Federal Court rules in Favour of Plaintiffs Demanding Climate Action

Original image author Chris Potter, http://www.stockmonkeys.com, image modified

Original image author Chris Potter, http://www.stockmonkeys.com, image modified

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

Federal court Justice Thomas Coffin has ruled that child plaintiffs suing the Federal Government have a right to put their case, that the US Government has a constitutional obligation to reduce CO2 emissions. But the consequences of this case may go far beyond an economically damaging change to US internal policy. If the plaintiffs win, what will the USA be obligated to do, if the “harmful” CO2 is mostly emitted by other countries?

In the first lawsuit to involve a planet, Judge Thomas Coffin of the United States Federal District Court in Eugene, Oregon, ruled on Friday in favor of twenty-one plaintiffs, ages 8 to 19, on behalf of future generations of Americans in a landmark constitutional climate change case brought against the Federal Government and the Fossil FOSL -1.91% Fuel Industry.

The lawsuit alleges that the Federal Government is violating the Plaintiffs’ constitutional and public trust rights by promoting the use of fossil fuels. The Complaint explains that, for over fifty years, the United States Government and the Fossil Fuel Industry have known that carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels causes global warming and dangerous climate change, and that continuing to burn fossil fuels destabilizes the climate system.

Judge Coffin wrote: “The debate about climate change and its impact has been before various political bodies for some time now. Plaintiffs give this debate justiciability by asserting harms that befall or will befall them personally and to a greater extent than older segments of society. It may be that eventually the alleged harms, assuming the correctness of plaintiffs’ analysis of the impacts of global climate change, will befall all of us. But the intractability of the debates before Congress and state legislatures and the alleged valuing of short-term economic interest despite the cost to human life, necessitates a need for the courts to evaluate the constitutional parameters of the action or inaction taken by the government. This is especially true when such harms have an alleged disparate impact on a discrete class of society.”

Read more: http://www.forbes.com/sites/jamesconca/2016/04/10/federal-court-rules-on-climate-change-in-favor-of-todays-children/

The full text of Judge Coffin’s finding is here.

There is still a long way to go for the plaintiffs to win their case – Judge Coffin simply ruled that the plaintiffs have a right to have their case heard, and rejected actions by the Federal Government and Fossil Fuel industry associations to immediately dismiss the case.

However, it is probably worth considering the horrifying possibilities if the plaintiffs win their case.

Given that, according to Judge Coffin’s finding, the plaintiffs posit that the USA only produces around 25% of global CO2 emissions, a figure which is falling rapidly, what would the courts require the US Government to do, if the courts find the US government has a constitutional duty to reduce CO2 emissions?

Would the federal government have discharged its obligations, if they force US controlled territories to abandon fossil fuels? Even though this would make very little difference in the long run to global CO2 emissions?

Or would the Federal Government be placed under a constitutional obligation to force other countries to reduce their CO2 emissions as well, in order to protect US citizens from the alleged harms of CO2?

What if the rest of the world says no, and rejects US requests to reduce CO2? Or if the rest of the world agrees to a US request to reduce CO2 emissions, but does not honour that agreement?

This is not the first time such a ridiculous situation has arisen. In an interview in 2013, while discussing the weaknesses of climate models, Hans Von Storch, one of the giants of German Climate Science, and very much an advocate of climate action, discussed a German push to create a constitutional obligation to reduce CO2 emissions.

SPIEGEL: Will the greenhouse effect be an issue in the upcoming German parliamentary elections? Singer Marius Müller-Westernhagen is leading a celebrity initiative calling for the addition of climate protection as a national policy objective in the German constitution.

Storch: It’s a strange idea. What state of the Earth’s atmosphere do we want to protect, and in what way? And what might happen as a result? Are we going to declare war on China if the country emits too much CO2 into the air and thereby violates our constitution?

SPIEGEL: Yet it was climate researchers, with their apocalyptic warnings, who gave people these ideas in the first place.

Storch: Unfortunately, some scientists behave like preachers, delivering sermons to people. What this approach ignores is the fact that there are many threats in our world that must be weighed against one another. If I’m driving my car and find myself speeding toward an obstacle, I can’t simple yank the wheel to the side without first checking to see if I’ll instead be driving straight into a crowd of people. Climate researchers cannot and should not take this process of weighing different factors out of the hands of politics and society.

http://www.spiegel.de/international/world/interview-hans-von-storch-on-problems-with-climate-change-models-a-906721.html

The plaintiffs are being advised by ex NASA GISS Director James Hansen, who appears to seriously believe that the world is on the brink of catastrophic runaway global warming. In this context, perhaps the plaintiffs and their advisor are aware of the terrifying potential of creating a constitutional obligation to wage global warfare, but believe that a bit of geopolitical brinkmanship is a risk worth taking, in order to “save the planet”.

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Anne Ominous

Hansen has been “seriously believing” this since the 1980s, an predicted complete and utter disaster no later than 2008.
None of his gloom-and-doom prognostications have come true. Not one.

I nearly choked on a malteazer in giggle mode!!) Thought this was April fool hoax til I saw date. Honestly What a load of piffle, & I’m being everso polite there!

Goldrider

It’s called a “publicity stunt.” Aka “clickbait.

TA

Anne wrote: “Hansen has been “seriously believing” this since the 1980s, an predicted complete and utter disaster no later than 2008.”
I have a hard time believing Hansen truly believes in his catastrophic predictions. I suppose he could be that self-delusional, but I remember a time when Hansen said the 1930’s was hotter than 1998, which means it was hotter than any year after 1998, too, with the exception of possibly one month in 2016.
So Hansen knows the 1930’s were hotter than today, and would have to know that we are actually in a longterm cooling trend since that time, not a warming trend, based on that fact. He sounds disingenuos to me, or delusional. It’s got to be one of the two.
When/if we get as hot as the 1930’s, *then* it will be time to start worrying. Not that we could do anything to change it, because the extreme weather in the 1930’s was not caused by human beings, and there is no evidence humans are causing the climate to change now.
So even if it were to get as hot as the 1930’s, that is not confirmation of human-caused global warming/climate change.

BFL

Hansen is just another unethical, immoral and corrupt AGW money grubber that could care less about his final effects on the economy or poor as long as he gets his booty. By using these young for his fodder, he is no better than a street corner pimp. And I would bet that he probably attends church at least once a week, as cover for his rottenness. The courts in this country are generally no better, where just about anyone can sue anyone else, sometimes for just a few dollars. Where more moneyed clients and their leech lawyers are allowed to wear down poorer defendants in a purposefully overloaded system to win. Steyn was correct when he called the justice system “toxic slime of the dank sewer”. But since the system primarily supports those in power it’s not likely to ever change in a meaningful way and many of those in the public who might be able to flag for correction, admire instead.
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/11/18/dr-james-hansens-growing-financial-scandal-now-over-a-million-dollars-of-outside-income/
http://www.americanthinker.com/articles/2008/06/james_hansen_abusing_the_publi.html
http://www.sullivan-county.com/nf0/nov_2000/gos_thomas.htm
Here’s an article pointing to Hansen’s climate model predicting global cooling in the 1970’s:
http://hockeyschtick.blogspot.com/2014/05/flashback-hansens-climate-model-says.html

See - owe to Rich

“could care less about …”. This is incorrect English, as frequently used by Americans, and if that goes unchecked I fear it slipping into English English too. It should be “couldn’t care less about …”. Why? Because it is supposed to indicate someone who effectively cares not a jot, so simply could not care less (about the thing in question).
I could care less (a lot less in fact), if you read this advice without heeding it.
Rich.

Robert A Borysko

If you could care less then, perhaps you should.

BFL

“could care less about …”. This is incorrect English,”
Ahh yes, what happens when one writes quickly and then someone cares more about correction than the idea (there are also other construction errors apparently unnoticed but unimportant and allowed to stand for effect). Perhaps like: “I fear it slipping into English English too”. Feel free to future educate me (ala Bush) as I’m always open to new constructive ideas. Have you looked at Kim’s rather curved but entertaining one liners??

george e. smith

“””””….. necessitates a need for the courts to evaluate the constitutional parameters of the action or inaction taken by the government. …..”””””
Too bad he didn’t add that it necessitates a need for the scientists to evaluate the scientific parameters of the action or inaction taken by planet earth to prevent damage to the plaintiffs.
G

Barbara

Use internet search:
Eric Schneiderman + Soros
Interesting what comes up!

Newsel

Why not post the link?
“Anti-Israel Billionaire Bankrolls Eric Schniederman’s Campaign for Attorney General”
http://www.theyeshivaworld.com/news/general/71852/anti-israel-billionaire-bankrolls-eric-schniedermans-campaign-for-attorney-general.html
Aesop’s Fables: Moral” You Are Known by the Company You Keep”.
One evil piece of work..

gbaikie

–The plaintiffs are being advised by ex NASA GISS Director James Hansen, who appears to seriously believe that the world is on the brink of catastrophic runaway global warming.–
I wonder if these “kids” can later sue Hansen and his heirs, for wasting their lives with such foolishness?

Crispin in Waterloo

gbaikie….
You are onto something there.
If an expert advisor makes claims and warrants that these claims are legitimate in the face of significant contravening evidence, and those children or their guardians take expensive actions based on those claims, there is an implicit right to seek redress from such an expert advisor when the baseless of the claims is demonstrated in court.
The main difference between Hansen lying to the public with exaggerated risk and lying to children and inducing them to spend money on a no-win proposition is that the court can impose costs on the children for prosecuting the suit in the first place. They are now roped to the lunacy and, pleading youth and ignorance won’t work when it comes to evading the consequences. The case is based on Hansen’s unsustainable exaggerations. It cannot succeed any more than M Mann’s claims that Mark Steyn called his hockey stock ‘fraudulent’ while he says it isn’t. Mann can’t win that because the hockey stick is fraudulent. Hansen’s exaggeration of consequences is not based on real risk, but an exaggeration of risk, which is a different animal.
There is a risk that CO2 will be shown to have twenty times its calculated net effect on global temperatures, but that risk is exceedingly small. There is a concomitant risk that Hansen will be shown to be right with one of his predictions at least once in his life, but again, that risk is exceedingly small.
Even in the unlikely event that fifty years ago some oil company staff considered that CO2 might have twenty times its actual, demonstrable effect on temperatures, all they have to do in court is say those ideas were misplaced. There is no case to answer for being wrong about something fifty years ago and not acting on it. In fact such inaction now looks prudent.
Hansen on the other hand is wrong about something now. That he has induced a group of children to spend considerable funds seeking to hold ‘fossil fuel’ companies accountable for something, or worse, the national government accountable for not doing something that is based on incorrect beliefs that may have been held by some people fifty years ago, is plumb crazy.
As the Earth plunges inevitably and on cue into the next Minimum, this case will play out like the train smash it is, slowly and painfully and inevitably. It will come down to an in-court validation or rejection of the climate models. No one, but no one, will want to stake their professional reputation on the validity of an 8.5 C model increase by 2100 in an era of sinking temperatures and growing ice.

Penelope

Crispin, Problem is that the govt can choose to lose the case by having it incompetently defended. And who controls the govt’s defense in this case? Probably the same people for whom the US president is usually acting– those who put him in power. More or less the same class of people who are paying Hansen, etc, and subsidizing all the enviro activist groups. All the big foundations, Rockefellers, etc as laid out in the Senate Report “The Chain of Environmental Command.”

dennisambler

One of them is his grand-daughter.

Walter Sobchak

Whose grand-daughter?

Unfortunately there are many Kidz whose lives are only wastelands, thus no actionable tort.

empiresentry

When there is not enough high energy to run a clean drinking water or sewer system
– their drinking water has the quality of Flint Municipal water or Guaimaca Honduras
– their raw sewer runs out into the environment
When their internet time or appliance charging time is allotted two hours a day
When electric (and water and sewer) are only available in rolling brownouts like Mexico City
When they can’t find jobs because no one knows when there will be power and all power jobs have moved to other countries….
is that when they will care?
The only libs care about Reality and Fact is when it ultimately smacks them in the face head-on and impacts their lives personally.
Power producing states MUST pull the plug on the non-power states that demand it be shut down
So called alternate energy projects like IVANPAH MUST have all fossil fuels sources removed.
Someone should sue for the 11.9 million people who die each year due to lack of energy.

PM

I assume that the plaintiffs will have to prove beyond reasonable doubt that CO2 does cause harm to the environment. Empirical evidence seems to suggest otherwise so this could be the end of the global warming myth.

Richard G

They’ll probably follow the EPA’s sue and settle tactic.

Hivemind

Yes, this looks a lot like a set up.

janus100

Yes, this is dangerous as hell….
What can be dome about it?
Anybody has any ideas?

This sounds like an attempt to sway public opinion with the use of children designed to stimulate emotional responses from the public.

Barbara

It’s the old greater good argument. Centuries old.
Find out who’s behind this and maybe this can be stopped
Look at the whole New York Attorney General situation and not just at one event. How did this guy get elected?

ironargonaut

Janus, sue the kids, claim their use of fossil fuel generated electricity for completely frivolous pursuits such as playing video games and sending multiple one word text messages, not to mention watching endless cute animal videos is putting you and future generations at risk from climate change. Subpeona their ISP providers and telephone companies to provide the evidence. If allowed to see a court room they would have to explain how come they are knowingly destroying the environment we need. Knowingly because they can’t say in one court room that fossil fuels are destroying the environment and in another claim THEIR VOLUNTARY fossil fuel use is not. At least without looking like total hypocrites.

ironargonaut

Janus, petition the court to become a party to the suit. If they can claim future harm by inaction/action you can claim the harm if action/inaction occurs. Their is plenty of evidence that adapting would be less costly then fighting 2C warming.

Mooloo

Civil cases aren’t to beyond reasonable doubt.

Evan Jones

One word: Discovery.

Proved beyond a reasonable doubt is only used in criminal trials. In a civil case, if there is a jury, it would require preponderance of the evidence and a jury to vote 2/3 for the plaintiff. (May be different some places, but generally true). Laywers?

george e. smith

no just by a preponderance of the evidence.
g

GTL

In a court hearing the plaintiffs will not be able to “shout down” or ignore contrary evidence.

MarkW

They just get the judge to rule that contrary evidence is inadmissible.

GTL

“:beyond a reasonable doubt applies to criminal cases, not civil actions such as this appears to be.

lee

‘The lawsuit alleges that the Federal Government is violating the Plaintiffs’ constitutional and public trust rights by promoting the use of fossil fuels.’
I thought the US Government was pushing renewables. That is where the subsidies, feed in tariffs are going.

” The Complaint explains that, for over fifty years, the United States Government and the Fossil Fuel Industry have known that carbon dioxide from burning fossil fuels causes global warming ”
the only empirical evidence for that is a correlation between cumulative values.
this correlation is spurious
http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2725743

Evan Jones

I think it isn’t. But the amount of warming is mild. And greatly overblown by the metrics, even moreso by the CMIP models.

It is only a relief to see that this insane madness is occurring in the United States and not in Australia. Are we to look forward to the USA declaring war on China because it is increasing its CO2 emissions and then reduce that nation to a heap of radioactive ashes? Once you involve ‘the Law’, anything is possible and it is only rarely ‘Justice’.

Christopher Paino

It wouldn’t be China that’s reduced to those radioactive ashes, should that conflict arise.

Under this dangerous, anti-American president, I can see the U.S. taking a hundred nuked cities, an ‘turning the other cheek’.
But under a pro-American president, China wouldn’t dare. They would get 1,500 in return.
The sooner this Manchurian Candidate president is gone, the better.
Then we’ll have the problem of an Obama UN Sec-Gen. That’s when the UN must be booted out of the U.S., and the U.S. withdrawn from the UN.
Then what will the UN do? Ask Botswana for subsidies?

D. J. Hawkins

@db
If Obama sticks with his citizenship claim, his tenure as Sec-Gen is a non-starter, since citizens of the permanent members of the Security Council aren’t eligible for the post.

Gloateus Maximus
Gloateus Maximus

The US has about 30 times more nuclear warheads than China, and they are more accurate. Also all American nukes are strategic, while China still maintains tactical nukes. The US does still have some variable yield bombs that can be dialed down for battlefield use, but all its former tactical navy and army nukes have been retired, along with nuclear sea-launched cruise missiles. America could also triple its force almost overnight if it wanted to do so, as could Russia (more so), despite arms control agreements requiring destruction of fissile material.
China is however upgrading its strategic forces with road-mobile, MIRVed ICBM launchers. And it has followed the lead of Russia (which has even more strategic warheads than the US) and consolidated all its strategic nuclear weapons into a new service, the Rocket Force, replacing its old Second Artillery Corps.

MarkW

After spending the last couple of generations ignoring the plain language of the constitution, what makes you think the ban against permanent members of the security council being Sec-Gen will withstand a serious attempt at “re-interpretation”?

Gloateus Maximus

PS:
China’s population is now over half urban, mostly high density. It is thus more vulnerable to nuclear attack, not that the US would directly target the general population.
The US is protected by the fact that China’s economy relies on exports rather than domestic consumption, although that too is changing, along with increasing urbanization. The Communist regime would be reluctant to destroy its main trading partner. It might not hesitate to sink USN aircraft carriers in the South or East China Seas with its anti-ship ballistic missiles, however.

mike g

This is all a done deal if Hillary gets to appoint the next supreme court member.

Evan Jones

If such a conflict did occur, it is exceedingly unlikely that cities would be the targets. Nukes themselves would be the targets, and every nuke destroyed could not itself be launched.

Tim

Nuclear war, the final solution to globull warming. We’ll just nuke the planet into a cooler climate.

Mjw

A nuclear winter would suit the watermelons just fine, lowers the temperature and rids the world of 95% of its population. Two for the price of one.

Alex

The US government could also ‘choose’ to lose the case

Hugs

Good and dangerous point.

VicV

This, I think, is a definite possibility proportional with the amount of power the Democrat Party holds after the November elections. (Include maybe 50-75% of RINOs with the Democrats.)

MarkW

What matters is not what percentage the socialists hold in the legislature, it’s what percentage they hold in the bureaucracy and judiciary.

Catcracking

Excellent point. There are numerous cases recently where this government did not even defend a law on the books, so I don’t see how the plaintiff side will not win without a defense. It is a current tactic where without a defense by the government a large segment of society will loose.
The facts do not matter since the suit enables the administration to push it’s agenda and the judge will claim no ability to decide the technical matter but will listen to the EPA ” experts”.
If the suit involves industry it may be a different matter.

ironargonaut

Anyone should be able to join, reasoning being if the court prevents fossil fuel use you would be materially and adversely affected in the future.
Side note is courts routinely dismiss cases because damage must be shown to have occurred. Case in point, courts won’t let you sue govt for spying until you can show harm.

ironargonaut

The gov’t would lose anyway, there is a reason they chose Eugene OR to file this suit. You won’t get a balanced jury there.

Peter Miller

STPS, or Save The Planet Syndrome, should be be a certifiable condition.
Apart from an obsessive belief in the irrational, it demonstrates the gullibility and unsuitability of the victim to hold high political office. STPS induces a pathological state of mind eager to squander vast amounts of other peoples’ money by converting low cost stability into high cost uncertainty, while simultaneously achieving for themselves a surreal self-hypnotising smugness.
STPS victims are extreme zealots in their beliefs, rarely having more than a sniff of scientific knowledge; yet their ability to argue black is white is legendary, such as in statements a gas essential for all life on Earth is evil and must be eliminated and even ranting that all those saying otherwise should be imprisoned or even more severely punished.
STPS has almost reached almost epidemic proportions amongst leaders of the western democracies, yet is almost unknown in Asia. The willingness to sacrifice their countries’ economies for their beliefs is perhaps the most dangerous trait of the STPS victims.

brians356

All you need to know: Environmentalism is a religion. Liberalism is a mental disorder. Thus spake Michael Savage.

Aert Driessen

If the defence is able to call its own witnesses then maybe this is the way to go, albeit that the action would not be initiated by the so-called sceptics. The mainstream media is providing no opportunities to present the evidence to show that nothing unusual is happening with the climate in both an historical and planetary time frame, that man-made contributions of CO2 are minuscule compared to natural sources, and indeed that warming is harmful.

Aert,
You are exactly right.

Alex

Next, the 8-19 year olds will want to sue all the deniers who claim the tooth fairy doesn’t exist

Peter Miller

CAGW and the tooth fairy are the same thing, a myth believed by those with limited education and seeking funds.

Phill

Fight fire with fire. If 1 million people offered to join the case, perhaps on the basis that they had a constitutional right to have a Government protect their economic interests and then demanded to be heard you could probably clog up the system for the next 100 years.

I don’t see how the plaintiffs have standing to bring this case.

@ Frederick Colbourne,.. is that because of this?
“Judge Thomas Coffin of the United States Federal District Court in Eugene, Oregon, ruled on Friday in favor of twenty-one plaintiffs, ages 8 to 19”,
To me these kids are not even of voting age and are being “used”, and “manipulated” by the usual, ambulance chasing lawyers, and with the usual result, a settlement in the millions and their parents and lawyers a few million richer. This kind of decision by a “Judge” is beyond belief to me. Should have never even have made the bench.
Frederic, Am I wrong here? The whole planet seems to be upside down.

ferdberple

It seems strange that the US government has a constitutional duty to limit CO2, but has no such duty to provide economic prosperity.
Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness. Isn’t that written somewhere? Isn’t that the founding principle of the United States? Or have the courts forgotten this?

empiresentry

Very good point.
The Commerce Clause is pulled up when librules need it for convenience, claiming prosperity for all while taking away from The People.
Its leveraged as a hammer for negative takings but never for growth without taking.

joelobryan

The US government does not exist to, nor have a duty to, provide economic prosperity. That is simply pure socialism.
The representative democratic republic we founded in the US exists to ensure opportunity for economic prosperity with minimal government interference on individual pursuits.
The preamble to the US constitution charters our government to “provide” only one thing: a “common defence.” The constitution enables the government to establish Justice, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves. Promoting general welfare has an entirely different set of guiding principles than it had been written to “provide welfare” or provide prosperity.

David Chappell

They don’t. In Common Law, a minor has no standing and has to sue through a “next friend” who is not a minor. Be assured, it’s the parents who are doing this and using their children as emotional blackmail.

TinyCO2

In a way this is not a bad thing. On too many fronts the West is sleep walking into onerous action on AGW without ever debating why or how much. For many it’s an abstract issue. Sure, they’ve watched the movies and can imagine a world of catastrophic weather but they’ve not even started imagining a world without fossil fuels.
Fossil fuel companies have to stop pretending this is going to go away and make it clear to people that it won’t be Exxon et that will reduce CO2 it will be the plaintiffs themselves.
Do American children feel that they’ve had their share of fossil fuelled energy and are prepared to pass their prosperous position on to the children of developing countries? While most of us want to see developing countries succeed, few want to swap places with them.
People need to be aware that much of what they love about their country is based on the energy they use. Factories don’t just burn fossil fuels for fun, they do it to provide products, jobs and taxes.
Without fossil fuels or a viable alternative the US is a third world country.Welcome to the future kids.

Alex

Do 8-19 year olds care about anyone else but themselves?

Take away their I-Pads while explaining to them they are made out of the evil “fossil fuels”,
and good luck with that one.

TinyCO2

These kids are claiming that they care although we might have our doubts. At the moment, they’re little pawns trained up by the adults to only see things one way. Much like the wider public. The message from Obama downwards it that it’s nasty companies that will feel all the pain of CO2 reduction. The turkeys need to know that they’re voting for Christmas.

Hivemind

If they win, turn off their power. Don’t allow motorized equipment of any kind into their neighbourhoods. See how long it takes their neighbours to burn them at the stake.
Not that I’m encouraging their neighbours to burn them at the stake. I’m simply pointing out that not everybody is a useless greenie stooge.

Will they walk to the courtroom? Will the case be heard in mid winter? Will there be heating? Will these children be giving evidence as expert witnesses?

george e. smith

Not so long as they get all of their free stuff !
g

The problem isn’t the kids, it’s the parents. These are future SJW’s in training.

NW sage

The law (civil and otherwise) is a terrible venue to pursue this issue.
1st – How can a minor age 8 and not considered competent – in a legal sense – even be allowed status as a plaintiff?
2nd – How can ANY group now existing, presume to speak to damages which may or may not happen to any or all future generations [beginning 30 years from now]?
3rd – Even IF those damages occur what is their value and who can make that determination EXCEPT those who are damaged?
Too may hypotheticals piled on hypotheticals piled on hypotheticals.
The Law is simply not designed to handle these issues.

emsnews

So, if you get sun burn, you can sue?

Doonman

I agree with the harm premise. Kids are fat and lazy due to fossil fuel use. I can’t find a single one willing to mow my lawn using my push mower and hand edger. My bet is that when they find out they’ll have to walk to school if they win, they’ll drop the suit.

Chris Hanley

There must be something in the water in Oregon.

barryjo

Maybe it was imported from Seattle.

Or Flint, Michigan…

george e. smith

The whole State is in the water. It drizzles incessantly up there.
G

george e. smith

Just wait till those kids sue the government for robbing them and their offspring blind, to keep supplying all the dead beets with free stuff.
g

Donna K. Becker

That’s incorrect. Central and Eastern Oregon are actually quite dry. Average annual precipitation where I live in Bend is a mere 12″, mostly falling as snow. In addition, I’ve noticed that many people here are gifted with common sense and have an anti-government bias. I meet very few who advocate CAGW.

Gloateus Maximus

Donna,
Beat me to it.
Like too many in Eugene, Coffin is from California:
https://law.uoregon.edu/explore/tom-coffin

Donna, (April 11 9:45 am ), The same goes for the whole long stretch between the coastal mountains and the Rockies ( like the Yakima Valley in Washington, the Okanagan Valley in BC Canada, the rain shadow caused by the coast mountains actually classifies these areas as “semi desert”, as weird as it sounds, up here in BC as far as 200 miles north of the US border we get as little as 9 inches of rain/snow annually. ( as far as the CAGW is concerned most of those people seem to live on the coast in the bigger centers like Vancouver.)

Alex

Hansen will support them by opening the windows in the courthouse and turning off the airconditioning. Al Gore will not be invited because of the Gore effect because that would be counter-productive.

RobertBobbert GDQ

Alex,
I say bring it on and get defending counsel to ask of Mr Hansen “… Mr Hansen, have you ever behaved in a deceptive manner while giving evidence or statements to public bodies…in regards opening windows and affecting air conditioning…did you tell the particular body that you had done this at the time you gave your statement…are you a truthful person or did you engage in deception?…Are you telling the truth now Mr Hansen or are you again engaging in deception…
Bring It On.
This was 1988 and Testimony to Congress as reported by Steve Goddard. From Tim Worth.
‘What we did it was went in the night before and opened all the windows, I will admit, right? So that the air conditioning wasn’t working inside the room and so when the hearing occurred there was not only bliss, which is television cameras in double figures, but it was really hot. … So Hansen’s giving this testimony, you’ve got these television cameras back there heating up the room, and the air conditioning in the room didn’t appear to work. So it was sort of a perfect collection of events that happened that day, with the wonderful Jim Hansen, who was wiping his brow at the witness table and giving this remarkable testimony.’
Bring It On. And maybe one of us should sneak into The Court and turn the air con way, way down low but that would be seen as interfering with the Justice System and we would be charged.
Alex and Readers,
I checked a few places before posting just to confirm a few things and found that The Washington Post (surprise surprise) has a March 30 2015 article that tries to dismiss this ‘window and air con story’. ‘Setting the record straight’
However they note…
In the end, Wirth provided a lengthy statement to The Fact Checker in which he conceded he has spread incorrect information:
During this statement Wirth claims he had been misinformed by others about the incident.
“…While I’ve heard that version of events in the past, and repeated it myself, I’ve since learned it didn’t happen. So let’s put those stories to rest…” which I would like to see him try on in a court given that…’What we did was we went in the night before and opened all the windows, I will admit, right?…
So he misinformed himself? He did not tell himself about the action which he claimed he did. He sorta forgot he did it and only repeated the story ‘cos other people told him about It. Who told him it did not happen? Himself? His shadow? A big invisible bunny called Harvey?
And this Whacko is or was a Senator. He was not Chair of this committee but presided over many of its sessions and claims he was involved in a stunt to manipulate the findings of that committee. Under every definition of the word that is deception and it is wilful and worse.
Bring It On!!!!!

charles nelson

Loving this.
Especially looking forward to the phase of the Trial where the Plaintiff and Defendant get to call in their respective experts to help with a definition of the term ‘Climate Change’.

Hivemind

Perhaps you’re forgetting that this is a setup and that there won’t actually be a defence. Just both sides arguing the prosecution case – except that one is pretending to defend.

The suit is against the US government AND the fossil fuel industry. That should mean two sets of lawyers on the defense, each being able to call their own witnesses, present their own evidence, etc. So unless the government forces the oil companies to cave…

TA

I look forward to the defense exposing Hansen’s conspiracy to manipulate the surface temperature record, making the 1930’s cooler that it actually was, so that the record conforms with Hansen’s global warming theory, rather than conforming with reality.
I have copies of his emails where he was conspiring with all these other climate scientist charlatans to distort the temperature record to favor their pet climate change theory. And they did it!
Someone ought to show the kids those emails. See, kids, you picked a liar to represent you. How unfortunate.

Rdcii

This opens up an interesting new set of suits. For instance, someone could sponsor a group of kids to sue the government for the damage that the growing 19 trillion dollar national debt could likely do to their future. It would qualify on the same logic that the damage won’t hurt older folks now, but is likely to hurt the children. Unlike Climate Change, this could actually be something the government could fix…

David A

Indeed, and they could quote the O exactly on this, as in his campaign speech he ranted abut how the Bush deficits were a threat to the Children.

David A

…and in defense of CO2 literally thousands of experiments demonstrate that, sans the addition of human emissions, global food production would drop 15% at a minimum and one billion people would starve. Could these children, threatened with starvation counter sue?

DayHay

I am not sure how local Oregon children, these in particular, merit standing in this case.
Oregon currently is responsible for about 0.68% of the total USA CO2 output.
Not sure how that puts these kids at risk, as this would mean Oregon is statistically unable to affect anything CO2 related.

Patrick

This may well come to play havoc with the ‘believers’ since they cannot show that their models predict either the future or the past and any agreement with the concept bythe courts will spill over into almost everything that can harm us, from trains to cars and much more besides. Hmm I wish I was a lawyer just starting out in practice!

AndyG55

Despite not particularly liking the cold, let’s all hope for the sake of a sane civilisation, that the La Nina and the sleepy sun drop temperatures down to late 1970’s level or lower. !! QUICKLY. !

“Plaintiffs assert that a reduction of global C02 concentrations to less than 350 parts per million is possible, but action must be taken immediately to prevent further ocean acidification and ocean warming Oh dear, all the evils in one sentence – were all doomed!
Key words and phrases from the court document:
carbon dioxide (C02) pollution
crossing the tipping points
already damaging human and natural systems
severe storm surges, floods, hurricanes, droughts, insect infestation, reduced crop yields, increased invasive
vegetation, and fires; ocean acidification damaging sea life; increase in allergies, asthma, cancer, and other diseases…….
I don’t think they have forgotten to include any of the main myths….

indefatigablefrog

Hansen is correct. He proposed that accelerated warming should in theory cause accelerated sea level rise.
I’m willing to accept that if there is an unusual acceleration of warming then we should be witnessing such an effect.
So, why do the coastal gauges that have measured sea level rise over the last century not show this acceleration?
Why has the sea not risen over the roadway outside of Hansen’s office?
Why has nothing happened?
For people living in the real world, there should be a demand that the prophecy is fulfilled or that the prophet is denounced.
Where is the acceleration of sea level rise that we have been so long promised?
Almost every sea level gauge graph shows a perfect straight line trend,
at the same rate as the 1930’s?
And if variations can be discerned then they are barely outside of the margin of error or statistical significance.
I’ll believe in this predicted rate change when it can be discerned from reliable long term records. Not when it can be summoned from the bowels of a computer model.
Or when it can be faked, tweaked, adjusted into existence.
The alarmist prognosticators of yesteryear need to be held to account, before they and their imitators destroy the real wealth and freedoms that have been so hard won:
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2015/07/26/dr-james-hansens-recent-alarm-of-catastrophic-co2-driven-sea-level-rise-looks-to-just-be-spurious-correlation-in-his-own-mind/

TonyL

A Federal judge on Oregon has ruled. Next stop, federal appeals court. In this case, the notorious 9th circuit, the most overturned court in the country. Famous for it’s ultra-liberal rulings, it has the moniker of the “Wicky-Wacky 9th”. The 9th is sure to uphold. Now off to the Supreme Court, where the 9th will be upheld on a purely ideological 4-4 split.
The Federal Govt. now has a vast new mandate and the obligation to acquire such vast new powers as needed to discharge that mandate. Not Good.
There is one piece of the picture still missing, but first, let us recap:
* The EPA declares CO2 to be a dangerous pollutant via the endangerment finding. From this point on, the Govt. acts as if CAGW is a fully proven fact, beyond any litigation.
* The AGs of 16 states (+ USVI) declare their intention to act against anybody who disputes the fact of CAGW.
They deliberately invoke the RICO statutes to criminalize opposition to CAGW.
So what is left?
Civil Asset Forfeiture. The Govt. can seize assets whenever it asserts that those assets are the result of, or involved in any illegal activity. No charges need to be filed, nothing needs to be proven.
Any person or entity speaking out against CAGW will find themselves stripped of all financial assets, and all property, all of it. The way things have been going, that person can expect a follow-on audit by the IRS. Without the means to defend themselves, they are criminally convicted and are sent to prison. All nice and legal.
Bonus:

This is especially true when such harms have an alleged disparate impact on a discrete class of society.

If all else fails, the Govt. can use their favorite catch-all justification, “disparate impact”, to derail any and all appeals.
Extra:
Very recently, President Obama reassured his audience, “Donald Trump will not succeed me”. He obviously knows things the rest of us do not.
WUWT Survey Question: Will there be a US presidential election next November?

How about Austin Petersen (L)?
http://austinpetersen2016.com

TA

Yes, there will be an election.

empiresentry

Feeling like I am back in Argentina….during the really bad times.
Has someone identified how the people of Venezuela so easily fell for the propaganda?
At what point they realized their dismal situation was not because of evil rich people or foreign greedy corporations but because of the Gov Elites?
Providing facts to Climate-strapharians does not work. They have bought into the mass group think found in concert halls with large numbers of people …or like a football game.
The only awakenings I have seen are those few cases when they realize they are lied to on a specific line items and only if they bother to take a closer look at all other lies.

janus100

it really does not look good right now.
Guys please vote wisely!!!
(Not like us here in Canada)

When the entire scam falls flat and the next (little or big?) ice age hits, we can use it as precedent to sue the whole measly gang of them.

Gentle Tramp

Quite amusing how fitting the family names of some people in the US judicial system are:
– Ms. Loretta Lynch wants to lynch the fundamental rights of free speech and open science.
– Mr. Thomas Coffin wants to bury the prosperity of the US economy and the rigth of the US flora for an improved supply of the scarce and water-saving plant-food CO2 in a first-class “judicial coffin”.
Anybody else… ? 🙂

Gentle Tramp

Sorry dear plants – a typo slipped: it should be “the right of the US flora” of course… 😉

cedarhill

How can anyone be surprised?
It’s the evolved strategy used by the left.
First, attempt to win a political victory. Failing politically, try an administrative procedure. Failing administratively, move on to the judiciary process, which includes an endless series of court cases.
The courts have been the literal gold mine of the left which is why they put so much effort in stuffing the courts, especially the Federal Courts, with ‘progressive’ activist judges.
They have a long and varied history of winning. One of their prominent successes is homosexual marriage. Every state which held a state wide vote prior to court actions resulted in overwhelming ratification of thousands of year history traditional marriage. Regardless of one’s view on marriage, the recent history is hardly one of democracy.
Previously, the left, for reasons of controlling the voting laws of states, have conducted a national campaign to elect Secretary of States and Attorneys General as a reaction to the 2000 Gore v Bush Florida court battle. Now they’re using them in the courts to promote the climate agenda, starting with Exxon.
One should recognize how overwhelmingly successful this strategy has been in the US, and will likely to be in the future. Even if the left loses political campaigns, including a complete loss of the Federal elected officials (President, Senate, House), the courts will insure the gains remain and are even extended.
The Oregon case, regardless of outcome, is merely one data point in the court’s campaign, which the left will ultimately win.
James Dellingpole described why here: http://www.breitbart.com/big-government/2016/04/09/conservatives-will-always-lose-climate-change/
The case, such as it is, is theatrical but, after all, it is in the Ninth Circuit and it is in Oregon. If the right had the organization of the left, they would immediately sue, in the same court, using the same arguments the Magistrate accepted, to sue the Government, and the environmental organizations, including the celebrities of global warming theatrics.
They have done actual and measurable damage – just compare your electric bill today to your bill in 2009 under the Obama Administration.
Regardless, the left will win their court cases, it’s just a matter of which one will win, given the way the judiciary has been gamed. Consider it will only take five people to decide for 330 million that sex is simply a declarative choice — much less that CO2 is somehow a pollutant.

Cedarhill,
You are exactly right. Excellent analysis.

alx

Well I guess it is time to sue those kids for their direct involvement in refusing to stop spewing CO2 into the air. Yes kids turn in your cell phones, cancel cable TV and go out back and start chopping wood, your time has come.
It would be intersting to see 320 million Americans suing each other over being blatant carbon polluters.
Ridiculous? Sure but allowing this lawsuit to proceed is just as ridiculous.
What is even more ridiculous and many times more dangerous is the state attorney generals crusade against CEI. They might as well take free speech and flush it down the toilet, save them the trouble of trying to muzzle CEI with vague accusations and frivolous subpoenas.

riparianinc

First, this is only a magistrate, not a district court judge. He has actually only made a recommendation to a judge. Second, every other case like this one has been dismissed. Next, not even the 9th Cir allowed Native Village of Kivalina v. Exxon Mobil Corp. to go forward, and SCOTUS denied cert in 2013. “AEP extinguished Kivalina’s federal common law public nuisance damage action, along with the federal common law public nuisance abatement actions.” Kivalina, 696 F.3d at 857 (9th Cir. 2012).
Finally, I’m not so sure going to trial would be a bad thing. If I were defending oil and/or the feds, I’d not only counter claim against the plaintiffs – – for using oil energy and petro-based products – – but I’d also third-party every person on Earth for using oil energy and petro-based products. Get out the popcorn . . . .

Donna K. Becker

In that third-party action, include a cause of action for exhaling CO2….

Dodgy Geezer

….However, it is probably worth considering the horrifying possibilities if the plaintiffs win their case…
I really don’t see this as an issue. This case is NOT about climate change.
It is a technical case about whether someone has the right to put a case to a court that the government is breaking the American Constitution. Given the important position of their constitution in American affairs, I should think that the presumption should be that people have a right to challenge the constitutionality of government action in most circumstances, and should only be prevented when the challenge is obviously pointless.
In this case, the charge that future generations may be damaged is not pointless. Most readers of this blog will immediately point out that it is wrong, and unsupported by evidence. This may well be true – but that is not the issue. This case does not concern itself with whether the charge is true or not – only with whether the charge is a coherent one that can be addressed..

hunter

You are missing the point: The climate obsessed are in the process of eating an elephant.

Barbara

Beginning of the self-destruction of the USA!

FTOP

Shouldn’t this judge slap an immediate injunction on all CO2 enrichment activities in horticulture?
While CO2 is a byproduct of fossil fuels and and other industries, these maniacal growers are purposely increasing the concentration of this deadly pollutant. /sarc

Paul

Any ruling in favour could be turned around on the appellants. Everyone exhales about one kilogram of carbon dioxide daily, so they should contribute to the solution by not breathing out! Problem solved!

It is certainly everyone’s right to have their own beliefs and opinions about the future, and to attempt to convert others to their point of view. What is pernicious here is the claim that fears about the future are a fact, proven by scientific analysis. It is like making belief in Seventh Day Adventism the law of the land.
I agree with riparianinc. Perhaps it is high time to put the premise of global warming to the test. Here are some thoughts on protocols that could be applied:
https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2016/03/07/claim-fossil-fuels-cause-global-warming/

Marcus

..Will Hansen be taking the stand to explain all his failed dire predictions of the past ???

TA

Or his fraudulent temperature reconstruction?

GTL

Interesting thought. Will any of the CAGW theorists be willing to testify under oath and under penalty of perjury?

GTL

Unlike a congressional hearing, in court they would be subject to aggressive cross examination by a hopefully knowledgeable attorney without the aid of a friendly politician to interfere on their behalf.

Coach Springer

The further adventures of lawfare.

Harry Passfield

When I was a kid I was always told never to leave home without wearing a pair of clean underpants (briefs, to some here). When I asked why I was told it was in case I fell under a bus: how would I feel knowing the medical staff saw me in soiled underwear.
It then follows that I have a fear of falling under a bus, so I want to prosecute Transport for London for continually promoting the use of double-decker buses – which they must know are deadly, if not to my generation, then to the ones to come. I might even get the courts to include in the case the manufacturers of clean underwear as they obviously had a stake in the endangerment.

empiresentry

That is a good basis in argument compared to Klinton Inc wanting to sue gun manufactures.

If advocates for the green blob stay in control of the US presidency, this could be a “sue and settle” circus, which the EPA and the rest of the Feds are notorious for. BTW– I had heard the description as the “Ninth Circus”.

chris moffatt

This scam has “sue and settle” printed all over it. The issue that should have arisen is whether these ‘children’ have standing to sue – not being able to prove that they have been damaged in any way by CO2 and all.

Child abuse.

Perhaps this lawsuit can force a public peer review of EPA’s secret CO2 Endangerment Finding.

ferdberple

So if Obama believes CO2 is the greatest threat facing the US, why not declare war on CO2 and make it illegal to emit CO2. Anyone found to be doing so to be jailed until such time as they are no longer emitting CO2.
That is very much where the US government CO2 policies are heading. They problem is that people are fighting them, so that only the big producers are targets. But eventually, as the big producers come under government control, the little producers will be the next targets. And so on down the line, until everyone in the country has a CO2 mandate controlling every action.
It sounds like exaggeration today, but this is what is happening with water rights in the US under EPA regulations. CO2 will surely follow the same pattern. Eventually every fart will come under EPA GHG regulations for methane emissions. Eat beans, go to jail.

empiresentry

Eat beans – go to jail
Turn over and mix the leaves and debris in your recycle bin – go to jail.
Since Puerto Rico is about to go no electric- no power, California, NYC, northern Virginia and DC should do the same.

jaypan

Again suggesting that fossil fuel and energy industry stop delivering their products for a month or so, in order to “minimize negative impact on human life”, symbolically.
And not resume working before their contribution to human wellbeing is acknowledged properly.

Michael C. Roberts

Ayn Rand wrote a novel along these same lines in the 1950’s, if I am not mistaken….

GTL

Atlas Shrugged, actually about the government stealing individual innovation and productivity in the interest of “fairness”.
Who id John Galt?

GTL

Who is John Galt?

mrmethane

A case involving science to be ultimately decided by an elected or politically appointed judge with an Arts degree. Just wonderful. “Judge – you hold the fate of your grandchildren in your hands!”.

Just the latest attempt to implement a world-wide carbon tax to fund the lifestyles of the global elites. Al Gore is giggling with delight.

Dave_G

Has there ever been a climate lawsuit that has been taken to completion? My understanding of such legal quests is that the activists make every effort to AVOID such action for fear of ‘discovery’ throwing ALL such climate claims into disrepute.
If this is settled out of court – quite likely – it will be yet another indication that TPTB are more interested in hiding from disclosure than ever and, at the same time, enriching a few whose ’cause’ works to the activists advantage. Claims settled ‘out of court’ tend to be believed by the public to be evidence that the claim had ‘proof’ behind it. No smoke without fire etc. I mean, why else would anyone part with substantial out-of-court settlement payments ?

hunter

Yes there has been a case taken to successful completion: The phonied up case that the USSC heard and ruled in favor of CO2 being a pollutant the EPA can regulate at whim.

Catcracking

SAD

Bruce Cobb

Imagine if the children from the future could travel back in time and sue for the $trillions wasted on the Biggest Lie in history – that our CO2 is “endangering the planet”, thus lowering living standards for generations.
They’d clean up.

Gamecock

Should the little kiddies win, the court has no jurisdiction over Congress.
Unless they want to pull an Obama and declare, “Congress hasn’t acted, so we are going to take over the economy.”

GTL

It that kind of abuse, or a President unilaterally declaring law, that the framers of the Constitution gave rise to the second amendment.

Johann Wundersamer

Federal court Justice Thomas Coffin has ruled that
he does’nt know his place.

Kevin Kilty

A judge in Eugene–which means they found a friendly court on another planet.
Seriously 40 years ago NAS was studying the possibility of global cooling; so, global warming was not an established fact then, or before. Since that time we have collected and corrected some data suggesting a warming planet, but no idea how much nor whether it is beneficial or harmful. Look, the elimination of fossil fuels will almost undoubtedly make these children’s future bleak.

Patrick J. Moran

As a lawyer, this ruling is embarassing. This retired federal magistrate has moved well into the Twilight Zone.