Caught lying: NYC climate lawsuit really IS about restraining industry, not saving the planet

From Energy In Depth, by Lea Giotto,

A top environmental lawyer for New York City says that the goal of the City’s climate litigation efforts is to restrain industry activity, an apparent contradiction to what the City has stated in recent legal filings in federal court. This admission could have a significant impact on the case moving forward.

Susan Amron, chief of the environmental law division of the New York City Law Department and counsel for the City in its climate lawsuit, made these comments during a session titled “Climate Change, the Courts and the Paris Agreement” that convened in New York City last week for Climate Week NYC.

In front of an audience of lawyers, activists and elected officials, Amron said:

“So, we’re not saying you can’t use fossil fuels, that’s a different part of the city’s efforts, but what we’re saying to the companies is that if you’re going to promote fossil fuels that you need to internalize the cost that these fossil fuels are imposing on cities, and New York City in particular. And really what we’re trying to do is affect the bottom line- the financial equation for the use of fossil fuels.” (emphasis added)

Amron’s “bottom-line” comment echoes how Mayor Bill de Blasio described the lawsuit on Senator Bernie Sanders’s podcast back in January:

Senator Sanders: “What are you guys doing – what role can you play in taking on the fossil fuel industry?”

Mayor: “I’ll say this for New York City. We just acted, and I want to urge every city, every county, every state to do the same – divest. Divest from the fossil fuel industry. Let’s help bring the death knell to this industry that’s done so much harm. Like the tobacco companies that were successfully sued decades ago. We’re also suing five of the biggest including Exxon Mobil for example who systematically poisoned the Earth, knew about it, covered it up, explained it away, tried to hook people more and more on their product. We think that what every city can do and every locality – use your litigation power to go at these bad actors and get the resources back. We’re looking for billions to make up for what they’ve done to us.” (emphasis added)

On the panel, Amron also spoke to de Blasio’s “We’re looking for billions” comment and shed light on exactly how much the City is hoping to extract from fossil fuel companies through its lawsuit:

“[W]e’ve estimated the cost over the next 10 years for programs that are either in planning or getting underway to be about $20 billion. That’s not economic losses; that’s just the cost of protecting the city over the next several decades.” (emphasis added)

New York City’s lawyers – namely Matt Pawa and Steve Berman of the Seattle-based law firm Hagens Berman – are fully aligned with Amron and de Blasio. In an interview with VICE last year, Berman said the climate lawsuits have “the potential really to bring down fossil fuel companies” and could absolutely secure a big pay day:

“As our interview came to a close I asked Berman to describe the best-case scenario for all this. ‘Imagine if I could get ten or 15 cities to all sue and put the same pressure on the oil companies that we did with tobacco companies and create some kind of massive settlement,’ he said. He acted as if it was the first time he’d thought of the idea. But I got the feeling it wasn’t.” (emphasis added)

The comments from Amron, Mayor de Blasio and Steve Berman could prove troublesome for the City’s lawsuit, as the complaint explicitly denies that the City is seeking to restrict ongoing business operations:

“The City does not seek to impose liability on Defendants for their direct emissions of greenhouse gases, and does not seek to restrain Defendants from engaging in their business operations.” (emphasis added)

Since de Blasio’s appearance on Senator Sanders’s podcast, New York City’s lawsuit was dismissed from federal court in New York by Judge Andrew Keenan. Whether de Blasio’s comments influenced the outcome of the suit in any way is unknown, but the fact that they are in complete discord with what is stated in the City’s complaint is indisputable.

Amron’s affirmation that New York City’s goal is to “affect the bottom line” and destroy the industry altogether, just as de Blasio said, could also create challenges for New York City’s appeal of Judge Keenan’s decision, which is slated to begin in front of the U.S. Second Circuit Court of Appeals soon.

Listen to Amron’s comments in full by using the link below:

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96 thoughts on “Caught lying: NYC climate lawsuit really IS about restraining industry, not saving the planet

  1. Extortion – It’s what Democrats do. And the tort bar ambulance chasers support them because they get 40% plus expenses from the shakedown.

  2. So, we’re not saying you can’t use fossil fuels, that’s a different part of the city’s efforts, but what we’re saying to the companies is that if you’re going to promote fossil fuels that you need to internalize the cost that these fossil fuels are imposing on cities, and New York City in particular.

    So…

    If oil companies stopped advertising, we’re off the hook? My guess is that people will still want to gas-up their cars, turn on their lights at night, heat their homes and eat, even if ExxonMobil, Shell and ChevronTexaco stopped running ads for their gas stations. Honestly, I miss the “good old days” of oil company advertising…

    If we have to “to internalize the cost that these fossil fuels are imposing on cities,” shouldn’t we also get to internalize the benefits? My guess is that the half of NY City’s population that would starve to death without fossil fuels are OK with this much sea level rise…
    J14_03

  3. Such arrogance.
    It is nothing short of an attack by the government on every person who is a shareholder in such companies. The perpetrators should be held responsible as they are not trying to pursue some objective public policy but are instead following a personal desire to try to punish companies/people they don’t like and deprive them of their rights.

  4. Okay, stop selling petroleum products in New York. When food products don’t magically appear on store shelves delivered by rainbow unicorns maybe people will realize that they need Exxon and the other petroleum companies.

    • We need a worldwide WEEK without Fossil Fuels!! None. Cut it all off. I predict mass starvation, riots, and all the things the eco-leftists predict will happen BECAUSE of Fossil Fuel USE.

          • I don’t believe terrorist is the right word. It has a specific meaning of violence to civilian as well as government entities in order to force policy change. A revolutionary is more what you have after the deprivation hits.

      • That’s not how the elites interpret divesting from oil. It only involves the third world and anyone in the rest of the world in the classes below them. They need the “limited” resources for themselves.

      • That would end all the senseless debates and government extortion schemes though.We all know the sad consequences of how the leftist Dems love leading the lemmings off the cliff to their demise.The jig is up and perhaps start countersuing

  5. The comparison to tobacco keeps being made, but there is a crucial difference – effectiveness.

    If tobacco production and use is eliminated in the US or other jurisdiction, on the grounds that it causes massive health problems and public health expenditure, then the problems stop. The US has the power to eliminate tobacco use and its health consequences by unilateral action.

    If the US suits against Exxon etc succeed, if indeed all the oil companies were to stop producing and selling in the US, the economic consequences would be huge, and the international implications of the resulting financial wipeout of the US would be huge.

    But it would not affect global warming, and it would not protect NYC or anywhere else.

    Because to do that, you would have to make all the other countries in the world stop producing and using the stuff. When the US is doing 5 billion tons in emissions out of 37 billion global, cutting back on US emissions to protect the Florida shore is ridiculous.

    To try to recover damages from Exxon, based on Exxon’s contribution to that 5 billion, which is only part of it, is hopeless. You are going to be able to show at most that the oil companies have done less than 10% of the damage, and you are open to the argument that the guys you should be suing are the Chinese state oil company and other state oil companies who are doing the bulk of the producing. And the countries that are doing the bulk of the using.

    The extraordinary thing about these suits is that they seem to think the rest of the world does not exist, and that by limiting US emissions they can somehow make a dent in global emissions, despite the numbers showing exactly the opposite.

    And of course they ignore the elephant in the room: Chinese, Indonesian and Indian emissions. If they were really serious about the need to limit emissions to save Florida or NYC, they would not be going after Exxon. There would be round the clock pickets and demonstrations outside the Chinese embassy telling them to get their emissions down from 10 billion+ tons to something like 2 billion, and do it now.

    But there are none. And it is generally regarded as being in very bad taste to even remark that China is emitting twice as much as the US, and showing no intention of stopping, on the contrary, it has clearly stated its intention to increase.

    I continue to think the evidence shows that no-one, including the most ferocious and extreme activists, and the Mayor certainly sounds from his rhetoric as being in that camp, actually believe a word of this stuff.

    • If tobacco production and use is eliminated in the US or other jurisdiction, on the grounds that it causes massive health problems and public health expenditure, then the problems stop. The US has the power to eliminate tobacco use and its health consequences by unilateral action.

      The US tried doing that once for a different product. How did prohibition work? The thing it succeeded at most was to make Americans disrespectful of law. It also led to the growth of organized crime. It didn’t keep people who wanted to drink from drinking.

      • We can also see how successful the government has been unilaterally eliminating cocaine or even pot use. Just because the government says so does not mean that the people will automatically obey.

      • The government doesn’t even have the power to unilaterally eliminate actions that everyone agrees is evil. Look at Chicago, or St Louis, or Atlanta and tell us that the government has been able to eliminate murder.

        • I am not advocating it. I am not even saying it is possible. I am just pointing out that the logic of the two cases is quite different, and they should not be compared as if the tobacco example justifies comparable action on oil.

          I am saying that even if you accept that action on tobacco is both possible and justified, that the same argument cannot be used to justify similar action on oil, because the two cases are not comparable and what you think works and is justified in the tobacco case simply will not work, even were it possible, in the oil case.

          The advocates of legal action are in the absurd position of justifying their action by claiming that similar action worked in a completely different case, action which, whether it works or not in the case of tobacco, simply cannot work or deliver the desired result in the case of oil.

      • Overall alcohol consumption *did* decrease during the Prohibition years, so in that sense it was a success. We repealed it a generation later because we, quite simply, changed our minds.

        Beware the nirvana fallacy of claiming that we shouldn’t prohibit X because people will still do X.

        • Prohibition was in effect for 13 years, hardly a generation. What it did was allow such people as Al Capone and his gang as well as rival gangs to make boatloads of money. Other such gangs existed in NY and other cities because a sufficient number of citizens decided to ignore the laws against consumption of alcohol.

          Again, the biggest result of Prohibition was to teach people to not respect the law.

        • Beware the nirvana fallacy of claiming prohibition works. So long as there is money to be made selling a product, whether legal or illegal, it will be sold. By driving sales underground we loose the ability to regulate that product. Heroin is a good example, every time a batch of pure heroin hits the streets we get a lot of OD deaths. Every time a bad batch of heroin hits the streets we get a lot of deaths from being poisoned. Yes, heroin is bad and destroys people/families but making it illegal hasn’t stopped heroin use and hasn’t stopped it from destroying people. On top of that there’s the whole gang violence issue that surrounds the distribution and sales of illegal substances.

          • Prohibition *is* a (extreme) form of regulation, you know. Smuggling, black markets, and violent competition in the underground have all existed since the dawn of trade and won’t magically go away if governments regulate their contraband of choice in a less extreme fashion. If you can increase your profits by subverting the law, no matter how lenient or strict it may be, there’s always those who will take the risk.

            Did Big-P Prohibition in the long run have more drawbacks than benefits? Likely. But at the same time, legalization is not the panacea many proponents like to think it is. It’s a nuanced issue that needs nuanced understanding, not clean, simple–and mistaken–narratives.

    • Actually, they’re just looking for a payoff. If it destroys Exxon-Mobil in the process that’s a benefit, in the eyes of those nut jobs going on TV to read these press releases. Actually reducing the rate of global warming or of sea level rise…? Irrelevant. Possibly even against their interests.

      • Now I’m not a lawyer, but it seems to me, how can anyone sue for future damages? Even in setting child support, the court can on consider the children already born. In accident claims where damages include future medical treatments, there has to first be an identifiable injury. In climate change, there have to date been no verifiable damages, so the plaintiffs certainly can’t claim future support for damages that have not yet happened.

        As a good bad example: a lawyer seeks out a customer or tenant in a building with polished marble floors and sues for damages (payable in regular scheduled payments of course) because, as a regular transient occupant of the building, the client is sure to slip on that floor.

        It seems to me these cases should get thrown out before the first hearing!

        • Under the Common Law of Nuisance, you are correct. The correct remedy under this for future damages is an injunction to cease and desist.

          Under Common Law of Nuisance you can only claim damages for harm actually done and losses actually incurred.

          However there are two problems for NYC with an injunction. No, there are three.

          One, it doesn’t produce any money.

          Two, it exposes NYC to a claim for damages if the injunction is overturned at subsequent trial. In the case of oil, these could be huge.

          Three, it will not make any difference to global warming (because Exxon and the others are accounting for too little of global emissions for them stopping in the USA to have any effect). So it will not actually save Battery Park.

          So this leaves them in the absurd position of arguing that Exxon should be permitted to continue destroying human civilization when, if they stopped, it would be saved from destruction. The logic of their suit is Exxon responsibility, so the logic of their suit is that stopping production and sale in the US would save the planet.

          But they end up arguing that the production and use should continue, thus destroying the planet, and they should pay NYC out of the resulting profits.

          Its the logic of the madhouse.

          • If they did accept the argument, applied for a cease-and-desist injunction, and got it (rather unlikely but in the world of law, it’s wise to expect the unexpected), the consequences to New York City would be trivial.

            There are plenty of independent oil companies to supply the fuel that is an absolute necessity to keep the city running.

            And car owners, truckers and the MTA buses could drive to New Jersey to fill their tanks. Big bonus for New Jersey business!

          • You forgot the 4th problem. The injunction would infuriate their constituents… they totally do NOT want an injunction.

  6. Comparison of fossil fuel industries to tobacco companies is disgusting and ignorant. Tobacco use is an individual choice with (essentially) no benefits. Whereas the historic and current benefits of fossil fuel are enormous. Without fossil fuel, millions of people would literally freeze to death.

    • Sorry, that was redundant to previous post. I usually read up-thread more carefully but I was at work and in a hurry.

    • Nope, the oil companies are not the source of that money, it is their customers. The Democrats like to push the concept that corporations pay taxes. While they may have to collect and pass along tax money, taxes are just another operating expense.
      Few companies have large cash funds available. Most operate very close to their income/payout balance. Siphoning income off into a cash slush fund increases the cash value of the company making it more attractive for stock buyout. So again, corporations do NOT pay taxes, they are forced by government agencies to collect taxes as part of their product/service prices – and then put sales tax on top of that!

      • Yes, the same way that the bank’s money is really their customers, but it sure makes a handy place to rob.

      • When companies raise their prices because of tax increases, the myrmidons rail against greedy corporations and demand that they be more heavily regulated.

        Raising taxes on companies is a win/win/win for politicians.
        They get more money to buy votes with.
        The companies get all the blame.
        The voters demand more government.

    • Fair paraphrase of Dillinger. In other word the Dems are following bank robbers. Still, since both the Dems and GOP both robbed banks, taxpayers, for 2 x 700 billion$ bank bailouts, it’s the pot calling the kettle black.
      And the Corps. that do not pay taxes like Facebook, Google, Amazon, et al, are on notice.

      • That actually wasn’t Dillinger.

        It was Willie Sutton who replied to a question about why he robbed banks with,”Because that’s where the money is”.

        It’s known as Sutton’s Law: The most obvious answer is usually correct.

        • It’s actually not known who said it. The attribution to Willie Sutton came from a newspaper writer.

          Which brings us to the meat of the matter. Sutton is famous for two things: His fascinating career as an illegal withdrawals specialist (bank robber, that is) and for a pithy rejoinder supposedly uttered in response to an interviewer’s query about why he robbed banks. While lore would have it that the bank robber replied “Because that’s where the money is” to that common question, Sutton denied ever having said it. “The credit belongs to some enterprising reporter who apparently felt a need to fill out his copy,” wrote Sutton in his autobiography. “I can’t even remember where I first read it. It just seemed to appear one day, and then it was everywhere.”

        • Sutton denies having ever said it. It’s most likely the creation of some reporter – not all that different from the mainstream media today…

      • The only companies that don’t pay taxes are those that aren’t making any money.
        Companies that have been losing money are able to avoid taxes temporarily when since deductions from losing years can be carried forward to years when they are making money again.

          • They still pay social security, license fees, taxes on their utilities, taxes on their telephones, taxes on their cars and taxes on their airplane tickets, taxes on their hotel rooms needed to raise new business, taxes on their rental cars, taxes on their medicare “shares” and the salaries of their (remaining) employees are taxes even more. They pay workers compensation (taxes) and they pay quarterly income taxes on projected income.

        • Come to the UK and see how much tax Facebook, amazon, apple and Alphabet pay. THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF COMPANIES MAKING BILLIONS THAT DO NOT PAY TAXES.

          • “THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF COMPANIES MAKING BILLIONS THAT DO NOT PAY TAXES.”

            If true, consider yourself lucky that your government has a clue.

            Corporate taxation is a regressive tax against the poorest in society, for the obvious reason that any business owner worth his/her weight isn’t going to pay a dime of tax to any government entity. Rather, that business owner will calculate any estimated cost of taxation and pass the cost right along to YOU. YOU will pay all such taxes, in that those costs will be estimated long before they’re due and reflected in the price of the products and services YOU buy.

          • Come to the UK and see how much tax Facebook, amazon, apple and Alphabet pay. THERE ARE HUNDREDS OF COMPANIES MAKING BILLIONS THAT DO NOT PAY TAXES.

            And, just by coincidence of course, every company you mentioned (those claimed to pay little to no taxes) has made hundreds of visits (by the CEO and principal programmers) to the Obama Administration White House, donated hundreds of millions of dollars given to the democratic party (in the US) and to international global parties in Europe, spent tens of billions in China for their near-slave labor factories and shipping ports, and “donated” hundreds of thousands of man-days of technical workers to the globalist agendas of the EU and democrat-socialists in the US and Canada.

  7. The habit of comparing the fossil fuel industry to the tobacco industry is so boringly absurd now.

    Anybody who has eyes and a brain can clearly see that modern civilization, as we know it, in every conceivable respect, is massively based on fossil fuels, … further that wind and solar cannot even begin to provide the same energy base now, in the future, or EVER, at the same scale, for the same human-population numbers and level of consumption.

    Hence, the phrase, “systematically poisoned the Earth”, in reference to what fossil-fuel companies have knowingly done, is utterly, insanely skewed reasoning.

    A smoke stack (especially one spewing steam) is NOT a cigarette ! A smoke stack (especially one spewing steam) is NOT a phallic symbol raping the Earth [I just thought I’d throw that one in too, since radical feminist activists seem to gravitate towards it].

  8. Comparing it to tobacco “wins”? Those were all about getting an additional revenue stream. Cigarettes are still very widely sold and have never been outlawed. Cigarettes are taxed at massive rates and sold black market. If cigarettes stop being sold, the revenue stream ends. If oil and gas end, the revenue stream ends even if they managed to win the lawsuit. It’s about additional revenue. Nothing more.

  9. They are caught between the rock and hard place.

    If Exxon really is destroying civilization, Battery Park and Florida’s coast, the solution is to stop them producing and selling.

    If not, then there is no justification for fining them.

    The one argument that will not hold up is that they are destroying civilization on earth and we want them to carry on doing it while paying us some of the profits.

  10. In light of the fact that the California lawsuits were dismissed, I see no way the New York lawsuits can succeed.

    “This order accepts the science behind global warming,” Alsup said in his ruling. “So do both sides. The dangers raised in the complaints are very real. But those dangers are worldwide. Their causes are worldwide. The benefits of fossil fuels are worldwide. The problem deserves a solution on a more vast scale than can be supplied by a district judge or jury in a public nuisance case.”

    The decision marks a huge blow for climate change activists and other cities pursuing similar lawsuits. It’s a win, meanwhile, for the oil companies and other industry groups that opposed the lawsuit.

    The huge difference from the tobacco lawsuits is that fossil fuels are hugely beneficial. There is nobody who is not much much better off because of fossil fuels. That should make it very hard to claim damages.

    If someone drowns in their bathtub, can the survivors sue the city that supplied the water? It’s that stupid.

    • Yes, that is one difference. But the other very important difference is that the tobacco suits could actually eliminate the danger in the jurisdiction where suit was brought.

      The oil company suits, even if they eliminated the production and sale of oil products in the jurisdiction, could not eliminate the supposed danger, because that is due to .global production and sale.

      In these circumstances to eliminate local production and sale will have no effect on the supposed problem.

      In other words, sue China, not Exxon.

  11. “As our interview came to a close I asked Berman to describe the best-case scenario for all this. ‘Imagine if I could get ten or 15 cities to all sue and put the same pressure on the oil companies that we did with tobacco companies and create some kind of massive settlement,’ he said. He acted as if it was the first time he’d thought of the idea. But I got the feeling it wasn’t.” (emphasis added)

    Correct me if I am wrong but …
    Aren’t the Tobacco Companies still selling Tobacco?
    Aren’t there people still purchasing and using Tobacco?
    Aren’t there small Non Smoking sections in Casinos instead of small smoking sections?
    Didn’t this do nothing but cause the industry to raise their price to pass on the cost?

    It would seem to me that the way for NYC to divest from Fossil Fuels would be to Not allow for it’s import or use within city limits.
    No more Gasoline sales on Manhattan.
    No more Nylon wind breakers.
    No more plastic water bottles.
    No more fossil fuel based electricity generation from the grid.
    No more driving onto the island in a Gasoline Powered vehicle (car, truck, van, etc.)
    No more tourists allowed who have to Fly to N.Y. N.Y.
    No more Asphalt Paving of Roads.

    Start spreading the news
    their leaving to day
    Don’t want to be a part of it
    New York, New York

    • Yes, cigarettes are still being sold and the payments to the various states that were parties to the Master Settlement Agreement amount to a per-cigarette levy for every cigarette sold in that state. So the states have no financial incentive to stop people from smoking; if they did the cash flow would stop.

      Nor are the states under any obligation to actually spend settlement money on anything related to tobacco-caused illness or helping smokers quit, and in fact most states have simply folded the payments into the general fund and used them for anything they want.

      • This seems to be the case for many State Gathered Taxes and Levies. Most of the Ca. State Gasoline Taxes that are supposed to go to Road Infrastructure Repairs are in fact paid into the General Fund and distributed anywhere the state feels the need is.

  12. This is what happens when the tax base of an area is that of taxing money changers. We need to bring suit against the NYSE and NASDAQ for contributing to this egregious behavior much like the tobacco industry suits.

  13. “industry that’s done so much harm”
    Suppose they really believe that, or is it just about the money?

  14. The word “extract” was used regarding the huge funds to be obtained.
    That should be “extort”.
    Predatory governments are today’s “Robber Barons”.

        • They never were.

          Conducting legitimate business, with profit as the end goal, is not robbery. There is no Law of Conservation of Wealth, as much as socialists like to pretend there is.

          The real robbers in the story are the jealous proto-socialists who thought these men were making too much money, wanted some of it for themselves, and weaponized workers’ grievances, legitimate or no, to try and get it.

  15. “Fossil fuel” is similarly ambiguous concept as “climate change”. Everyone knows what it means until specifics are discussed.

    Words are important. What exactly does New York City blob mean with “fossil fuel”? Lignite? Peat? Biofuels? Inorganic hydrocarbons? All? If only some, who will control the difference and how?

  16. This is just the encore of Milton Friedman’s incompetence inherent in “controlled disintegration” of the world’s economy documented at the time as “A Conspiracy of Morons” in 1979 . However, these morons were also murderers, bent on the genocidal goal of reducing the world’s population through famines, wars, or whatever means. That policy had already been formalized the previous year by Henry Kissinger in National Security memorandum 200.
    The chickens have come home to roost (Malcom X) – NSSM 200 was meant for those post colonial hopefuls, now how does it feel to get the brunt in-your-face? Now you see what was done to the “developing world”. Trump has embraced China’s win-win, but the Friedman fossils in both fading parties are subverting it.
    Mont-Pelerin Economist Mag. society nuttiness.

  17. One of the most significant effects on normal economic life for millions of us in recent years was the financial crisis of 2008/9, from which , in some countries, we have not yet fully recovered .
    However if we are to believe accounts such as those of M Lewis in “The Big short ” the inevitable consequences of bundling worthless mortgages into bonds for selling to investors was obvious enough to for some to make a fortune by shorting them .
    So why are communities world wide not suing the banks who created these bonds for the disaster for which they are responsible.
    Many people lost jobs, homes and some of us are still via our taxes paying to support the bankers whilst the systems that need that money , like our disintegrating NHS (UK), are starved of money.

    • In the US, the government not only allowed the Sub Prime bubble they encouraged it — including Fannie May and Freddie Mac. This was all done in the name of “fairness”. The banks were forced into this position by the Progressive Left who sought to reduce then abolish all lending standards.

      It’s easy to blame the “evil” banks, but it far more complicated than that. How many borrowers signed fraudulent stated income loans? How many of them were ever prosecuted? Or the brokers who encouraged them to deliberately overstate their income?

      The root cause of this, like all other bubbles is greed.

      • You are of course correct , RN , but I wanted to contrast the non- action to , and indeed bailing out of, the banks despite the real and global problems that arose from their activities, with the threatened action against fossil fuel companies for problems that are at present small and maybe quite imaginary.
        We did not take action against the banks because to do so would mean a drastic disruption to our lives which are so dependent on the smooth operation of financial services .
        We are as equally dependent on the fossil fuels for energy , transport and petrochemicals , yet we are determined to destroy them, despite their lower and possibility non- existent culpability.
        What makes the difference?

  18. Back in the 1970s, when I was teaching, I sometimes showed the movie “Multiply and Subdue the Earth,” directed and narrated by the noted landscape architect, Ian McHarg. There is a scene in the movie where he is standing in central Manhattan and claims, “3/5ths of those living in Manhattan have psychoses, and 4/5ths have serious neuroses.” I can’t vouch for the statistics. However, the actions of the NY legislators and government officials would seem to support the claim. I wonder what the numbers are for California?

  19. …Mayor: “I’ll say this for New York City. We just acted, and I want to urge every city, every county, every state to do the same – divest. Divest from the fossil fuel industry…”

    When we see NYC replacing police cruisers with bicycles, firetrucks and ambulances and delivery trucks with horse-drawn carts, and restricting the taxi industry to rickshaws we’ll know that its mayor is prepared to walk his talk.

    To borrow a weaselly climate science communicator’s phrase, until that happens the mayor’s behavior ‘is consistent with’ a hypocrite’s.

    • I presume he means the pension fund? I can’t see NYC having much of anything else to invest. Or did he mean “divest” as a sneaky word play because they never did invest in the first place?

      Organizations like the BBC are similar, but luckily the crazies who do the talking aren’t the ones who get to manage the pension fund.
      A while ago the usual saving-the-planet suspects also tried it on with some of the most prominent UK Universities. Once again, the cooler heads won the day. If I was in the investment business I suspect I might do no worse than many professionals by systematically avoiding “green” investment opportunities and other companies that pay more than just lip service to current politically-correct management fads.

  20. The tobacco example is a false analogy, in the minds of CO2-phobics logical fallacies abound.
    Inhaled tobacco smoke causes harm, epidemiological evidence is overwhelming:
    https://4.bp.blogspot.com/_gdqgkguBDUs/TNNVUq4wq6I/AAAAAAAACJM/CNHCbmxqjRU/s320/lung+cancer.png
    Atmospheric CO2 is essential for life on Earth, the observed net effects of an increase in concentration are well within geologically precedent and are uncertain, but certainly no dangerous, and so far beneficial.
    Besides the assumed source of that increase, use of fossil fuels, has been overwhelmingly beneficial for human welfare.
    There are also legal defences Volenti non fit injuria (“to a willing person, no injury is done”) and contributory negligence where a plaintiff has contributed to their own supposed injury in this case by continuing to use fossil fuels (via Wiki).

  21. The naked hatred these people have companies that provide a product that has underpinned the very improvement in their own personal way of life is beyond belief. These people are surely intellectually impaired – seriously. The countersuit will be interesting.

    • They have been trained by the school system to hate anyone who has been more successful than themselves.

      Way too many people go into teaching because they have failed at everything else.

  22. How to think green —
    If the oil companies hadn’t got everyone hooked on oil based products then everyone would live richer lives closer to nature. Also, the USA have to defend it’s vast wealthy oil companies, would not have to deploy such a large (oil using) military and got itself into so many wars.
    So go cold turkey on oil and return to peace and nature. One love man, etc, etc.

    How was that?

  23. “Let’s help bring the death knell to this industry”
    You must be detached from reality to say this. After a natural disaster, the first thing they do is to restore electricity. Then everything else can start rolling.
    Removing energy from a functioning city is the opposite of helping. It will be horrible for the people.

    • And… If the repair crews can’t get fuel for their vehicles, the electricity won’t get restored… 😎

  24. “Climate change” converges far more towards socialism than to remediation of the biosphere.

  25. I listend to a live youtube broadcast a few days ago that I found on Tom Nelson’s twitter feed (it was painful to listen to). It was about the oil companies and suing them. At one point, I heard them say that (I’m paraphrasing from memory) that the strategy is to sue and sue until something works and sticks.

    Bastards.

  26. “When the US is doing 5 billion tons in emissions out of 37 billion global, cutting back on US emissions to protect the Florida shore is ridiculous.”

    Good point. Because they individually make so little difference, we should all stop paying our taxes.

  27. “Isn’t the only hope for the planet that the industrialized civilizations collapse? Isn’t it our responsibility to bring that about?” – Maurice Strong, founder of the UN Environment Programme & architect of the UN Oil for Food Scandal

    “We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis.” – David Rockefeller, Club of Rome executive manager

    “The only way to get our society to truly change is to frighten people with the possibility of a catastrophe.” – emeritus professor Daniel Botkin

    “In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill.” – Club of Rome

    De Blasio: The Earth Was My First Real Cause
    “[T]he new mayor wants to make his own mark, which is why his administration set a new target of reducing emissions 80 percent by 2050, a target in keeping with United Nations recommendations. “I felt we had to speed up the pace,” de Blasio said. “I felt we had to do something dramatic and material. Again for our own needs and for the role we play in the world.”
    https://www.wnyc.org/story/earth-leaders-mayor-de-blasio-environment-and-his-peer-group/

    June 3, 2017
    New York City mayor affirms city’s plan to carry out Paris climate agreement commitments
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/bill-deblasio-affirms-paris-climate-change-commitments-donald-trump-a7771266.html

    • There is a 1,000 MW “extension cord” work-in-progress from Quebec to supply NYC with electricity.

  28. I’m pretty sure they can see the insanity of the argument as well as any one else outside the environmentalist brain. Of course it’s just about the money but they probably also know the chances of a win are very small even though the potential jackpot is large.

    I’m guessing they’re hoping the companies will just pay them some money to shut up a bit. There is plenty of precedence for this and the oil companies have already been stupid enough to agree about the science. This just encourages the extortionists to press on until the companies show a bit of backbone or some cash.

    “You probe with bayonets: if you find mush, you push. If you find steel, you withdraw”
    ― Vladimir Ilich Lenin

  29. I lived through the blackout in NYC of 13 July 1977 and watched the neighborhood next to mine (Bedford-Stuyvesant) self-destruct with rioting and major fires. That was NOT a very nice experience. We lived in a wooden house, had no means of self-protection, and no where to run. More recently, inner city Baltimore experienced the same thing.

    To purposely increase the risk of that happing to a major city is reprehensible, and maybe criminal. Especially if it amounts to no good purpose other than green-washing.

  30. “The September 2018 anomaly was a not-so-alarming +0.26 deg C above the 1981 to 2010 average.”

    Since it is well known that a hurricane cools the waters in its track, using the entire month of Sept will give the answer you want, which, of course, is wrong. You need the daily temps and I know that Stokes has told you how to do that.I

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