Thwack! Federal Judge Deals Major Blow to Gore and #ExxonKnew Crusaders

by Spencer Walrath

A federal judge in Boston dealt a major blow yesterday to environmental activist groups seeking to sue fossil fuel companies for supposedly ignoring the risks of climate change. The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) had sued ExxonMobil for allegedly failing to sufficiently prepare a facility in Everett, Mass., for the effects of climate change, including sea level rise and more frequent and severe storms. CLF is yet another Rockefeller bankrolled organization that is closely tied in with the #ExxonKnew campaign.

U.S. District Court Judge Mark Wolf allowed ExxonMobil’s motion to dismiss to proceed, in part. Wolf repeatedly suggested that CLF was unnecessarily injecting climate change into its complaint, to the detriment of the group’s own argument. As Wolf saw it, the case is about whether ExxonMobil has violated the terms of its permit from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and he thus ordered CLF to refile its complaint with the references to climate change removed.

Wolf made clear that in order for CLF’s claims to stand, the organization needed to show that ExxonMobil had either caused harm to the plaintiffs or that harm was “imminent.” The CLF complaint was filled with references to the projected effects of climate change by 2050 or 2100, which the judge said didn’t qualify as imminent. He suggested that if the plaintiffs were concerned about the effects of climate change on the facility in 2050, they should refile their case in 2045.

Sensing that the judge wasn’t going to let them sue ExxonMobil based on climate change, CLF’s lawyers shifted gears early on in the hearing and scrambled to portray their case in a way that didn’t rest on climate change, and was instead about supposed violations of an EPA permit. This change in tactics made clear that CLF – as is always the case with the #ExxonKnew coalitions – isn’t suing ExxonMobil because of climate change. Instead, CLF and others are suing ExxonMobil because it’s ExxonMobil; they will say and do whatever it takes to notch a win against the industry.

The same could be said of New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, who has changed the focus of his own ExxonMobil investigation at least three times, shifting from what ExxonMobil knew about climate change, to what it predicted, to what it supposedly failed to predict. Schneiderman, CLF, and the rest of the #ExxonKnew campaigners are all working backward from their assumption that ExxonMobil must be guilty of something – they have the verdict, now they just need the evidence.

Curiously, every time their core arguments are disproven, they change the narrative and pretend the case is still valid. After reading through millions of pages of internal company documents and pursuing every avenue available to them, Schneiderman and others still have not been able to find any evidence of wrongdoing or fraud.

Meanwhile, the about-face by CLF in the hearing prompted one of ExxonMobil’s lawyers to remark that “something extraordinary happened here today.” Even Judge Wolf commented that CLF’s argument was “evolving” and “shrinking” to a point where it was no longer about climate change, even though climate change was the focus of the organization’s complaint.

Indeed, CLF has repeatedly made clear over the past year and a half that its case was always primarily about climate change. The group’s press release announcing its intent to sue was titled “CLF Sues ExxonMobil Over Decades-Long Climate Deceit.” CLF’s 70-page complaint mentions “climate change” 95 times – more often than it mentions “pollution” or the Clean Water Act.

By mid-afternoon, the judge had made clear that he didn’t want this to become “the Scopes Monkey Trial of the 21st Century” and expressed umbrage at the media attention the case had received. Once it became clear he wasn’t going to allow the case to proceed with the climate change arguments intact, several people supporting CLF left the courtroom.

The organization faces an uphill battle as it amends its complaint to focus on alleged harm to its members, be it current or six decades from now. CLF’s lawyer breezed through most of his points, seemingly realizing as he tried to explain them to the judge that CLF’s accusations were ridiculous and predicated on hypothetical impacts in the future, rather than imminent harm.

It’s worth remembering that CLF is an active participant in the #ExxonKnew campaign. Last year CLF received $250,000 from the Rockefeller Family Fund, one of the groups bankrolling the #ExxonKnew effort. CLF president Bradley Campbell attended a secret meeting with other #ExxonKnew activists at the offices of the Rockefeller Family Fund in January 2016 to hash out a plan to, among other things, “establish in public’s mind that Exxon is a corrupt institution that has pushed humanity (and all creation) toward climate chaos and grave harm.”

That group discussed potential legal actions they could take against ExxonMobil, including working with state attorneys general (they did), the DOJ (they tried), and torts (CLF announced its intent to sue shortly after the meeting). They continued:

“Which of these has the best prospects for successful action? For getting discovery? For creating scandal? Shortest timeline? Do we know which offices may already be considering action and how we can best engage to convince them to proceed?” (emphasis added)

Consistent with its campaign, CLF focused on the priorities outlined in this memo at the hearing yesterday. The group’s lawyers made sure to request that any potential future discovery allow for the inclusion of documents relating to climate change. They also pushed back on the judge’s suggestion that they take up their complaint with EPA, retorting that litigation would move faster, though the judge was skeptical of that claim.

Campbell, with CLF, also has a questionable history with ExxonMobil, having led an “over-aggressive and flawed…crusade” against the company in 2002. As Energy In Depth explained last year:

“In the case of Exxon, Mr. Campbell enlisted a firm out of Boulder, Colo. called Stratus Consulting to handle much of that work, and boy did it deliver. Stratus consultants never actually visited the sites in question, but based on their desktop research concluded Exxon should pay Mr. Campbell’s office a penalty of about $8.9 billion — for spills Stratus conceded it could neither identify nor date. “

Stratus Consulting is perhaps best known for its role in the fraudulent accusations against Chevron in Ecuador. The firm admitted it knew about attorney misconduct and that pollution claims made against Chevron had no scientific merit.

Undeterred, Campbell’s group repeated its flawed legal tactics in the courtroom yesterday, accusing ExxonMobil of committing hundreds of violations of the Clean Water Act at its Everett facility, a claim ExxonMobil’s lawyers explained was factually inaccurate. CLF even hired the same contingency-fee lawyer they used in 2002, Allan Kanner, to argue the case in court yesterday.

The media has largely portrayed this as a first-of-its-kind case against companies who supposedly have failed to adequately prepare for the effects of climate change, but in the end this judge narrowed the scope of the case so much that it’s likely to slip quietly into obscurity.

Full story:

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September 13, 2017 12:52 pm

“ExxonMobil must be guilty of something – they have the verdict, now they just need the evidence.”
No, they have the verdict, now they just need the charge !

Reply to  Greg
September 13, 2017 1:44 pm

Why am I reminded of a scene in the final episode of the classic 1960 British TV show “The Prisoner,” where the judge shrieks “Guilty!!! Read the charge!”

Nigel S
Reply to  Severian
September 13, 2017 1:59 pm

‘No, no!’ said the Queen. ‘Sentence first—verdict afterwards.’
‘Stuff and nonsense!’ said Alice loudly. ‘The idea of having the sentence first!’
‘Hold your tongue!’ said the Queen, turning purple.
‘I won’t!’ said Alice.
Off with her head!’ the Queen shouted at the top of her voice. Nobody moved.
‘Who cares for you?’ said Alice, (she had grown to her full size by this time.) ‘You’re nothing but a pack of cards!’

The Reverend Badger
Reply to  Severian
September 13, 2017 4:51 pm

Rover was a weather balloon so it all fits!

Reply to  Severian
September 13, 2017 7:21 pm

F’n liberal judge. Shoulda told them to file in 2099.

Michael 2
Reply to  Severian
September 14, 2017 11:26 am

“The Prisoner” is one of my all-time favorites. I never did quite “get it” but that was doubtless part of its charm. The remake wasn’t nearly as sinister or just plain weird.

Reply to  Greg
September 13, 2017 11:04 pm

It’s simply about shaking Exxon down for big bucks. Always has been.

Reply to  Wally
September 14, 2017 5:33 am

This ^^^^^^^

Caligula Jones
Reply to  Greg
September 14, 2017 11:22 am

“harm was “imminent”
Good luck with that one…

September 13, 2017 12:55 pm

Truly an inconvenient truth. The Goracle failed to prophesy this future, too.

September 13, 2017 12:56 pm

Reverse the course against these misguided social crusaders. Exxon should counter sue to recover court costs and attorney fees.

Reply to  rocketscientist
September 13, 2017 1:14 pm

And keep counter suing. Every time a nuisance suit is brought against it. By letting these groups get away with this, or simply settling because it is cheaper, it only emboldens them.

Reply to  pstevens2
September 13, 2017 2:08 pm

and use bots to allow the rest of us to join in as class action participants!

Reply to  pstevens2
September 14, 2017 9:46 pm

You have to remember that these are shell organisations created to sue Exxon. They have no assets, nor income except from activists. Exxon can’t sue them, because they could recover no money.

Reply to  rocketscientist
September 13, 2017 1:59 pm

+1 Until the litigators are confronted and forced to pay for their actions the nuisance lawsuits will continue. Even Rockefeller and Soros have limits to how much they are willing to pay but the greatest victory will be the damage to their names.

Reply to  markl
September 13, 2017 3:24 pm

Nota bene: This is not a Rockefeller thing; it’s the Rockefeller Foundation, which, as stated below, has been taken over by Leftists, as has happened to many other foundations.

Rebel with a cause
Reply to  markl
September 14, 2017 7:22 am

Jorge, David Rockefeller was the head of the Rockefeller Foundation until his death earlier this year. He was a founding member of the Club of Rome and an avowed leftist. His foundation carries on after his death – so yes this is a Rockefeller thing.

Andy pattullo
September 13, 2017 12:59 pm

One would hope there would be charges and penalties for any and all who abuse the court system with intent to harm a commercial entity that has only been doing business according to the rules of the land. This smacks of a conspiracy to harm Exxon financially and by reputation. It seems the suit should be on the other foot to put it a bit awkwardly.

Reply to  Andy pattullo
September 13, 2017 1:56 pm

Be careful what you hope for. While these particular suits are obviously tenuous at best (IMO, prima facie bogus) limiting the ability to bring suit in the US courts would undermine a cornerstone of our jurisprudence system.
The ability to counter sue to recover costs exists. Exxon, so far, has demonstrated unwarranted restraint against these frivolous suits. Given the recent judges ruling, it appears as though he has opened the door for Exxon to retaliate.
Let’s not throw the baby out with the bath water.

Reply to  rocketscientist
September 13, 2017 7:45 pm

Exxon has very deep pockets, and by counter suing they can make these far-left organizations burn through a lot of money by being on the defensive, making them think twice before bringing frivolous suits.

sy computing
Reply to  rocketscientist
September 13, 2017 8:44 pm

“Exxon has very deep pockets, and by counter suing they can make these far-left organizations burn through a lot of money by being on the defensive, making them think twice before bringing frivolous suits.”
While we all might love to see some retribution, in the final analysis, ExxonMobil is a commercial enterprise with obligations to stockholders, not to mention a desire to maintain a certain public image.
They’re not in the business of fighting causes. They’re in the energy business. All they want people to do is leave them alone to do what they do best.
Nor should anyone blame them for it.

Reply to  rocketscientist
September 13, 2017 10:10 pm

Besides which it would be pointless unless they could sue the backers directly because of their donations to an otherwise worthless shell-entity. I imagine there is very little chance of recovering any finances…. Which would have to be something like #RockerfellerKnew, which I think would be even harder to prove unless you taped the meeting back in 2016?

September 13, 2017 1:00 pm

I am grossly disappointed that the Trump administration has not filed either a RICO or KKK Act case against the state Attorneys General and their NGO collaborators in this series of cases.

September 13, 2017 1:00 pm

“establish in the public’s mind”
There’s a lot of that sort of thing going on…

September 13, 2017 1:13 pm

It would appear that these climate alarmist were expecting a get a “socially responsible ” judge who would ignore inconvenient obstacles like the law.

michael hart
September 13, 2017 1:13 pm

Yeah, I’m not a lawyer either.
How usual is for a Judge to give so much coaching? It is one thing for a Judge to help plaintiffs see how they are about to fail badly, if it saves the court time. But it is another thing entirely, IMO, if it might be construed as giving them advice about how an appeal might work.
So they ignored the Judge’s advice? No surprise there, batman. But green activists ought to pay for their arrogance on their own dime, not be given a free ride on frivolous claims while wasting the scant resources of public courts who have more important issues to deal with.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  michael hart
September 13, 2017 1:28 pm

But it is another thing entirely, IMO, if it might be construed as giving them advice about how an appeal might work.

I’m going to guess that the judge, who will take any amount of flack for putting a wrench in any part of this endeavor, is trying to guide the upper courts, if this goes that far, as to the reasons for his ruling so as to make it less likely said upper court, if of a more liberal persuasion, will overturn him.

Reply to  D. J. Hawkins
September 13, 2017 5:20 pm

You may call it coaching, but I think the Judge’s point that in order to argue “imminent damages”, they needed to come back in 2045, was one of the most drily funny comments I’ve seen from a Federal Court in quite a while.

D P Laurable
Reply to  michael hart
September 13, 2017 5:32 pm

I am a lawyer. I don’t see anything wrong with the judge saying go back and try again. Pretty common stuff.

Jean Paul Zodeaux
Reply to  michael hart
September 14, 2017 7:02 pm

“How usual is for a Judge to give so much coaching?”
I don’t know if it so much coaching as it is dicta. A judge discussing the reasoning behind his ruling.

Tom Judd
September 13, 2017 1:20 pm

I’m suing Al Gore. We all know of the Gore effect. I will produce irrefutable evidence (since it sorta can’t be disproven) that my gravesite, starting in the year 2050, will be completely obscured for centuries by excessive snowfall caused by the well known ‘Gore effect’.
Since my gravesite will be covered by an impenetrable layer of snow, potentially thousands of feet thick, I won’t be able to rise from the dead at the appropriate time. My lawsuit will contain a ‘cease and desist’ provision requiring that Mr. Gore immediately stop traveling around warning the world of an equally impossible to refute danger of AGW. My attorneys and myself (same thing) argue that these travels, through impossible to refute correlations, are contributing to the creation of an ice age that will delay the reward of transcendent peace, harmony, and continuous s•e•xual release for eternity that I, and so many others, justly deserve.
Those who wish to join me in this lawsuit are more than welcome to sign on and be comfortable in the knowledge that my lawsuit is of no less gravity than the lawsuit these AGs have pursued.

john harmsworth
Reply to  Tom Judd
September 14, 2017 8:46 am

Good call! He’s got all the money. Take his private jet and save the planet from “The blob that flies”!

September 13, 2017 1:21 pm

Like all fossil fuel companies they are guilty of being filthy capitalist pigs; creating wealth, eliminating poverty/ill health/discomfort/starvation/ disease. Absolutely heinous.

Reply to  MrGrimNasty
September 13, 2017 1:50 pm

And shame on electricity companies that provide electricity for proper refrigeration and proper cooking where no other heat source is easily and cheaply available, saving people’s lives from improperly stored and cooked foods.

Reply to  Davies
September 13, 2017 7:52 pm

Perhaps the leftists would rather cook over cow-dung stoves in primitive huts. They don’t need refrigeration because they just walk around until they find something dead to bring back to their hut to cook.

September 13, 2017 1:21 pm
September 13, 2017 1:27 pm

Well done, Judge Wolf, thank you.

Nigel S
Reply to  John
September 13, 2017 2:03 pm

‘Cause Obie came to the realization that it was a typical case of American
Blind justice, and there wasn’t nothing he could do about it, and the
Judge wasn’t going to look at the twenty seven eight-by-ten colour glossy
Pictures with the circles and arrows and a paragraph on the back of each
One explaining what each one was to be used as evidence against us. And
We was fined $50 and had to pick up the garbage in the snow, but that’s not
What I came to tell you about.

Reply to  Nigel S
September 13, 2017 5:32 pm

Kinda sounds like “Alice’s Restaurant”.
Find the music and enjoy!

Angus Harris
Reply to  Nigel S
September 14, 2017 12:59 am

I’d just finished listening to that when I read your comment!

Reply to  Nigel S
September 14, 2017 3:58 am

++++++++ 😉 onya!!!

September 13, 2017 1:31 pm

Does anyone besides me see any irony that the Rockefeller Foundation forks over money to a dimwitted but quite greedy bunch of scavengers suing a major oil corporation?
No? You don’t? Strange. John D. Rockefeller founded Standard Oil Corporation, which eventually became Amoco, which is now owned by BP.
I guess the Rockefellers have nothing better to do with their cash than cough it up for nonsense like this. I do hope that some day, they find themselves wishing they had enough money to buy a loaf of bread and some peanut butter, because da stupid with these people truly annoys me.

Reply to  Sara
September 13, 2017 1:35 pm

kinda like kicking the golden goose in the a$$ after you took its golden egg

Reply to  Sara
September 13, 2017 2:04 pm

I have always wondered how all the successful Capitalists….. and there are many …. end up bankrolling Socialist/Marxist/Environmental organizations. Guilt? Promise of everlasting fame? What draws them?

Michael Jankowski
Reply to  markl
September 13, 2017 2:08 pm

Give, say, or do just enough to appease the masses and earn a free pass.

Reply to  markl
September 13, 2017 2:23 pm

“successful Capitalists” don’t exist any more at these foundations. They were quietly taken over by the Socialist/Marxist that have the opposite agenda than the Foundation founders. However, I believe they could be prime candidates for some federal RICO investigations…

Reply to  markl
September 13, 2017 3:01 pm

Why are the capitalists on board? Because the big banks stand to make billions off of carbon trading, so long as the scheme is alive and well.

Reply to  markl
September 13, 2017 3:45 pm

“What draws them?”
In a word, I think, elitism; The belief/position that the common folk are ill equipped to make judgments about truly important matters.
It’s not that they actually want socialism/communism for real, it’s the “controlled society” aspect they are attracted to (and they expect just what we expect to unfold once that power is in the hands of a few).
The option of openly announcing one is against rule by consent of the governed, is not (yet) acceptable in a political sense in the “West”, so “useful idiots” are recruited via the proven rhetorical devices of socialism/communism. Once the consent of the governed aspect is subdued/defamed sufficiently (in the minds of the military/police forces), then comes the rule by a few elites that has been pretty much standard operating procedure on this planet all along, and still is in most places . .

Michael Keal
Reply to  markl
September 14, 2017 12:59 am

JohnKnight that’s the best summing up of the state of the world and of mankind I’ve read for a long time. I call it the natural order of man or if you like, feudalism. Although I suspect that the basic tenets of democracy, where we serfs have some say in the running of things, has in some small measure been around for a long time it seems to me that it generally only persists when the numbers are few or through some special arrangement, such as the US constitution or the Magna Carta.
Robin hood and his merry men, big Al and the global warming gang, or the greens, communists, socialists, Marxists (the list is long), those who think they are cleverer than us because they have discovered that it is far easier to take stuff than to make stuff will always be there snapping at our heals as we walk on the tightrope we call democracy …

Reply to  Sara
September 13, 2017 2:32 pm

Rich guilt.

Brett Keane
Reply to  Hawkward
September 13, 2017 3:24 pm

“Clogs to clogs” in three generations, as they say in Yorkshire. Well-proven by the Astors. The perils of great wealth, but also how things balance……

Reply to  Sara
September 13, 2017 2:38 pm

Standard Oil – SO – became about five – IIRC – Majors – Amoco, Esso – Exxon – Gulf – Mobil – and Chevron.
Years ago – but an early trust-busting move.

Reply to  Auto
September 13, 2017 5:12 pm

True. I didn’t dig up all the details, just the fact that it changed.
Some place, in a box of books, I have a book by William Beebe about his time in Venezuela exploring the Amazon basin for Standard oil. I have to find that. There’s more to it than just trust busting. Standard Oil turned control of Middle Eastern oil over to the Saudis, and look at what followed.

Reply to  Sara
September 13, 2017 4:14 pm

Exxon traces its roots to Rockefeller’s Standard Oil Company. The government broke up SOC into 34 smaller oil companies.
Standard Oil Company of New Jersey became Exxon. Standard Oil Company of New York became Mobil. Then they merged into ExxonMobil.
Amoco was Standard Oil Company of Indiana, Sohio was Standard Oil Company of Ohio. BP acquired both of these companies.
Standard Oil Company of California became Chevron.

George Daddis
Reply to  Sara
September 13, 2017 6:27 pm

I’m pretty sure the connection is more direct; Standard Oil begat Eastern Standard Oil ==> ESSO renamed EXXON. (Someone correct me if I’m wrong.)

George Daddis
Reply to  George Daddis
September 13, 2017 6:29 pm

Ooops; David beat me to it!

Reply to  George Daddis
September 13, 2017 6:45 pm

Yep. Standard Oil Company of New Jersey (AKA Eastern States Standard Oil, ESSO) was reoganized into Exxon. Back in the 1960’s the gas stations in the north were Esso and Enco in the south.
The names evolved. Mobil was once known as SOCONY and then SOCONY Mobil. Amoco was once known as Stanolind.
The family tree of the oil industry is even more fascinating than that of the airline industry.

Reply to  Sara
September 13, 2017 6:37 pm

Actually, both Exxon and Mobil came out of the Standard Oil breakup, so the Rockefeller Foundation is suing companies that its original benefactor created.

Reply to  Sara
September 13, 2017 7:26 pm

Standard OIl begat many majors that existed into the 1980s and 1990s, as well as Exxon/Mobil.

Mr Bliss
Reply to  Sara
September 13, 2017 7:59 pm

I don’t think they got over selling what become one of the most successful and richest companies in the world

Jean Paul Zodeaux
Reply to  Sara
September 14, 2017 7:04 pm

“Does anyone besides me see any irony that the Rockefeller Foundation forks over money to a dimwitted but quite greedy bunch of scavengers suing a major oil corporation?”
Ayn Rand sort of predicted this sort of thing in Atlas Shrugged and certainly saw the irony in it.

Michael Jankowski
September 13, 2017 2:02 pm

“…He suggested that if the plaintiffs were concerned about the effects of climate change on the facility in 2050, they should refile their case in 2045…”

Reply to  Michael Jankowski
September 13, 2017 2:13 pm

Hopefully, science process and rational science policy returns by 2045.

Tom Judd
Reply to  Resourceguy
September 13, 2017 2:56 pm

I believe James Hansen’s artificially hot room testimony to Congress was in 1989 – 28 years ago. Twenty eight years from now will be?…2045!
Have faith though. Just as 28 years haven’t presented a clue as to whether CAGW actually exists I suspect an additional 28 years of research won’t have yielded anything either. With a little luck, in the meantime, an ascendant populism and nationalism will have yielded a political class more amenable to the middle class than it currently is to elitism, and the occults the elites worship.

September 13, 2017 2:05 pm

The Conservation Law Foundation (CLF) should be sued for wasting everybody’s time over a trivial claim.
Then they should be sued again for changing narratives, which seems to me to indicate that their first narrative was a lie, and that they were negligent in knowing that it would be a lie, and so they should be sued for fraud.
Then they should be sued for slandering a company largely responsible for powering civilization.
Then they should be sued for instigating fake news on a mass scale to deceive the public, which would be a form of consumer fraud, by leading people away from fossil fuel products and services to green products and services under false pretenses that they reasonably should have known were false pretenses.

September 13, 2017 2:06 pm

The whole episode was good for some PR time and other media coverage. Other than that it has the appearance of a mentally unstable defendant being allowed to represent themselves in court, with feeble tactics and tenuous procedural competence.

September 13, 2017 2:09 pm

Sounds like we’re most of the way there. All that remains is for a judge to give these fraudsters the kind of smackdown that Prenda Law got, including prosecuting plaintiffs for fraud on the court and disbarring the attorneys who led them down this path. Starting with Schneiderman, who certainly knew the whole case was a First Amendment violation from the word go.

September 13, 2017 2:10 pm

It’s sad to see the judiciary being used this way. I guess a lot of judges have to sit through pathetic exercises that mock their time, experience, and education.

September 13, 2017 2:16 pm

“Instead, CLF and others are suing ExxonMobil because it’s ExxonMobil …”
To borrow from the famous bank robber, they’re suing ExxonMobil because that is where the money is.

Bruce Cobb
September 13, 2017 2:25 pm

This is not your ordinary run-of-the-mill witch hunt. It’s a witch hunt on steroids, and snorting coke, high on meth.

Jean Paul Zodeaux
Reply to  Bruce Cobb
September 14, 2017 7:08 pm

“This is not your ordinary run-of-the-mill witch hunt. It’s a witch hunt on steroids, and snorting coke, high on meth.”
I can appreciate your sentiment, but women and some men were actually burned at the stake, hung, drawn and quartered and other types of painful executions during the witch hunts. Frivolous law suits hardly rise to that level of insanity.

September 13, 2017 2:34 pm

The climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans over which Mankind including ExxonMobil have no control. If climate change is a problem the responsible party to sue is Mother Nature. Lots of luck trying to collect on a judgement against Mother Nature. If adding CO2 to the atmosphere is the problem then they should sue the parties that actually add CO2 to the atmosphere. That would be everyone that makes use of goods and services provided for by fossil fuels and every living thing that gains energy via the oxidation of and matter containing carbon. I would like them to win a law suite against the termites damaging my house and for them to pay to have the termites exterminated.

Reply to  willhaas
September 13, 2017 8:13 pm

Convince the loony-toons crowd to sue the Sun, get a judgement, and try to enforce it.

Ed Zuiderwijk
Reply to  willhaas
September 14, 2017 3:54 am

Stranger things have happened. The good people of Hartlepool once, during the Napoleontic wars, convicted a monkey for be a French spy. You never know with these legal types.

Jean Paul Zodeaux
Reply to  willhaas
September 14, 2017 7:13 pm

In American jurisprudence it is known as Act of God and the courts recognize no one can be held accountable for the disaster or harm. There is a great tautological legal maxim that states; where there is injury there is remedy. Where there is no remedy there is no injury. The courts can recognize and sympathize with the harm that has been caused, but if there is no remedy there is no injury. There is no remedy for natural disasters or extreme weather events or even climate change itself.

Mike Maguire
September 13, 2017 2:50 pm

Warming the highest latitudes the most, decreases the meridional temperature gradient and decreases the energy available for mid latitude storms/cyclones. It should weaken jet streams and result in less tornadoes and severe storms.
It doesn’t matter what their weather has been over the past 4 decades, the science and meteorology/physics are clear. Any climate change from the current dynamics of global warming should reduce overall storminess for this location.
What are they to be held accountable for????
The atmosphere can hold, maybe around 2% more moisture compared to 40 years ago and that has contributed to more flooding. There is also less Arctic sea ice and global warming increases heat waves.
What are the damages?
The most absurd part of all of this is that the past 4 decades have featured the best weather/climate and CO2 for growing crops and most of life in the last 1,000 years. The planet is greening up. Violent tornado’s are at historic lows. We went almost 12 years without a land falling major hurricane in the US. The increase in sea levels has not accelerated.
If an entity knew with 100% certainty, 40 years ago, that all these things would happen today……..but did not share it with us, what is the problem?
The problem is that this is all based on false assumptions about climate change(now synonymous with human caused climate change).
Exxon-Mobile acknowledges thru its research, a belief that climate change is real and requires action.
This is like charging a person of committing a crime that never happened because that person made a statement that would have made them a suspect “IF” a crime had been committed.
If I think that the Old National Bank is going to get robbed tomorrow at 3pm but don’t report it to the police……..and the bank never gets robbed, should I be charged with a crime by the prosecutor afterwards?
Maybe Exxon-Mobile does not want to use a defense that would label them as “deniers” of mainstream climate science. This actually makes sense, considering their sensitive position of being in the fossil fuel business. The worst case scenario, would be for them to appear ignorant and/or insensitive to the catastrophic climatic consequences of burning fossil fuels.
Doesn’t matter that there have been no catastrophic climatic/weather consequences and outside of speculative global climate models that represent a theory that isn’t verifying, no evidence of it. They can’t afford to defend using that strategy……the truth because it would be a public relations disaster.

Mike Maguire
Reply to  Mike Maguire
September 13, 2017 2:59 pm

Apparently the increasing sea levels are part of this.
They are still going up at around the same rate, 1 inch/decade and have not significantly accelerated higher. If global warming continues, then they could accelerate higher but they have not so far……..but this is about the past 40 years.
Should they be held accountable for something that still has not happened that they “knew” might happen 40 years ago?
What if what they “knew” has been proven to be wrong(so far) or if it never happens?
The insanity of this makes it feel like we are living in the Twilight Zone for climate science/change today.

Reply to  Mike Maguire
September 13, 2017 5:23 pm

You don’t quite understand the “standard” that the left now uses to evaluate “truth”:
“if we FEEL like it is True, then it MUST be True!!!”
you might think I’m joking. Not really.

Reply to  Mike Maguire
September 13, 2017 4:58 pm

That the atmosphere can hold more moisture is not evidence that the atmosphere will ever drop that moisture.

Mike Maguire
Reply to  MarkW
September 13, 2017 7:16 pm

“That the atmosphere can hold more moisture is not evidence that the atmosphere will ever drop that moisture.”
Hi Mark,
Actually, it’s based on solid meteorological principals.
With a warmer ocean and atmosphere, precipitable water will increase in the atmosphere. The precipitable water is just the total amount of water in the air. The amount of precipitable water is a key factor, determining rates of rainfall, especially in heavy rain events with PW’s 2 to 3 times the climatological average. Higher PW’s in the atmosphere can also effect other kinds of weather.
If you saturate a sponge with water and squeeze it hard, there will be a certain amount of water that comes out. Increase the size of the sponge, saturate it and squeeze it just as hard as the first one and you will get more water.
There are numerous other elements, but “all things being equal”, when we have a nearly saturated or saturated air mass that is being effectively lifted(and cooled) and condensing moisture out, with the same low level jet stream/trigger mechanism/synoptic set up, topographical and other contributing factors, the rainfall rates will be higher with the warmer, saturated air mass.
A 1 Deg. C increase in global temperature might equate to a 4% increase in precipitable water values on average. This is not much of course and the distribution of the increase in precipitable water would surely not be uniform across the planet.
However, to not fully recognize this scientifically legit dynamic from global warming is ignoring a basic principle of meteorology 101. I am not directing this at you, just using your comment to elaborate.
If one were to apply this 4% increase in atmospheric to Harvey and assume that Harvey would have been exactly the same on a planet 1 Deg cooler(regardless of what caused the warming) we could say that may have increased the total record rain from 49 inches to 51 inches. Or, that it’s causing what would have been 12 inch rains in some events to be 12.5 inches of rain now.
If we see another 1 Deg. of global warming, that will go up to 13 inches of rain.
I think that being overly concerned about this very slight increase in rains from excessive rain events is silly. The actual systems and synoptic weather set ups that cause excessive rain events are going to happen, regardless of the global temperature…….just as they have in the past.
The benefit from increasing CO2, that’s greening up the planet and increasing world food production for instance, massively outweigh the negative from the slight increase in rain during flooding.

Reply to  MarkW
September 14, 2017 8:01 am

In order to squeeze the “sponge”, in this case the atmosphere, the air has to cool. The whole point of the global warming theory is that the air itself is warmer (not just the oceans), as a result, there is no cooling to squeeze the extra water out.

Steve Vertelli
Reply to  Mike Maguire
September 15, 2017 2:57 am

There’s no “meteorology” to telling people that there’s magic insulation one can mix in the cold nitrogen bath conduction chilling a light-warmed rock
that’ll make instruments on that rock detect & depict more and more light arriving and warming the rock
with every percent less light
reaching and warming the rock.
The claim GHGs can warm the earth is fraud. Not maybe – it’s fraud.
Until less warming firelight reaching a thermal sensor makes it detect and depict more warming firelight reaching it,
the claim they’re a giant magic sky heater
is ludicrous.
Ludicrous in the extreme. Science isn’t a contest for approval.

September 13, 2017 2:51 pm

Good news! Now for the bad.
I am extending my new diet, which has been a favorite in my family for 4 generations. Shame on you, Budweiser…
It was nice knowing and doing business with you, but now we must have a parting of the way regarding your latest ‘business’ decision. You did great as it stands, but getting subsidies and playing the Renewables Credits scam demonstrates how ‘unamerican’ you have become.
Sadly and sincerely,
P.S. I will now upgrade to Macallan in moderation.

Reply to  john
September 13, 2017 3:47 pm

Anyone with stock experience knows this may be a good short, like ticker (SAM) was awhile back.

Reply to  john
September 13, 2017 4:21 pm

Anheuser Busch was bought by Inbev, a European company. It’s no wonder they are embracing CAWG. Good thing I don’t drink Budweiser.

Reply to  SMC
September 13, 2017 5:26 pm

I saw a wise man point out once that Budweiser is a Beer for people who Hate Beer. Reasoning? It tastes like crap, but has a huge marketing budget, so the only reason you would ever buy it or drink it is if you think all beer tastes like crap, but you want to fit in, so you just buy what’s on tv the most.
I’m proud to say that I like real beer a lot, and I think the recent explosion in Indy brands has made this the Golden Age of Beer. I weep at the thought of people still wasting their money on swill like Bud when there are so many, many, truly superior brews available today.

Reply to  SMC
September 13, 2017 6:11 pm

This one is something I like.

Tom Judd
Reply to  john
September 13, 2017 5:05 pm

john: may I recommend Lagavulin; the Macallan distillery, unfortunately, was bought up a few years ago.
On a side note, I clicked on your link and copied this:
“The renewable energy … will be equivalent … to half of A-B’s total … electricity … Only 2 percent of A-B’s electricity is from renewable … sources currently, said Katja Zastrow A-B’s vice president of corporate social responsibility, better world.”
And, I got to wondering why, oh why, does A-Busch actually have a VP position for corporate social responsibility, … better world?
And, then it dawned on me. Translated; a VP position of corp. social responsibility (better world) is actually a VP position of outflow management of extortion and protection funds. The SJWs that graduate from our hallowed universities don’t have a prayer of ever getting real jobs. Nor do they really want them. But, they want, not just the good life, but the high life. And that takes money. What to do? – what everybody else throughout history has done when they want the good life on the backs of others – engage in extortion and collect protection money.
It’s too bad really because one would hope that one of the primary concerns involving a corporation’s social responsibility would be maintaining sales and profitability so that its employees retain the jobs necessary to support their families. But no, they have to invest in meaningless entities to fatten the pockets of the high living low workers who walk the halls of the NGOs, law offices, and Beltway.

Reply to  john
September 13, 2017 6:49 pm

I dumped Anheuser Busch after they were acquired by Inbev… but I do still have a cool collection of Danbury Mint Budweiser trucks… 😎

September 13, 2017 3:00 pm

Let’s see the nonprofit charter for the Rockefeller Foundation.

September 13, 2017 3:17 pm

“Curiously, every time their core arguments are disproven, they change the narrative and pretend the case is still valid”

Reply to  Steven Mosher
September 13, 2017 4:14 pm

stinky analogy… not even close.
do you have an example of “core arguments” that have been disproved? (is disproven a real word?)

Steve Zell
September 13, 2017 4:04 pm

Sounds like the Rockefeller Family Fund has betrayed the Rockefeller family name. Exxon / Mobil was the result of a merger of Exxon and Mobil, and Exxon was formerly named Esso, an acronym (SO) for Standard Oil, which was founded by John D. Rockefeller, who must be rolling over in his grave watching people using his name and some of the fortune he left behind to sue the company he founded.
They’re going after Exxon / Mobil because it’s the largest privately owned oil company in the world, but even if the suit succeeded, it would have negligible impact on CO2 emissions, since Exxon / Mobil only controls about 3% of the world’s oil reserves. Most of the world’s oil reserves are controlled by nationalized (government-owned) oil companies in foreign nations, which are much more difficult to sue, since the judges would work for the governments being sued!

Reply to  Steve Zell
September 13, 2017 7:35 pm

..and the legal systems there are known to lop off excess body parts, throw certain kinds of liberals from the roof, or dangle such liberals from the nearest high point or crane…
Puhleze CLF, go for the beeeg fish…..

September 13, 2017 7:10 pm

The disgusting environmental groups seem to take their lead from Lavrenty Beria, head of the old NKVD/KGB. As he famously said, “Show me the man, I’ll show you the crime.” Today with these environazis it’s, “Show me the company and I’ll show you the horrible phony environmental disaster.

September 13, 2017 8:09 pm

If the Oil Companies were as evil as the leftist clowns believe, Campbell would be in my Deadpool.

September 13, 2017 8:34 pm

He suggested that if the plaintiffs were concerned about the effects of climate change on the facility in 2050, they should refile their case in 2045.

September 13, 2017 9:47 pm

That group discussed potential legal actions they could take against ExxonMobil, including working with state attorneys general (they did), the DOJ (they tried), and torts (CLF announced its intent to sue shortly after the meeting). They continued:
“Which of these has the best prospects for successful action? For getting discovery? For creating scandal? Shortest timeline? Do we know which offices may already be considering action and how we can best engage to convince them to proceed?”
The above sure sounds like it could be prosecuted under RICO statutes, especially since the supposed charges keep on changing.

Juan Slayton
September 13, 2017 10:06 pm

Perhaps they should sue because the corporation no longer sponsors the “Mobile Economy Run.” Back in the ’50s what they knew was that cars could get good mileage, but now they don’t want the public to think about that. Obviously adversely impacting poor Americans. /sarc

old construction worker
September 13, 2017 10:48 pm

I think Maxine Water said it best. ‘The idea is to socializes all oil production.’ How else is the federal government going to pay for all the social programs. They (federal government) must take over private markets and pocket profits in order to pay for progressive programs. That’s what happening in the health care system.

September 14, 2017 1:42 am

I thought you guys have laws that enable judges to rule that court actions like this one are vexatious and frivolous and so be able to be kicked out? Saves a lot of time and money.

Reply to  detnumblog
September 14, 2017 8:04 am

The problem is that judges are lawyers. So it’s rare for a judge to declare a case frivolous and throw it out early.

Jean Paul Zodeaux
Reply to  detnumblog
September 14, 2017 7:33 pm

In fairness to judges, American’s are awfully fond of trial by jury. American’s, or at least some of them, are still wary of allowing high officials the authority to decide what is and what is not a valid contention of law. Judges have more authority when it comes to legal issues, but on the matter of “factual” issues judges are greatly restricted.
Taking the infamous McDonald’s coffee spill case (Liebeck v. McDonald’s Restaurants 1994), as frivolous as that case might seem, it all came down to facts. Who spilled the coffee? How hot was it? How much of this was due to a teenage driver vs a teenage drive through attendant? These are fact finding issues, not legal issues.

Leo Smith
September 14, 2017 2:05 am

I am just longing for a deeply contrite Exxon official to say :-
“Yes, we did know. Here is a board memorandum circulated 20 years ago that shows without any shadow of doubt that Exxon knew – that Anthropogenic Climate Change was a fraud”.

September 14, 2017 3:06 am

Stratus Consulting is much less well-known for its decades long association with the EPA, this was written in 2011:
“The United [Nations] States Environmental Protection Agency”
“Stratus Consulting Inc. has been built into a sizeable company on the back of extensive consultancy work for the EPA and other agencies, which must run into several hundred million dollars. “The company has been awarded 942 government contracts since 1999. Many, but not all, involved work for either NOAA, the EPA or the Justice Department. From 1999 to 2007, Stratus Consulting pulled in an average of 64 contracts per year. From 2008 to 2010, the average per year nearly doubled — to 121 per year. So far, the company has generated only 15 three contracts in 2011”. They received the second-largest amount of money, $22.73 million, from the contracts stemming from the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill.
In 2007, they picked up a five year contract worth $39.4 million. “Stratus Consulting has worked with EPA on climate change issues, specifically greenhouse gas emissions, since 1996, said Joel Smith, vice president at Stratus. “We’ve been looking at energy efficiency programs within a number of states,” he said. “We’ve also looked at consequences of climate change and done work on the science of climate change.”
But they are not climate scientists.
They describe themselves as assisting in crafting federal guidance and providing analytical support for regulatory development at the U.S. EPA for the Clean Water Act, Clean Air Act, and global climate change. They have extensive input into the EPA web sites and into their data management processes:
 EPA home page
 EPA’s environmental education web sites
 EPA’s High School Environmental Center
 Data Quality Act/EPA Information Quality Guidelines
 Information Quality Guidelines
 Critical evaluation of EPA audit regimes
 EPA Data Quality Strategic Plan
 Business rules to support EPA’s Facility Registry System
 EPA’s Quality System
 EPA Integrated error correction process
 EPA Data Quality Strategic Plan.
It is no wonder that the website says so strongly that “the science is unequivocal,” As major content contributors to the website, Stratus are simply defending their EPA contracts.”
Also Joel Smith and a Stratus colleague edited the Endangerment Finding Technical Support Document.”
Stratus now seem to have been absorbed into, Smith moved with them.
“Joel B. Smith has been analyzing climate change and adaptation issues for three decades. He was a coordinating lead author or lead author on the Third, Fourth, and Fifth Assessment Reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He was a member of the U.S. National Climate Change Assessment Federal Advisory Committee and the National Academy of Sciences “Panel on Adapting to the Impacts of Climate Change.”
Joel Smith is another political scientist, not a climate scientist; he has a BA in Political Science and a Masters in Public Policy. He put his name to the February 2011 “Scientists’ Statement on the Clean Air Act” carried on the Democrat website.
He worked for the EPA from 1984 to 1992, where he was the deputy director of the Climate Change Division, an analyst for oceans and water regulations, and a special assistant to the Assistant Administrator for the Office of Policy, Planning and Evaluation.
He was a co-editor of EPA’s Report to Congress: “The Potential Effects of Global Climate Change on the United States,” published in 1989.

Steve Vertelli
Reply to  dennisambler
September 15, 2017 3:05 am

He’s another con man so stupid he thinks it’s real science to claim magical insulation makes more light leak out of rocks it makes less light reach.
An elementary school child can see it’s fraud. Why can’t the thief, Joel Smith?

Ed Zuiderwijk
September 14, 2017 3:47 am

File your complaint in 2045. That made my day. In 2045 the whole AGW farce is long history.
CO2 is not an important climate driver. The climate crusaders therefore believe in fairies. ExxonKnew thus is equivalent to saying: we believe in the fairies, we know you believe in the fairies too, then why have you done nothing about them?

Reply to  Ed Zuiderwijk
September 14, 2017 6:14 am

The need for more money from a carbon tax to drive vote buying amidst high debt load will still be with us in 2045 and probably worse given the typical tactic of putting off the financial burden like ignoring annual retirement system obligations.

September 14, 2017 5:22 am

“In 2045 the whole AGW farce is long history.” I doubt that, given the widespread ignoring of inconvenient historical data, and that education/media/politicians almost totally fail to condemn it. We have always been at war with Big Oil. The day may not be far off when every storm and drought is referred to as Climate Change.

Reply to  climanrecon
September 14, 2017 6:33 am

Speaking of a ‘climate change’… take a look at this excerpt from Hillary’s book.
We indeed dodged a planet suzed asteroid….

Reply to  climanrecon
September 14, 2017 7:36 am

Good point.
While staying at a hotel, Weather Channel is force fed in the lobby.
Everything said on that channel is designed to invoke or inflame climate and weather fear.

September 14, 2017 6:41 am

I get it. It’s the learned legal tactic of “float like a butterfly, and sting like a bee.” That is up until you meet the judge or any other reasoned authority or a fly swatter.

September 14, 2017 7:32 am

Don’t tell the execrable sturm fuhrer, Naomi Oreskes, tgat her “peer reviewed” “study” might be laughably pathetic fiction.

September 14, 2017 9:39 am

The absurdity of suing a company for weather events that have yet to occur and cannot be foretold has been officially recognized by the federal judge in Boston. It is about time the judicial system reigns in beyond frivolous lawsuits. The only crime committed is the unwarranted attack on the right of a private company to conduct research and to keep the results proprietary. The Conservation Law Foundation should be sued for abuse of process.
The truth has yet to be discovered about global climate change, regardless of the misguided claims of green activists that the science is settled. A growing body of scientists worldwide now predicts that the global temperature over the next several decades will likely decline, in which case, current environmental policies would be diametrically opposite from the right policies.

September 14, 2017 12:18 pm

“ExxonMobil must be guilty of something – they have the verdict, now they just need the evidence.”
Well, that sure sounds familiar. The same thing is occurring with Donald Trump. They’ve had a verdict ready to go since he defeated Clinton, but the evidence just doesn’t want to cooperate. They know he is guilty, so they keep changing the focus of the investigation hoping to prove something, anything. With Hillary Clinton, it’s just the opposite. They have clear evidence of law breaking, but she was deemed not guilty from day one by the powers that be, so the evidence is irrelevant. Equal justice under the law is not a principle accepted by everyone. Too many in power believe that you have to let the blindfold on Lady Liberty slip once in awhile to protect insider elites and keep outsiders out.

Mark Matis
September 15, 2017 1:38 pm

It is this country’s “Law Enforcement” who enable this swill. Nothing will change for the better until enough of their corpses are stacked in the streets. Only then will they decide they chose the wrong career.

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