Climate Oil Conspiracy "Smoking Gun" Goes Up in Smoke

CO2 enhanced person with future cat-like climate engineered overlord.

Guest essay by Eric Worrall

h/t Willie Soon – The California vs Chevron lawsuit against five oil companies is not going well for greens. After suggesting Climate Scientist Myles Allen presented a misleading graph about CO2, and after receiving an admission from Oceanographer Gary Griggs that ice ages and other violent climate shifts, far greater than today’s mild warming, can be caused by natural forcings, Judge Alsup turned to the centrepiece of the conspiracy charge, the “Smoking Gun” memo.

Climate Alarmists May Inherit the Wind

They likened a courtroom ‘tutorial’ to the Scopes Monkey Trial. But their side got schooled.

By Phelim McAleer

April 1, 2018 1:58 p.m. ET


San Francisco

Five American oil companies find themselves in a San Francisco courtroom. California v. Chevron is a civil action brought by the city attorneys of San Francisco and Oakland, who accuse the defendants of creating a “public nuisance” by contributing to climate change and of conspiring to cover it up so they could continue to profit.

“Until now, fossil fuel companies have been able to talk about climate science in political and media arenas where there is far less accountability to the truth,” Michael Burger of the Sabin Center for Climate Change Law at Columbia University told Grist. The hearing did mark a shift toward accountability—but perhaps not in the way activists would have liked.

Judge Alsup was particularly scathing about the conspiracy claim. The plaintiffs alleged that the oil companies were in possession of “smoking gun” documents that would prove their liability; Mr. Boutrous said this was simply an internal summary of the publicly available 1995 IPCC report.

The judge said he read the lawsuit’s allegations to mean “that there was a conspiratorial document within the defendants about how they knew good and well that global warming was right around the corner. And I said: ‘OK, that’s going to be a big thing. I want to see it.’ Well, it turned out it wasn’t quite that. What it was, was a slide show that somebody had gone to the IPCC and was reporting on what the IPCC had reported, and that was it. Nothing more. So they were on notice of what in IPCC said from that document, but it’s hard to say that they were secretly aware. By that point they knew. Everybody knew everything in the IPCC,” he stated.

Judge Alsup then turned to Mr. Berman: “If you want to respond, I’ll let you respond. . . . Anything you want to say?”

“No,” said the counsel to the plaintiffs. Whereupon Judge Alsup adjourned the proceedings.

Read more (paywalled):

I’m quite shocked at the poor preparation of the green plaintiff’s case.

I thought we were in for a proper showdown, a drawn out trial lasting weeks which would allow all sides to present their best evidence. Instead, in my opinion its looking increasingly likely the greens haven’t got a leg to stand on, that this court case was launched in the desperate hope that oil companies would simply fold and hand over the money.

As far as I can tell the green plaintiffs have yet to present a single piece of evidence against oil companies which can’t be knocked down within five minutes of cross examination. Even MSM is catching on that at least on evidence presented to date the green case is stuffed.

Update (EW): fixed a typo in the first paragraph

179 thoughts on “Climate Oil Conspiracy "Smoking Gun" Goes Up in Smoke

      • Camouflage, Sy. Besides that, cats can be completely invisible when they want to. Ask my dog.

      • Cats actually live in an alternate reality (Schrödinger subconsciously understood this) and only visit this one when they want warmth comfort, to perform natural functions or to scratch the heck out of something.

      • Paul: Not if you look at where their (climate scientists) money comes from. There is a strong impetus to keep the scam going.

    • Tin foil hat funny eh? What are YOU going to do when they roll out 5G services? I’m looking at several options including bed canopies and base for the beds our of metalized fabrics with claims of 40dB of attenuation.

      • Well, there’s one good reason to live in Yuma, AZ. By the time they roll out 5 g here I’ll be dead of other causes. Like old age.

    • I know why the cat is wearing a tin foil hat but I’m not sure about the nutter holding him/her.

  1. I’m quite shocked at the poor preparation of the green plaintiff’s case.
    Surely not? Any first year logic student should be able to deal with the plaintiff’s case appropriately. And this even if there were real evidence to present.

    • They just assumed that, being in the ninth circuit, they had a friend on the bench instead of a real judge.

      • Well, Alsup was the judge that told the Trump administration to restart the unconstitutional DACA program that Obama started by executive fiat.

    • It isn’t about winning a case, its about keeping up momentum in the virtue signalling game in order that the climate meme doesn’t die from sheer lack of coverage.

      • I believe in preparation, the initial thought from the plaintiffs was that they were looking to settle for big $’s from the oil companies. These two cities, and California in general, are in quite a financial bind. I believe the more important victory here is that the strategy of sue-and-settle with the oil companies, or any private sector institution with money that disagrees, may have taken a big hit. This is somewhat similar to the coalition of states attorneys general (I believe almost 20) that attacked groups that did not align with the climate change drivel.

  2. A judge in California actually being judicial? Will wonders never cease! (Yeah, I know he is originally from Arkansas, but California senators have effective veto over who gets appointed and approved).

    • Additionally, he had an engineering degree from MSU before he decided to go on to law school.

      • You would think all the alarmist luminaries would be queued up, and elbowing each other out of the way to share their wisdom. Their absence suggests there is a fould stench of abject failure which they want to distance themselves from. Lord knows they have enough failures already.

    • A state judge in california ‘approved by the State Senate ? Doesnt Happen
      ” According to California’s constitution, judges of the supreme court and courts of appeal are nominated by the governor and must be confirmed by the commission on judicial appointments, which consists of the chief justice, the attorney general, and a presiding justice of the courts of appeal.” – No senators there
      As for the State Superior Court They are elected for 6 year terms, with casual vacancies appointed by Governor- No senators there either.
      Where did you get those ideas from ?
      However your bigger problem is this is a Federal District Court and Judge Alsup a Federal judge .

      • The procedure in the US Senate gave the Senators from a given state veto over an appointee to the bench (the so-called blue slip). Alsup is a federal judge, but one acceptable to the Democratic party Senators from California.

    • “but California senators have effective veto over who gets appointed and approved).’
      Evidence to support that claim?

      • You have heard of the “blue slip” tradition in the Senate, where the Senators for a given state where a Federal judge sits must return the so-called blue slip for the nomination to procede? There has been a recent move to eliminate that tradition, but it is still in place. My source is Safire’s New Political Dictionary, and various news reports on possible changes.

      • Tom Halla is right Chris. That’s the way the system works. By tradition the senior member of Congress who is of the same party as the President gets to nominate the U.S. Attorneys in their state and is consulted on the proposed nominations of Federal judges and generally has an unofficial veto for the nomination of Federal judges in their state. To my knowledge you won’t find that in writing anywhere. But it is well known.

      • I phrased my comment poorly. Let me clarify. The senior senator who is of the same political party as the president gets to nominate the U.S. Attorneys for their state. If neither Senator is of the same party as the President, then the senior member of the House who is of the same party as the Presidents gets the job. If there is no member of that state’s delegation of the same party as the President, then generally the highest ranking member of the state’s government of the same party is consulted. The same pattern is followed with the nomination of Federal judges except it is generally the right to unofficially veto a judicial nomination.

  3. This triumphalism is way over-cooked, IMHO. The alarmist side did not “lose” on their basic science argument. Chevron adopted the AR5 attribution statement lock, stock and barrel. They admitted that human emissions cause warming which causes sea level to rise, which is the core allegation of the Plaintiffs’ complaint. The Plaintiffs say “it’s worse than we thought in AR5!” and cite the latest National Climate Assessment, in all it’s idiotic glory, to that effect. Since Chevron endorses the assessment literature, are they now going to say AR5 is golden, but NCA 2017 is garbage? That’s not tenable. Chevron’s defense consists of legal and policy arguments that even though they’re causing these damages, they should be remedied in some other way than nuisance liability in this lawsuit.

    • …They admitted that human emissions cause warming…
      We all do, we know CO2 contributes some warmth, that’s never been an issue. The skeptic argument is that this slight addition of warmth is trivial compared to natural variation, e.g. the natural warmth that melted 2 mile thick glaciers and caused sea level rise of 300+ feet.

      • In simple terms, if 97% of C02 is natural, and you remove the human-produced 3%, you still have 97% of whatever forcing is ultimately attributable to C02.
        Soooo…. whatever ‘gain’ you get lasts… what? A year or two to get to the same place.
        All pain, no gain.

      • While 97% of CO2 may be natural, most of the increase over the last 100 years is due to man’s activities.

      • That doesn’t even make any sense as written, and its intent is incorrect. Our inputs are a drop in the proverbial bucket.

      • @ MarkW on April 2, 2018 at 4:42 pm
        If we, or at least you, know “…most of the increase over the last 100 years is due to man’s activities.” surely you won’t mind posting a link to the paper that lays out the proof of that? No? Maybe even mention it by name? Then, can you whisper it in my ear? Hmph. That’s what I thought.

      • While CO2 itself will likely cause warming, the Gray effect induces negative water vapor feedback canceling most of the warming. It also affects how the warming is experienced. We see warming at night and in winter while cooling during the day and in summer.
        This also means there is no such thing as a fixed climate sensitivity. It varies based on the local climate.

      • Interesting. I didn’t respond in the time it took you to write a post. And in your mind this proves you are right?
        No wonder nobody takes you seriously.

      • I’d have to agree with Joel Snider, Bartemis, et al. The assertion that “most of the change in CO2 levels is due to man’s activities” is not scientifically supportable.
        First of all, the supposed amount of “increase” is based on an “apples vs. oranges” comparison of proxy records (ice core reconstructions) with modern atmospheric measurements, a scientific incompetence.
        Second, the only CO2 “source” or “sink” actually being measured IS the minuscule “human contribution” of 3-4% of the “estimated” total of CO2 sources – and sinks aren’t being measured. It would take a puny change in the *unmeasured natural CO2 sources and/or sinks* to swamp any human “contribution” to atmospheric CO2 levels. Oh and the “isotope” argument doesn’t hold water either – the same isotopes also come from natural sources, and THEY AREN’T MEASURING THOSE, so we’re back to square one.
        Third, the “increase is due to our emissions” argument is making the fallacious assumption that CO2 sources and sinks were in some perfect “balance” before WE emitted any. Which is also not based on any good science, and in the face of Earth climate history with CO2 level changes in the range of “less than 200ppm” to “7,000 ppm” is a ridiculous claim.
        As for the “CO2 MUST cause SOME warming” argument, I also call BS. Once again, this flies in the face of the Earth’s climate history. NO correlation on geologic time scales (geocarb reconstructions), and on shorter time scales (ice core reconstructions) where there IS a correlation, it runs IN REVERSE – with CO2 level FOLLOWING temperature changes, UP AND DOWN, like a DOG ON A LEASH. AND temperatures start climibing when CO2 levels are at their LOWEST, and start falling when CO2 levels are at their HIGHEST, all of which which firmly erases ANY notion that CO2 “drives” temperature. CO2 doesn’t “drive” Jack Sh!t.

      • MarkW -April 2, 2018 at 4:42 pm
        While 97% of CO2 may be natural, most of the increase over the last 100 years is due to man’s activities.
        MarkW – April 2, 2018 at 7:34 pm
        As much as you may wish to deny the truth, it remains the truth.

        A miseducation is an utter waste of a potentially great mind.

        Excerpted from a Cal Thomas commentary, to wit:
        ……. the purpose of a good education was to enable students to establish careers that would allow them to take care of themselves and their families. At too many universities today it seems one is “taught” left-wing propaganda and subjects that have nothing to do with preparing someone to have a career ……

      • “What is your source if not our emissions?”
        It is a continuous flow, like a river. When a river rises, it’s generally from precipitation upstream, or a blockage downstream, not some kid peeing a trickle into it.

      • MarkW -April 3, 2018 at 7:03 pm

        Where’s the flow coming from?

        Mark, it is absolutely positively NOT due to man’s activities. ….. NOT anthropogenic.
        And these statistics are literal proof of that fact, to wit:
        Increases in World Population & Atmospheric CO2 by Decade
        year — world popul. – % incr. — Dec CO2 ppm – % incr. — avg increase/year
        1940 – 2,300,000,000 est. ___ ____ 300 ppm est.
        1950 – 2,556,000,053 – 11.1% ____ 310 ppm – 3.3% —— 1.0 ppm/year
        1960 – 3,039,451,023 – 18.9% ____ 316 ppm – 1.9% —— 0.6 ppm/year
        1970 – 3,706,618,163 – 21.9% ____ 325 ppm – 2.8% —— 0.9 ppm/year
        1980 – 4,453,831,714 – 20.1% ____ 338 ppm – 4.0% —– 1.3 ppm/year
        1990 – 5,278,639,789 – 18.5% ____ 354 ppm – 4.7% —– 1.6 ppm/year
        2000 – 6,082,966,429 – 15.2% ____ 369 ppm – 4.2% —– 1.5 ppm/year
        2010 – 6,809,972,000 – 11.9% ____ 389 ppm – 5.4% —– 2.0 ppm/year
        2012 – 7,057,075,000 – 3.62% ____ 394 ppm – 1.3% —– 2.5 ppm/year
        Source CO2 ppm:
        Based on the above statistics, during those 70 years – world population increased 207% – CO2 only increased 31.3%.
        It would be illogical and stupid for anyone to assume that, ….. “the GREATER the increase in the worlds human population is, …… the SMALLER the increase in atmospheric CO2 ppm will be.
        Mark, the yearly increase in atmospheric CO2 ppm, as defined by the Keeling Curve Graph, is a direct result of the yearly average “warming” of the world’s ocean waters as they recover from the effects of the LIA.
        So, MarkW, you can either learn from the above scientific facts ….. or you can continue trying to destroy the science in order to further your Religious beliefs.

      • MarkW @ April 3, 2018 at 7:03 pm
        Where’s the flow coming from?
        Ocean outgassing, mineral weathering, biological activity, you name it. Read up on the carbon cycle. It is estimated that our annual contributions are on the order of 3% of natural inputs. It’s peeing into a river.

      • We are “told” by the far left that CO2 contributes some warmth…the problem is, it is not testable in the real world with a constantly changing, dynamic atmosphere. The current climate conditions are well within the range of natural variability. Claims of effects of human contributions are not measureable, which means the claims are garbage.

    • Quinn the Eskimo
      With the greatest of respect, I suspect your not terribly familiar with PR and marketing.
      The greens have been very good at it up until now, but the sceptics are catching up fast.
      First strike is always decisive. Anything countering that is catchup.

      • The judge commented that he watched An Inconvenient Truth. He felt the Vostok ice core records of CO2 and temperature as presented in the movie were “a pretty good match,” and asked Chevron’s counsel to comment on that. Talk about a fat pitch over the middle of the plate. Well, Chevron’s counsel was unable to point out that temperature changes lead CO2 changes in the Vostok records, and that the movie was totally false on this point as found by an English judge. He just didn’t know. That was a huge opportunity missed, because the judge is plenty smart enough and has a seasoned jurist’s sense for BS. He’d have wanted to know exactly why CO2 lagged temperature in a 450k year record, but changed its mind and decided to lead temperature now. He’s got an engineering degree and a bachelor’s in math.
        This is the upshot of the hearing:
        “THE COURT: So they seem to be agreeing that — not
        “seem to be” — they do agree that humans are putting CO2 into
        the air. That that does, in fact, cause warming. That does, in
        fact, cause sea level rise.
        Now, there may be a disagreement over which model you
        use and how fast, how much damage that is going to do and how
        Transcript, p. 174
        This is not “winning.”

      • HotScot
        I read every one of your regular, informed, enlightening, and often amusing, comments here on WUWT so I know you’re a smart guy despite your self-deprecating style and many comments about educational background. However, in this case, I think Quinn the Eskimo makes several valid comments regarding enormous missed opportunities to highlight some of the warmists’ bogus propaganda. So, from a PR and marketing perspective, “our side” could have driven a bus through several fundamental, warmist arguments during this hearing……but we didn’t (or at least we could have probably done a better job than was done).
        I fully agree that PR and marketing (sic. Politics), rather than science, is the arena where this contest between the CAGW fruitcakes and the sceptics is fought and I also agree, emphatically, that our adversaries have done a better job, so far. Given their alignment with the wider “green” movement, we shouldn’t be surprised, since the “greens” have won many battles since Rachel Carson’s “Silent Spring” often on the shoddiest of evidence and in direct contradiction to science & common sense.
        Many on this site (including me) have commented previously on the fact that we “sceptics” lack a really convincing PR “spokesperson” (yuk!) – somebody with star quality. I’m talking about somebody who is a gifted communicator – an individual who understands the science and the arguments and transforms that into an award-winning presentation with all the necessary glitz and stage management of a Hollywood blockbuster. Somebody who DOESN’T get bogged down in the scientific detail but who takes the arguments constantly trotted out by the other side and summarily DESTROYS them with the sorts of hard evidence and facts that the general public can understand and equate with. There is so much BS trotted out daily by the MSM and by the education system, not to mention the misguided “hearts & minds” appeal of Planet Earth and the like.
        I’ve watched congressional hearings and read court transcripts and I have to say, I haven’t been “wowed” by the effectiveness of the testimonies and presentations, therein. On balance, it often seems that the alarmists end up out-in-front, in the court of public opinion. I’ve watched documentaries like “The Great Global Warming Swindle” (which is pretty well done, BTW) and think it makes some great points but, of course, it doesn’t get the same airtime as “an inconvenient spoof” because it doesn’t fit the narrative of the politics du jour.
        The CAGW crowd have their political spokespeople, their Hollywood stars, their captains of the future fantasy economy, their Attenboroughs, Hawkings, Coxs and other household-name members of the scientific glitterati……….but who do we have? Most of these people are skilled in what they do for a living – taking a story and making people BELIEVE IT. They make it REAL for millions (nay, billions) of people!
        We trot out the scientific facts and think we are winning because the science is sound!!! Let’s not delude ourselves! We will lose this struggle UNLESS we address the all-important issue of communicating the facts to the people with all the marketing tricks, glam and glitz of our adversaries. Only once we have their attention, will they take us seriously IMHO. I rest my case…..who will step up and take this on?

        • Phil,
          Excellent points, but I suspect the best placed, and probably most articulate sceptic is Trump. And he’s doing it for the best reasons, democracy and prosperity.
          He may come across badly, only because of his uncompromisingly direct style, but he’s likely to be doing a lot of unseen work in the background.
          He’s pitched his tent and it’s vital to him to win a second term, so whilst he’s doing all the unpleasant stuff at the beginning of his Presidency, he’s presumably holding the good stuff back until the run up to his ‘re election campaign.
          That’s where the proof of the pudding lies. If he’s done his job well, he’ll crush the CAGW movement because he must. And that, I suspect, will be necessary to convert the millions of borderline AGW believers (who only believe because it seems safe to do so) into sceptics.
          This, of course won’t be his major imperative, but converting ‘believers is likely to gain him significant votes, and if he can attribute the abandonment of the Paris treaty to increased prosperity, even more votes.
          An oversimplification, I know, but perhaps a thumbnail sketch of my perception of his tactics.

        • Phil
          I’m ashamed that I neglected to thank you for your flattering comments on my posts. I’m similarly humbled that anyone takes any notice of what I tap out, far less reads them all.
          My only contribution to this and other forums is that I am the man in the street educated contributors like you must convince that CAGW is a fantasy hijacked by the left to further their objective of political domination.
          I’m anything but bright, I’m certainly not educated, and I look to guys like you, and the august members of this blog to inform me in a manner critical of the herd mentality societies are expected to confom to.
          That expectation, in itself, offends me.
          I read this blog avidly and devour information, although 90% of it, I can barely decipher, a simple graph is a complete mystery to me. However, I have spent innumerable hours chasing down technical and political terms to inform myself of current events.
          Thanks to you guys I have learned more in the past 3 or 4 years than I have in my lifetime.
          So much so, I recognised myself as one of the elders described in this article by Matt Ridley.

          Thank you Phil, and every other commenter on this blog, sceptic or otherwise. You have informed and educated me to a degree I don’t think any of you can comprehend.

      • What people fail to realize is that Exxon et. al. are not white [knights] rushing to our rescue.
        It’s a company that has a fiduciary duty to put it’s interests foremost.
        The duty of Exxon’s lawyers is to win this case, regardless of how many of you want them to tilt at every windmill in sight, that isn’t there job and never will be.
        The anger against Exxon’s lawyers because they did not argue this case as you wish they would have is misplaced.

      • Phil Rae:
        ‘Many on this site (including me) have commented previously on the fact that we “sceptics” lack a really convincing PR “spokesperson” (yuk!) – somebody with star quality….somebody who is a gifted communicator – …who understands … the arguments and transforms that into an award-winning presentation with all the necessary glitz and stage management of a Hollywood blockbuster. Somebody who … takes the arguments constantly trotted out by the other side and summarily DESTROYS them …’
        We’ve got that! He was elected in November 2016!

      • MarkW. Exactly! Its not the job of the oil company’s lawyers to discredit alarmism. They are accused of knowing critical facts and concealing and spreading doubt to increase their profits.
        The conspiracy charge got tossed because the prosecution was not able to produce a single shred of evidence regarding any conspiracy. As I understand it some folks have compiled all of Exxon’s public statements and claim that some 80% of it is negative. But the two documents I saw were before AR3 came out. AR2 expressed doubt also and the objective of the Hide the Decline gang and Al Gore in AR3 was to fix that problem anyway they could.

      • Tom Judd
        I accept that your current President has made a big difference and that a lot of things have improved in various aspects of this debate e.g. changes at the EPA, the Paris nonsense, etc. However, I don’t believe President Trump fits the bill in terms of the type of individual I was trying to describe. We still need that communicator to get the message across to the masses, IMHO…..otherwise, everything Trump has accomplished could be overturned at the next, or subsequent, election. Just sayin’……..

      • Quinn may have a point in how the defense counsel provided less than stellar responses to some of the questions.
        I would make a couple of comments.
        It is not good practice to reach conclusions regarding legal cases without being present to the proceedings. Coverage doesn’t count.
        We are not privy to the strategy of the defendants counsel.
        In other words, the attorneys are not being paid to argue the science. They are most likely being paid to get the case dismissed.

      • The oil companies had no reason to play down the AGW myth: I know because I met with some of them way back in the 90s at an ‘alternative energy’ conference. (before renewable energy became the buzz phrase).
        As technology after technology – biofuel, hydrogen, wind, solar – was wheeled out and presented, it was patently clear that they knew and we knew and they knew we knew that none of it was going to be a viable competitor to fossil without massive subsidies, and even then it wasn’t really competitive. Mostly based on energy density. It was a few years after that that I got to grips with understanding intermittency as well when windmills starting rolling out across the landscape.
        And discovered that renewable energy was worse than anybody thought.
        The oil companies knew this: But as MarkW points out, their duty is not to the public, it is to their shareholders. Renewable energy was no threat to Big Oil whatsoever and was a positive boon to Big Gas as that was the only realistic way to provide the dispatch that wind and solar lacked.
        So they never bothered to challenge the climate change myth. What would be the point? Renewable energy made no negative difference to their business at all. It actually increased energy prices allowing a little more aggressive pricing to be deployed,.
        What EXXON knew was that climate change was bunk and renewable energy was a fraud. But that didn’t affect their business, so they had no reaosn to make an issue of it.

        • Leo
          Therein lies the case for competitive markets, uncontaminated by socialist policies.
          Thanks for the informed post.

      • Hot Scot and others
        I don’t disagree that Trump is extremely important and is doing much to get the message out and pull the plug on the Climate Change swamp. He has definitely changed how this whole narrative is playing out and one can clearly see the consternation this has caused amongst all the usual suspects. The media, the political elite (both in the US and Europe), the UN and its hangers-on and, of course, the climate change pseudoscience theocracy.
        The problem is that the President can appear a little “flaky” at times (sorry, Donald) and this undermines the gravitas of his message or simply puts people off him for the wrong reasons. I don’t doubt that Trump is a very shrewd individual…..but I still think we need more gifted communicators and educators to get the message across and demonstrate that we are all being ripped off on a gargantuan scale.
        I certainly hope he gets another term……….but will that be enough to turn back the tide on all this nonsense? And what then……..who will take Trump’s place as older voters expire and brainwashed snowflakes raised on green propaganda come of age?

        • Phil,
          Once again, great post. But we can only control what we can control. Worrying about what happens next is an exercise in futility.
          If climate change is threatening, the human race will do as it has always done, adapt.
          If Trump fails to win a second term, we adapt to the alternative.
          The US has adapted to Trump, and funnily enough, not a lot in people’s day to day lives have changed. Despite the promises of the doom mongers. Brexit is another case in point. The UK hasn’t fallen into the North Sea.

      • Leo, the Oil companies jumped on the band wagon to kill off their biggest competitor COAL.
        It almost wroked.

      • HotScot
        You have no need to be ashamed of anything. I certainly didn’t expect any thanks for my comment, which was genuine and deferential, but I do have one final word on the matter before we get accused of some subversive back-slapping.
        Despite your self-effacing comments, HotScot, you are clearly a very knowledgeable, articulate, well-informed and engaged contributor on this site. You comment on many issues here with inestimable common sense and valuable perspectives, technical, scientific, political and economic. If you are truly a representative of the man-in-the-street , as you claim, we all have much to be thankful for and even more to be hopeful about.
        To echo your own comments, I have no formal background in climate science but I am a regular visitor at WUWT and an avid reader of the many topics that are discussed here every day. I take delight in reading the input of the many contributors & commentators, expert and otherwise. Some are clearly genuine experts on some specific topic, others have a multidisciplinary background and know a lot about many things, and some are self-taught through the school of life. But regardless of background, each makes this site a daily educational experience.
        Frankly, I’m astounded at the unbelievable effort made by the many contributors, yourself included, who comment here every day. I am particularly awed and humbled by all those folks who access and analyse cryptic data from numerous sources and post their analyses & conclusions here for us all to read and learn from. I long ago gave up subscriptions to the popular scientific press due to its clear political agenda but I can come here day-in, day-out and read fascinating articles and comments on anything from anthropology & astrophysics to statistics & zoology. Thanks to you all for my continuing education and thanks to Anthony Watts for his perseverance in maintaining this wonderful resource.

        • Yep, I think we should stop now, my wife was embarrassed when I read her your comments.
          Her response went something like ‘Phil is obviously as thick as you are’ (Paraphrasing of course).
          But it’s my moment in the sun, so I’m enjoying it. Thank you.

      • Since the plaintiffs claimed that burning of fossil fuels puts deadly CO2 into the atmosphere, causing all their forecasted death & destruction, then why didn’t the oil companies ask the judge for a restraining order to prevent the plaintiffs from burning any more fossil fuels at least until the case was settled one way or the other?

    • But the AR5 assessment is not worrying. It doesn’t predict that the manmade component of climate change is dangerous. It doesn’t predict anything worth writing home about.
      Green politicians have promoted the idea of “Tipping Points” that will change everything.
      But newsworthy climate change is not mainstream science.
      They’ve fallen for their own propaganda.

    • Quinn Eskimo
      There is almost no real science
      behind the demonization of CO2
      and fossil fuels.
      Laboratory experiments
      say CO2 is a minor greenhouse gas.
      If ALL the warming since 1979,
      (when weather satellite global data
      became available)
      was attributed to CO2,
      which is a worst case estimate,
      the warming would be + 1 degree C.
      in 133 to 200 years, depending on
      whether CO2 increased +3 or +2 ppm per year.
      The real science stops there —
      the worst case warming is harmless,
      and there is no reason to speculate
      and wild guess the future climate.
      The greening of the Earth is beneficial.
      No one has been harmed by + 1 degree warming
      since 1880 (+/- 1 degree C., in my opinion)
      mainly in the Arctic,
      and those few people who live in the
      northern half of the Northern Hemisphere
      are certainly not complaining about
      slightly warmer nights since 1975 !
      There are a lot of scientists involved
      in the climate change scam,
      but wild guesses of the future temperature
      are not real science — just meaningless
      computer games !
      Climate science is mainly
      “no one knows science”,
      surrounded by a lot of:
      big mouth,
      know it all,
      loud mouth,
      leftist politicians,
      claiming they know everything,
      about the future climate,
      and only their leadership
      can save our planet,
      for the children !

      … and the politicians,
      with their overpaid
      government bureaucrats,
      with science degrees,
      perform like trained parrots:
      CO2 is evil
      CO2 is evil
      CO2 is evil
      squawk, squawk
      … for job security !
      My climate change blog
      for people with common sense:

    • “Chevron’s defense consists of legal and policy arguments that even though they’re causing these damages, they should be remedied in some other way than nuisance liability in this lawsuit.”
      Indeed so. They are not arguing about the science, which would be pointless. They will argue their stronger case, which is whether they can be held liable. That may well succeed.

      • They have already succeeded. When the conspiracy charge disintegrated, all talk of liability vanished.

      • Indeed so. They are not arguing about the science, which would be pointless.

        And the mask slips…

      • “When the cοnspiracy charge disintegrated”
        This was never a cοnspiracy case. But if you think a charge disintegrated with a single between a judge and the defence about a single para, how do you think that is possible without the judge inviting argument from the plaintiff beforehand? Let alone saying afterwards – well, I just dismissed part of your case. You can respond if you like, but there’s no need really.

      • “They are not arguing about the science, which would be pointless.”
        Seriously? Nah, this argument boils down to science, particularly which part of global sea level rise is scientifically attributable to human oil combustion at the current state of human understanding. Take note that this does not even include coal.
        Your model may spit out some bs index for this, but reality is the answer to the question of oil combustion contribution to global sea level rise (the cost basis of the complaint) is currently unknown.

      • There never was a conspiracy case?????
        Now Nick thinks he can get away with re-writing recent history.

      • “Now Nick thinks he can get away with re-writing recent history.”
        No. You are re-writing me. I said this never was a cοnspiracy case. And quoted above the complaint summary to prove it.

    • Moreover (and I am NOT a lawyer), but by accepting the science of the “expert consensus,” does that not allow them to accept another, more refined, scientific conclusion should (or when) better science be introduced into that broader debate? It seems like it takes the onus off of them and allows them to react to others who are putting out better work; work that is eroding the consensus (so called) view.

    • According to the post, the oil companies were also accused of “conspiring to cover-up”. The judge appears to scoff at the “conspiracy” evidence-to-date (maybe they got something else?).

    • Read the complaint.
      The claim is conspiracy. Not whether or not their product(s) contribute to climate change.
      What’s the old saw? Better to keep silent and let people think you are slow witted, than to speak and confirm it.

      • Here is the summary of the complaint (Oakland) on the law site WUWT listed as a source for documents. The claim is based on nuisance. No mention of cοnspiracy.
        “Oakland Asked State Court to Require Oil and Gas Companies to Fund Climate Adaptation Program. Oakland filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court against five oil and gas companies alleging that the carbon emissions from their fossil fuel production had created an unlawful public nuisance. The complaint alleged that the defendants had produced and promoted the use of “massive amounts” of fossil fuels despite having been aware since the 1950s, based on information from the American Petroleum Institute, that emissions from fossil fuels would cause severe and even catastrophic climate change impacts. The complaint alleged that Oakland was already experiencing impacts from accelerated sea level rise due to climate change. The city asked the court to require the companies to abate the nuisance by funding a climate adaptation program to build sea walls and other infrastructure necessary to protect public and private property from sea level rise and other climate impacts.”

      • Nick, here is the relevant bit from that quote regarding the conspiracy being claimed:
        “The complaint alleged that the defendants had produced and promoted the use of “massive amounts” of fossil fuels despite having been aware since the 1950s, based on information from the American Petroleum Institute, that emissions from fossil fuels would cause severe and even catastrophic climate change impacts”
        in other words the complaint is the companies conspired to promote “massive amounts” of fossil fuels by hiding the fact that hey “knew” it would cause “catastrophic climate change impacts”, a conspiracy claim even the judge recognized as bogus:
        “The judge said he read the lawsuit’s allegations to mean “that there was a conspiratorial document within the defendants about how they knew good and well that global warming was right around the corner. And I said: ‘OK, that’s going to be a big thing. I want to see it.’ Well, it turned out it wasn’t quite that”
        Notice that the judge himself uses the term conspiratorial in describing the claim.

      • “Nick’s attempts at diversion are getting ever more desperate.”
        MarkW’s attempts at diversion are getting ever more desperate. What are we up to now, Mark? 30,000 posts without supporting links?

      • Poor, poor Chris. Still trying to pretend you are relevant. That’s 50,001, since you care.

    • No, there needs to be something illegal – conspiracy say – not just somebody doing something that is completely legal.
      The oil companies can endorse or adopt whatever they like. Provided they haven’t broken the law they are not liable.

    • According to article, they admitted nothing. They put together a slide show summary of AR5, and presented it. That is all.

  4. There will be more with similar results. The virtue signaling will become more shrill as a result. The whole scam is based on shaming the accused and can’t hold up to science, or law apparently.

  5. “I’m quite shocked at the poor preparation of the green plaintiff’s case.”
    Why? It as precisely the same level of junk evidence that CAGW is. It simply epitomises what these self important sheep are.

  6. I suspect the MSM catching on, is well behind the public.
    Trump is shouting “the King has no clothes”.
    And the rest of the non sycophantic world is turning it’s head to agree.
    I believe Einstein said something like ‘it only takes one experiment to prove me wrong’ (paraphrasing, forgive my ignorance) and I suspect in the climate change arena, Trump is proving the political climate change movement wrong by announcing the King has no clothes.
    Nor does he need to prove it. It’s down to good old scientific observation.
    The King has no clothes, and the MSM is waiting for the news, whilst sharpening it’s knives.

  7. These guys are amateurs. SCO’s lawyers managed to keep their bogus cases before the courts for more than a decade. link

  8. “The plaintiffs alleged that the oil companies were in possession of “smoking gun” documents that would prove their liability”
    Who said it was a “smoking gun”? This was para 67 in a long passage about the evolution of Chevron’s knowledge. Chevron said, yes, but it is just a summary of an IPCC report, and the judge agreed. What he actually said to Oakland, including omissions from the quote above, was
    “If you want to respond, I’ll let you respond. But I don’t know if that had as much to do with today, but if he wanted to respond okay.
    Anything you want to say?”

    He’s actually saying it’s no big deal and they don’t have to respond. And they didn’t.
    And, vai Daily Caller and all, we saw this simple argument over interpretation of a report of a meeting, beaten up into headlines here of
    “BOOM! Federal Judge Dismisses Claim Of “Big-Oil” Conspiracy To Suppress Global Warming Science”
    “With the dismissal of the #ExxonKnew lawsuits, climate alarmists are now in “bizarro world””
    “A postmortem on the rejected #ExxonKnew case in San Francisco Federal Court”
    And when the case turned out to be obviously not dismissed, the fallback was that
    “Clarification: The “#ExxonKnew” conspiracy claim has been dismissed.”
    But that isn’t true either. It was a lawyer smoothing the record on a report of a single meeting.

    • Where are you going with your argument Nick. Plaintiffs allege big oil conspired to suppress knowledge. The absence of supporting evidence to substantiate this claim has most certainly doomed this flimsy case.
      As for the boom post; there was no intimation of a closed case. Be so kind as to ensure your voodoo dolls bear a reasonable likeness to reality before knifing them.
      Finally, remedy’s for torts often split by liability percentage. Introduction of the IPCC documents by the plaintiffs is prima facie admission of prior knowledge of CO2’s role in warming. It’s rather hard to blame the drug dealer when you’re snorting cocain in the courtroom.

      • “Where are you going with your argument Nick. Plaintiffs allege big oil cοnspired to suppress knowledge.”
        I am not mounting an argument. I am pointing out that the discussion in the court re correct interpretation of para 67 in the Oakland complaint was greatly inflated, even in this post.
        Plaintiffs allege nuisance. Whether they will eventually succeed in having the oil companies held liable I rather doubt. But so far the case has been about the science, on which all parties seem to agree.

      • Ooooh, Nick. IPCC science actually says no big deal.
        UN IPCC politicians/bureaucrats say we need to follow them in sustainable development, social justice, gender equality, payments to developing countries, etc.
        Big difference.
        UN IPCC climate models are not sufficient to fundamentally alter our society, economy and energy systems. Disagree, Nick?

      • “But so far the case has been about the science, on which all parties seem to agree.”
        This is why arguing the science is pointless? It is all settled? Nick, I have a lot of respect for your work. If I may summarize Walter Munk: sea level rise started too early, and is too linear.
        When your models satisfy Mr. Munk, I will believe.

        • UN IPCC science says there is no imminent climatic problem. Wild speculation based on worst case scenarios says there is a problem.
          Who is the judge to believe?

    • Nick,
      Yep coverage of this one exchange has been overblown. Welcome to news in the 21st century. Next thing we will see is a top tv “journalist” asking a former porn star if one of the people she had sex with wore a condom.
      Ignore what media or people here say. The exchange being discussed is not a positive sign for the plaintives.

    • Fascinating, Chris is convinced that if he whines enough, people will start caring about the nonsense he posts.

  9. The climate hustlers prepared as well as they could with what the had.
    We now see what will happen when the climate consensus is faced with reasonable questions from an informed person.
    No so many major climate consensus players dodge debate, dissemble with religious appeals, censors skeptics and rely on argument from authority.

  10. This is no surprise.
    All of the #ExxonKnew documents, models and “secret” tobacco-style science were just summaries and/or drawn from publicly available information from PNAS, AGU, US government and other publications.

  11. They must have been smoking something to fabricate such a ridiculous lawsuit, and think they could get away with it.

  12. Maybe this is what they want: the court throws out the claim and then they go on the attack that the conspiracy is proven and the judicial system is now on the side of the deniers.

  13. Tin foil hats are ineffective and may actually make things worse. link
    The idea is to prevent government controlled radio waves from reaching one’s brain. A Faraday cage is a metal enclosure that prevents radio waves from entering or leaving. An example is a microwave oven. It’s a relatively easy case because it only has to block one frequency.
    One could try building a tinfoil suit but holes and cracks are a problem. (the tiny holes in the oven’s window aren’t big enough to pass the magnetron’s frequency) It’s probably easier to build a room. It’s not as easy as it looks though.

  14. Clearly the plaintiffs anticipated they would get a judge sympathetic to their views, and it would be left to the defendants to prove they’re not responsible for the plaintiff’s claims. And to be honest, that’s what I thought would happen to. I’m pleasantly surprised there still seems to be a judge in California that believes in the law.

  15. Poor kitty 🙂
    Incidentally, are you aware that all tabbies have an M on their foreheads? It’s really cute once you see it.
    (That’s M for mouser.)

    • The M marking on the Tabby was inherited from the African wild cat via the Egyptian Mau:
      “Mau” is an ancient Egyptian word for “meow.”

  16. If we apply current reasoning to the tobacco case why weren’t the tobacco farmers held responsible?

  17. I have now spent fifty years working in and around the Green movement. I sat across the table many times trying to negotiate with them. I have been deposed by their attorneys. You might think you know just how arrogant and elitist the Progressive greens (and their attorneys) are, you would be wrong. Multiply their arrogance and elitism by a factor of ten or even a hundred and you might be getting close. They long ago convinced themselves and those around them that they are right, right about a broad array of subject beyond CAGW. Since the USA has one political party that has made the Greens a part of their base they are convinced they have all the political support they need to accomplish their goals. They see courts, especially on the West Coast, as major tools to accomplish what they cannot get through other political processes. And they have been right up until now. Liberal activist judges on the West Coast have grossly misinterpreted Congressional Acts turning them into something unrecognizable from their original intent. They regularly try to do the same with the Constitution. Lucky, most of the time if it makes it to the Supreme Court they are overruled. Still such court proceeding cost millions of tax dollars.

  18. I have always insisted that there have to be legit damages caused by Exxon not sharing their “secret” knowledge of human caused climate change from the world.
    Tobacco and cigarettes cause cancer, emphysema and a great number of easy to document health problems. It was easy to show the tremendous damages from hiding this.
    What are the damages from climate change and the increase in CO2. Not the theoretical ones based on speculative model projections. Not the damage that might happen but the real world damages?
    The planet has been massively greening up. Crop yields are going thru the roof thanks to the increase in CO2. The last 4 decades have featured the best weather and climate for most life and certainly for food production in at least 1,000 years. Not in spite of climate change but BECAUSE of it.
    Where is the harm? Maybe farmers were harmed because crop prices dropped with a glut in food stocks??? Or they didn’t have big enough storage bins for the record production???
    Benefits from the slight warming and increase in CO2 outweigh negative by a ratio of 20 to 1…………in the real world.
    Maybe a case can be made that if Exxon had told us decades ago about the speculative theory of human caused climate change from the burning of fossil fuels, then the hijacking of climate science for a political agenda could have commenced earlier?
    Then, actions could have started decades ago and when the planet responded as it has…………by NOT having extreme weather and a catastrophic response as predicted………….it could be claimed that the timely actions to curb fossil fuel use were in the nick of time to save the planet.
    Instead, by doing nothing so far, we have to keep pouring on the projections of disaster and moving the goal posts to make sure they are always in the distant future. This is what allows climate science to operate without ever reconciling predictions to the real world in an honest way.
    To use every big hurricanes as evidence…………..when hurricanes of the same magnitude have occurred before. Severe droughts, like the one in California are used. Super Storm Sandy, a product of a -NAO and cold weather pattern in late October are used.
    A number of strong Noreasters in a short period, like we had in the 1950’s/60’s(during global cooling) caused by a cold weather pattern (-AO/-NAO) are now from man made climate change.
    This is all great alarmist PR stuff and good for sensationalizing and using as part of the marketing scheme but there is no evidence of a human fingerprint and zero evidence that anything that Exxon could have done, would have ever had an iota of an effect on it.

    • Tobacco and cigarettes cause cancer, emphysema and a great number of easy to document health problems. It was easy to show the tremendous damages from hiding this.

      Oh, certainly, but the notion of associating sceptics or oil companies with “tobacco tactics” is all about the PR.
      If memory serves, the tobacco companies were found guilty of ignoring the adverse findings in their research . . and at that point, the only research available was being conducted by those same tobacco companies.
      Independent research showed the tobacco companies were hiding the truth.
      That research was replicated around the world.
      The irony is, the whole CAGW cabal similarly ignore findings at odds with their narrative and their fellow travellers actively work against those looking to shed light on the deception.
      The whole “tobacco tactics” rubbish is bass ackwards.

  19. Disclaimer: I Am Not A Lawyer.
    But my family is lousy with them. In order to collect damages in a tort action (civil liability), you need to show that you suffered actual damages. In order to secure an injunction against some otherwise lawful activity you have to show that you will suffer damages if the activity continues, and that you are likely to prevail in the merits of the case — I am not clear on the standard of proof here. Some jurisdictions require the plaintiff to file a bond to cover the defendant’s loss from the stopping the actions in question should the plaintiff not prevail. Given the rather sedate pace of the courts, the bond can be sizeable.
    So the plaintiffs in this case need to either (a) show actual damages, or (b) convince the court under the applicable standard of proof that they will suffer damages and they are likely to prevail on the merits of the case, and possibly secure a bond for the losses to the defendants in the meantime.
    I doubt any of the plaintiffs can show actual damages at this time. And I am certain they could not secure a bond for oil company losses while the case is litigated.
    I have said this before: this is an attempt to impose a carbon tax by court order. The California legislature can, if they wish, impose a tax on every barrel of oil equivalent which is produced or imported into the state, and use those funds to “mitigate” climate change. If they do, it will be the residents and businesses of California who will pay the tax. What California is trying to do in this suit is get everyone else to pay into a slush fund they control.

    • Good summary, Alan, but oil production per se doesn’t create much CO2, its the folk who use hydrocarbon fuels who burn it, which is you and me. I hope the judge has already figured this out.

      • Tobacco isn’t dangerous until it is burned and inhaled, which doesn’t occur until after the consumer has bought the product and consumes it.

    • “In order to secure an injunction against some otherwise lawful activity”
      I’m wondering if they have thought through the consequences of actually accomplishing this. I would, at least at some level, be quite amused if they succeeded in getting an injunction to stop the sale of fossil fuels in California.
      Might even have an effect on public opinion.

  20. I hope the oil companies counter sue for court costs and lawyer fees.
    You want to make someone stop a bad behavior, hit them in the two most important places: their time; and/or their money.
    (lessons learned from being an NCO in the Army)

    • In this case the plaintiffs’ time and money belong to the taxpayers of SF and Oakland. I doubt they will feel any pain, one way or another.

      • The cities in question are already hurting for money.
        Regardless, the citizens of those cities voted for said politicians.

    • If Chevron, or any named Big Oil codefendant can show that the externalities of CO2 emissions are of net benefit, could they countersue entities that have suppressed CO2 emission, or benefited from CO2 emissions, & thereby place liens & seize the assets of companies selling carbon credits, or of any tangible real property associated with past ill-gotten carbon taxation & regulation?
      It seems sound to say that one way or another, CO2 emissions arguably have cost externalities. However it unarguable that by logic, those externalities can be positive, zero, or negative. Let the facts be argued as to the real cost! What if Big Oil/Gas/Coal/Cement etc. could show that increased CO2 has enabled the expansion of the global population by 1B people? What effect does that have on global GDP?
      Makes for a fun dream to think about how fast the CAGW crowd will claim natural sources of CO2 are responsible for anything good, and the much smaller incremental anthropogenic sources are of minimal to zero positive value.

      • I long for the day when windmill manufacturers and deployers get held to account for environmental destruction and are forced to pay to decommissions and return their sites to ‘green field’

  21. “I’m quite shocked at the poor preparation of the green plaintiff’s case.”
    Really? They are the kind of people who usually get a free ride from the (fake news) media.
    But a modicum of common sense and some effort to check their claims is almost always enough to refute these.
    But they sell claims faster than these get refuted!

  22. These law suits seem problematic. Exon Mobile is a producer, not much of an emitter while he cities themselves emit and will continue to emit, even when they believe it is harmful. They engage in all sorts of activities that encourage the use of fossil fuels and could not function without them.
    The other problem is they haven’t suffered any consequences of its use, and their estimates of future consequences vary quite wildly.
    And then there’s the issue that they issued bonds but did not inform buyers of the potential risk.
    This will be recognized as a global problem, if it becomes a problem where everyone is complicit.
    It’ll be entertaining but it won’t be the payday they hope it to be. Indeed, they will waste the emitter’s tax money.

    • Tobacco companies didn’t burn the cigarettes either. The consumers of those products did that.

    • The cities produced roads and other infrastructure that “facilitated” the use of oil products. Without that infrastructure the public would be forced to use other means of transportation. So all levels of government that have financed, produced or maintained infrastructure that facilitated the use of oil products are just as liable as those that produced it. They have been “aiding and abetting” a non-crime.

  23. Moderators, please change globally anywhere where it says “green” to “phony-green” or “attempted but unsuccessful kleptocrat”.
    [sorry, we aren’t a wholesale editing service -mod]

  24. Hmm. Colour me cynical but from the posts I’ve been reading here at WUWT, I’m wondering if the Plaintiffs’ lawyers thought “This case hasn’t got a hope of succeeding but there’s some dough in it so we’ll take it on”. They don’t seem to have their heart in it. Just more snouts at the public funds trough?

    • The Plantiffs lawyers are the City attorneys of Oakland and San Francisco, who appear for the court. They are both elected officials.
      I think the real purpose is to tie this up in court as a ‘Trophy’ case for the elections and beyond.

      • Oops! My mistake. Over here, City authorities often engage private law firms to act for them due to the cost involved.Thanks for the info Duker.

  25. I quote
    “MarkW April 2, 2018 at 4:42 pm
    While 97% of CO2 may be natural, most of the increase over the last 100 years is due to man’s activities.most of the increase over the last 100 years is due to man’s activities.”
    Quite untrue, just a reflex inculcated into your brain by constant repetition. Don’ you ever look at the actual graph in front of your nose? Let’s do that with HadCRUT3 or another similar temperature graph. It shows us both the global temperature graph and the global carbon dioxide amount in parallel. The first thing you notice is that for more than a century the carbon dioxide graph is smooth, with a slight upward curvature due to constant addition of CO2 from human activities. But the parallel global temperature is not smooth, and has regions where its temperature goes go up\ or down. Global warming, or so IPCC insists, is caused by the greenhouse effect of Carbon Dioxide. Carbon dioxide absorbs solar electromagnetic radiation which makes it warm, That warmth gets passed to neighboring gas molecules and global temperature goes up. Only problem is that HadCRUT3 and other similar temperature curves do not see it that way. If this is true, global temperature curve, created by warming pf carbon dioxide. must follow the temperature changes of the carbon dioxide curve itself. That curve, being extremely smooth, does not permit the e existence of ups and downs and irregularities visible by the naked eye in the global temperature curve. Glob al temperature curve simply cannot be generated fri temperature changes of the carbon dioxide curve as the greenhouse theory of global warming dictates. Let’s take an overview. From 1897 till 1910 global temperature has a downward trend while carbon dioxide is steady, From 1910 to 1940 global temperature increases. From 1940 to `1950 we have the WW2 cooling period. At the point where temperature starts to drop off as in 1940 the excess of carbon dioxide must be removed to satisfy the greenhouse criterion, Kahjuks not all yhewindow zdjustments are possible. It means that greenhouse effect is impossible and he cause of global warming must be soughht elsewhere.

  26. “this court case was launched in the desperate hope that oil companies would simply fold and hand over the money.” Yup. Adults (alarmists aside) are more difficult to convince or bully than the grade school kids being indoctrinated with the lie of anthropogenic climate change.

  27. This is the original complaint effectively THEY WANT MONEY
    “San Francisco Asked State Court to Require Oil and Gas Companies to Fund Climate Adaptation Program. San Francisco filed a lawsuit in California Superior Court against five oil and gas companies alleging that the carbon emissions from their fossil fuel production had created an unlawful public nuisance. The complaint alleged that the defendants had produced and promoted the use of “massive amounts” of fossil fuels despite having been aware since the 1950s, based on information from the American Petroleum Institute, that emissions from fossil fuels would cause severe and even catastrophic climate change impacts. ”
    The Oil Companies were successful in getting the case moved to Federal Court

  28. I hope these sue/ settle eco -anarchists get to pay all costs for this massive waste of time .
    Any oil company that panders to these losers should fire it’s management and legal team .

  29. If climate change is actually driven by magnetic fields of the earth and sun, then such metallic headgear would be a valid protection for citizens and their companion animals against the perils of non-static climate. So petition your local government for your own metal foil hats – it’s your basic human (and feline) right!

  30. So apparently the oil companies did not keep any information from the public because the information in question was already in the public domain. It did not matter whether the AGW conjecture has any validity of not. If people and governments believe that the use of fossil fuels is dangerous then they should immediately stop making use of all goods and services that make use of fossil fuels. It is my understanding that in most localities the sale and use of fossil fuels is still legal and that the use of goods and services that make use of fossil fuels is also legal. In the town where I live, if it was suddenly made illegal to make use of goods and services that make use of fossil fuels, those that followed the law would perrish. In the town where I live, the fossil fuel companies are keeping the populus alive.

  31. A slight aside about news that President Sisi of Egypt has been returned to office with 97 per cent of the vote after the electorate spoke.
    Funny that number came up again – clearly a significant number in consensus we can all believe in.
    Love the cat in the hat

  32. I can’t see that the complainant argument has a leg to stand on:
    That the oil companies somehow knew in the 1950s something that thousands and thousands of scientists have since spent billions of dollars over half a century trying to prove?

    Exxon opposed global warming alarmist falsehoods on scientific grounds when Lee Raymond was CEO, and I respected that position because it showed integrity.
    In contrast, Shell and BP “paid lip service” to global warming alarmism and reportedly funded Greenpeace to support a damaging embargo “at the pumps” against Exxon in Europe. Exxon capitulated sometime after that.
    I did not respect the conduct of Shell and BP then or now – and you know what we call people who “pay lip service” to a false cause.
    Regards, Allan 🙂
    More here:

  34. It’s a show trial at best and a pathetic waste of the court system’s time at worst. But then religious-based attacks in court tend to flimsy in the first place.

  35. The essence of the cities complaint is that big oil conspired to create a public nuisance. The public nuisance part is difficult because, for example, there has been no change in San Fran bay rate of sea level rise for over 100 years. So no present harm, so ordinarily no monetary damages. BUT IF there was a conspiracy, then the defendants would be liable for future damages also, which is not ordinarily allowed. Hence the conspiracy element based on Oreskes ‘Merchants of Doubt’ and the Scripps La Jolla meeting in 2012 is an essential part of the plaintiff case on order to claim monetary damages. It has already failed although the judge has not yet so ruled.

    • The cities themselves have conspired to create a public nuisance by providing infrastructure that the public used to facilitate the burning of oil products. They should be co-defendants in their own prosecution.

      • And we can’t forget to include all those manufacturers that produce products that facilitate the burning of oil products, or any product that produces GHG’s of any kind. Manufacturers of cars, trucks, airplanes, boats, ships, motorcycles, coal producers, natural gas producers, cement producers….
        At some point they are all liable for a natural climate variations, because they have money, and we want it.

  36. I could never see this ambit claim ever flying because it was a political one and any Judge with half a brain could smell the danger in it a mile away and Alsup is far from that and hence he’s zeroing in on the conspiracy aspect of it. What reasonably intelligent individual, particularly a Judge, wants to deliver the plaintiffs their glorious victory here and virtually say to Americans, that’s it folks, no more gasoline for you as the Oilcos have to shut up shop. Alsup must know he’s not the person to make that monumental call but instead leave it to politicians to call it should they feel have the democratic imprimatur to do that.
    No fear Greenies and he’s ducking out of it all by concentrating on the conspiracy issue as oil is not like cigarettes or asbestos where his countrymen can take it or leave it. The dopey Greens in this case were always asking for a leap too far and Alsup is blowing them off with black and white letter law. The Oilcos are smart enough to see that and they’re not getting sidetracked arguing over the science. We’re with you Judge and let’s stick with the old fashioned law.

    • This was never about shutting down oil. It is about carving off a piece of the profits for political slush funds. The public would never stand for it, and will vote those out who publicly support such a waste of the money they earn. So it has to be done through the courts. And if it ever happened they would never want a decrease in oil. That would cut into their revenue, and you know how much politicians LOVE money that comes from people that can’t vote them out.

  37. “I’m quite shocked at the poor preparation of the green plaintiff’s case. ”
    I’m not shocked – these Muppets expect to auto-win just by shouting “GREEEEEN” a lot, really.
    It’s very much alike the UK Brexit referendum we had – the Stay side were so sure that they’d rigged it so well that a landslide “Stay” was going to happen… imagine their utter shock when “Leave” won by 52:48.
    Same here – these d!ckheads expect to wander into court and say “green” this and “97% consensus”, and “alt-fact #exxonknew” a few times and romp off “with the win”.
    People are slowly beginning to wake up and smell what they’d been covered with for the last 30 odd years…

  38. The cat in the photograph is definitely a skeptic. I get that same look in my eyes whenever I read another “tipping point cat-ass-trophy” story. I am curious about the antenna added to the tin-foil hats. Adding antenna to conductive aluminum seems to create the opposite effect they are hoping for. Not that there is much thinking that goes into this “condom for your cranium”. But someone must have thought that adding antenna was a good idea?

  39. I have to think that the Green Lawyers aren’t this stupid. Maybe we should consider what their ‘long game’ is, if any. They may know this lawsuit hasn’t a chance, but they may be getting something out of it that we haven’t considered? Don’t really know, I’m not a lawyer so I can’t reasonably speculate as to what they think they are gaining.

    • Over the years all we’ve seen from the Green Lawyers is obfuscation.
      They like that word because it embodies what they do but nobody knows the definition.
      That’s why it’s so appropriate–a mystical meme defended by an esoteric noun.

  40. So was Professor Gary Griggs for or against CAGW? I am just wondering if I should be embarrassed for my name or proud of it 🙂

  41. This is about Marxists in a bankrupt state attempting to attach themselves to a new financial host after severely weakening their previous victim, the middle class taxpayer. Nothing more.

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