Canadian) criminal offense committed anywhere in the world, even in a jurisdiction where it’s not considered an offense. Canadian prosecutors and judges laugh at the difficulties and cost of presenting and examining the evidence and witnesses, since the costs must all be borne by the taxpayer and/or the defendant, and the difficulties are chiefly obstacles for the defense.

    Such trials are simply pro-forma, with the outcome a foregone conclusion. And since the defendants are never multi-millionaires capable of funding a credible defense and appeal, they can easily be persuaded to plead guilty in the desperate hope of obtaining some sort of personal protection during their inevitable prison stay.

  155. @ otropogo, April 9 at 9:04 am,

    My statements apply to US Federal courts and California state courts, and their respective appellate courts.

    Certainly, other countries may have different laws and procedures.

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