More WINNING! NYC climate lawsuit thrown out by Federal judge

By Spencer Walrath

Today a U.S. District Judge threw out New York City’s lawsuit against five major energy companies alleging damages relating to climate change.

Judge John Keenan wrote in his opinion that, “Global warming and solutions thereto must be addressed by the two other branches of government,” not the judiciary, according to Bloomberg.

This major blow marks the third climate case to be thrown out—litigation in San Francisco and Oakland was dismissed by a federal judge last month on similar grounds. Both of these cases were dismissed by U.S. District Court judges after the suits were ordered to be heard in federal court rather than state court, where they were initially filed.

Given these recent developments, it’s safe to say that the nationwide climate litigation campaign is not going exactly as planned.  But while this isn’t the outcome activists are seeking, it’s possible that it’s still the outcome they expected.

Remember, the campaign itself can be traced back to a 2012 meeting among climate activists and lawyers in La Jolla, Calif., where a plan to stigmatize energy companies was devised. During the meeting, participants discussed ways to replicate the broad-based litigation brought against tobacco companies in the 1990s and apply it to fossil fuel companies. But during the meeting, Dan Yankelovich, co-founder of Public Agenda and expert in public opinion research, expressed reservations about depending on a legal strategy to change climate change policy:

“I am concerned about so much emphasis on legal strategies. The point of departure is a confused, conflicted, inattentive public. Are legal strategies the most effective strategies? I believe they are important after the public agrees how to feel about an issue. Then you can sew it up legally. Legal strategies themselves are a double-edged sword. The more adversarial the discourse, the more minds are going to be closed.”

The recent case dismissals call into question the future of the other pending lawsuits.  As Amy Harder of Axios recently pointed out, three additional pending lawsuits, filed in Washington State, Colorado and Rhode Island, have recently been punted from state to federal court—following the same track as the New York City and San Francisco and Oakland cases.

Full story at Energy In Depth

Here’s the ruling: (h/t to WUWT reader Bob)

U.S. District Court Southern District of New York (Foley Square)

CIVIL DOCKET FOR CASE #: 1:18-cv-00182-JFK City of New York v. BP P.L.C. et al OPINION & ORDER re: 102

MOTION to Dismiss Amended Complaint filed by ConocoPhillips, 99

MOTION to Dismiss / NOTICE OF CHEVRON CORPORATION’S MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF’S AMENDED COMPLAINT filed by Chevron Corporation, 95 MOTION to Dismiss Plaintiff’s Amended Complaint filed by Exxon Mobil Corporation. For the reasons stated above, the U.S.-based Defendants’ motion to dismiss is GRANTED and the City’s amended complaint is dismissed with prejudice in its entirety. The Clerk of Court is respectfully directed to terminate the motions docketed at ECF Nos. 95, 99, and 102 and to close this case.

SO ORDERED. (Signed by Judge John F. Keenan on 7/19/2018) (anc) (Entered: 07/19/2018)

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Komrade Kuma

V for Victory

V for Vexatious

F for Fail

rd50

Don’t forget. Today, the court in Oregon said YES to the teenagers lawsuit.

markl

Oregon? No surprise.

Chimp

Did it? You must be ahead of me.

I thought that Ann Aiken was only taking it under advisement yesterday.

https://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2018/07/climate_change_kids_make_stand.html

I happen to know Judge Aiken. I was very disappointed when she returned the Hammonds to prison on charges trumped up by Bureau of Land Management bureaucrats. I hope she does the right thing in this case.

She’s a liberal Democrat, married to a party apparatchik and UO prof, but not an idiot.

The worst kind – the smart Kommissar.

Joel Snider

I’m in Oregon – it’s kind of a conflicting impulse – I can’t help but watch, but I want to shut my eyes.

DonM

although she did mention that, in the past, the court has needed to step in at times when legislative bodies are not doing it right/timely; example … oversight of prisons.

But she still thinks she can move up the ladder to a bigger post, so based on how she thinks this case will benefit/harm her, she will eventually rule appropriately.

(and its not just the husband, the kids are getting in on the action … and for them it may be profitable)

Taphonomic
brians356

If I ever tire of the winning, I’ll let you know.

“Do nothing ’till you hear from me
And you never will!”

R. Shearer

Climate activists and lawyers should take up smoking to be logically consistent.

Honest liberty

I would really have liked to see an injunction against Boulder and San Miguel counties.
Boulder is a cesspool of self loathing and misanthropy

The Colorado lawsuits indeed have serious problems, I dissected those here: http://gelbspanfiles.com/?p=6699 . But with regard to the dismissal of the NYC case and its siblings in CA, it’s something of a hollow victory when there was an opportunity to drive a stake through the heart of these “Matt Pawa-led” lawsuits, along with all the other lawsuits. Their core premise for existing is based entirely on the idea that fossil fuel companies paid skeptic scientists to lie about the certainty of AGW, and their main ‘leaked industry memo’ evidence to prove that is WORTHLESS.

“Defeated — but still Unscathed” http://gelbspanfiles.com/?p=7074

commieBob

Lawsuits against petroleum companies have been dismissed. The Childrens’ lawsuit is against the federal government and, if I understand correctly, can’t be dismissed on the same grounds.

In Judge Alsup’s ruling he mentioned the benefits of fossil fuels, but didn’t have to deal with them because he could rule based on law. Is the Childrens’ lawsuit the only one left? Could it have to deal with the benefits of fossil fuels? What other grounds are there for it to be tossed out?

J Mac

Did you mean the Climate for Children Abuse lawsuit?

rd50

Exactly. Completely different than lawsuits against petroleum industry. And today, the court in Oregon stayed with the Childrens’ lawsuit with their claim against the government, not against the industry.

rocketscientist

Wouldn’t an abused child need to demonstrate evidence of abuse? This suit is more on the level of “I want him punished because somebody told me he might abuse me in the future.”

J Mac

Children are being abused today, by denying them low cost, reliable, 24/7/365 dispatchable coal fired electricity generation. When you deny people low cost reliable electricity, you deny them clean water for drinking, cooking, bathing, clothes washing, crop irrigation, and livestock. You condemn them to impoverished lives, as we see across central and south America, Africa, and Asia.

When will this unmitigated abuse of today’s children and future generations worldwide by the Climate Change fraudsters cease?

otsar

next: The end of legislation by “pal suits.” The end of environmental law suits for profit, where the government gives away taxpayer money.

Bruce Cobb

I don’t know – it’s not so much the getting tired of winning so much as becoming used to it, dependent on it even. What if we become winning addicts, continually seeking out the next win, instead of just waiting for it? Is there even such a thing as Winningaholics Anonymous?

Marcus

The joy of watching the liberal MSM and most Hollyporn Socialists self destruct via TDS (Trump Derangement Syndrome) is worth the temporary pain and great for a laugh or three !!

Tom Abbott

They do carry on, don’t they. That’s what happens when one’s whole world (of socialism) falls apart right before their eyes.

Honest liberty

I suppose but it’s sickening to witness. Most establishments have CNN on in the background: airports, hotels, downtown buildings, even hotel bars and ethnic cuisine restaurants (which is sad they don’t know how they are being used).

It’s pure, childish propagand

Walt D.

This type of litigation is suing for damages before any damage has occurred. Without damage there is no proximate cause. How do you decide which scenario in the model will actually occur?
I may as well file an insurance claim for flood damage that has not yet occurred.

rd50

I agree. However, the court in Oregon is staying today with the teenagers claiming that climate change will affect their future life. The teenagers are not suing the “climate changers” (the fuel industries) they are suing the government for depriving them of a right to have a good life.

Marcus

Federal rulings over ride State rulings….(Supreme Court) …Period !

rd50

Sure. How much do you want to bet??

Marcus

2,000 cold beers says that “Federal rulings over ride State rulings” (Obamacare,abortion etc…)

Marcus

commieBob
“Lawsuits against petroleum companies have been dismissed. The Childrens’ lawsuit is against the federal government and, if I understand correctly, can’t be dismissed on the same grounds.”

rd50
“Exactly. Completely different than lawsuits against petroleum industry. And today, the court in Oregon stayed with the Childrens’ lawsuit with their claim against the government, not against the industry.”

What part of FEDERAL do you not understand ?

https://judiciallearningcenter.org/state-courts-vs-federal-courts/

Ray Boorman

Ironically, the Hansen lawsuit has merit, but in reverse of the way it is intended. Governments which introduce renewable energy targets, backed up by taxpayer subsidies in the billions of dollars, WILL cause damage to the lifestyles of our children & grandchildren. It will happen due to the lost economic growth resulting from the future lack of reliable, base-load electricity after the fossil fueled generators close.

Marcus

And they will cause harm NOW, not 100 years or so later !

mario lento

And that have caused harm already… 🙂

John Harmsworth

For the Hansen types it is impossible to cause harm in the future. The future will be destroyed by their imaginary Global Warming. If it isn’t then all one need do is work for the government and collect a paycheck and pension for zero productivity or worth. Problem solved!

Clyde Spencer

The Declaration of Independence recognizes the unalienable right to “pursuit of happiness.” There is no “right to have a good life.” This is a Liberal fantasy.

MarkW

Unfortunately there’s a near majority of voter’s in the country who have come to believe that they have a right to a lifestyle of their choice, and to have this lifestyle provided by others.

John Endicott

I’m reminded of the famous quote: “A democracy cannot exist as a permanent form of government. It can only exist until the voters discover that they can vote themselves largesse from the public treasury. From that moment on, the majority always votes for the candidates promising the most benefits from the public treasury with the result that a democracy always collapses over loose fiscal policy, always followed by a dictatorship”

Clyde Spencer

And that is the major reason that the Founders created a Constitutional Republic, with representatives elected by democratic vote, and Senators given long terms in order to resist public pressure. Plato observed and chronicled (The Republic) the reason that all pure forms of government ultimately fail. Our Founders tried to forge a hybrid, with separation of powers, to counteract the destructive forces inherent in all pure forms of governing. Yet, the ever-so-wise modern progressives, who are always discontent with the status quo, push to abolish the Electoral College, repeal the 2nd Amendment, open the borders to unlimited immigration from cultures unfamiliar with American law, and interpret the ‘Living Constitution’ in a manner that is ultimately destructive of the Rule of Law.

Red94ViperRT10

The Declaration of Independence, while a great document, is not the Constitution. A judging searching for rights cannot look in the Declaration of Independence. All judges are supposed to be restricted to the Constitution in their search for rights. Thus my constant… disappointment(?, since I have pretty much come to expect it from the Progressives on the bench I can’t say I’m surprised) at the steady stream of created “rights” that are constantly manufactured from a document that never says any such thing. So apparently judges can search for “rights” wherever the h*** they d**n well please. Including rectal cavities, I guess.

Chimp

Not true. The Declaration has often been cited in USSC decisions.

It stands at the head of the US law code.

MarkW

The Declaration can be used to help explain portions of the Constitution, but that’s it.

Clyde Spencer

But as a founding document, it enumerates “unalienable rights” that are not subject to overrule by human laws. That is, it establishes a hierarchy of rights, preventing a corrupt government from passing laws that infringe on fundamental rights that don’t come from written laws. It provides a rationale for limits on what legislators or the courts can do.

J Mac

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”

‘Unalienable Rights…. endowed by our Creator’ are the foundation for all rights further enumerated in the US Constitution!

bonbon

The Preamble : We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.
The General Welfare and the Constitution is not a Law. All Laws are subject to this preamble both now and for posterity. Unique worldwide, the “gold” standard. Look at the Confederate version or the proposed EU scheme.

John Harmsworth

“Liberty” is getting stretched pretty thin these days.

MarkW

Nobody has a right to a good life.
You have a right to try for one, but that’s it. A good life is not guaranteed.

bonbon

Attributed to Benjamin Franklin – even if others seemed to mention some of it :
“Our new Constitution is now established, and has an appearance that promises permanency; but in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.”

Alan Watt, Climate Denialist Level 7

The remedy for injury is actual damages, plus legal fees and perhaps punitive damages for egregious cases. The remedy for future harm is an injunction. So to prevent future injury the court would have to enjoin Chevron and others from extracting, refining and selling petroleum products, and would also have to enjoin anyone who uses these products.

I really can’t see the current Supreme Court accepting that the judiciary should have the authority to make decisions of this scope. I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

If you accept IPCC science, the only thing that matters is the concentration of atmospheric CO2, and whether that concentration is rising, falling or holding steady. It is currently rising. IPCC also insists that CO2 is “well mixed”, which means addressing global CO2 levels cannot be done by one nation alone. And the federal courts only have jurisdiction within the US, which more than any other industrial nation has reduced CO2 emissions over the past decade.

So to be effective, a court injunction would have to apply to China, India and other developing nations. No US court has this power and I doubt many federal judges would want to appear stupid by either (a) issuing an order that all the consensus science says would have minimal effect or (b) asserting authority over foreign countries.

The plaintiffs’ attorneys have a really tough job here: they want to get $$ and stick it to Chevron, but they can’t show actual damages. And the only remedy for future damages is clearly beyond the power of the courts.

Sounds like a job for Steven Donziger, but on second thought it looks like he won’t be available to take the case.

whiten

rd
Most probably their life has being already affected in a negative way,
by the care less act of their guardians and their parents.

Using children as a shield, borders close to trustless and conniving,
especially when negativity and pessimism towards society and civility
at large, is what these children are tought, for not saying indoctrinated
into.

cheers

Anne Ominous

It has been decided WITH PREJUDICE. That means they CAN’T bring it up again.

Their reasons were judged invalid, and they can’t use the same excuses again. Period.

So if it were as simple as them jumping the gun, they shot themselves in the feet.

Pardon the mixed metaphors, but it’s pretty apt.

Marcus

There really needs to be a BIG penalty for these frivolous lawsuits…(like the accuser has to pay $$ or serve time equal to what the defendant would have suffered)…(and be sued for defamation by the defendant on top of that)

In Trumps new America, maybe !

Cube

Shoot the losing lawer

J Mac

Hurrah! Another one bites the dust!

As for the Climate For Children Abuse lawsuit, it may linger in the 9th circuit court to maximize the publicity value but, as soon as it is moved or appealed to the Supreme Court, it is dead meat.

rd50

I hope you are right. How much do you want to bet???!!!

J Mac

rd50,
I have no need to bet, either to bolster my own ego or to wound yours. I’ll raise yet another glass tonight to the latest defeat of AGW fraud and anticipate with satisfaction the next one as well.

Marcus

You have already lost 2,000 beer (and they better be cold),( and no, I don’t want the shirt off of your back) !

https://www.gamblersanonymous.org.uk

Warren

Anything you like!
Climate plaintiffs are a special segment of our population with zero prospect of winning any cases in any court with competence and jurisdiction.
Current plaintiffs are all liberal aligned (in the US mould) and all suffer one or more of the following conditions:
Opportunism.
Egomania.
Fanaticism.
Psychopathy.
Even ‘liberal’ judges will not ignore the obvious.

Warren

Sorry Keenan is a ‘conservative’ appointment.
Alsup (Cal) is a ‘liberal’.

SkepticalWarmist

Anyone have a link to the text of judge Keenan’s ruling? Thanks.

Judge Alsup’s ruling in the San Francisco/Oakland case made for pleasant reading …

NW Sage

Perhaps using the courts as a substitute for the legislative process should be disconnected. Far too much of the courts time is taken up with ‘this ain’t the way it ‘otta be’ lawsuits.
I saw one of the legal professors talking about this the other day – made sense. Just because one side or the other is unable to make progress legislatively does NOT mean the courts should take up the issue.

Les Segal

I wonder whether the lawyers that propagate these lawsuits have a conscience? They surely didn’t peddle a bicycle to court or to the various meetings to plot these nefarious schemes. Do they not ever go on vacation or mow their lawns, or heat their homes in winter. If the fossil fuel companies withdrew their products from these “shysters”, they’d all be subject to a very rapid decrease in their quality of life.

Tom in Florida

Well, suppose you are a senior partner in a law firm and are approached by a group that wants to pay you a huge retainer and a percent of the winnings to file a law suit on their behalf. What do you do, what do you do?

John Harmsworth

Yeah, that’s a tough one! Widows and orphans outside the door with legitimate cases or a guy with a suitcase full of money with a trumped up politically motivated stinker of a case. What to do/?What to do?

Tom in Florida

Song heard coming from senior partners meeting room:

Go on, Take the Money and Run……..

joelobryan

“… is dismissed with prejudice in its entirety.”

“with prejudice”!!!
They can’t refile an amended case in District Court. They can appeal though. But unlikely.

Barbee

Don’t turn your backs, don’t breathe a sigh of relief and whatever you do, do NOT celebrate.
Because they will NEVER give up. They will try again and again and again until they win. And they will win-eventually-then move on to the next one.

Reed Coray

Socialists are like the Terminator on steroids–They will not quit. It’s a defect in their DNA.

J Mac

In regards to the Climate For Children Abuse lawsuit, I found the following perspectives instructive:

https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2018/01/14/the-childrens-climate-lawsuit-harms-the-children/

Make them pay all costs associated with the lawsuit which they brought forth.

Anne Ominous

It is VERY IMPORTANT to note that it was not just dismissed, but dismissed WITH PREJUDICE, IN ITS ENTIRETY.

Pardon the capitals but it is indeed important to note this.

The word “prejudice” means “pre-judged”. It has been already judged that the plaintiffs’ case is null and void. And not just in particulars, but in its entirety.

What that means, is that the plaintiff (New York City) can NEVER AGAIN bring up a similar suit, on ANY of the same grounds, in the future.

They can’t just jumble things around and re-word them, or even present different evidence. IT HAS BEEN DECIDED.

The end. That’s what “with prejudice” means. It has been pre-judged. It is the end of those grounds.

And it also means others, in other courts, will be prone to be judged similarly, via the principle of “stare decisis”. Unless and until the issue ever again gets to a superior court. Which is very unlikely.

So it’s a *bigger* win than some people will get at first. It’s a real whammy.

Coeur de Lion

I wish one of these cases would address climate change- get a few Nobel prize winners to testify

Chrisinoz

” I believe they are important after the public agrees how to feel about an issue.” but the public has agreed that they don’t really think climate change is ver important….

ResourceGuy

I’m not “confused, conflicted, or inattentive” chump and I vote. Climate change words and claims have become a litmus test of policy and professional insanity. They are painting themselves as targets of a more informed public over time. And there is growing concern by the public for the ill effects of their efforts on the courts, science, and science policy.

ResourceGuy

It looks like NYC will have to pay for its own steam pipe burst from neglected 100 year old infrastructure after all.

Caligula Jones

As Mark Steyn has found out, the process IS the punishment….

John Harmsworth

Well put. Obviously, the eco-Left has no qualms about utterly bastardizing science even though it is a fundamental underpinning of modern life. So why would we be surprised that they have no qualms about subverting the justice system even though it is an equally important underpinning of our society?
They are the penultimate practitioners in pursuitof the end without regard for the means. They are therefore a poison within democratic societies.

ResourceGuy

This should tell you they weren’t serious to begin with…..

CNBC
Lastly, Keenan concluded that the city’s claims raise concerns about separation of powers and foreign policy because New York is suing two foreign companies — BP and Shell — and seeking to hold all five firms liable for worldwide greenhouse gas emissions.

“Thus, to the extent that the City seeks to hold Defendants liable for damages stemming from foreign greenhouse gas emissions, the City’s claims are barred by the presumption against extraterritoriality and the need for judicial caution in the face of ‘serious foreign policy consequences,'” Keenan said, citing a 2018 District Court ruling in Virginia.

ResourceGuy

I wonder how many of these judges, lawyers, and court watchers even know that the govt. funded climate monitoring systems show cooling in 1) satellite global temps in the aftermath of a super El Nino, 2) North Atlantic buoy system temps back below multi-decade average, 3) South Atlantic temps back below multi-decade average, 4) Antarctic sea ice back at multi-decade average, and 5) a cooling Arctic also in the aftermath of a super El Nino. Do they even know these publicly-funded systems exist and routinely report data and benchmarks? Reliance on compromised experts has always been a fundamental weakness in court operation.

Clyde Spencer

ResourceGuy,
That all sounds like good news, but it would be more impactful if you had provided links or other citations to your claims.

ResourceGuy

You mean you don’t use the Reference pages of WUWT? That’s two thirds of the benefit of the site in my opinion.

Clyde Spencer

I would be surprised if anyone, after reading a commenter’s claim, goes off and searches the archives looking for things that support the claim. After all, as the person presenting the claim, you are in the best position to judge what you think supports your claim.

Edwin

Sounds like an ultimate trip to the Supreme Court. The Left ain’t going to turn this loose anytime soon. They will keep venue shopping until the find one that takes it.

Marcus

Anne Ominous (see post way above)
“It has been decided WITH PREJUDICE. That means they CAN’T bring it up again.”

“Their reasons were judged invalid, and they can’t use the same excuses again. Period.”

“Dismissal With Prejudice
Dismissal With Prejudice
When a lawsuit is dismissed with prejudice, the court is saying that it has made a final determination on the merits of the case, and that the plaintiff is therefore forbidden from filing another lawsuit based on the same grounds. See also: dismiss, dismissal without prejudice”

ResourceGuy

Okay, now go after the nonprofit orgs and foundations that were behind this scheme.

Across the pond, the UK High Court has shown wisdom and restraint in refusing to set national carbon targets. Much to the chagrin and carping by the usual suspects.

https://rclutz.wordpress.com/2018/07/20/uk-high-court-refuses-to-set-carbon-targets/

BillP

I don’t count this as a win, because the oil companies are not on our side.

Firstly, they are just as happy refining alcohol and vegetable oil as they are mineral oil, they are also happy to use their networks of filling stations to charge electric cars.

Secondly, a key part of the allegations against them was that they tied to conceal the effects of CO2. Hence the oil companies took the position that they are not experts on climate and are not challenging even the most ridiculous claims of the alarmists.

I can understand them doing this and, as someone interested injustice, am happy that the courts have recognised that the case was completely without merit. But this had done nothing to advance the argument against the alarmists.

I think that the case against the Federal Government is also without merit, for different reasons; however, considering the past bizarre interpretations of the constitution by the Supreme Court I fear that it may suceed.

“Winning” is NOT when a judge writes this in his opinion. “Climate science clearly demonstrates that the burning of
fossil fuels is the primary cause of climate change.” http://eidclimate.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/NYC-Climate-Lawsuit-Dismissal-July-19-2018.pdf Winning is when judges generally recognize what a pure crock of shit that statement is.

ResourceGuy

That statement may have been the purpose of the frivolous lawsuit to begin with. Like that judge is the authority on the subject to make that statement. At least we will have a long record of this to point back to when natural cyclical cooling becomes obvious.

ResourceGuy

It also makes me wonder what other examples of court opinion is this consistently wrong on science to be held up and examined when the time comes. Do we have to go back to days of slavery and creationism to find comparable court track records.

Martin Mayer

‘Wining’ is NOT when a judge writes this in his opinion. “Climate science clearly demonstrates that the burning of fossil fuels is the primary cause of climate change.”

This is not a finding of fact. This is the City’s allegation. The judge is saying that even IF everything the City says is true, there still is no case.

Julius Sanks

“Are legal strategies the most effective strategies? I believe they are important after the public agrees how to feel about an issue. Then you can sew it up legally.” Translation: “If we can get the public on board we can toss the rule of law and go with torchlight mobs and a kangaroo court.”

michel

The problem with all these suits is not simply that the wrong organ of government is being requested to act. That is why they are not even coming to trial of course. But were they to come to trial, they would find themselves stuck with an unwinnable case on the merits of their argument.

To win, they would first have to show that damages rather than injunction to cease conduct are an appropriate remedy for the forecast future effects of a common law nuisance. If you look at the Exxon pleadings there are quite some supposed examples of this cited in the plaintiffs filing, but I didn’t find any of them persuasive in their bearing on the case.

If you put this in simple language, the argument is that its OK for Exxon etc to do things which will destroy civilization on earth and wrecking the climate, and to continue to commit a common law nuisance with these future damages clearly visible, as long as they pay some money to the particular cities and states that have brought the suit.

I cannot see this is legally arguable under the common law of nuisance. But even if you can get past this one, there is the question of causation.

Compensation generally requires the damage to have been caused by the defendant. The awards, where there are several defendants or parties who have caused the damage is divided among the defendants in proportion to their causal role. So if a river has been polluted by discharges of 3 parties, and they have done 50%. 30% and 20% respectively, that is the proportion of the damages that each would have allocated.

In the present case, the plaintiffs are going to have to show that the defendants caused the actual harm they are seeking compensation for, which is going to be really tough. But lets put that on one side and assume they can get compensation for the future harms they claim are going to happen. Now the problem is, what proportion of that harm are they causing?

Its impossible, is it not? The further out we go with the forecasts, the smaller the proportion of total emissions due to the defendants. Chinese coal is far and away the largest emissions factor globally, and under the argument, its global emissions that are damaging the plaintiffs, not local or national ones. As the century moves on and the damages happen, the relative role of Exxon et al declines into insignificance.

Put it another simpler way. Suppose the plaintiffs were to deal with this by injunction, and actually get one, and the defendants were then to cease all activities of supplying the fuel which leads to the emissions. How effective a remedy could that possibly be to limit or prevent the shoreline erosion etc that the plaintiffs are concerned about?

Not at all, because Exxon et al are a so small a percentage of the future emissions that will supposedly do the damage that eliminating them would have almost no effect on the emissions total.

And that is even assuming you can show to the satisfaction of the court that there is a causal relation between the alleged local damage and the emissions total, and that you can show that this is down to Exxon’s conduct in selling the stuff rather than the users’ conduct in using it…

Hopeless. Well, that’s my take on it anyway. I expect all of them to be thrown out even if any of them finally gets to trial. Which is looking increasingly unlikely.

Trevor

Regrettably…….IT ONLY TAKES ONE IDEOLOGICALLY DRIVEN JUDGE
TO SET A PRECEDENT and then all hell breaks loose !
“WE” should not get complacent !
“WE” should be OUT-THERE telling the PUBLIC that these
DAMNED ANTI-HUMANISTS are trying to DESTROY THE HUMAN CIVILISATION
and THE ENTIRE HUMAN RACE “so they can return the precious planet to it’s
pristine , idealistic , utopian existence BEFORE MAN Fouled IT ALL UP” !
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
That is why “WE” should no longer allow them to call themselves “greens”
and “ecologists” and “animal rightists ” and so on…………………………………..
“WE” MUST LABEL THEM AS ” ANTI-HUMANISTS ” and make sure THAT TITLE STICKS !!
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
AFTER ALL ….it is in ALL OUR INTERESTS to maintain the fantastic life-style
that our ANCESTORS worked at so hard and created for us to enjoy !
FOSSIL FUEL USE is what has ENABLED ALL THIS WONDERFUL BENEFIT !
“WE” MUST protect and promote the use and the right to use this ENERGY SOURCE !
CAGW is a lie ! BUT it is still being taught in our schools as a scientific fact !
It MUST be shown up as a lie and these ANTI-HUMANISTS exposed as nothing
more than “eco-nuts” and of lacking ALL credibility !
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
THAT should NOT be a difficult STORY to sell…………
ESPECIALLY around ELECTION TIME !!!
There is just SO MUCH TO LOSE if “WE” don’t get that message across.