New York’s Silly Climate Suit

By Steve Goreham

Republished with permission of The Washington Times.

On January 10, the city of New York filed suit against BP, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell. The suit accuses oil companies of causing dangerous climate change and damage to New York City, seeking monetary compensation. But history will rank this action high in the annals of human superstition.

The 67-page suit claims that burning of fossil fuels marketed by the oil industry changes the climate and that these changes are “injuring New York City.” The suit projects an increase in deaths from heat waves, flooding from extreme weather that would impact the city’s water supply system, increasing frequency of droughts that would diminish water to upstate New York reservoirs, and catastrophic flooding from rising oceans.

Hurricane Sandy is mentioned several times in the suit as an example of both extreme weather and rising oceans from human-caused warming. As a result of Sandy, New York launched a $20 billion effort to prepare for the effects of climate change in 2017. The city wants oil firms to pay for this effort, claiming they are causing “continuous and reoccurring injuries to the city.” But these claims border on the superstitious.

Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey and New York City on October 29, 2012 with Category 1 hurricane-force winds of 81 miles per hour. It came ashore at high tide causing extensive flooding. The storm resulted in 147 and over $50 billion in assessed damage. But this has happened before.

More than 80 tropical or sub-tropical storms struck New York State during the last 300 years. An example was the Norfolk and Long Island Hurricane of 1821. It hit New York City with Category 3 force winds, much stronger than Category 1 Sandy. Although it came ashore at low tide, when ocean levels were five feet lower than when Sandy hit, the 1821 storm flooded New York City up to Canal Street.

According to the National Hurricane Center, 170 hurricanes made US landfall during the twentieth century. Fifty-nine of these storms generated at least Category 3 wind speeds, stronger than Category 1 Sandy. How then was Hurricane Sandy evidence of human-caused global warming?

Ocean levels have risen about 120 meters (390 feet) in the last 20,000 years, according to data from NASA. Tidal gauges show a rise of about 7 inches per century over the last 150 years. No scientist can tell us when natural sea level rise stopped and man-made sea level rise began. New York City is correct to prepare for rising seas, but wrong to believe that greenhouse gases from burning oil are causing the rise.

Throughout history, people have believed that human actions can change the climate and cause extreme weather. The Aztecs of the 1500s practiced human sacrifice in an attempt to control the weather and to keep the Sun moving across the sky. After King Henry divorced his wife, Catherine, in 1533, Englanders believed that nine months of unusually heavy rainfall were a result of the divorce. During the cool climate of the Little Ice Age between the fourteenth and nineteen centuries, hundreds of thousands of people in Europe were executed for the crime of witchcraft, blamed for short growing seasons and crop failures.

Today we still live in a world of superstition. Climate advocates tell us that if we change our light bulbs we can save polar bears. If we erect wind turbines we can make the storms less severe. And if we drive electric cars we can stop the oceans from rising. Our modern witches are the oil and coal companies.


Steve Goreham is a speaker on the environment, business, and public policy and author of the new book Outside the Green Box: Rethinking Sustainable Development.

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120 thoughts on “New York’s Silly Climate Suit

      • Latitude and Resource Guy, funny NYC did not sue ALL of the consumers; where, without such, there would be NO burning of these fossils fuels and, of course, there would be NONE of these big [or little] producers.

      • International and private petroleum companies produce only about 25% of the world supply of oil, State oil companies and Russia produce the other 75%.

      • andrewpattullo January 18, 2018 at 1:57 pm
        Just curious, does NY state use fossil fuels and was it built up using energy from fossil fuels? Should they not be suing themselves?

        Pretty much those in NYC and the Big Cities on the “left coast” get their water, power and sustenance (food) from sources they want to shut down.
        They preach about “Nature” but they are divorced from it.

      • Do these complainants have a clue about 19th century pollution that occurred when coal was used as fuel and gas powered the street lamps, before oil was even a twinkle in the sky about it, and before any of those companies actually existed?

    • Nor did they sue any coal mining companies, electric utilities or consumers of electricity and gasoline.

      • DM., which, overall, brings up the LARGER QUESTION: are the citizens/voters in NYC so brainwashed that they cannot figure out — it’s sticking out like dog’s balls — what these corrupt and immoral politicians are doing? Can these people NOT see this duplicitous game and see the ultimate logical conclusion?

        Can they NOT see what such lawsuits, whether successful, will do to ALL energy prices; especially in that NE snow-belt city? Have the govt schools succeeded in dumbing down such a larger percentage of their populations?

        Maybe it is that those citizens might calculate that, wherein the shorter term, these insane political maneuvers could put a few meager shekels in their pockets … so, they are willing to sell down the river their longer-term future? Have we become so brainwashed; so ignorant?

        God save us from these morons!

      • Might be an idea for the Co’c being sued to offer to cut supplies of their products to those areas where they’re getting taken to court to show how sorry they are and how much more wonderful life would be like for the citizenry without light, heat and travel. sarc

        James Bull

    • Maybe it’s about time to adjudicate this non science and make them prove their “science”.

      There is a risk of course that they could convince an uninformed or misinformed jury to agree.

      Tough call. But it has to happen sometime.

      • Michael Crichton correctly predicted this litigous behavior from the enviro Left in his novel State of Fear.
        Attorneys for the Defendents will shred the lies of the plaintiffs.

      • Well, Jakee, a few states successfully convincednthe Supremes that CO2 was a poluting gas and EPA could take actions to limit it.

        In everyone’s wildest dreamsthere was no way they would win. The Bush administration felt that way, put up aweak case and the greenies won. That was the time Ginsburg questioning if theyshould rule on matters of scince.

        Gums…

      • I’m not sure I’m ok with SCOTUS making that final decision.
        Whether or not CO2 is a dangerous pollutant has absolutely nothing to do with the US Constitution or the law of the land. It’s already well known that no one has a right to harm people. SCOTUS should send it back and demand proof of damage and identify those harmed. If there were proof of cause and effect there’d be no lawsuit.

        To Gums.
        It is my understanding that SCOTUS decided that it was the responsibility of the EPA to first determine if a material damages the environment and then how to regulate it.
        In that regard, it’s a lot like the Endangered Species Act.

    • I wonder how many new Yorkers will die from the cold, the heat and starvation without oil? No shortage of idiots in NY.

    • So saidith: Steve Goreham

      Ocean levels have risen about 120 meters (390 feet) in the last 20,000 years, according to data from NASA. ……… New York City is correct to prepare for rising seas, but wrong to believe that greenhouse gases from burning oil are causing the rise.

      The lowest point of the Hudson Canyon @ 20,000 ybp was more likely 250+ meters (820 feet) below the current sea level as denoted via this NOAA graphic, to wit:

      https://www.nefsc.noaa.gov/press_release/2010/SciSpot/SS1003/HudCanFinderMap.jpg

      New York City would gain a hell of a lot more real estate iffen they could reverse the Interglacial Warming that has occurred during the past 20K years.

  1. New York City is a place where A LOT of the coal, gas and oil was used just to build the place.

    It would not exist if it weren’t for coal, oil and gas.

    It also probably uses more of these combined than any other place in the world.

    They should be suing themselves.

  2. Regarding the cartoon. Many may well not be familiar with the extent to which (no pun) the earlier witch panic involved blaming storms, hailstones and tempests etc upon the activities of miscreants, evil doers, and sports utility broomstick owners. So here is a most perfect illustration of that point from an early text on seeking out and prosecuting witches and heretics in general. You would struggle to make this crap up.
    But they did. And some are still stuck in the same delusional mindset:
    “These instances must serve, since indeed countless examples of this sort of mischief could be recounted. But very often men and beasts and storehouses are struck by lightning by the power of devils; and the cause of this seems to be more hidden and ambiguous, since it often appears to happen by Divine permission without the co-operation of any witch. However, it has been found that witches have freely confessed that they have done such things, and there are various instances of it, which could be mentioned, in addition to what has already been said. Therefore it is reasonable to conclude that, just as easily as they raise hailstorms, so can they cause lightning and storms at sea; and so no doubt at all remains on these points. ”
    http://www.sacred-texts.com/pag/mm/mm02a15a.htm

      • It’s quite astonishing.
        It’s as though the modern alarmists had actually referred to this piece as an instruction manual.
        Since that is most likely not the case, then we must assume that stupidity tends to reflect certain universals of human nature.
        Over-confidence among the ignorant has now been widely investigated, especially since Kruger-Dunning gave it a new name.
        Here we see total certainty emerging from total ignorance.
        So zero on the information axis returns an infinite non-solution on the confidence axis!! 😉

      • It’s a shame that she chose to retreat from making any further heretical statements and thereby avoid the further application of the range of devices that were being manufactured for the purposes of her torture.
        But, I can’t blame her. And I also pity Willie.
        It’s really sad to see what a toll the abuse has taken.
        If I had been in the same or similar situation then I think that I would have gone completely nuts.
        Nerds and true scientists tend to make the mistake of thinking that matters can be resolved by reference to things which are provably true.
        This is a mistake in any area of life which is political or religious in character. And climate “science” is now primarily a political and pseudo-religious endeavour.

    • Would you stop doing that …..

      Next they’ll be saying that their Null Hypothesis goes back to 1486.

      First, of course, they’ll have to figure out what is a Null Hypothesis.

  3. It is extremely difficult to quantify the damages and the potential damages and which are extremely remote, and couple with the fact that there is a standing issue, which would normally cause the case to dismissed immediately.

    However, MA v EPA gives the plaintiff strong hope for standing and there is also the Wisconsin case whereby paint manufacturers were sued for the use of lead paint without the plaintiffs needing to show that they manufactured the paint in question or whether they ever made lead paint.

  4. It definitely resonates with the witch craze or the blame of the fire of London on the Jews etc, but is ‘superstition’ the right word? Scapegoating? No, it’s more than that.

  5. Oil Companies Should Stop Supplying New York City

    File this one under “Be Careful What You Wish For.” Ignorant, Nieve, Corrupt and Sanctimonious New York City, the Hollywood of the East, is suing the oil companies for “climate change.” Ignoring the fact that most environmentalists blame human population as the cause and NYC is one of the most populous places on earth, the nitwits in NYC have decided to attack the very industry that allowed them to survive last week’s Arctic Blast. To remedy this, the oil companies should help NYC in their Quixotic Crusade of stopping climate change and stop selling them oil. The absolute absurdity of crucifying the very industry that allows you to exist demonstrates the dangerous level of stupidity that defines the political left. They will simply believe anything and glum on to any idiotic cause.
    https://co2islife.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/oil-companies-should-stop-supplying-new-york-city/

    • I was just thinking about that–if deliveries were stopped for a week or two, I suspect it would be the governments of NYC and it’s close neighbors in California that would be crying uncle.–Particularly fuel oil this time of year in NY.

      • I think the oil companies should protest by closing meters for a few days, just to put the message that oil is vital to modern society, and that some oil companies can not be singled out for responsibility for carbon dioxide emissions that the New York City continues to emit in large quantities both directly AND indirectly, and trying to single out so approaches a criminal level of misjudgement.

        Government may never single out somebody and litigate and leave others unpunished. That would bias the justice, in particular when everybody are guilty inside and outside of city. Also, the city should first illegalize the stuff it considers dangerous, i.e. carbon dioxide, only then it is allowed to go after the reckless people who used it and caused damage. If it is legal, it means the government dies not think the problem is serious in the first place, right?

        Going the tobacco analogy route is a slimy refusal of responsibility.

      • Would a shareholder in one of the involved companies have the right to file for an injunction to stop the sale of fossil fuels in the state to mitigate his potential losses of share value? I would think it would be easy for a shareholder to argue that it is the fudiciary responsibility of the company to do so.

    • This might work well. It would not shut down the city of New York – completely. Drivers would head for the suburbs for fuel, causing overloads at the stations nearby. Stations in NYC would have to shut down except for any mechanical services that might help them weather the storm. Some companies would transfer fuels from the suburbs to the city – for a price.
      Remember the ruckus when the Saudis (our close, dependable allies) cot off oil supplies in the 70’s? We could see the same thing – but in NYC only.
      But the oil companies are interested in today’s profits only, so don’t expect any of that. It was just a pleasant thought. But the oil companies might think more that way if this thing ever gets to court.
      How many days do you think it would be before the rioting would begin? What better time to start than during a bomb cyclone?
      City people for the most part have no idea where their fuel, food, and water comes from. Here on the West Coast, it just magically appears.

      • You can be sure that if the oil companies tried this, New York City would be in court the next day to quash the effort. The irony would be sweet.

    • I’d get the best Democrats money can buy. I guess Democrats are the problem, in particular in the legal system? We have here an organization called the Democratic Lawyers. Socialist liars are nearer to what they are.

  6. The oil companies don’t burn fossil fuels: their customers do. The arsonist is the one that lights the match.

    • BB., correct you are. [I wrote a similar comment above before I saw yours down here].

      Further to your point: NYC, and whoever else, can sue all the petrol companies they want and all which such may do — assuming that they are able to succeed in bankrupting such entities — is to get rid of these companies … only to be replaced, in short order, by other companies which would sell the same products and thereby continue to serve the consumers what they are demanding.

      In a society as well-educated — supposedly — and as resourceful as ours, here in the USA, it is a constant source of frustration to see that we freeborn citizens continue to elect and re-elect these snake-oil-salesmen; you know, the ones which promise to deliver, at no cost, this pristine utopia.

      • The legal principle is called “estoppel”. The plaintif’s own actions are contrary to their legal claims. If NYC wanted to sue the oil companies, it cannot itself consume all that oil.

      • The favourite meal on the East Coast these days seems to be the Nothing Burger.

  7. In the world of witches, voodoo priests and witch smellers there seems to be many modern practitioners. Among the practitioners would be M Mann and Hillary. Mann, of course, smelling out and condemning the CAGW deniers. And of course, Hillary for all things ‘not Clinton approved’.
    When the witch smellers perform their ritual, just hope they don’t touch you or it will be bad news for ya.
    They of course disapprove of white magic.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Witch_smeller

  8. I completely fail to understand why the court system is even remotely considering this “law suit,

    Did oil companies force people to continue using oil?

    Did oil companies force auto manufacturers to continue designing, producing, marketing, and selling vehicles engineered to operate on oil-derived fuels?

    Did oil companies force every industry of known civilization requiring oil products to continue operating on the basis of these oil products?

    I mean, why sue only the oil companies? They are just the base suppliers. What about the middle men? … the end users? … hell, even all the people up in arms to push this suit forward. Did THEY use oil-derived products, transportation, services, etc., etc.? Do THEY continue to use such oil-derived things? I bet that they are comfortably using these now, and they are completely oblivious to the fact.

    A proper law suit would be a class action suit against all humanity, INCLUDING the people filing suit.

    … so utterly, beyond-comprehension stupid that I don’t know why I even took the time to type out a statement about my disgust over it.

    This is a level of stupid that my current vocabulary fails to adequately capture.

    Oh, well, at least I got some more practice typing.

    • I feel your pain Robert. What they are attempting is a cynical ploy to simultaneously virtue-signal while attacking Trump’s policies and netting vast sums of cash using the precedents set in the hugely lucrative tobacco industry trials. With the customary caveat of ‘I’m no lawyer’ I guess these kind of lawsuits ride on demonstrating that the Corp being sued had prior specialist knowledge of the harmful effects of their products which was not in the public domain and which they actively prevented from entering the public domain. In other words a deliberate conspiracy to cause harm for profits.
      Hence the frenzied ‘Exxon knew’ campaign. That of course is the absurd step which in my view can never work. Climate ,’research’ involves tens of thousands of government sponsored scientists spending untold billions and to suggest that an oil Co. were decades ahead of everyone in realising the stupidly alleged climatic effects of carbon dioxide is preposterous beyond any rational belief.
      I think the oil majors have dealt themselves a lousy hand from the outset by attempting to appease the lunatic ravening Green Blob. I hope they have now relearned the important lesson about never trying to appease your assailants and grow a pair. I’d like to see the entire hydrocarbon industry close ranks and wage all-out war on these opportunistic cretins – but not holding my breath.

    • Hate to remind you, Robert, but the successful suit against the tobacco industry did not hinge upon the victims’ nasty habit ( I am an ex-smoker and am in serious trouble now, but big deal. I paid my money and took my chances) It had to do with advertising and studies about harmful effects of the weed and so forth. Almost every state that got
      “This is a level of stupid that my current vocabulary fails to adequately capture.
      Oh, well, at least I got some more practice typing.”
      The good news is that even a die hard liberal like Ginsberg had problems with the infamous carbon dioxide polutant decision. She questioned whether courts should rule on science!! Wow! I feel she was looking back at the Scopes trial.
      The best choice by reasonable folks is to to sue the cities and states that misrepresented “climate effects’ when issuing bonds. Fraud is easier to prove than climate change effected by humans.
      Guns sends…

      • When you belittle sea level rise in one place, and enlargen it in another, that is a fraud, but can a legal entity like a state be required to be consistent or is it freed from charges of fraud as the two statements were put together by different employees of the government offices? In other words, can they lie because they have an ‘irresponsibility card’ allowing them to be unresponsible of other statements ofcthe same said government?

  9. New York is like a guy who eats 10 big macs a day then sues the burger joint because his nickers are too tight .

    • #burgerkingknew that saturated fat causes global fattening, heart disease and premature death, but failed to communicate this and made us eat too much. Let’s sue them.

  10. I’ve been waiting for this!
    BP, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell.
    Hope like hell they’re screwed mercilessly for billions.
    A bunch of greedy fraudsters who set themselves up for this action many years ago.
    Each and every one leapt on the opportunity to make billions from carbon schemes.
    Unfortunately it didn’t happen for them but their complicity is now a matter of detailed record.
    GUILTY, GUILTY, GUILTY by their own volumous and detailed assertions about the need to ‘take action’ on global warming.
    I’m going to buy the largest bucket of pop-corn in the World and recline in absolute self-indulgent glee.
    Hahahahaha you petro fools just got got; if not in this action then in the next or the next!

    • You don’t think that is easily construed as the politically correct response to new ‘knowledge’ about the previously unforseen ‘carbon catastrophe’? Well enjoy your giant bucket of popcorn anyway and don’t forget to sue the popcorn Co. for the coronary thrombosis they always knew it was going to induce.

    • “I’ve been waiting for this!
      BP, Chevron, Conoco-Phillips, ExxonMobil and Royal Dutch Shell.
      Hope like hell they’re screwed mercilessly for billions.”

      Why? The products they produced and sold are responsible for bringing untold millions out of poverty and creating the high standard of living we now enjoy.

      • I agree.
        Doesn’t change the fact these entities have (for over a decade) been run by left-wing lunatics who need to be thrown out by shareholders.
        Unfortunately that won’t even happen because all their largest shareholders (‘the intuitions’) are also currently run by left-wing lunatics.

      • No sarc needed Martin.
        Study what these guys have been up to for the past decade.
        Their about to get their comeuppance!
        I believe the NYC action will fail but the green monster will be watching and learning from the mistakes.
        This is just what we need to draw the battle lines.

    • Look Warren, I know you don’t drive a car or heat with fossil fuels but did you know your bicycle required considerable consumption of fossil fuels in winning and refining the metals, rubber, plastic etc. Did you know your seat and the hand grips are made out of natural gas. A good lawsuit would be you leading a class action suit against the left for giving you a placebo education. A one designer-brain fits all leads to only one conclusion!

      • Yep I run a company that is heavily reliant on oil.
        Our larges product is PVC based and we use lost of plasticizers.
        Love oil; hate they guys running the above businesses.
        They’re fake f . . kers who deserve to spend large slabs of their time and money fighting nasty green vexatious litigants.
        And yes I know the cost will simply be passed on to consumers.

    • I suggest you start taking your meds again.

      This is a publicity stunt by De Blasio. I am having a hard time understanding what the city attorneys office is thinking. Their best scenario is it turns into a successful fishing trip

    • I suggest you start taking your meds again.

      This is a publicity stunt by De Blasio. I am having a hard time understanding what the city attorneys office is thinking. Their best scenario is it turns into a successful fishing trip

      • Just took meds.
        This is no joke because oils have admitted (in detail) their product causes damage.
        NYC lawyers are not silly and they know they have a strong case.
        50/50 oils will settle with NYC out of court.
        Thereafter watch the flood gates open in other jurisdictions.
        Left-wing morons eating each-other; can’t wait . . .

      • “This is no joke because oils have admitted (in detail) their product causes damage.”

        Can you direct me to this info? I suspect that the only thing that exists is that they were aware that other people were saying that, not that they themselves believed it. In other words, they were aware it was a possibility, but not a fact.

      • And btw, there’s a huge difference, legal and otherwise, between ‘does/has cause(d) damage’ (eg, tobacco) and ‘might cause damage’ (ie, oil).

  11. From the NASA graph, if New York City had been built 10,000 years ago, with sea levels 30 meters (100 feet) lower than today, the East River was dry, Manhattan and Staten Island weren’t islands, and many of the bridges now crossing inland waterways in New York City would be unnecessary.

    But 10,000 years ago, New York Harbor would have been a much narrower and shallower Hudson River, and much of what is now Raritan Bay would have been dry land. People wanting to build a port city then would have built it along the coast at that time, probably somewhere between Sandy Hook, NJ and the southwestern tip of Long Island, and southeast of New York’s current location. New York’s current location would be a less attractive place to build a city, since it would be far inland and on top of a hill overlooking the Hudson River.

    But since New York City was first settled by Europeans about 400 years ago, they found sea levels about two or three feet lower than today, and the boundaries between land and sea were similar to what they are today. New York Harbor provided a large docking area for ships, relatively sheltered from ocean storms and waves, which still had a passageway to the open sea through the Verrazzano Narrows. This natural harbor attracted European settlers to the current location of New York City, and they adapted to life on islands by building bridges to the nearby mainland.

    New York City’s current residents are fortunate that the sea level rise rate has been relatively slow over the past 5,000 years, and over most of that time human CO2 emissions had no effect on climate. This gives them more time to build sea walls, and building a 7-inch high sea wall every 100 years is not that difficult. After the disastrous hurricane that wiped out Galveston in 1900, its residents built a 25-foot high sea wall in only five years.

  12. This suit isn’t about climate, it’s about theft. Theft of capital from the private sector by the public sector. If there were other deep pockets to rob, you can bet they’ll get attention too. For example, the financial district companies. Politicians are always looking for opportunities to mine revenue from them too.

  13. This kind of sophistry is right out of Atlas Shrugged. I wish Ayn Rand was here to shut these guys up.

  14. Sandy caused a tidal surge of 4 meter. This was enough to breach the levies. For comparison, tidal storm surges of 4-5 meter are commonplace on the Dutch coast. All sea defenses confirm to the ‘delta norm’, which is up to 7 meters above mean sealevel in the north of the country.

    So, if New York would have remained New Amsterdam, the odds are that the levies would have been up to scratch. It’s just a thought.

    • Sandy made shore at king tide. If the storm had hit at neep tide the damage would have been billions of $ less.

  15. The companies being sued should have cut off all supplies until after a settlement had been reached.

  16. Here is a link to the tide gauge at The Battery (Manhattan)-
    https://tidesandcurrents.noaa.gov/sltrends/sltrends_station.shtml?stnid=8518750

    The gauge reading is a bit above trend, but has been flat for the past 8 years… in other words there is no actual evidence of anything unusual happening at the actual tide gauge.
    There is no physical evidence to back the claim the sea level is doing anything unusual- much less that anyone has caused the sea level to do anything unusual.

    Will that matter in a court of law today? I’m not sure- it never has when it comes to witchcraft.

  17. Really hope this is the first of many actions against the oil boys who’ve kindly documented their guilt:
    https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/sustainability/climate-change.html
    https://www.chevron.com/corporate-responsibility/climate-change
    http://www.conocophillips.com/environment/climate-change/
    http://corporate.exxonmobil.com/en/current-issues/climate-policy/climate-perspectives/our-position
    https://www.shell.com/sustainability/environment/climate-change.html
    Hope BHP is taken to the cleaners in Australia:
    https://www.bhp.com/environment/climate-change
    A bunch of left-wing opportunistic CAWG fraudsters and enablers who deserve to be vexatiously litigated into financial ruin.
    Hope the Chinese buy them all out for a song!

  18. I noted the slippery slope of such stupidity starting with the tobacco companies and moving on to James Hardie and asbestos in Australia. My take then was with epidemiological risk (as distinct from known technical or engineering risk), it should be perfectly legal with no threat of compensatory suit to trade freely in any such product until such time as we as a community decide otherwise. In that respect the computer revolution beginning in the early 80s has allowed us to gather such statistical evidence more effectively although that has produced it’s own attendant risks.

    Retrospectivity was simply being wise after the event and rather than the ability to claw back the true social costs from consumers and/or suppliers and investors who had absconded with the cheap private costs in the past, it was a feel-good witch hunt for those left holding the bag. Nowhere was this more apparent with the lynch mob mentality pursuing James Hardie, who had seen the epidemiological light by the mid 1980s and ceased all asbestos product manufacture because they had given the world alternative cement fibre product.

    No matter that it was still perfectly legal to supply asbestos brake linings up until January1st 2003 because the vehicle industry hadn’t developed a suitable alternative and depositing all that brake dust dropping off the munchkins at school and kindy, the current shareholders and employees of James Hardie had to be held to account for their wicked evil ways once a nation didn’t need asbestos products anymore. Welcome aboard the hypocrisy train NYC.

    • a home in a small town ner me was on fire
      possibly could have been saved
      did they?
      no
      the ohs regs banned firies from doing so because…
      they had asbestos sheeting in parts of the home
      nearly all homes in Vic do prior 2000 or so
      so the entire home was gutted and placed behind warning tape
      while the wind and weather could carry the asbestos dust from the charred home all over the town for some months until they sorted the insane cost special crews in to remove it.
      now thats an example of public service n safety to “admire ” isnt it?

  19. Reading Carl Sagan’s book “The Demon Haunted World.”
    Yes, Sagan bought into the CAGW bamboozle, but he would have been open to evidence, discussion, counter-arguments and not disenfranchise the skeptics as witches.

  20. The oil companies should send a one liner – What time tomorrow do you want the oil and gas shut off?

    • Then New york city could rightfully declare to be blackmailed by oil companies and declare state of emergency with the army taking over, I personally believe that climate change comes from too much carbon dioxide in the air, One cannot change the atmosphere so drastically and have no effects on the wheather, I also believe that climate change denial is hyped by the oil industry, Who else should have an interest in going against science?

  21. deBlasio and buds did not sue the Oil Companies with headquarters in New York City! Ha ha!

    Ref: http://www.icc.org/gas-oil-companies/new-york/new-york.htm

    Here is the list:

    Belco Oil & Gas Corp

    Addum Mobil Gas Station

    Aquila Capital Partners LP

    Aquila Productions

    Barnwell Industries Inc

    Calray Gas Svc Inc

    Edible Oil Trading Co

    Electric Vehicle Progress

    Energex Ltd

    Enron Energy Services Inc

    Falcon Oil & Gas Inc

    Free Gas Zone

    A G I P Petroleum Products

    Gaseteria Oil

    Gerard C H C & Associates

    Gross Oil Delaware Corp

    Jrp San Juan LP

    Khanty Mansiysk Oil Corp

    Kuo International Oil Inc

    Levcor International Inc

    Little Oil & Energy Corp

    Midnight Oil Co

    Midwood Petroleum Corp

    Ny City Dept- Enviro Protect

    Oil Space Inc

    RPI Institutional Services

    Shell

  22. I hate to root for the green nuts but they are insane. The oil dudes laid out a gamble against humanity, knowing full well it was a scam. I hope they get skewered on their own green pikes.

  23. New York prosecutors are going to get a master class from the legal beagles of these seasoned companies! Where a lot of bucks are made, a legal department is kept busy by shysters trying to grab some of their green. These legal guys know where to look for buried bodies and slipshod documents that reveal the city government’s compromised position 9n the same subjects.

  24. I wonder if the city of New York would like to tell all the residents to shut off their heaters during the current winter because the heat comes from evil fossil fuels?
    If they are really serious they would, otherwise they are complicit and perhaps even accessories after the fact since they “know” all the evils of fossil fuels yet continue to use them?

  25. Well, if oil companies shut off supplies as a result of the NY lawsuit, then I will sue NY for many damages to my own, my relatives’ and my friends’ well being.

    Watch out, NY, I’ve got YOU in my litigious cross hairs now.

    I used to think of NY as the national center for culture. Similarly, I used to think of California as the national center for innovation. How times change! Now I seem to be arriving at the point of thinking as both places as centers for stupid — I use this word so much more these days, I know.

    Can I file a suit for pursuing futile (i.e., frivolous times ten) claims that tie up courts in such a way that serious law work making my society safer does not occur in a reasonable time, thus causing me greater risk and potential harm?

    Kernodle vs. New York … has a nice ring to it.

  26. I wonder if the city of New York would like to tell all the residents to shut off their heaters during the current winter because the heat comes from evil fossil fuels?
    If they are really serious they would, otherwise they are complicit and perhaps even accessories after the fact since they “know” all the evils of fossil fuels yet continue to use them?
    Maybe as others have suggested, the oil, has and electric companies should just shut off the flow of energy.

  27. Seems like more Alinksyite projection. California is under attack from geo-engineering. First the manufactured drought; then DEW lasers setting fires at 2am, people running for their lives; then torrents of rain at 4am, sweeping them away in their beds. California is in the grip of psychopaths and I know it’s outside WUWT’s paradigm, but it really deserves legitimate attention.

  28. I wonder what would happen if as a result of these lawsuits these oil companies announced that they were going to stop providing their products to New York City? Just the threat posed by the announcement may cause the city to drop the lawsuits.

  29. Good, they’ll lose the lawsuit because statistics and facts will demonstrate that the alarmist are wrong. Maybe this needs to happen.

  30. You shouldn’t have mentioned human sacrifices. That may be the Plan B after the lawsuit blows up in their faces

  31. So New York and these other plaintiffs sold bonds knowing about the damage caused by climate change in their respective territories? And did not inform the bond buyers? That’s fraud. They have left themselves open to a lawsuit. Great time to be a lawyer.

  32. I have a dream . . . in which the State of New York sues the fossil fuel-producing companies and wins. Which results in legal action which makes the production, sale, or utilization in any manner of any fossil fuel-derived product illegal.

    I know it won’t happen, but it was a really fun little daydream while it lasted.

    • Maybe New York will be able to increase taxes on fossil fuels like the tobacco taxes have been increased?

  33. If it wasn’t for fossil fuels there wouldn’t be any courts to be able to sue anyone! Should they not be suing themselves for using energy or any modern technology or products. Yep, its like witch trials. What next, sue god for any bad weather?

  34. Well the good burghers of NYC are working on the first adopter, beggar thy neighbours principle and hopping in for their chop. Clearly the fallacy of composition will dawn on the other States that NYC can’t be allowed to get away with that by effectively taxing these national oilcos and leaving the rest of the States to wear the higher price bill that has to be passed on. Or will they react?

  35. How much in taxes has NY levied? Should be offset against any dumb decision made by one of the NY judges. Meanwhile oil ompanies and those sued should immediately stop supplying NY with those proudest to avoid any “additional environmental damage” until the case is decided. Equally all non- politically correct power service should be with drawn immediately. Then we wait until NY comes to its senses. should take about 24 hour given the current freeze. Pity that it will be the citizens that are the collateral damage but then they are already anyway.

  36. This is a rather poor piece. What is needed is a proper, specific and thoughtful examination of the filing. It is a truly bizarre document, and as one reads it, it seems increasingly probable that it will never come to trial. In this respect it reminds one of the Steyn – Mann case, which has not come to trial for something like 6 years now, and probably never will.

    I don’t have the time or the stamina. But Anthony needs to find one of the regulars to do a proper analytical account of it. I am sure someone would, if asked. It will have to be quite long and detailed, because there are a huge number of absurdities to be exposed.

    The thing reads like a sort of telethon with McKibben, Oreskes, Mann and perhaps Klein all talking in soundbites one after the other for 67 pages.

    But it still needs analysis and exposure.

  37. For every horsepower provided by an oil fired fossil fuel, it would be supreme justice if a years worth of horseshit were dumped in Manhattan streets, and enough wood smoke to choke those horses were injected into the city’s air. Let’s have just a small taste of the way it used to be might humble some of the idiots.

  38. These lawsuits from leftist cities and states are, at their core, an attempt to extort money from the named businesses. If these suits result in an award or settlement, the money would be used for the typical “propping up” of the failing budgets of these entities.

  39. To Observa, “…the higher price bill…”
    Exactly. But who pays any settlement? The consumers, of course! Corporations don’t pay taxes, their customers do. So any settlement costs will be passed onto the consumer. Just another cost of doing business. Heating oil in the winter is not optional.
    And the financials of the Tobacco Settlement are a good guide: the price of a pack of cigarettes went up to pay for the $250B penalty. But note that the stock price of the major tobacco companies rose after the settlement.

    To W Blair: thanks for the Oil Co. links.
    Exxon-Mobil’s statement is not a confession to any climate crime. It is a typical lawyer weasel worded piece that could be read several ways. Basically says climate change is real (duh!), CO2 is adding to it (97% of skeptics would agree), more research is need to assess attribution and how society can balance the benefits vs costs. It is not a guilty plea.

    And the irony of counter suits against NYC for not notifying investors of the climate risks to the city!

  40. New York is built of concrete and steel made by coal and heated and fed with oil-fired machinery. Are they returning to wood and draft animals? Or is this suit an elaborate ritual of biting the hands that feed them? To benefit only the tort bar?

  41. “Hurricane Sandy hit New Jersey and New York City on October 29, 2012 with Category 1 hurricane-force winds of 81 miles per hour”: None of y’all picked up on this, and you are just letting lies persist. I was watching NWS weather stations and buoys during Sandy and at and after the time of landfall none of them came near hurricane force. But a lie told often enough becomes a truth even to those you would expect to question it.

    Rich.

  42. If the public is so easily swayed that a couple of press releases (if they happened) from Exxon are enough to convince them there is no danger, then why can’t the constant drumbeat of doom in the NYT, TV, National Geographic, Time ad nauseum convince them there is danger? The magnitudes of the two communications don’t even compare. Like 1:100000 or more.

  43. When did climate change by humans received the Chemistry Nobel Prize, the ultimate recognition of independent corroboration? I must have missed that one! JBVigo, PhD Environmental Science.

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  44. How’s that go?
    “Correlation is not Causation”?
    Here we have a case of “‘The Cause’-ation proves Correlation”.
    (As long as they can find the right judge.)

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