Suing Climate Appeasers: The New Green Eldorado?

Original image author Chris Potter,, image modified

Original image author Chris Potter,, image modified

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

A series of climate lawsuits, which mainly appear to be targeting energy businesses which attempted to appease the green blob, have recently been launched around the world.

According to;

New report paves way for individuals to sue companies over climate change

OVER the next few weeks a case will play out that will have executives all over the world very nervous.

Peruvian farmer Saul Luciano Lliuya is suing German energy giant RWE, the self-described “biggest single emitter of CO2” in Europe, for $29,000 over what he claims the company is doing to his hometown.

Lliuya lives near the Andean city of Huaraz, under constant danger from a lake that threatens to flood the town and his house and farm along with it. He has watched the lake grow more than 30 times in volume in the last 40 years as the glacier that feeds it melts, and now wants enough money to engineer a solution.

So far, a letter of complaint to the company has gone unanswered and lawyers claim there is no legal basis for his case. But the farmer, backed by NGO Germanwatch is undeterred, and if successful, the unprecedented case could be the tip of the iceberg.

“It’s sometimes said you can’t do this stuff legally and the reality is that the barriers are political, not legal,” said West Coast Environmental Law Staff Counsel, Andrew Gage.

Despite the difficulty, the idea is gaining momentum in the legal space. Earlier this month the Human Rights Commission of the Philippines announced it would investigate whether fossil fuel companies could be held responsible for climate change following a petition brought to them by Greenpeace over the role of the “carbon majors” in global warming. Australian company BHP Billiton ranks number 19 in a list of major emitters topped by Chevron, ExxonMobil and Saudi Aramco, according to the report.

Greenpeace international executive director Kumi Naidoo said he hoped the decision would inspire other human rights commissions to take part, saying: “If I were a CEO of a fossil fuel company, I would be running scared.”

BHP Billiton would not provide comment on the issue. However the company said it strongly supports efforts to reach the two degree global goal including putting a price on carbon. Their recent portfolio analysis into climate change said the company is working with governments and other groups to reduce emissions and provide energy for a developing world.

Read more:

I’m not a qualified lawyer, but there appears to be a real risk, especially for businesses which have noisily declared their public support for environmental issues. How can a company plausibly reject a lawsuit for business activity related damage to the environment, when their PR department embraces claims that such damage is occurring?

To paraphrase a well known metaphor, if you sleep with greens, don’t be surprised if you wake up with lawsuits.

171 thoughts on “Suing Climate Appeasers: The New Green Eldorado?

    • Governments need to claw back a lot of the money that has been spent on fraudulent and irresponsible AGW research. Institutions that have participated in the worst cases should be fined and banned from receiving government research funds for some time based on the amount of money received. Individuals should be fined, imprisoned in the case of provable fraud to secure government grants and banned from doing any governmental research for life.
      In extreme cases, I wonder if journalists can be prosecuted for aiding and abetting a fraud on the government or participating in a conspiracy to defraud the government.

      • Trouble is some governments have not only been very willing participants but have actively encouraged and funded research with the intent of de-industrialising the developed world.
        They are typically elected and the people who suffer are the electorate. In the UK it has not been possible to take action against politicians for broken election pledges – i.e. seeking election under false pretence – it seems even the law takes the view that you are a fool to place any trust in politician’s promises.
        I think that where governments or leaders, such as Obama perhaps, have been actively and knowingly involved in promoting bogus research and using tax payers’ money to pay for that then it surely amounts to fraud. That should lead to criminal proceedings. There was a time when it would have amounted to treason – but don’t hold your breath.
        I think that where there should be cause for concern is into how the judiciary will react to any “environmental” compensation claims coming before them – and whether or not they will act as true guardians of the law and truth or allow themselves to cave under any political pressure applied.
        The supreme court in Great Britain is currently dealing with FOI requests from Christopher Monckton and others over an environmental law conference held a few months ago at which some participants including at least one judge were seemingly predisposed in favour of supporting claims against those who have been ‘causing ‘ global warming’. No doubt more will emerge on that once the FOI deadline – this coming Friday from memory – has been reached and hopefully answers provided.
        I suspect from what I have read that the judiciary in the US is far more susceptible (or is flexible a better expression ?) to political pressure than in the UK.
        I have a feeling that there may be a carefully co-ordinated, behind the scenes campaign to persuade the judiciary to unquestioningly believe in AGW / climate change.
        There are troubled times ahead and believers in democracy, truth and justice will need to be ready to defend them. It is rather ironic that in the anniversary year of Magna Carta that democracy is under such threat. In the UK it is our own politicians who have eroded that by handing our sovereignty to the EU and seem to firmly believe that an unelected, unaccountable global government (drawn from the likes of Greenpeace) is better than democracy.

    • Leo Smith says on December 14, 2015 at 10:08 am:
      “Time to start suing Greenpeace, Obama, Miliband et al.”
      Absolutely right, Leo. And let’s also expose the source of the billions they spend on spreading misinformation about climate.

  1. Does M. Mann get a small royalty on each one, much like the inventor of the bar code? Every little bit adds up.

  2. It would be interesting for the coal industry to simply go on strike for a month or two.
    “Who is John Gault?”

    • “Who is John Galt” is the phrase which sprang to my mind too.
      Nobody in their right mind thinks we can do without coal. Greg Hunt recently approved the Carmichael mine, though his stated reason for doing so is hilarious.
      The damage IMO is politicians seem to be inserting themselves as “gatekeepers”, instead of the market being free, you have to go through channels, get the right political blessing, before you can perform your business activity.

    • It would really, really be interesting if all the US oil refinery employees were to simply go on strike for three (3) months or more.
      The screaming of the “greenies” and the pro-CAGW politicians would be deafening.

    • That’s true, but said companies will find themselves in quite the cleft stick. Defend themselves vigorously and successfully, and they will face a PR backlash that may do as much damage as losing. Or, pay the greenmail and die the death of a thousand cuts as every third world rent-seeker tries to get his pound of flesh.

      • Old saying from medieval times when the Vikings were on a roll. — Once you pay the Dane gold, you never get rid of the Dane.
        Eugene WR Gallun

    • DJH
      No PR backlash. This will settle out of court for two Andean alpacas, a check for 1000 Peruvian Nuevo Sols (~$149USD), sealed transcripts and a gag order.

  3. Of course, this whole thing is spearheaded by the same greedy lawyers whom God said, would never see the Kingdom of Heaven. To sue these companies is to support the TPP’s agenda. Hypocritical fools never change – they just keep screaming their way into the ditch of ignorance they created.

    • “Woe unto you also, ye lawyers! for ye lade men with burdens grievous to be borne, and ye yourselves touch not the burdens with one of your fingers.”
      Ye deny us cheap power, yet fly to climate conventions in private jets. Ye take our guns, yet have armed guards about thee. Ye are a bunch of hypocrites.

  4. Normally a court has to have jurisdiction over the defendant before it can entertain a case. However, courts can be corrupted by politics and it is likely that the venue for the lawsuit was chosen because it is very susceptible to political influence/corruption. I agree that this suit is dangerous for everyone. If the court awards damages to the plaintiff (which may be a foregone conclusion) , is the judgment enforceable outside of Peru?

  5. perhaps they should go after the biggest single global emitter…China…instead of a small potatoes European energy producer.

    • The beer bar solution.
      If I were defending RWE i would open by offering a settlement. The farmer wants $29,000? RWE may be the biggest carbon emitter in Europe but its percentage of world carbon release is tiny. Offer a charity settlement (without admitting guilt) of two bucks. Then countersue for legal expenses and takes this man’s farm away from him. It is almost a certainty that he is in with the activist crowd and not some duped innocent.
      Of course, the above can’t happen but still nice to sound off about after having a few.
      Eugene WR Gallun

  6. How can the Green factions plausibly expect to achieve their goals of “100% renewables” without co-operation from the mining industry??? Where do they think the materials to build their precious wind turbines and solar panels comes from? Talk about biting the hand that feeds you…

    • That’s why there are so few engineers in their midst. The plans that they propose can’t work due to numerous issues (that being just one of them). A windmill is just greenwashed oil power, as everything from the mining to the blast furnace that made the steel to transport, installation, and maintenance is some version of oil-fired power. Add to that the natural gas or diesel backup generators needed when the wind stops blowing, it’s oil all the way.

    • I swear they believe that wind turbines and solar panels are made in magical miracle workshops in the Amazon rain forests by little Indians in grass skirts who make them out of barks and twigs and that they are perpetual energy machines that run forever and ever and ever….
      These are delusional people who believe in total fantasies. The blindest of faiths.

  7. Of course, the cost of any legal action will be passed on to the energy company’s customers, who will not be happy about higher prices. It is at that point that green goons will learn of the limits of these sorts of legal actions. The point where they actually step in and prevent people from getting cheap energy is the point where the whole green enterprise comes to a halt.
    In the US the legislature can step in and make these companies immune from such suits such as they have done with the arms industry. I can’t see any legal action that adversely affects everyone being sustained.

  8. Q: How can a company plausibly reject a lawsuit for business activity related damage to the environment, when their PR department embraces claims that such damage is occurring?
    A. Setting aside the jurisdiction issue (i.e., assuming jurisdiction in that venue),
    for there to be liability there must be inter alia: 1) a legally recognized injury (a cause of action under the law, e.g., negligence); 2) to the plaintiff (= “standing”); and 3) the defendant’s actions must have proximately caused that injury.
    I don’t know enough of the facts of the case or the legal theory being asserted by the plaintiff here to conclude, however, the reason the German attorneys did not respond is likely because there is NO cause of action under the law which imposes a duty of care on that defendant to protect that plaintiff from that injury.
    The plaintiff has the burden to prove “nexus” or “causation.” If CO2 is the alleged agent of damage, the plaintiff, for the foreseeable future, can NEVER prove that.
    People sue non-liable deep pockets all the time, hoping they will weigh the cost-benefit of defending and settle. I hope the defendants fight this to ultimate victory over the Green Opportunists. And, yes, if they run into enough politically corrupt judges, they will have a long, uphill, battle — but, the fight is worth it.

    • The trees near my house will fall–SOMEDAY!! Can I therefore sue the developer for future damages that I MAY incur for monies to remove the threat beforehand? How about GM for my car that MAY fail and injure me?
      So many moneymaking possibilities.

      • How about GM (mirthless laugh)? There is a tort case in many law school textbooks in which the plaintiff sued GM because………… they made a car that could go very fast which proximately caused the plaintiff’s injuries. I — kid — you — not. Well! Sad as those injuries like were, there was a supervening causation: the nut behind the wheel.

      • (Note: “Buster Brown” is the latest fake screen name for ‘David Socrates’, ‘Brian G Valentine’, ‘Joel D. Jackson’, ‘beckleybud’, ‘Edward Richardson’, ‘H Grouse’, and about twenty others. The same person is also an identity thief who has stolen legitimate commenters’ names. Therefore, all the time and effort he spent on writing 300 comments under the fake “BusterBrown” name, many of them quite long, are wasted because I am deleting them wholesale. ~mod.)

      • Cute, almost as cute as your name, Buster Brown. 🙂
        Nope. That would be a “nut” of the same type who is operating the socket wrench in that photo.

    • Keep in mind this suit is occurring in Peru, will these requirements apply there? I am guessing the greens “shopped” this venue carefully.

    • Janice Moore
      I think its a setup. note the ridiculous low dollar figure $26,000.
      Its to set a precedent, so that deeper pockets can be raided.
      RWE, should in turn bill Peruvian farmer Saul Luciano Lliuya for the extra irrigation water.Or better make deal Nestle to drain the lake and sell the bottled water. That would teach them to look a gift horse in the mouth
      michael 🙂

      • You’re probably right, Michael D. (not a). Good insight. I got so eager to write about the nuts and bolts I overlooked that! Remember, though… likely the damages asked for did not include attorney’s fees and costs… which could easily run into triple (or more) digits… . IF there is an attorney’s fee/cost provision in the statute (or from some other law) for an award to the winner… also, depending on the statute (or common law being applied), there might be exemplary or treble (or other) damages. Well, EVEN SO, I think you are likely to be correct.

    • Hmmm…He is a farmer, Right??
      All that they need to do is to compare yearly increases in his farm’s net production volume relative to the net increases in relative CO2 brought on by fossil fuel consumption a determine that the CO2 increase has had a Net positive effect on his farming production.

      • Percisel, likely close to 20% of his production is from 400 ppm CO2, each and every year.
        This is far easier to prove then any warming or harm.

      • Bryan — applause for that ingenious idea!
        And David A — (great analysis and) thank you, from one who regularly makes typos on WUWT, for “percisel” — I needed a chuckle today. I LOVE TYPOS — they (usually) make me smile!

    • Janice, you are a font of wisdom, wit, good sense, kind heartedness, sound advice on everthing, entertainment and boundless fun. You make the battle enjoyable.

      • GARY PEARSE!! I thought you had decided to ignore me in perpetuity! Thank you, so — very — much.
        And, Mr. Pearse, I must tell you that you gave me a gift (oh, I just hope you read this) about 1.5 years ago. When a certain nameless regular WUWT contributor of articles praised hyperbolically the beauty of a pretty, but, not exceedingly so, science magazine editor, you said something to the effect of:
        Gary Pearse: “{Name}, for men of our age {and I’m guessing around 65}, the world has become full of beautiful women.”
        MISTER PEARSE! That means (if I understood you — and I also must say that your intellectual ability and very common sense view of life make your opinion on this matter likely to be that of the majority of men, thus, it has significance for me) –> that men of my own age will still think I am beautiful when I am older. “Why in the world does that matter to you, Janice??” thundered Gary Pearse.
        Because….. it just does. Not going to go on about THAT issue, here!!
        So, thank you for that. (you see, I thought that men of all ages only thought women under 40 or so were beautiful, so I had little hope of a certain dream coming true… but — I BELIEVE IT CAN! Not that it necessarily will, but, just knowing it is possible…)
        Oh, boy. That was kind of embarrassing to write — BUT, I wanted to: you gave me a gift (and the women friends I’ve shared it with — you made them happy, too!).

      • Oh, Marcus, he really shouldn’t, you know. My “dream” is not about him… there is someone in that spot in my heart — forever (just looking pretty grim as to the dream-come-true part of the whole scenario… sigh… but! there IS HOPE! 🙂 …. thus, I was so grateful for Mr. Pearse’s remark.

    • Yes, but, all that is needed is for a judge to allow the complaint to go forward to a jury. It can be either a tort theory, a contract theory or even an equitable theory and the plaintiff can plead all three. For example, if a company made admissions as to damages it caused and pledged to assist in mitigating the damage they caused, then a compliant judge may let the lawsuit proceed to discovery. That same compliant judge could easily rule the company created a duty and/or contract with humanity, etc., etc.
      Proof: Nearly all the governments of the world just proclaimed and formally signed and declared carbon is polluting the planet via hydrocarbons and it must be stopped. Who cares about the how – the damage is being done. The energy companies agree. What more do you want? Recall, this is 2015 when fundamental rights are being discovered seemingly every hour of the day if not by compliant judges then by bureaucrats and government. The farmer will simply point out the treaty and all those governments using the “best, setteled science”. If the energy company attempts to make the farmer prove cause, all the farmer need do is point to the companies out-of-court statement (called a party admission) where they support the “settled” science, etc., etc. Even easier would be for a judge to rule the Paris agreement is a law and thus, by law, carbon is a harmful pollutant.
      Anyone want to wager on the Greens filed in a court that is likely to have a compliant judge? Actually, if filed in any of the EU nations, this just might be a slam dunk for farmer.
      I’d put better than even odds that redistribution will simply be imposed by the judges.

    • There is of course no measurable damage from anthropogenic CO2. But to demonstrate there is no damage, companies have to repudiate some of the statements made by their own PR departments. So they either cave in and pay up, which might well bankrupt them when everyone else piles on with their lawsuits, or admit they were lying to the public, and probably their own shareholders – a nasty dilemma of their own making.

      • Perhaps too much of an all or nothing approach.
        Try thinking like them.
        If your strategy is parasitic in nature, you don’t want to kill your host.
        You want to extract your piece while “allowing” them to operate in your domain.
        From their point of view, the business they are suing is the parasite, “using” the resource/land/community for their own gain. It comes from a “feeling” that wants to get even. A powerful, victim role. Many areas have the inflamed hatred of generations based on the profiteer who took the money and ran leaving behind a diminished land.
        You’ll also see various iterations of the “CO2 class action” driven approach.
        20B dollars from the BP experience was a real eye opener for community groups.
        My opinion of watching these shenanigans unfurl is much like the tolerance for organized crime.
        Most will give a little to get along as the path of least resistance.
        I don’t have answers but Phase II is where the supporters “get some”.
        The political party that supports them “getting some” will get the vote.
        No justice, no peace.
        It’s gonna get messy.

      • Eric Worrall on December
        14, 2015 at 6:25 pm
        Parasites never consider the survival of the host.
        They think there will always be new victims.
        damn’d right, Eric Worrall.
        Talking Evolution.
        stand or deliver – saying.
        stand or get extinct – meant.
        Regards – Hans

  9. TransCanada Pipelines should launch a suit against the US government for not permitting the Keystone pipeline to proceed as the US state department acknowledged it would have minimal effect on Climate Change.
    “Keystone XL would have minimal impact on the environment, will create thousands of much-needed jobs and will bolster U.S. energy security.

    • There are legit environmental issues with the Keystone XL pipeline. That type of petroleum, bitumen, is really thick and requires serious pressure to move, so you have more chances of burst pipes. And it’s hell to clean up when it does spill. They’ve already had a few problems with spills.
      Whne you think about it, pumping the bitumen all the way from Alberta to the southern US coast for refining is really dumb. Just build a refinery near to the tar sands. Problem solved for everyone.

      • “Just build a refinery near to the tar sands.”
        Cat-cracking refineries, which can process heavy oil, are expensive. And they run more economically in a warm climate.

  10. Well, why can’t you sue an environmental body like IPCC, Greenpeace etc if you can’t afford to heat your home now they are banning coal, gas and other affordable energy sources?
    Could you sue them for the extra healthcare costs due to having to switch off the heating more often in winter? I’m sure all the HMOs/the NHS in the UK would prefer you not to get ill due to such matters……
    Perhaps an open house exploring ways to sue the ecofreaks into bankruptcy is called for?!

    • That would be even more frivolous, and you cannot sue people for advocating things to the government. The acting party is, surprise, the government, who cannot be reviewed in such a fashion by the courts. Stupid laws with bad consequences are not against the constitution, so long as they are legal.

    • why can’t you sue an environmental body like IPCC
      the IPCC has requested legal immunity. imagine the suit for damages if it all turns out to be a mistake.

  11. It’s true. People sit around and make up new and different ways to force us into believing AGW is real and catastrophic. For $29K it’s not even worth RWE to go to court except the precedent could be far reaching. A foe in court with unlimited money is formidable. This is just another alarmist claim that will never see a court docket and the alarmists know it. More insinuation, fear, and shaming is achieved regardless and that’s the goal. “There’s no such thing as bad publicity”.

    • Markl, I’m no lawyer, but from what the folks I know who are lawyers have told me, there would be much less of a legal precedent established if they settle out of court and no rulings are made. I suspect the “chump change” amount to be an attempt to grab some easy cash to remediate the purported danger, without having to fight for it. If this is remediation honestly needed, there are other sources of funding which could alternately be pursued.
      My question is, if there is an out of court settlement based on anthropogenic climate change and the anthropogenic causation is disproved in the future, could the companies sue the claimants for recovery of the damages?

      • Dawtgtomis, in case Markl has much less time than I to answer you, and, thus never reappears here… (just FWIW):
        1. Markl DID acknowledge that the precedent-setting aspect would be a rational reason to defend the lawsuit: …not even worth RWE to go to court except the precedent could be far reaching… . Markl.
        2. No. (based on my limited knowledge) The settlement is a contract between the two parties which they must perform or be in breach of contract. The End. The answer from a legal standpoint would be only: was this contract legally formed and completely performed. Only if the companies suing for reimbursement could prove something like fraud in the inducement (that is, among the several elements of common law fraud, that the original plaintiff’s KNEW they were lying about CO2 and that the defendants could not reasonably be expected to have known that truth themselves, etc., etc..). Further, unless the attorney writing up the contract is quite a bumbler, there will be a contract clause that says something about the settlement being the full and final agreement between the parties and that they agree to give up the right to sue in court about it again (an arbitration clause would likely make binding arbitration (out of court) the only recourse for breach of the settlement contract itself).
        3. In the U.S., out-of-court settlements create no legally binding precedent which is only created by the legislature (state or Fed.) or the courts (or by administrative (or “executive”) agencies acting in their quasi-judicial role (as opposed to their rule-making role).
        There is, of course, the practical effect of appeasing such a plaintiff,…. invasions of Poland by the score…. . If the potential plaintiff class of the German defendant here is too small to make settlement a short-sightedly foolish move (or if they literally cannot defend this due to inadequate funds), eventually, there will be a defendant large enough that it can potentially be sued by so many plaintiffs that it will make it worthwhile to fight it out in court.

        • Janice Moore commented: “…. in case Markl has much less time than I to answer you, and, thus never reappears here… (just FWIW)…”
          You did a better job of it than I would have 🙂

      • And, oh (eye roll), wow. Dear Moderator: would you please insert an “end italics” after the bolded text in item 1 in my 1:30pm comment above? Thank you. Sorry for the bother. (*blush*)

      • Markl,
        Thank you. That was generous and kind of you to say so. “Better than I would have,” perhaps…, but not better than you could have, I have no doubt.
        Hey, did you see what that Mod did??! Lol, she or he fixed — THANK YOU, MOD! — my italics mess-up, then…. left my “help me” note for everyone to seeohwell.

  12. Will this farmers descendents be able to sue again when the lake threatens to go dry from climate change of the opposite variety in a few decades?

    • I wonder why they didn’t sue ARAMCO and OPEC? Don’t they produce and flare off more than anyone else?
      Can I create a class action suit against Greenpeace on behalf of the world for making fuel unnecessarily more expensive along with the government agencies that were complicit in the arrangement? Will a class action to get “Carbon”/CO2 taxes returned to the public when it becomes clear CO2 isn’t the climate control knob or will the rats just scurry into the nearest hole and disappear?
      Of course not I couldn’t. Doesn’t fit the agenda.

  13. Best thing that can happen would be for a climate lawsuits to go to court. The first thing the prosecution will have to do is prove damages. In order to prove damages they would have to prove AGW happend. I think we can rest assured that modeled data will not hold up against satellite and balloon data.
    From there any jury would laugh it out of court.

  14. I’m a shareholder in a number of oil and pipeline companies. I would GLADLY take a dividend hit if any one (or all) of these companies went on strike for one month to give the world a little taste of what a carbon-free planet would feel like. But no! They suck up to this crowd of idiots who push this climate change BS. I’m old enough to remember the 1973-74 Arab oil embargo with the line-ups at service stations and the fights that ensued. Let them ride their bicycles and shiver in the cold for a while or shell out for over-priced and unreliable green energy to keep themselves warm.

    • (Note: “Buster Brown” is the latest fake screen name for ‘David Socrates’, ‘Brian G Valentine’, ‘Joel D. Jackson’, ‘beckleybud’, ‘Edward Richardson’, ‘H Grouse’, and about twenty others. The same person is also an identity thief who has stolen legitimate commenters’ names. Therefore, all the time and effort he spent on writing 300 comments under the fake “BusterBrown” name, many of them quite long, are wasted because I am deleting them wholesale. ~mod.)

      • Plus it’s free if you own forest acreage, and you save the expense of a gym membership.
        If your wood burner is exterior, you don’t have the smell or the wood debris and bugs in the house.
        I have a tractor with a front end loader to move it and need to have a chainsaw anyway to keep the horse trails open. The only expense is renting the splitter, which is usually a bartering of beer, tools and time with a neighbor.

      • BB – Me too. But try burning wood in the city and see how fast you get shut down. All those folks without Natural Gas/oil/propane would be in big trouble, no company could shut off the fuel, the law suits would be horrendous. One power company slowed down their coal fired electricity production in Alberta a few years back and made it up with Natural Gas. They got a huge fine for “price fixing” because they produced less base power which drove up prices (more complex than that but KISS). BUT now the NDP Alberta Government is mandating the shut down of coal fired plants. Go figure. Wonder what that will do to prices? A little more costly fuel for the chain saw I guess.

      • my son lives in london. I saw he had some bits of wood in the outhouse.
        “Oh that is kiln dried wood for the fire ”
        “What !!”

      • I too use wood from my forest to heat my house. My better half and I stay fit cutting and splitting wood.
        In the winter we gather all the useless wood and have bonfires, red wine and beer, the dog and the cat join us in the bush, wonderful evenings. In Yankee parlance I keep the house at about 85F during the winter and the bathroom dry and warm about 90F. Very easy and very pleasant.

  15. “…you can’t do this stuff legally and the reality is that the barriers are political, not legal,” said Environmental Law Staff Counsel, Andrew Gage
    In a way Andrew is correct, Legally anyone can go after whomever they conclude is causing them harm. The barrier is identifying who is causing the alleged harm. Companies don’t sit around happily emitting CO2 for no reason. It is people using energy that has increased CO2 emissions. Legally to stop the CO2, stop the consumers and the companies stop emitting. It is consumers, every man, woman, and child who uses energy that is causing the alleged harm, they in the end are the target of the lawsuits. Taking this circus to it’s conclusion, the remedy has to include a court order restricting the use of energy of every single person on the planet. Go for it.

  16. A carbon tax was a pie in the sky objective.
    They always knew they could change the system via class action.
    Ya gotta unseat CO2’s status as a bogeyman pollutant if you want the house of cards to collapse.

  17. What’s kind of silly about this situation is the energy companies don’t actually produce much CO2. They provide a product. It is the consumers of that product that create the CO2. Hence, it would seem the proper defendant should be consumers. Good luck with that.

  18. It is that time when greens are emboldened like never before. Suing companies deemed CO2 emitter was the natural next step for the green fanatic movement. And rightly so. These nations went to Paris and crowed like crazed roosters now the chicken have come home to roost. Too many companies went to Paris and sold their souls to the greens, now the proverbial – well you know what just hit the bucket. Yes, it is time for CO2 science, actual science, to enter into the court room, time for actual scientists to be called to the stand under oath and fight it out based on science. Time for greens to be called to the stand and forced under oath to state their garbage. And if what we say is correct – I have no doubt genuine scientist will win the day.

  19. This is a two_edged sword opening the door to suing alarmists for costs to individual’s elconomies when the ship of fools goes down.
    At this point however, the best course of action would be for the defendants to shut down the power plants and gas pipelines all over the world and advise they will reopen when the case’s are dropped permanently or settled in their favour. This has to be nipped in the bud and companies better grow elephant cojones unless they would rather burn up all their capital on millions of law suits.
    I wish their was a bring – em – on attitude but the fear mongering over the years has made wimps of people large and small. Makes me sick.
    When this idiocy virus succumbs we need a never again campaign. A lest we forget annual holiday. Some more oiler plate in constitutions. Close control on NGOS activities as relates to national security and wellbeing of our citizens. Most needed is a real non partisan education for all. It might have to be supported outside school teaching like you find done ethnic groups already.
    Parents need to reacquire their proper role in their children’s education. It is ignorance that feeds these ugly transnationally underwritten new world order putches.

    • Gary Pearse
      December 14, 2015 at 11:24 am
      “Parents need to reacquire their proper role in their children’s education. It is ignorance that feeds these ugly transnationally underwritten new world order putches.”
      There are probably not very many parents that know the truth.

  20. “How can a company plausibly reject a lawsuit for business activity related damage to the environment, when their PR department embraces claims that such damage is occurring?”
    No problem, evidence they were unaware of has been found. For example that there has been no global warming for 18 years and 9 months. Furthermore, it appears they have been mislead by corrupt scientists, politicians and lazy journalists.
    This is actually good news.

  21. @Buster Brown “I’ve been using firewood for years to keep warm. It’s darn reliable.”
    It may be reliable but it sure isn’t sustainable. Wood burns faster than it grows.

    • My 85 year old dad has been harvesting the same 97 acres for the last 41 years. Seems to have enough firewood. Maybe its because he knows what he’s doing, sustainability-wise?

      • How long will it last when all of his neighbors find out that the only way they are going to stay warm is by harvesting from that same 97 acres?

      • Caligula – Yeah – I burn more deadfall in burn piles every year on my place than I cut and split to keep warm over the winter. But I have a lot of trees around the margin of my pastures. Depends totally on how much area you have per person. Look at the border between Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Haiti, treeless on the left, Dominican forested on the right. The result of energy poverty plus poverty in general. The legacy of Poppa Doc and the foreign aid he received. The UN would have the developed countries contribute 100 billion a year to do this? There must be a better way.

      • Hopefully, one of those neighbors is a Weyerhauser who starts planting trees… . 🙂
        Go Big GREEN (Forest Management Industry) LOGGING!
        Well, just had to say it! I’m from Washington, “The Evergreen State” — where they know how to keep it that way. And WILL, so long as the environmentalists don’t stop logging/re-planting (just because trees are sacred, like cows and steers in India …. )…. for, then, tree debris will make the forests giant fires-waiting-to-happen… and inevitably they will burn (look up “fire climax forests”) and look pretty bleak for quite awhile…. but, they, too, just like the trees on lower Mt. St. Helens, will come back. ,Isn’t the great engine called “earth” with all its negating feed backs just wonderful?
        {Aside: Must have been a mighty smart engineer… . 😉
        Oh. Yes, of course. It all just “happened” — all that simultaneous complexity was due to ….. say! How about Fairies (from another planet, of course)?}
        As IF our puny little human CO2 puffs could do ANYTHING to change the climate of the ~70% ocean-covered earth. I tell you! AGW is not just mere speculation, it is RIDICULOUS speculation!

      • trees do fall over and die, even oaks, it is unfortunate we do not have so many oaks now or even yews else we could build some ships and some longbows and invade France for a laugh.

    • @ Dave Chappell — agreed. Logging is mainly cost-effective (for an entire nation, I mean, not on a smaller scale where, indeed, if one person owned enough land to re-plant enough trees to perpetually use wood, it is feasible — not a very common scenario!) only for other products, not heating. Thus, I add, GO, NUCLEAR POWER INDUSTRY!

  22. This is a blatant attempt at taking their “climate justice” idea and making it real, via the courts. This is just a trial run for them. Win, and boom, the precedent is set, and the sky’s the limit.

    • Hi Bruce. Yeah, I’m thinking the same, but I’m also thinking that Paris has already established their precedent. It establishes that the ”offending” countries make financial compensation to the ”victim” countries.

  23. And Environmentalists accuse others of being short sighted. Who pray tell do they figure the lawyers will come for after they drain energy companies? It might not be environmental groups directly or right away but in a world in which you can sue anyone for anything perceived to have harmed you, no matter how removed, you can bet it won’t stop with energy companies.
    I’m sure activist judges and politicians will shield them for a while. But given that money is pretty obviously convincing them to look the other way now when it comes to interpreting laws and passing legislation they are just leaving the fox to guard the hen house.

  24. Introduce him to someone in a drought. Somehow, complaining about having too much fresh water seems like complaining that your gold shoes are too tight.

  25. Any company being sued for emitting CO2 should claim for contributory negligence on the part of the plaintiff, his family and associates for their lifetime output of CO2 through breathing.

  26. “How can a company plausibly reject a lawsuit for business activity related damage to the environment, when their PR department embraces claims that such damage is occurring?”
    Excellent point.
    Perhaps the lawyers at the those endangered firms will advise the company to stay away from climatology issues.
    I’m actually surprised that there have not been class action lawsuits from shareholders suing the boards for wasting money on frivolous eco stuff.

    • Have known for quite a few years that few if any new conventional power plants would be built in the U.S.
      Lawsuits, delays and the cost over-runs are the reasons.
      Companies decided to just run their plants as long as they could and then just shut them down without replacement. Then try to buy power from other sources to keep in business.
      Costs companies too much money to fight activists.

  27. ” a lake that threatens to flood the town”
    Sounds like “pre-crime” to me.
    Wonder if the leftists who infest the green movement would like the cops to start arresting people for things they might do. No? Didn’t think so…

  28. The only glacial fed lake I can find in the area is Laguna Rajucolta. It appears that once they they dammed the outlet of the lake sometime after 1969 it’s level has risen a good bit.

  29. It’s simple! Walk away from any COP21 Agreement – the option is still available!. Then via respective Parliaments “cancel” all Climate Change Laws and Regulations and all Renewable Energy subsidies, tax breaks, and guaranteed minimum unit power prices. Cancel all such other related Climate treaties. Then re-introduce competitive open free markets in power and energy throughout the developed world and let the market and the law govern. Leave those, including individuals, supposedly suffering from the negative effects of our man-made CO2 driven global warming and climate change in the past, the present and in the future, with the opportunity to seek damages from those parties deemed responsible and in the appropriate court of law. Avoid or ignore actions within suspect jurisdictions! The onus would be on those suing to
    1. prove cause and effect,
    2. identify and prove entities/individuals who are alleged to be solely responsible,
    3. provide evidence of actual loss in both type and valuation
    4. etc. etc.
    Problem solved, particularly now that the Developing Countries are emitting far, far more CO2 emissions and particulate carbon, sulphates, NOX emissions etc. than Developing Countries. Sit back and if ultimately see necessary, blame others! “Yah, yah, that speck of particulate carbon and that molecule of CO2 you claim I emitted was only emitted yesterday by someone else and elsewhere!”

  30. A shareholder suit against green NGO’s and management that is giving in to the Green blob, on the basis that the shareholder return has been negatively impacted, would be interesting…

  31. “Peruvian farmer Saul Luciano Lliuya is suing German energy giant RWE, the self-described “biggest single emitter of CO2” in Europe, for $29,000 over what he claims the company is doing to his hometown.”
    If I was the energy giant and this happened, I would cut off all fossil based energy to the farm. I also wouldn’t finish there and cut off any company or person involved in the lawsuit. It wouldn’t take long for them to release how important heating and electricity is for them just to survive a cold winter. They would have to find alternative energy sources, so good luck with that. How are they going to make wind turbines and solar panels with no fossil based energy whatsoever? Sue the companies that make wind turbines and solar panels too, using fossil energy? We seem to be increasingly moving towards a bunch of green brainless hypocrites.

  32. “MarkW December 14, 2015 at 11:54 am
    How long will it last when all of his neighbors find out that the only way they are going to stay warm is by harvesting from that same 97 acres?”
    Well, sometimes he takes his guns out for target practice. His hearing is going, but I wouldn’t want to bet against his eyes.
    Oh, and they wouldn’t be his neighbours, except perhaps for the retired civil servants, teachers and others who would have chosen Northern Ontario to retire to. The “oldtimers” like him are also fairly good at ensuring the wood holds out. And are just as good shots.

  33. Giving in to bullies just encourages bullying. Green bullying will not stop until someone stands up to them and slaps them down. I would love to see green support evaporate. Better still, I’d love to see companies (and individuals) team together and sue green groups and green agencies for lying, for data manipulation and for obtaining money under false pretenses. For causing actual harm too.
    Green bullying has grown too big. It will take some mighty cooperation and a world-wide effort to bring it to its knees, but the alternative is unthinkable.
    What gets me is that these greenie idiots take great pleasure in the destruction they cause, they’ll be laughing all the way – right up until the mob reaches their door. And if it’s not an avenging mob, it’ll be a green mob there to strip away their computers and cars and fancy goods, or even to round them up as part of the 90% “surplus” humans.
    I bet they don’t think it could happen to them.
    They see the destruction to others and laugh about it. They never think it might land on their doorstep or that the lights might go out at their place. Sooner or later, though, a mob of some description will come for them and they’ll wonder what the heck happened. Or blame somebody else. Naturally. It’s always someone else’s fault when you’re green.
    Those companies supporting the green effort had better wake up, but I suspect they are fully aware of the nightmare facing them.

  34. Get it moved somewhere in between the parties such as Washington DC and call Michael Mann as an expert witness.

  35. Those Corporate Giants who attempt to appease the giant Green Blob, deserve all that they receive from the lawyers. These Corporates are trying to run with the fox and hunt with the hounds at the same time. There will come a time when the Green Blob turns against the Warmistas themselves and it will not be pretty.

    • “1941 un aluvión impacta Huaraz.” Slide 7. (scroll down and click on “Click to Read” (report))
      +1 Great evidence, MJB!

    • Thanks for finding an exact location and facts about the situation. Looks as though if it has happened before, at a time when CO2 was not supposed to be a factor in climate, the farmer would have a hard time proving that it is CO2 that would cause it to happen again.

  36. Hopefully, President Cruz will appoint Anthony Watts as Science Adviser in 2017 and put this nightmare to bed !!

      • Senator Ted Cruz is GREAT!
        And so is Ben Carson — and he can, I think, expand the base by bringing more black votes in — that sounds like a racist thing to say, but, for some reason, black people tend to vote for a black person and DID this in 2008 and 2012, just because Obama was black. Interviews of black voters reveal this over and over (and a lot of non-blacks also voted for Obama because he was black; “It’s time,” they would say, nodding soberly, completely ignoring his lack of qualification for the office and his extreme policies). So, just being practical: I think Ben Carson has the best chance to win. Ted Cruz would be the NEXT great president (win in 2024 and 2028!).
        Trump has panache, but he is a RINO (for, e.g., government takings of private property when the “public use” is merely economic, see, e.g., the Kelo decision). And he is misogynistic (“bleeding from somewhere”) and uses poor judgment in the language he uses to talk about various groups, e.g., Latinos.

        • The Black loyalty vote for POTUS as the “first” black man at one time was also considered as similar in concept as the “first” female for Hillary. She once has a commanding 65 to 70% of la femmes, but that has eroded to under 50% in recent polls. This fact makes her run for pres a race.
          THE GOP would do well to chose a candidate that preys on the flank that Hillary has exposed and chose a candidate that women like.
          ::: from the peanut gallery :::

      • Think “commander in chief” – I suspect that Rubio, Cruz and Bush would be the ones to be best on making foreign policy happen and regain some of the losses during the Story of O. Ben’s nice, a great man, but a bit at sea in the muddied waters of standing USA ground at home and abroad. Mind you, he’d be great buddies with our Canadian PM who has nice hair and the girls seem to like his bod.

      • What about a Cruz/Carson ticket? Of course this is way of topic but given the recent Senate hearings, there is certainly a hope that Cruz would be a choice. But then I am from north of the border and we certainly haven’t made very good choices as a country lately though the folks where I live didn’t vote for the governments in power. The rural vote and flyover states/provinces have less and less impact except as suppliers of food, water, and oil …
        I have an American friend who thinks we divided up the North American continent poorly. He figures there should be one country east of the Mississippi from the Gulf to Hudson’s Bay, another country consisting of BC, Washington, Oregon and California. The third country would consist of the high plains states and provinces with access to tidewater at Houston. North south travel is more natural than east west. Even the buffalo and the birds had figured that out. I am starting to think he may be right.

    I have been considering this approach for several years and I think it is now time to proceed..
    Civil RICO provides for TRIPLE DAMAGES. Global losses from the global warming scam are in the trillions, including hundreds of billions on the USA.
    We would sue the sources of warmist funding and those who have significantly profited from the global warming scam..
    The key to starting a civil RICO action is to raise several million dollars to fund the lawsuit, which will be protracted and expensive.
    If serious funders are interested, please contact me through
    Regards, Allan MacRae

  38. knutesea commented: “….The beginning of Phase II …”
    So far AGW has been finger pointing, shaming, and scare mongering. Nobody really cares but some grandstanding politicians and a very small minority of people that are rabid environmentalists. How many countries capable of contributing do you think will willfully give up money for distribution by an appointed organization like the UN? Well, the answer so far is few. And of those few nothing has changed hands that I’m aware of. How much do you think Congress will approve for climate reparations? Getting people to save the world is one thing, getting them to pay for it as an act of atonement is another. I believe this is when people will start taking notice and I don’t care where one is in the US political spectrum the push back will overwhelm the Green Blob. Phase I was easy because people are ambivalent about what doesn’t directly affect them but Phase II ….writing the checks if I catch your drift…. will be a whole different story. My glass is half full on this aspect of AGW.

    • Reading the tea leaves, it looks like the multinational corporations are the weak link in the shakedown.
      They’re the most likely to give a little to get “peace”, if past evidence is worth anything.
      As long at they meet their ROR for shareholders, life will hum along for them.
      I see them as the shopfront owners who have to pay the green mafia.
      The elected reps will bow to the green mafia because the silent majority thinks it’s “nice” that the green mafia wants a “clean” neighborhood. That’s the microcosm of the strategy that works for most politicos.
      It works as long as wealth continues to grow in the community.
      Stops working when the money runs out.
      I’ve been trying to simplify what I see.
      Feel free to pummel my opinion.

      • knutesea commented: “… it looks like the multinational corporations are the weak link in the shakedown.
        They’re the most likely to give a little to get “peace”…”
        I would say you are correct except money is not their ultimate goal and getting it from private funds would be detrimental to their cause. It would only reinforce Capitalism as the successful economic force. They want/need Western economies to die so they can be the savior and the only way for that to happen is to undermine industry. Transferring money without guaranteed market won’t work. Britain now has little metal smelting and heavy industry to follow. That’s their playbook for the West. The Environmentalists don’t care what the plan is as long as they win their battle of saving the world for…..well, the world. Taxing multinational corporations to get $100B+/year would be extremely risky for the UN. Even criminal activity has its’ codes and there’s nothing like a crook scorned. I don’t believe another country will be as stupid as the UK and allow their economy to be decimated while everyone else stands by and watches. Meanwhile, no global temperature rise in almost 19 years and they’re still playing AGW like a fiddle.

  39. Lliuya lives near the Andean city of Huaraz, under constant danger from a lake that threatens to flood the town and his house and farm along with it.
    Sounds to me like the old boy doesn’t give a dam.

  40. Read the late and much missed Michael Crichton’s classic “State of Fear” to find out why suing wealthy organisations that can afford good legal representation might just be a bad idea for the CAGW business in general.
    If Crichton’s understanding of the matter is correct, then – BRING IT ON!

  41. See how the Great State of Massachusetts and several other miscreant States and other entities brought suit against the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) so as to force it to regulate CO2 as a pollutant. The EPA had chosen not to do this, arguing that the Clean Air Act gave it discretion in deciding whether it should regulate a given substance.
    In 2007 the Supreme Court, hearing the case, ruled in favor of Mass. et al., with C.J. Roberts and J. Scalia writing dissents, joined by Justices Thomas and Alito. The EPA was thus ordered to reconsider its understanding that it therefore had discretion as to whether to regulate CO2 and other “greenhouse gasses”.’ Quoting Wikipedia,

    “The Court found the current rationale for not regulating to be inadequate and required the agency to articulate a reasonable basis in order to avoid regulation.”

    My humble apologies to the EPA: I had thought it was the villain of this particular piece. Oh well, remember all those times when it should have been locked in the deepest dungeon below the floor of the foulest sea, with no access to Green of any sort (especially long green, of course) and allowed no contact with any living entity.
    Even though in this case there’s a reversal of the expected roles, we are all still the victims, and the case is certainly precedent for deciding that prosecutions of and judgments against even governmental agencies for failing to consider CO2 a “pollutant” are legitimate. If governmental agencies — here, one of the worst in terms of being an out-of-control bullying leg-breaker, just my opinion of course — are to be controlled for Sins against the Planet, how much more so businesses and private citizens!

    • Julie,
      Thank you for taking the time to prepare such a thoughtful comment. That was good background information for us to be aware of.
      Take heart! In the U.S., non-governmental entities and private individuals (of which a corporation is, technically, one) are much less likely to be controlled in the manner the EPA was. At issue there was the EPA’s highly specific mandate under an act of Congress. Private persons have no such mandate governing their behavior. The EPA had a legally-imposed duty (wrongly interpreted by the 5-4 SCOTUS majority) v. a v. “pollutants.” Thus, there was a legal basis (however unwarranted) for the lawsuit.
      There is no legal duty of care making the German organization liable for damages to the plaintiff for the allegedly CO2-caused potential flooding damages (for which, injunctive relief might be granted, even though there is no true standing yet at ALL, for there has been, as of yet, no injury to that plaintiff at all). AGW has no evidence for it. Further, there is no phony-baloney law on the books declaring as a matter of law that the German org. is liable for CO2 emissions. If such a phony-baloney law WERE passed: 1) it is ex post facto; 2) if the Peruvians say “who cares about ex post facto, we command you!!”, then, the whole charade is just like any tinpot dictatorship where a company gets the shaft, essentially, just a more subtle version of nationalizing such as Chavez did to U.S. Corps. in Venezuela (and Russia has done to the Yukos (sp?) CEO in prison for failure to pay grossly exhorbitant taxes — the Russians basically just stole the guy’s company — not many U.S. firms do business in Russia…).
      So! (and Julie, please know that this comment is not so much aimed at you, as just at general readership — not trying to educate you as if you needed special help!)
      Lesson: Don’t do business in countries where the legal system goes not guarantee even basic liberties. China is a BIG risk…. as long as it benefits them, they will cooperate with you… but, when you need (as a business entity) to seek recourse in the courts for breach of contract or the like there…. GOOD LUCK. Even with liberals making stupid decisions (as they did in Mass. v. EPA), the U.S. (and other nations with similar legal protections, such as many European nations, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada — go Canada! (you guys need to get mentioned around this place more often!! 🙂 ) is a pretty wonderful place: you can do business here and pretty much what you expect will happen (legal-wise) happens (generally speaking — yes, I realize there are many travesties of justice, but when you weigh those in view of how MANY contracts and agreements and ventures are successfully executed, it really is wonderful (given the state of legal affairs in much of the world)).
      Again, Julie, GREAT COMMENT, sorry to have used a reply to you to say so much that was not aimed at you personally.
      We need more commenters like you — our super-researcher, Gail Combs, seems to have little time for WUWT now … and we miss her.
      Your ally for TRUTH and FREEDOM,

    • Any company being sued should just admit their guilt and then say ” Now figure out what percentage of the warming was caused by the little bit of CO2 that we emit, and we will gladly pay for that”.

  42. Dear Eric Worrall,
    Thank you, so much, for doing so much to make WUWT a high-value science (and political) information site!
    Say, I see that you are still commenting (as of half an hour ago, I mean!) on this thread! Yea! I am, thus, hopeful that you will read THIS comment.
    I posted 3 fun (to me, anyway) videos I thought your little girl might enjoy here:
    Posting this here, for I think I missed you over there… .
    Thanks again — and thank your little girl for all the time she has given up with her daddy so he can make WUWT a wonderful place to go.

  43. UNICEF is helping promote the scam:
    Trick or Treat for UNICEF…
    Look at the tricks they are now up to:

    What utter bull$hit!!
    To think I used to collect money for these crooks at Halloween. Sad.

  44. So equally the people who were flooded in Cumbria should be able to sue the wind turbine companies over the failure to plant trees so heavy rain goes straight into the rivers. There is proof that the wind companies oppose tree planting wherever there are turbines.

  45. As usual, all parties agree that the cause of warming is greenhouse effect from carbon dioxide in the air. I am going to suggest that any lawsuit based upon this is based on a pseudo-scientific lie and must be dismissed. That is because science says that the greenhouse effect is impossible and observations of nature prove it.
    First, the greenhouse effect. Carbon dioxide is not the only greenhouse gas in the atmosphere, not even the most abundant one, Water vapor is. Only the Miskolczi greenhouse theory or MGT can handle both gases at ther same time. We don’t need such advanced science for the present.
    The myth of the greenhouse effect goes back to 1896 when Svante Arrhenius observed that carbon dioxide in his laboratory absorbed infrared radiation and thereby became warm. He jumped to the conclusion that this must also happen in the atmosphere and the Arrhenius greenhouse theory was born. IPCC still uses it and all those law suits require it.
    But now look at the history of global temperature and atmospheric carbon dioxide. The Keeling curve and its extension by ice cores shows no increase of CO2 in numerous situations involving observed warming events. An example is a thirty year period of warming that started in 1910 and stopped in 1940. Laws of physics demand that in order to start a greenhouse warming from scratch like that you must simultaneously add carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
    This did not happen in 1910 as the Keeling curve tells us, a fact very carefully hidden by the IPCC. Furthermore, it is quite impossible to stop greenhouse warming suddenly without removing carbon dioxide from the air, a feat not yet accomplished by our so-called “climate” scientists. Fact is that for unknown reasons warming did stop quite suddenly at the beginning of 1940. What followed was a steep drop of temperature, down to the WWII cool period that lasted through the war.
    Recovery from this cold wave began about 1950, but global temperature did mot reach the peak 1940 level again until about 1980. That point was then followed by a hiatus. This chain of events takes carbon dioxide completely out of the warming business from 1910 to 1950, a good forty years. As to the first ten years of the century, that was another cooling period which makes for a total of fifty years of no-warming so far. And that makes half of the twentieth century completely greenhouse free: no carbon dioxide greenhouse warming for half a century.
    Any shady lawyer who wants to use greenhouse warming as an argument in a lawsuit is well advised to forget it, and drop any lawsuits about global warming.

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