BOOM! Federal Judge Dismisses Claim Of "Big-Oil" Conspiracy To Suppress Global Warming Science

In a rare event, sanity prevails in California – Climate skeptics rule, alarmists drool.

A federal judge overseeing a lawsuit dismissed a core section plaintiffs brought in the case — oil companies conspired to cover up global warming science.

San Francisco and Oakland filed suit against five major companies, including Exxon and Chevron, demanding money for damages global warming allegedly caused. A core component of their suit is fossil fuel companies “engaged in a large-scale, sophisticated advertising and public relations campaign” to promote fossil fuels while they “knew” their products would contribute to “dangerous global warming.”

The cities’ suits against oil companies, however, do not show an industry conspiracy to suppress climate science from the public, U.S. District Judge William Alsup said, according to journalists who attended the hearing.

Alsup said plaintiffs “shows nothing of the sort” regarding some sort of conspiracy against science, Conservative journalist Phelim McAleer tweeted.

Cities and oil companies gave Alsup a five hour tutorial on global warming Wednesday, answering eight questions the California judge had given both parties ahead of time. A group of scientists skeptical of man-made warming also submitted amicus briefs for the hearing.

Via the Daily Caller News Foundation and Mike Bastasch


I predict they’ll try again with another angle, one even more ridiculous. It’s a mental issue with these #ExxonKnew people. They are self-brainwashed.

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Out-fracking-standing!!!

Wendy

LOL. Couldn’t have said it any better!

Bryan A

Perhaps it will stop the MeeToo syndrome from propagating further suits against additional affordable fuel companies by more cities and counties who still hypocritically continue to utilize their (fossil fuel) reviled product

Sara

So It’s okay for me to go on heating and cooking with natural gas, and I can expect to continue to get an invoice from the gas company for reasonable and affordable low prices for that product.
Good, I will get the cast iron dutch oven and double cooker that I’ve been wanting since last fall, and continue to make use of my bay window in the living room in fall throug winter and into spring, to keep my household gas bill reasonably affordable and low.

John Harmsworth

Your reckless, nay, wanton use of Earth destroying fossil fuels will ensure that within weeks the Earth’s temperature will soar upward to temperatures that make it unnecessary to turn on your stove. This is due to the well established “kitchen feedback”effect, which states thet if you can’t stand the heat it must get out of the kitchen. It’s settled science!. 97% of home ec scientists agree.
Also , it will get colder. Nights will be colder than days quite often . It’s peer reviewed I tell you! Models predict that weatherpeople will be unable to predict the weather more than two or three days in advance.
And some days it will be windy. The models clearly show wind.
It’s worse than we thought!!!

Just Jenn

@ John Harmsworth:
OMG ROFLMAO!! You should have put a disclaimer on that, “warning, do not read while drinking anything”
You owe me a new keyboard, mine has coffee all over it. That was hilarious!!!

Phil Rae

Fabulous! What an outstanding result! It contrasts dramatically with the news about the National Academies & their efforts to suppress scientific discourse. Let’s hope the Law really can remain impartial and weigh the evidence in a balanced fashion. However, the situation remains precarious. That we have to rely on the Law to pass judgement on Science is deeply disturbing.

gnomish

having read many of the tweets from the climate jihadis observing the proceedings, there appears little cause for jubilation at this moment.
i’m hearing reactions to interpretations and i have to say: it ain’t over till it’s over.
it’s barely started.

Earthling2

Only in your nightmare gnomish. Judge Alsup obviously reads WUWT.

Eric Simpson

Yes, but less outstanding is apparently all the oil companies are toeing the leftist line on climate change. From East Bay Times:

SAN FRANCISCO — Opponents in a lawsuit rarely find themselves in the same corner of a legal boxing match. In federal court here Wednesday, though, the gloves stayed on: Leading climate change experts and oil industry representatives largely agreed our planet is warming, our seas rising.
“You have counsel for fossil fuel companies on the record conceding the fundamentals of climate change,” said Jessica Wentz, a lawyer with the Sabin Center for Climate Change … https://www.eastbaytimes.com/2018/03/21/unusual-court-hearing-on-climate-change-underway-in-san-francisco-court/

ThinkingScientist

Why wouldn’t oil companies just accept the consensus? They have responsibilities to their shareholders to find oil and gas, not to research climate change. If they are attacked with legal suits, they don’t have to disprove GW, just show they behave responsibly.
And as no oil company uses a CO2 based model in their search for hydrocarbons, you can be pretty sure its not relevant in the big scheme of geology, otherwise they would have used it for commercial advantage by now. So the idea that #exxonnknew is just nonsense. If CO2 were a significant factor in climate it would be in the oil/gas exploration literature somewhere and there is nothing. Nada. Zip. CO2 would have appeared in the AAPG #26 Memoir in the papers by Vail et al (from Exxon) on their new stratigraphic theory back in 1977, if had been an important factor in scientific understanding of climate. But it didn’t. The whole meme is just made up nonsense from the AGW “useful idiots”.
The only collusion going is the lawyers and states bringing a worthless suit against oil companies.
I look forward to the law suits against the states from the city bondholders though.

Acknowledging the fact that fossil fuel combustion increases the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect is not “toeing the leftist line on climate change.” It’s just basic physics.
The “planet” has been intermittently warming since about 1600 and the seas have been intermitenrly rising since about 1850. Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have played a small, indefinable role in this.

Greg

If Jessica Wentz thinks whether the planet is warming is a “fundamental of climate change” she is totally ignorant of what the argument is about or is simply talking out of her fundamental.
That is what happens when you wilfully confound GW and AGW in a gender fluid term like “climate change”.

old construction worker

“They have responsibilities to their shareholders to find” Companies have the responsibility to inform the shareholders of anything that could impact the price of their stock. Exxon did so with Co2 induce climate change. The said they was very little chance Co2 would effect their stock price. Doing so they complied with disclosure laws. .

JasG

Fossil fuels are supposed to cool the planet as well as warm it. We cannot possibly know if any of the following are true but they are equally valid based on what scientists actually know about the physics of climate (ie leaving out the circular-logic-based speculations):
a. both the cooling effect and warming effect are negligible,
b. the planet would have warmed more without the cooling effect of fossil fuels,
c. the planet would have cooled without the warming effect of fossil fuels,
d. The warming and cooling effects of fossil fuels are both significant but they have cancelled each other out up to now.
Based on the actual data available about known past natural variability and that the rate of warming has decreased while the manmade CO2 levels increased and recalling the past over-hype of environmental scares (many of which contradict each other) then an unbiased observer would have to conclude that scenario a is most probable. Now I have read different academics argue b, c and d at various times but few admit to scenario a despite its far greater plausibility because they want neither career-ending pariah status nor an end to the substantial funding available to study/solve this non-problem. No conspiracy required, just very human tribalism, hypocrisy, fear and greed!
All this hype is of course based on a trend of 0.6K/century at least some of which is admitted to be entirely natural and almost none of which was in the last 20 years.

Bryan A

Leading climate change experts and oil industry representatives largely agreed our planet is warming, our seas rising.

This is true and has been since man has had any form of Civilized Society (beyond isolated groups of Hunter Gatherers)
And since the advent of the Industrial Revolution man has released a little extra CO2 into the atmosphere while clear-cutting forests for fuel.
There is a correlation between rising temperatures, sea level increase & CO2 (all are heading up, kind of temp is ???), but I have yet to see any real evidence that Natural Influences have stopped and CO2 is now in the driving seat

TA

“Acknowledging the fact that fossil fuel combustion increases the atmosphere’s natural greenhouse effect is not “toeing the leftist line on climate change.” It’s just basic physics.”
One can agree that the greenhouse effect is increase by increased CO2, but still hold the position that there is no evidence that human-caused CO2 has added any net heat to the Earth’s atmosphere.
There have been no runaway greenhouse disasters in Earth’s history even though CO2 concentrations have been much higher in the past.
All the warming we have seen to date can be explained by invoking Mother Nature. We should assume Mother Nature did it until proven otherwise.

MarkW

Funny, I didn’t see any of this on the news last night or this morning.

ResourceGuy

+1

Joe - the non climate scientist

The motion to dismiss has been filed but not granted- as of 3/22/2018 , there has been no ruling on the motion to dismiss. If this incorrect, please provide a link.
No news organization has reported any action

beng135

Headlines:
Green rent-seekers get burned
Oils-well that ends well
Judge says it’s a gas, gas, gas
Greenies get drilled

bitchilly

ha ha, i like that beng 🙂

ddpalmer

Any link yet to the whole ruling?
Would love to read his reasoning.

Duncan Smith

Wonder if it has more to do with this, in 2011 the Superior Court of California, Superior Justice Center overruled a lower court decision…..
“The Supreme Court reversed and remanded the lower court order in a unanimous opinion by Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “The Clean Air Act and the EPA action the Act authorizes displace any federal common-law right to seek abatement of carbon-dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel fired power plants.”
So in my laymen terms, if the government already regulates it, you cannot sue it. Like suing a convenience store for selling cigarettes/alcohol, that the government allows them to sell.
https://www.oyez.org/cases/2010/10-174

commieBob

Me too.

Judge slams California cities lawyers says they misled the court …

The guy who tweeted that is a journalist not a lawyer so I’m taking it with a grain of salt. It has a very serious meaning and, if the judge really said exactly that, could lead to serious consequences for the cities’ lawyers.

Possibly, but not yet. See comment below. I spent partbof this morning learning more about what happened yesterday. Been misreported/misunderstood.

commieBob

ristvan March 22, 2018 at 10:17 am
… Been misreported/misunderstood.

Thanks. I suspected so, thus my invocation of cum grano salis. 🙂

The Rick

Judge better have thick skin – because here comes the onslaught of character assassination not seen since ? (I leave it to this comment section to provide the good quips)

Green Sand

Check not his history, skin? Double Rhino!

Green Sand

Sorry, keyboard cockup
not = out

Joe

In Oregon they will successfully ruin a Judge if they don’t abide by the code of Lenin and Stalin.

Javert Chip

This is a Federal, not a state, judge

Javert Chip

Anthony:
Clarification may be needed (or at least appreciated):
The Monckton “Global warming on trial and the elementary error of physics that caused the global warming scare” post says this was a CA state judge; this post says it’s a Federal judge. A quick Google says Alsup is Federal.

Don K

Alsup was the judge in the Oracle vs Google trial over alleged theft of intellectual property re the Java programming language. He’s by no means a knee-jerk conservative. Clerked for William O Douglas. Appointed by Clinton. Recently blocked the Trump administration attempt to shut down DACA applications. Controversial figure, but thought by many to have a better than usual grasp of complex technical issues.

Ben of Houston

Sounds like a good judge, then. You don’t want to win with an overwhelming advantage or potentially biased judge. A fair and smart one is always better, because you can win or lose on the facts, and the facts were definitely with us in this case.

joe - the non climate scientist
NW sage

Me too! I hope that CM of Brenchley shares a few words with us about this Alsop ruling. Did the judge accept and read the amicus curie brief he (and the other scientists) submitted?

philincalifornia

Respectfully, since I know he’s probably reading this, I was a bit disappointed that Lord Monckton used one of his favorite hobby horses, not that it wasn’t spot-on, just a bit complicated.
Since the case is about reparations for sea level rise, wouldn’t this have been more germane:
http://www.psmsl.org/data/obtaining/rlr.monthly.plots/10_high.png
How the fk is anyone going to prove that the sea level rise at the tide gauge in San Francisco was caused by the Defendants.
I want my money back. Oh, hold on a sec, they’ll use my money to pay me my money back.

philincalifornia

PS Since I stopped following this charlatan charade in detail a few years ago, can anyone tell me if the climate Kleptos add the GIA to tide gauge data? I’m looking at SF Bay as I type. Lived here for almost 40 years and I haven’t seen much change in how the Bay levels have risen above the marbled godwit’s and other wading bird’s legs at low tide.

philincalifornia

PPS I would like to sincerely and humbly apologize to any and all general charlatans for any distress my post might have caused.

Chris Wright

That thought occurred to me. After posting about this case (assuming it is the same case, it certainly is the same judge) I realised that the claim was more specifically about damages caused by rising sea levels. It then became obvious that the case for the defence would be incredibly simple: the graph of sea level rise since 1850.
Here’s the graph from that well known advocate of scientific integrity, NASA:
https://climate.nasa.gov/vital-signs/sea-level/
Apart from the usual random ups and downs both graphs are virtually a straight line.
It makes it impossible for anyone to claim damages from human-induced sea level rise. The rate today is no larger than during the Boer war and the two world wars.
The simple truth is that, overall, the benefits of fossil fuels for all of humanity are absolutely vast.
Chris

pbweather

My home town Albany Western Australia. A place with a low tidal range in a geologically stable region. The local raw tide gauge data suggests there has been a 6cm rise since 1966 which is close to my birth date. I have seen no evidence what so ever of SLR or coastal change because of it. I think coastal beaches and salt marshes can adapt to the slow current SLR making any change virtually impossible to detect.
http://www.bom.gov.au/ntc/IDO70000/IDO70000_62120_SLI.png

Ben of Houston

To be frank, Phil, just by eyeballing the tidal gauge, I don’t think I’d notice a change of less than 4 inches in my shoreline over the course of my lifetime. It’s quite reasonable without worrying about adjustment.

Phil, the various composite “global average” sea-level trends usually do have GIA added (though mine doesn’t). So do most of the reported satellite altimetry measurements of sea-level. (Aviso used to make it optional, but they removed that feature.) But the individual tide gauge measurements from NOAA and PSMSL do not have GIA added.
One thing that is sometimes added (well, subtracted), to the individual tide-gauge numbers is a “seasonal signal.” At most locations there’s a clear regular seasonal variation in average mean sea-level (MSL), “seasonal signal,” with some months of the year having predictably higher average MSL than others. NOAA’s individual tide-station MSL data (when downloaded from the most obvious place) has already had this “seasonal signal” variation subtracted from the reported monthly average MSL data, to smooths the trend line. PSMSL does not do that with theirs (which is why PSMSL’s graphs generally look so much “uglier” than NOAA’s). The code which I use on my sealevel.info site does calculate and remove the “seasonal signal” when using PSMSL’s data.
Adding model-derived GIA to the global sea-level trend is useful for some purposes, but the sum is not “sea-level rise.” Rather, it is an estimate of what the rate of sea-level rise would be were it not for post-glacial sinking of the ocean floor. In the words of Greg Goodman, “it… means their “mean sea level” is now floating, phantom like, above the waves.”
You are absolutely right that rising CO2 levels have not significantly affected the rate of sea-level rise. The ocean is rising no faster now, with CO2 at 407 ppmv, than it was when the CO2 level was 100 ppmv lower. There’s no evidence that the rate of sea-level rise (or fall, in some places) is affected by manmade climate change.
Here’s the sea-level measurement record for San Francisco (with trend calculated starting the month after the 1906 earthquake, and seasonal cycle removed), juxtaposed with CO2:
http://sealevel.info/9414290_SanFrancisco_2018-01_since_1906-05.png
(Aside: note the prominent sea-level spikes associated with the 1941, 1983 & 1998 El Niños.)
Here’s an interactive version of the same graph (which also has links to NOAA’s and PSMSL’s pages), except that I’ve enabled 3-month “boxcar” smoothing:
https://sealevel.info/MSL_graph.php?id=9414290&c_date=1906/5-2019/12&lin_ci=0&linear=0&quadratic=1&quad_ci=1&boxcar=1&boxwidth=3&thick

Wally

Surprised me as well.
Is there now hope?

joe - the non climate scientist

My prior comment is premature
It appears that the motion to dismiss has not been signed by the judge (at least it is not appearing on the court website, nor have any media published any report signing of the motion to dismiss
The hearing for the motion to dimiss has not been heard
Full PDF of the DEFENDANTS’ MPA ISO MOTION TO DISMISS:
https://www.eenews.net/assets/2018/03/20/document_gw_20.pdf

From the article:

Alsup dismissing the idea that there was some sort of conspiracy amongst fossil fuel companies to suppress info on climate. Exxon discovery files tell a different story. #climatetutorial @ClimateLawNews
— Amy Westervelt (@amywestervelt) March 21, 2018

No where in this article does it state that the case has been dismissed. Only that the judge dismissed a key pillar of the plaintiff’s case. Without this, the case will likely fall apart, but not quite yet.

wws

It sounds to me like the Judge made a bench ruling (verbal, not written) dismissing the Conspiracy part of the charges. That means the rest of the case can continue – but the kicker is, once the conspiracy element is lacking, the rest of the legal case is guaranteed to fall apart. Because it is not illegal for a company to act in its own best interest, so long as it does not engage in a conspiracy with other companies which would distort the markets.

Tom Halla

Suprising result from a judge in California.

philincalifornia

It’s not at all surprising. This meme is a myth too. I’ve been involved, as a corporate representative (scientist, not lawyer), in long-term court cases in both San Francisco and Oakland, followed a lot of the rulings of the big name judges and the ones on our cases and no, they don’t make left-leaning decisions on a whim. My experience, supported by this, is that the system actually works, other than when you have clowns like Michael Mann who are forced to delay and delay (the inevitable).

Alan Tomalty

Also there was a case on global warming that went all the way to the supreme court The supreme court overturned a lower court decision and threw out the case saying that since Federal law applied the plaintiffs were out of luck.

thomasjk

He’s a legal immigrant who was born in Mississippi and who earned a BS degree in engineering from Mississippi State University prior to going on to Harvard law school. That he landed in CA was almost just incidental.
He’s 72 years old — likely too old for Supreme Court consideration.

Legal immigrant born in Mississippi? Maybe I don’t know what the work ‘immigrant’ means…

David L.

Fantastic! And it came down on the first day of spring while north eastern US is getting a foot of globull warning.

Chris Wright

Yes, it’s great news. Meanwhile here in the UK I see they’re forcasting very low temperatures and possible snow for Easter: possibly the Beast from the East Part 3.
There’s a big problem with global warming: there isn’t enough of it!
Chris

That makes my day.

Michael Cox

Federal judges don’t seem to have much sense of humor about being “misled”.

If a few lawyers managed to get disbarred this misleading behavior might taper off a bit.

peanut gallery

FISA judges seem to be okay with it.

Afterthought

This is what real justice looks like.

Just had a disturbing thought… if the cities appeal the decision it will go to the most liberal federal appeals court in the land, the infamous 9th circuit.

RobR

Appellate courts do not have to accept appeal cases. In fact their decision to hear a case should be based on procedural error, or suspicion of a violation of constitutional rights.

Wally

No problem, they’ll come up with something,

Javert Chip

Another way of saying what BobR said:
Appellate judges deal with application of the law; District judges obviously deal in law, but they have primary responsibility for findings of fact.
It is relatively rare for an Appellate court to interfere with a District Court’s findings of fact.
This District Court judge appears to have done a spectacular job of “fact finding”..

Sweet Old Bob

Amy Westervelt had a really bad day ….
(8<))

rocketscientist

She should have “pizza”ed in stead of french fried.

rocketscientist

Was it simple dismissal or with prejudice? Will defendants counter sue for legal costs?

Phil R

rocketscientist,
IA definitely NAL, but I think he only dismissed one charge (though apparently a “core” charge) of their case. I don’t think he dismissed the whole case, but it probably increases the headwinds they face. Hopefully a lawyer (It is said that if a name is repeated three times, they will com: ristvan, ristvan, ristvan) will come along and comment.

MarkW

If the interpretation in the above article is correct, and the judge did find that the state’s lawyers have misled the court, it’s going to be really rough going for the state in regards to any charges still standing.

gregfreemyer

I second the “with prejudice” question.
“A dismissal with prejudice is dismissal of a case on merits after adjudication.The plaintiff is barred from bringing an action on the same claim. Dismissal with prejudice is a final judgment and the case becomes res judicata on the claims that were or could have been brought in it.”

markl

Great news. I was skeptical CC could get a fair trial in California and I’m pleasantly surprised. Although from what I’ve read about the judge it should come as no surprise. He may be the last of a dying breed who are not politically motivated and actually research issues. He also has a technical mind which, like science, accepts observation over theory.

Meigs

San Fran and Oakland don’t use oil??

Curious George

Snake oil only.

That’s funny!

Wally

Hash oil is my bet.

philincalifornia

Speak for yourself, ha ha

Mark from the Midwest

On that note it’s time to break out the single malt and spin my vinyl copy of the Doors, Strange Days

J Mac

Excellent choices! I’m raising a glass to Judge Alsup now…

eric

Be careful of what you attribute to Alsup. The exact wording of his findings is critical
in determining what might happen next.

But does that mean that the whole trial is all over ? Or i is there still more to come ?

Don B
Roger Knights

Great document—but on page 7 it says, “comprised of some 50 different models,” instead of the correct “comprising some 50 different models”

Javert Chip

Roger
Were any commas missing?

Roger Knights

There may have been, but nothing jumped out at me. Anyway, there’s a lot of leeway in use of commas, especially in fiction. But mistakes in the use of “comprise” are egregious “howlers.” (“Comprise” is a more limited form of “include,” so saying “comprised of” is like saying “included of.”)

Don B, yes. I was checking the court filings, orders, and transcripts this morning.

Bill Murphy

They are self-brainwashed.
And spin dried.

Or simply dumb.

thomasjk

And hoist by their own petard — (If there is any justice left in our system of courts.).

And then gently folded and put in a “safe space”.

nn

Clearly not an employee of the artificial green blight. The organic black blob?

Needless to say, our national mainstream media has jumped all over this outcome today.
Not. See none.
sarc off/

Doug

Kinda like the coverage of the school shooter that was shot by school security…didn’t fit the narrative so no need to over cover the story.

Yep – or, like coverage of the Oct 2016 multiple sexual assault accusations against Bill Clinton by former – and very credible – Arkansas TV reporter Leslie Millwee. What he wasn’t running for pres? OK – 1st man – right-hand advisor to the potential pres and soon to be her globe-trekking US emissary. These two left of center on-line outlets had one spot up on it; the MSM – nothing;
Oct 19, 2016 – Ex-Arkansas reporter accuses Bill Clinton of sexual assaults:
MILLWEE: He [Bill Clinton] came in [to the editing room] behind me, started hunching me to the point that he had an orgasm. He’s touching, trying to touch my breasts and I’m just sitting there very stiffly, just waiting for him to leave me alone. And I’m asking him the whole time, ‘Please do not do this. Do not touch me. Do not hunch me. I do not want this.’ And he finished doing what he was doing and walked out.
Here: http://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2016/10/former-tv-reporter-accuses-bill-clinton-of-sexual-assault-229987
And here: thehill.com/blogs/ballot-box/presidential-races/301765-ex-arkansas-reporter-accuses-bill-clinton-of-groping-her

“MILLWEE: He [Bill Clinton] came in [to the editing room] behind me, started hunching me to the point that he had an orgasm. He’s touching, trying to touch my breasts and I’m just sitting there very stiffly, just waiting for him to leave me alone. And I’m asking him the whole time, ‘Please do not do this. Do not touch me. Do not hunch me. I do not want this.’ And he finished doing what he was doing and walked out.”
http://www.politico.com/blogs/on-media/2016/10/former-tv-reporter-accuses-bill-clinton-of-sexual-assault-229987
Bill reminds me of my friend’s dachshund. When I was a kid I used to visit my genius friend Peter, and he would always admonish me to put my shoes in the closet and close the door. Seems his dog had a shoe fetish, and would make wild passionate love to your footwear if you left them in sight. Gives whole new meaning to the term “wiener dog”. If I ever encounter a dog like this again. I’m going to call him “Clinton”. 🙂
Even notice how the press gives lefties a free pass when they (all too frequently) reveal themselves as sexual predators? Canadian NDP leader Jack Mehoff Layton was caught by the Toronto police in a raid of notorious massage parlour, famous for their “happy endings”, and was given a free pass by the police AND the press.

thomasjk

There is a pay-walled article that was published by The Washington Post.

Bob K

Interesting Tutorial
===========
yes. well worth the time to review. the authors have put quite a bit of their own time into the presentation.

Latitude

“New York City’s lawsuit seeks up to $20 billion in compensation”……
This is a joke right?……..surely the damage from global warming is much more than that……./snark

jim

If this bit is true ‘The cities’ suits against oil companies, however, do not show an industry conspiracy to suppress climate science from the public, U.S. District Judge William Alsup said, according to journalists who attended the hearing’ then it was chucked out because of the lack of proof of conspiracy, nothing to do with the ‘science’ or whether or not climate change exists.

Ben of Houston

Still, it is one of the biggest issues. A federal judge reviewed the evidence and flat-out dismissed the conspiracy charge. People who believe they rationally view the issue and believe in the conspiracy will be taken aback, and hopefully reconsider their positions. It is, in fact, probably the best points to take for changing minds. It’s quite easy to see that there is no conspiracy.The oil companies are not Captain-Planet-esque villains trying to sabotage the world for personal gain.
Once a group is shown to have blatantly lied in one way, people will be less likely to trust them on other issues.

Hot under the collar

Wow! That was marvellously quick, the global warming religion case must have been assessed on its merits ; )

Javert Chip

You totally missed Jim’s point: the decision was based on a lack of conspiracy; it said nothing about the accuracy/quality of the science.

michael hart

Baby steps. But progress, nonetheless.

gunsmithkat

Lord Monckton certainly called this one correctly.

gunsmithkat

Imagine, judging a case on its merits not its politics.

Don’t mess with the Monck.

tom0mason

And this result makes me feel 😀 😃 😄 ☺️ 😁 😀 😍 all over

J Mac

Hot Damn!
The first decision is rendered with swift justice.
‘One’ for the good guys!

T. Fry

“They are self-brainwashed.”
So true, and the worst kind.

Javert Chip

But…but…but…does this mean Arnold can’t sue for CO2 murder (I mean, ignoring individuals cannot sue anybody for murder)?

Arnie’s lawsuit provides clear evidence that overuse of steroids shrinks the brain, as well as other vital organs.

MarkW

He was able to get his wife’s maid pregnant.

Javert Chip

Don’t think he used his brain for that…

MarkW

I was thinking of those other vital organs.

The ruling seems to be about the conspiracy claim, not about the science. Some may be interested in the submission from Happer, Koonin and Lindzen to join in the tutorial. Their conclusion was supported by answers to Judge Alsup’s questions plus additional material
Summary
“To summarize this overview, the historical and geological record suggests recent changes in the climate over the past century are within the bounds of natural variability. Human influences on the climate (largely the accumulation of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion) are a physically small (1%) effect on a complex, chaotic, multicomponent and multiscale system. Unfortunately, the data and our understanding are insufficient to usefully quantify the climate’s response to human influences. However, even as human influences have quadrupled since 1950, severe weather phenomena and sea level rise show no significant trends attributable to them. Projections of future climate and weather events rely on models demonstrably unfit for the purpose. As a result, rising levels of CO2 do not obviously pose an immediate, let alone imminent, threat to the earth’s climate.”
https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2018/03/22/cal-climate-tutorial-the-meat/

TinyCO2

Though it does put a severe dent in the ‘merchants’ of doubt’ meme.

Too much importance attached to a comment by Alsup at the end of the hearing. Observers noted:
“The dismissal of the conspiracy allegation was not an official ruling, but rather an observation made toward the end of the hearing. Nonetheless, a federal judge’s opinion on such a core component of campaigns like #ExxonKnew and the municipal climate lawsuits could prove troublesome for activists, especially as they struggle to convince more state officials to launch investigations based on allegations of conspiracy and fraud.”
http://eidclimate.org/federal-judge-dismisses-claim-energy-producers-suppressed-climate-science/

willhaas

Based on the paleoclimate record and the work doen with models, one can conclude that the climate change we are experiencing today is caused by the sun and the oceans over which mankind has no control. There is plenty of rational to support the idea that the climate sensivity of CO2 is zero. But even if adding CO2 to the atmosphere caused or enhanced global warming, there is no real evidence that such climate change resulted in any extreme weather events that are any different than what happens naturally. They have no evidence that any damages that they have suffered was not caused by Mother Nature. So the real party they should ge litigating against is Mother Nature and even if they could win a judgement against Mother Nature they will have no luck in collecting on a judgment against Mother Nature.
Then there is that the whole world has contributed to the increase in CO2 and not just the companies involved. If those burning fossil fuels did not get the fuel from the companies involved they would have gotten the fuel from other companies. The companies are not responsible for the improvement in our society that has been happening since the start of the industrial refolution. Everyone who makes use of goods and or services that involve the use of fossil fuels is responsible. The last I heard, the use of goods and or services that make use of fossil fuels is stil legal in all 50 states of the USA.
More greenhouse gas emmission can be traced to water companies than supplires of fossil fuels. Maybe they should be litigating agains H2O providers and to govenment agencies that have allowed H2O under their jurisdiction to evaporate back into the atmosphere. After all H2O is the primary greenhouse gas. Molecule per molecule, H2O is a much stronger absorber of IR radiation than is CO2.

gary turner

Good news. How good TBD.

Mike G

Even if it were true the oil company’s product resulted in some measurable harm to these cities, that harm would be negligible compared to the catastrophe that would have ensued for these cities if the oil companies had withheld sale of their product.

climatebeagle

Now waiting for our Oakland city attorney to resign …

jaypan

Being one of the fossil fuel companies, as a precautinary measure, i would stop providing any fossil fuel based products in these cities. Just not to increase a possible damage. Now.

Ben of Houston

No, that would frame them as the villains. However, I do think they should formally and publicly offer to do so. This would put the cities in a bind as they would look like utter hypocrites, trying to get reparations from a company for doing business while arguing that they need them to continue doing business. I doubt that it would trip up a good lawyer for long (they would just bluster through it), but it could provide some amusing logical loops.

Warren Blair

Monckton of Brenchley you deserve that seat back in the House of Lords.
You called this one and likely gave the Judge food for thought and inspiration to study the CAGW scam.
The carbon cartel will need to stay well clear of Alsup by the looks of it.
I was negative and essentially wrong . . . my apologies (if you read this).

jorgekafkazar

“… It’s a mental issue with these #ExxonKnew people. They are self-brainwashed.”
This is no mere figure of speech. In actuality, they are now incapable of recognizing truth, of separating fact from their Lysenkoist fantasy. This would be laughable if they were not planning to destroy our republic and our way of life, exhorting us to flee from an imaginary peril, shrieking and spewing spittle in self-righteous dudgeon.

Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

Please find below a recent article abstract of mine titled “Role of climate change on Recent Weather Disasters”, published in Acta Scientific Agriculture, (Research Article), 2 (4): 22-29, 2018
Abstract
Keywords: Weather Disasters; Climate Change; Global Warming; Winter Storms; Summer Storms; Agriculture and Water Resources
Natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanoes, landslides, tsunamis, blizzards, floods, droughts, etc. can cause loss of life and damage to property and as well to nature that includes agriculture and water resources. The quantum of such loss or damage depends on several factors. In the case of weather disasters, humans play vital destructive role. For the past one decade world over
witnessed extreme weather events such as urban floods in India, hurricanes in southern USA, bomb cyclones in northeastern USA-Canada. All these received wide media coverage; and rulers of the nations and so-called scientific community started attributing such events to climate change, which is used as de-fact global warming. The historical pattern on the occurrence of such extreme weather events dispels this type of notion. Many a time they try to look at short period information and come up with sensational conclusions, which have serious repercussions’ on long-term planning for agriculture, water resources, etc. There is well-established data about
these matters. However, there is a limitation on such historically data in both space and time as the recording started around 1850s; and prior to that written descriptions and as folklores of the events and consequent disasters are only available. Surprisingly extreme weather events are not only confined to warmer weather conditions but also to colder weather conditions. It is a fact that magnitude of temperature is not a driving force but temperature gradient plays vital role on extreme weather events formation. Both in summer and winter India gets cyclones; and the same is the case in USA. Also, we should not look at extreme weather events as destructive events but they provide succor by increasing on land and in ground water and thus their impact on agriculture.
Dr. S. Jeevananda Reddy

Christopher D Hoff

Here I was so worried the fix was in, and I was totally wrong. Sanity has indeed prevailed. Sorry for being so cynical on Lord Monckton’s amicus brief.

It’s commendable that you — and a number of others here — should say so 🙂

Warren Blair

Lord Monckton also has my apology (previously made but currently in moderation).

TEWS_Pilot

There is some confusion about exactly what was accomplished and what was ruled in court today and whether this really is a win or just a sorting of what each side presented with some admonitions. Claims are being made by the Plaintiffs that this was just the presentation of the tutorial and that the judge could reverse his decision during discovery during cross examination using alleged admissions of “conspiracy” in the Exxon records. Most critical is the assertion that “ALL PARTIES” agreed that the “science” is “settled” and in favor of AGW Alarmism. Can anyone clear the clutter?

Alan Tomalty

If that is true Big Oil has proved that nothing matters except money. The truth be damned. Their lawyers laid out the business case and looked at the costs and benefits and came to the conclusion that it is too costly in the long run to insist on the truth. the problem is that by caving in to the falsehoods they just left the door wider open for others to claim non existent damages. This world has really become a world of Oz. i ask any greenie I come across what has ever been any bad consequence of global warming? Who or what has been harmed by global warming. They spout a bunch of lies which I easily refute and then they finally say but its gonna happen . I say Ive been waiting for it for 67 years and it hasnt happened yet. I just dont see what guys like Nick Stokes are afraid of?

DWR54

The defendant’s are not disputing the science. In fact, as far as I know, all the defendants formally accept the IPCC’s view on climate change and its causes and have done so for years in most cases. For example, from Exxon’s official position on climate change:

The risk of climate change is clear and the risk warrants action. Increasing carbon emissions in the atmosphere are having a warming effect. There is a broad scientific and policy consensus that action must be taken to further quantify and assess the risks.

The SF Examiner is quoting Chevron’s lawyer as follows:

A lawyer for Chevron Corp. told a federal judge in San Francisco Wednesday that the company “accepts the consensus of the scientific community” that climate change is real and is caused primarily by human activity. “That has been Chevron’s position for a decade,” attorney Theodore Boutrous told U.S. District Judge William Alsup.

There’s nothing new in the oil companies’ acceptance of the IPCC position on climate change.

Sunsettommy

DWR54, the very reason why Oil Companies can’t lose the case.

CheshireRed

Big oil has set out to win this case, not lose the argument on whether man is causing climate change. By adopting alarmist positions on human influence they’ve drawn the sting of the main alarmist weapon being used against them – that they covered-up the damage their products were causing.
That then shifts any responsibility for any consequences of using fossil fuels back to the end user, not the oil companies. ‘You used fossil fuels, you embraced the benefits of fossil fuels, you’re responsible for any consequences of using fossil fuels.’ Checkmate right there.

If it were not for fossil fuels you would be living at the same standard as your great-grandparents if you had the good fortune to have survived infancy. And he environmental problems would be how to cope with the manure of 100 million or so horses and the flies as well as the task of allocating enough land to feed them.
Wake up. Read some economic and social history. Learn at least a little about the economic and technical basis for the vast improvement in well-being of people now living compared to 125 years ago.
Then apologize to the unsung heroes who toiled to produce the fossil fuels on which our modern civilization depends.

CheshireRed

Absolutely. The case is absurd for those reasons in particular. FF have been the single greatest advance in human history, as *everything* has flowed from our initial discovery of releasing stored energy to heat and light our lives. Any downsides, and there’s always some, are miniscule compared to the upsides.

How about tectonic movements in the San Francisco Bay area.
The same attribution game is played on the US east coast where continuing post-glacial isostatic subsidence of the fore-bulge is ignored.
See page 13 in Atwater, Hedel and Helley, Late quaternary Depositional History, Holocene Sea Level Changes and Vertical Crustal Movement, Southern San Francisco Bay Area, California Geological Survey Professional Paper 1015, U.S. Government Printing Office, 1977 (Accessed on Google Books. Search string: “san francisco bay” isostatic adjustment””)

richard

I would just cite 30 years of the planet and deserts greening to the greens.

R.S. Brown

The Associated Press is carrying a report on the “tutorial” that fails to
mention any information Drs. Happer, Koonin and Lindzen submitted,
or that they submitted anything at all:
https://apnews.com/47127ac8fd2f4328a1835e24ab9ecc2c/Court-as-class:-Judge-gets-climate-change-lesson-in-oil-suit

BruceC

Full PDF of the DEFENDANTS’ MPA ISO MOTION TO DISMISS:
https://www.eenews.net/assets/2018/03/20/document_gw_20.pdf

Wired published more description of what happened in the courtroom. Excerpts and links:
https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2018/03/22/inside-the-climate-tutorial/

ResourceGuy

Yep it reads like courtroom theater which was its only intent to begin with. Outcomes don’t matter in playacting. It’s all about the experience. The same is often true of billable hours and consultants.

Old joke: Why are lawyers like Nuclear Weapons?
Answer: 1. If the other side has them, you have to. 2. Mostly they stay in their towers running up charges for their readiness. 3. When they get involved, everything is destroyed.

Jim Sweet

Sanctions for court costs and defendant legal expenses. Referals to bar for discipline.