All the "tutorial", reference, and amicus brief documents for the #ExxonKnew federal court case

From the Oakland City Attorney: (h/t to Dr. Willie Soon)

Oakland Climate Change Lawsuit

City of Oakland sues top five oil and gas companies to make them pay the cost of protecting human life and property from climate change

On September 19, 2017, Oakland City Attorney Barbara J. Parker and San Francisco City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed separate lawsuits on behalf of their respective cities against the five largest investor-owned producers of fossil fuels in the world.

The lawsuits ask the courts to hold these companies responsible for the costs of sea walls and other infrastructure necessary to protect Oakland and San Francisco from ongoing and future consequences of climate change and sea level rise caused by the companies’ production of massive amounts of fossil fuels.

The defendant companies – Chevron, ConocoPhilips, Exxon Mobil, BP and Royal Dutch Shell – have known for decades that fossil fuel-driven global warming and accelerated sea level rise posed a catastrophic risk to human beings and to public and private property, especially in coastal cities like San Francisco and Oakland. Despite that knowledge, the companies continued to aggressively produce, market and sell vast quantities of fossil fuels for a global market, while engaging in an organized campaign to deceive consumers about the dangers of massive fossil fuel production.

Sea Rise Map Oakland

Oakland coastline showing eight feet of sea level rise.

Court Documents & Tutorial Presentations

Alameda County Superior Court Case No. RG17875889

San Francisco County Superior Court Case No. CGC-17-561370

Understanding Climate Emissions

Myles Allen, Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment & Department of Physics, University of Oxford

Sea Level Rise and the San Francisco Bay Shoreline

Gary Griggs, Distinguished Professor of Earth & Planetary Sciences, UC Santa Cruz

A Tutorial on Climate Change Science: the 4th National Climate Assessment

Don Wuebbles, Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois

Reference Documents

Answers to Questions Posed by Judge Alsup

Don Wuebbles, Dept. of Atmospheric Sciences, University of Illinois

Rising Seas in California

An Update on Sea Level Rise Science, April 2017

Additional documents: (FULL LISTING)

Amicus Briefs from climate skeptics:

116 thoughts on “All the "tutorial", reference, and amicus brief documents for the #ExxonKnew federal court case

  1. Doesn’t the plaintiff in this case first have to prove that emissions cause warming?
    How are they going to do that?
    ECS equilibrium climate sensitivity doesn’t really work because of uncertainty
    They might try the TCRE proportionality of temperature with cumulative emissions to prove that the warming is man made
    But there is a problem with that. It turns out that the “proportionality” is seen for any variable that contains only positive numbers (as emissions does).

    • I think that first they’ll have to prove there’s a problem. Is Oakland under 8 feet of water like the picture shows? Once they’ve shown us the problem the they’ll have to prove the long chain of causal events to the culpability.
      Also, why are only the largest shareholder-owned producers beieng sued? I Hu not Gazprom and Saudi Arabia?
      And are they really suing to pay for protections? Great, then build them and maybe we’ll discuss who picks up the tab. Or are they just suing for a big pile o’ cash??
      When will California elect some adults for once?

      • Because they dont have any adults in California. Just greenies who have never grown up and think that everyone should have the same amount of money that everyone else has and that meritocracy is unfair and a 1 world government would be cool and that capitalism is bad. The problem is that there never will be a 1 world government and even if it ever happened it would soon turn to dictatorship the same as every actual attempted socialist government has in reality descinded into dictatorship in all of human history.

  2. Gas driven cars are a necessity for the economy. There is no replacement for gasoline without destroying the economy.

    • Would anyone buy a car if there was no gasoline? Would anyone buy a house if they could not heat it? Would everyone grow their own food because farmers could not use their tractors? This lawsuit is ridiculous, volcanos produces more CO2 in one day then all of humankind, including Exxon, since the iron age. An X class flare from the sun has billions of tons of methane and ammonia and other gases which oxidizes in our atmosphere causing sea level rise. (it also causes Antarctica ice to get a foot thicker every year on average)
      I always hear the warmatolgist’s say they “BELIEVE in man-made global warming”
      Belief is a statement of faith, religious faith. To force everyone, even the courts, to believe in this religion is forbidden by the constitution. This country does not recognize their religion over any other, even if they try to force us to believe in it. Their God is not my God.

      • An X-class CME certainly has no detectable amounts of organic carbon molecules (methane) or reduced nitrogen compounds. Its almost exclusively ionized hydrogen (as fast moving protons), some small amount of helium, and a charge balancing amount of electrons.
        As for total global volcanic CO2 emissions, if benthic submarine CO2 release is included in your total, then maybe your statement is true.
        The fact is we really don’t know how much CO2 is outgassing globally from volcanoes, both on land and more importantly in the deep oceans and under the Antarctic ice shields. Total CO2 from vulcanism is a very unconstrained by observation number, i.e highly uncertain.

      • Carbon , if I’m reading this right, is the third most abundant element in a CME.(“C” Page 20)
        I believe it was 2014 when earth experience the perfect solar storm. A larger storm over took a smaller one making the most spectacular northern lights ever. You could tell the composition of the stellar gases by the color of the flame burning (oxidizing) 50 miles away in the upper atmosphere lighting up the entire sky. A few days later it was announced that the Arctic reached over 400 ppm CO2 for the first time ever during the event. It must’ve been a coincidence.

      • The colors you are seeing are from charged particles interacting with molecules in the earth’s atmosphere.

    • The cities (plaintiffs) are being represented by private law firms… on contingency, hoping for a Big Tobacco-style payment. The details of the agreements between the cities and those law firms is client confidential.
      If (more likely “when”) Big Oil wins (defendants) and gets awarded claims for their attorney fees, the details of those confidential agreements likely spell-out who is has to pay and how much.

      • No they let it public knowledge that the lead law firm would take 23%. Well as it turns out 0 * 23% = 0
        Correct me if my math is wrong.

      • Alan,
        What is confidential is who will pay the defendants’ legal bills when plaintiff loses and petition for legal fees is granted by the judge.
        The result is the Lead Law firm and/or the taxpayers of those cities, the result is not zero, but negative.

  3. The oil companies should buy just enough San Francisco and Oakland bonds to get standing, and sue the cities for material misrepresentations in their bond offerings. As the statements in their bond offerings were directly inconsistent with the climate change lawsuit, it would give the cities choice of admitting at least one is false.

  4. A few legal comments based on reading the Alameda County (Oakland) complaint illustrated by their attorney in the post. Wont go well, and I did not even go full depth/length on this dreck.
    Complaint 1 page 1 intro: ‘harming Oakland now’ despite no tide gauge delta SlR in San Fran Bay in a century. Factually FALSE. Not a good way to begin, especially when the city’s bond offerings claim the opposite of this assertion.
    2,3,5,6 sections set out the conspiracy theory, PROBLEM, no credible supporting evidence, as judge Alsup noted.
    8: models predict 10 feet SLR by 2100. Two issues. The only ‘model’ ‘predicting that is goofy Hansen. But his goofy paper did not go beyond 2050. Oops.
    The complaint just gets worse. These warmunist lawyers have no grip on reality at all!!!

    • ristvan , Can the defendants argue that the harms are not manifest, but the benefits are kniwn, provable and offset the imaginary harms?

    • Only had a few hours on torts long go, but don’t the plaintiffs have to show “harm or expenses” in these type of suits?
      In other words, no compensation for “predicted” future harm or expenses.
      The tobacco case had a lot more evidence of medical harm and costs and studies to backup their claims.
      Secondly, the Florida tobacco lawyers got about 20% of the huge settlement if memory serves, but thankfully it was primarily from Florida’s cut of the settlement.
      – “The lawyers who represented the first states [Florida, Mississippi and Texas] to settle with the tobacco industry over health care costs were awarded $8.2 billion in fees yesterday, the richest legal payday in the nation’s history.. .Steven Yerrid, a plaintiffs’ lawyer in Tampa, who had helped represent Florida in its case said that he believed that the $3.4 billion paid to him and his colleagues was justified.” : NYTimes 1998
      You read that right! $3 billion for his firm. Doubt he is still practicing law, ya think?
      All should read “King of Torts” to see how it works.
      The biggie from later Florida tobacco suits is this:
      – A 2006 Florida ruling “… rejected a class representing some 700,000 Florida smokers as well as a jury award of $145 billion in punitive damages against the industry. But it established as res judicata the jury’s findings that cigarettes cause cancer, nicotine is addictive, and manufacturers sold a defective and dangerous product.” : Forbes 2013
      And that reward to the plaintiff lawyers is what the oilers’ lawyers in the current case are fighting.
      Gums comments…

  5. Having just watched the entirety of that video, I’m struck by two things. a) This has to be one of the most specious lawsuits ever conceived.
    b) How on earth do those halfwits even have jobs?

  6. This case will last years. I would not be surprised if it lasts over a decade until all appeals are exhausted. I also wouldn’t be surprised if the plaintiffs win a judgment of some fashion. This IS California after all. The standard of proof is preponderance of the evidence (basically 51%). The judge will not prove that global warming is a fact or not. Nobody can do that. Instead, he will rely on the testimony of experts. This “tutorial” is merely an effort to improve his ability to assess the credibility of these experts (i.e. improve his BS detector). The plaintiffs will have an endless parade of prominent government and university experts. They have huge weaknesses in their case, but California courts have a boundless creativity for liberal outcomes. I would not be sanguine about a quick or easy victory by defendants.

    • DeLoss McKnight
      See comment above re: defendants purchasing sufficient bonds issued by Oakland and SF and then suing them for willful misrepresentation because situation A and Z cannot both be correct at the same time.
      Something tells me the defendants most likely have far more competent attorneys working for them than the plaintiffs.

      • tetris, I know of that defense and was amused by it as well. I’m sure the plaintiffs, if they have to argue that point, will simply say that the bond prospectus was only talking about the risks for the lifetime of the bond issue, which in the vast majority of cases is 30 years or less. They can plausibly argue that while SLR acceleration is “baked in,” the rise won’t be significantly higher in the next 30 years. They can also argue that the extent of accelaration wasn’t known at the time those prospectuses were written. They will also double down and say that they *would* have disclosed those risks if the defendants hadn’t suppressed the information about those risks.
        By the way, I meant to say above that while I wouldn’t be surprised at a victory in District Court, or the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, a Supreme Court victory would be doubtful…unless the court composition has changed to the liberal persuasion by then.

    • The Court may be in California, but it is a United States District Court. That mean Federal, not State, jurisdiction.

      • But senators have an informal but strongly observed senatorial-privilege-type veto over federal judges in their state. That’s how California got all those liberal judges.

      • That may be how the Federal Courts located in California got so many liberal judges. However, Judge Alsup doens’t sound like one of them.

  7. The judge seems to be pre-post-modern. Post-modern judges rule based on feelings; truth is relative, and decided by the preferences of those in power.

  8. Just stop selling oil based products in California.
    I would give it 3 days before the clowns in power start getting assassinated.

    • To all oil based products, just add the label: “Known to cause cancer in the state of California.”

      • 😎
        What do all the things “Known to cause cancer in the state of California” have in common?

      • The psychological state called ‘California’ can be found in California. Therefore California is known to cause cancer in California! qed

  9. Who is responsible for the snow records and supersized hail in Oklahoma that took out cars in such numbers that no rental cars were available anymore?

  10. The latest Budget signed off by Trump besides defending the borders of foreign nations still contains financial support of the World Meteorological Organization. No other but Rand Paul actually read the bill before it was signed off. We’re screwed because “In Trump we Trust. Time to wake up and point out he’s undermining his own policies.

      • Haan, I read a number of those tweets this morning. They are a fascinating and depressing example of pork production. I hope that Trump will live up to his promise to never sign such a bill again, but the current dynamics are such that he will likely be forced to. This is the 21st century. There has to be a better way to craft and pass legislation that is transparent and and open to input from the electorate. It is only to the advantage of special interests (i.e. bribes) to legislate like we currently do.

    • His way of “draining the swamp” bears a strong resemblance to expanding and deepening rather than draining, doesn’t it? Could this kind of budget policy decision become a kind of a back door path to the utter extinction of the strange little parasitoid foreign country that’s called The District of Columbia.

      • Trump signed the budget bill because the United States may be involved in one or more wars in the near future and the U.S. military is NOT ready.
        Half our combat aircraft can’t fly because of maintenance and spare parts shortages. And that’s just one example of how much harm was done to the U.S. military preparedness by the sequester that was imposed on it by Obama and the Republicans in Congress for the last eight years.
        Trump needs to rebuild fast. That’s what he is thinking and why he signed the bill. The U.S. military and the American people can’t stand for the Congress to waste more time before giving the military the money they need. We are in great danger currently.
        Trump also has some solutions: Do away with the filibuster rule in the U.S. Senate so it only takes a majority to pass legislation; and give the president a line-item veto power. Only a line-item veto power will save the U.S. economy from bankruptcy. The disfunctional Congress certainly won’t do it, as we have just seen.
        Lots of swamp to drain. Lots of feckless Republicans and obstructionist Democrats to replace in the 2018 elections.

  11. I assume all the plaintiffs walked to the courthouse and the hearings are being held under candlelight. Such f**kin’ hypocrites.

  12. I liked very much the bit about the Oakland and San Francisco municipal bonds issued 70 years ago up to last year that cities are not affected by sea level!
    Well it does she spits or swallows?
    Are Oakland and San Francisco Municipal Bonds based on Fraud?! Yep.
    Ha hahahahahahhaha

  13. Right about now the major fossil energy interests are telling the world’s largest banks with whom they’ve done trillions of dollars in finance that it would be a shame if it came to choosing their business or dealing in the City of Oakland’s bond offering.

  14. Does anyone else think that (Barbara Parker) a woman who is wearing ‘dark glasses’ on an obviously dull and cloudy day may have some ‘perception’ issues when it comes to things like Global Warming?

  15. I notice that in the video, all the people there make use of goods and services that make use of fossil fuels so if there is any culpibility, they share it. They are wearing clothes whose transport involved the use of fossil fuels. They are living in cities built primarily by materials that were transported by the use of fossil fuels. I would think that the’re being transported to that location involved the use of fossil fuels..They are standing there exhaleing CO2 and H2O into the atmosphere After all it is their money that keeps the fossil fuel companies in business. To date it has been legal to make use of goods and services that involve the use of fossil fuels, in all of the United States so the oil companies have not been doing illegal.
    The AGW conjecture has been around for decades yet the cities involved have done nothing to outlaw the use of goods and services that make use of fossil fuels. AT the very least the cities of San Francisco and Oakland should make it illegal to possiess or make use of fossil fuel or and equipment such as cars, trucks, generators, furnaces should be baned from those cities. The companies involved should stop selling fossil fuels in Oakland and San Francisco. What would happen if all the companies involved just stoped doing business io avoid any more litigation? Where I live, in Southern California if such action took place most of us would all starve to death in short order because so much of our food supply is moved by trucks that make use of fossil fuel.
    The primary greenhouse gas is not CO2 but rather H2O. The cities involved have done nothing to stop the evaporization of H2O into the atmosphere within their jurisdiction. They should make it illegal to possess or make use of H2O within their city limits. They should also sue all water companies that supply water to their cities because more H2O in the atmosphere is suppose to contribut to global warming.
    Another problem is that the cities involved are full of hydrocarbon based materials that could burn and by so doing add greenhosue gases, H2O and CO2 to the atmosphere. All such materials should be removed and baned from the cities involved. That includes all wood, plastics, paper, asphault and all organic material. Oxides of Nitrogen is another threat and to rid the cities of these very harmfull greenhouse gases all forms of Nitrogen, Oxygen, high heat, and electricity should be removed from the city limits. I believe that if Oakland and San Francisco took such actions to protect themselves global warming that they would eliminate any possibility that anyone in their cities would be hurt by climate change because there would be no people within those cities.
    The reality is that based on the paleoclimate record and work done with models, one can conclude that the climate change we have been experiencing is caused by the sun and the oceans ove which mankind has no control. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and there is plenty of scientific rational that the climate sensivity of CO2 is zero.
    The AGW conjecture is based on only partiial science. The AGW conjecture depends upon the existance of a radiant grreenhouse effect caused by trace gases with LWIR absorption bands, The radient greenhouse effect has not been observed, in a real greenhouse, in the Earth’s atmosphere, or anywhere else in the solar system. The radiant greenhouse effect is science fiction so hence the AGW conjecrture is science fiction.
    There is no scientific consensus as to the validity of the AGW conjecture because scientists never registered and voted on the subject. Such a consensus would be meaningless because science is not a democracy. Theories are not validated via a voting process. The laws of science are not some sort of legislation.
    Apparently the rulling had nothing to do with the validity of the AGW conjecture. The judge did not see any evidence of a conspiricy.

  16. It is like 1925 in Dayton, Tennessee all over again where the religious zealots (present day climate activists) tried to stop the teaching of evolution.
    Another monkey trial! Hopefully the judge will be more objective this time.

  17. In Don Wuebbles response to Questions #4, he makes a point of describing only how CO2 affects incoming shortwave radiation. Is there any research on how CO2 affects incoming long wave radiation?

    • Thanks for the link – I didnt want to pay for pacer to access the docs from the ND of Ca court website.
      I did notice that there is no order granting any motion to dismiss any thing.
      Specifically, there is no order dismissing the conspiracy claim, every though it has been reported at Wattsup at least 3 times and at lease once at the daily caller

      • Yes, it never happened. Fake news. Download the all parties motion to dismiss from the link, worth reading carefully.
        Don’t read the electricity users amicus brief while drinking coffee!

      • Frustrating since the this site is usually pretty good.
        The misreporting is something more common with skeptical science. Though I do have to say that I got banned from SK science when I pointed out errors on that site.

  18. Professor Myles Allen’s diagram of CO2 actually shows 260,000 parts per million instead of 400 ppm.
    “Professor Myles Allen was illustrating how much Co2 was now in the atmosphere when the judge rebuked him for using a misleading illustration that made the atmosphere appear to have more than 400 parts per million of Co2.
    “It’s 400 parts per million but you make it look like it’s 10,000 part per million,” he said.

    • Wow, that judge has gone right to the point. I’ve often wondered how many climate “activist”, not to mention your average “man-on-the-street”, has any conception of how small “400 ppm” is. I bet less than one in a hundred. And each molecule only absorbs less than 20% of the infrared spectrum.
      Let the oil companies stop producing if you want to see a real cataclysmic event.

      • In a spreadsheet I have counted the 1438 air molecules in Professor Myles Allen’s diagram that he showed the judge, and 374 of them appear to be CO2, i.e. 26% of them. That is 260,000 parts of CO2 per million parts of air. CO2 is really only 400 parts per million. The diagram has 650 times as many CO2 molecules as it should.

    • For the model spheres shown, not one single modeled sphere would be CO2 at that quantity. If you doubled the amount then you could have 1 Cyan sphere

      • In case anyone does not get the above diagram, the BIG cube consists of a million smaller cubes, … the pink volume represents the number of those million smaller cubes that are CO2, … and the red volume represents the number of those million cubes within the pink volume that are HUMAN-produced CO2.
        If you go to the image link, and keep zooming in on it,then you can see the individual small cubes within the entire million small cubes that make up the large cube (“Earth’s atmosphere”).
        Now imagine distributing that red volume of small cubes equally throughout the whole million small cubes.
        Very sparse.
        And THIS is what is supposed to control the entire fluid dynamic mass of Earth’s atmosphere in such a manner as to produce catastrophic effects.
        Magical !

    • From your link:
      From your link:


      On page 6 from the above you will find this line:
      Taken as a whole, the average climate is becoming “milder” across most of the United States.
      I love it.

      • Truth! “Global” warming isn’t really very global. It doesn’t much affect tropical highs (which is nice, because the tropics are warm enough already). Instead, it mostly makes harsh northern climates a little bit milder, because it disproportionately warms cold winter nights at higher latitudes.
        Also, thanks to their absorption of CO2 from the atmosphere, the oceans are becoming (very slightly) less caustic.
        What’s not to like? 😃

  19. Here’s what I don’t understand about this suit.
    Are they seeking for the conduct, the production and sale of oil based products, to continue indefinitel, but essentially paying a tax to the cities for the harm caused?
    Or are they seeking for the conduct to cease, ie the companies are to stop production and sale?
    The first seems to be what the claims are demanding, but its not in the least an environmental remedy. We would not, for instance, allow particulate pollution as long as a tax was paid. We seek to stop it, on health grounds. London does not allow burning of coal, but tax the coal. It only allows burning of smokeless fuel. Hence the end of smog.

    • The want the oil companies to give the city billions of dollars.
      The cities will claim that the money is for sea walls and such, but like the tobacco settlement money that was supposed to be spent on health care and education, it will end up being spent on whatever will buy the most votes for the politicians involved.

  20. Those “oil” companies exhibit great care to burn as little portion of the precious product as possible.What they burn they cannot sell. It is those lawyers, and all of us, who burn the stuff to heat/cool offices, schools, dwellings, the courtrooms for those frivolous lawsuits, making products in factories, …. why not to sue the energy users instead of producers?

  21. Thank you for the link to the Happer, Koonin, Lindzen amicus brief. I’ll take it as authoritative. Only an extremely stupid arrogant fool would try to pull the wool over the eyes of a federal judge – unless they like living in a tiny concrete room with a metal sink and toilet.
    The brief deserves wide distribution. Even white trash such as myself can understand most of it. I was surprised to learn that the atmospheric temperature rises above 20 km, then goes down then up again. I must’ve been sleeping in class the day the teacher talked about that.

  22. Climate Alarmist is Playing San Francisco Judge as a Complete Fool
    Dr. Myles Allen must think that the San Francisco Judge is a complete fool. I just finished a post refuting many of his claims, but one example needed to be singled out. In his presentation, Dr. Myles Allen replaced the poster child Mt. Kilimanjaro, which was exposed as a $%$ in the Climategate emails, with the Glacier National Park Glacier. He claimed that man-made global warming is the cause of the decline of the glacier.

  23. Local jurisdictions do not have to utilize the Federal flood elevations as established through FEMA and shown on the FIRM maps … they may adopt more stringent rules.
    For example, Oakland could require construction around the bay, and in areas that are subject to potential future flooding, to be built higher that the minimum federal requirements. They could require construction to be five feet above the BFE if they wanted to. Have they initiated this requirement?
    The City of Oakland is required to manage the floodplain development in a manner that keeps the development reasonably safe from flooding. If they have signed off on any FEMA LOMA of LOMR-F applications (“knowing”, as they do, that the flooding will be much higher than the model as developed by FEMA), then they (Oakland CFM’s) should be subject to the penalties outlined in the CFR under floodplain management.

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