The Automatic Climate Lawsuit Generator

Reposted from The Gelbspan Files

State of Delaware v. BP America Inc, et al.

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The Washington Free Beacon has an ongoing series of “I forced a bot to …” parodies making fun of predictable robot-like reactions from biased journalists or far-left activists to particular hot topics. Seriously, however, it might be worthy of genuine speculation as to whether the Sher Edling law firm has a bot writer program to punch out boilerplate-similar global warming lawsuits. I actually speculated about that back when I wrote my dissection of their second round of simultaneously-filed lawsuits, where I detailed the fatal fault of their lawsuits’ enslavement to the worthless “reposition global warming” memos. The repeats galore continue in their latest Delaware v. BP filing.

In this post, I’ll detail the major fault with a repeated item that I haven’t shown before, but first ………

……… let’s have a look at what else is repeated. In my September 25 dissection of the Charleston v Brabham Oil filing, I already noted how a dubious graph and/or assertion from the Exxon-sourced “James Black Memo” in all the other filings is also in this Delaware filing. The worthless 1998 API “victory will be achieved” memo set makes its appearance on page 122 in this Delaware filing, using the same suspect unnamed weblink that I illustrated in my Honolulu v. Sunoco dissection, which showed how that unnamed source is actually Kert Davies’ old 2013 document upload when he worked at Greenpeace.

Then there’s ye olde “reposition global warming” memos. Here is that repetition enslavement in this Delaware filing, page 112, complete with its basically disingenuous ‘UCS dossier source’ …

… and for emphasis, here’s that same repetition in the prior eleven Sher Edling filings all the way to the beginning, via screencapture photo links:

This gets really old after a while. But hey! When that’s the most damaging evidence there is, well, you stick with it and hope nobody asks anything about it. Where it originally came from, why it wasn’t stashed where people say it was, that sort of thing.

Now, lets have a look at an item that was brought to the attention of many, including me, in the WUWT guest post titled “State of Delaware Lies About Willie Soon (as a scientist).” It concerns the corruption accusation directed at Harvard-Smithsonian astrophysicist Dr Willie Soon. First, starting from the beginning of these Sher Edling lawsuits, this is what the 2017 San Mateo v Exxon says on its print page 58, along with the footnote sources:

A key strategy in Defendants’ efforts to discredit scientific consensus on climate change and the IPCC was to bankroll scientists who, although accredited, held fringe opinions that were even more questionable given the sources of their research funding. These scientists obtained part or all of their research budget from Defendants directly or through Defendant-funded organizations like API,130 but they frequently failed to disclose their fossil fuel industry underwriters.131
130 Willie Soon and Sallie Baliunas, Proxy Climatic and Environmental Changes of the Past 1000 Years, Climate Research 23, 88-110 (January 31, 2003),
131 Newsdesk, Smithsonian Statement: Dr. Wei-Hock (Willie) Soon, Smithsonian (February 26, 2015),

Evil Defendants, who sneer about how this effort to “discredit scientific consensus on climate change and the IPCC” victory will be achieved, while the evil scientists hid who the suppliers of their megabucks were. Oh, wait, Exxon couldn’t even figure out the status of that victory plan and API had no indication it was ever implemented. And did Dr Soon actually hide who his funders were? Hold that thought for a few moments.

Meanwhile, Sher Edling’s implication of corruption against Dr Soon was repeated identically in:

Identical wording each time about “bankrolling scientists” having “fringe opinions” that were “questionable given the sources of their research funding”, along with source links to Dr Soon’s co-authored paper in the journal Climate Research and something from “Newsdesk, Smithsonian” (try clicking on that link). Since it’s tedious to screencapture and color-highlight these court filings, I’ll just direct readers to the individual pages for these repetitions in the complete online files for #7 Rhode Island v. Chevron PDF file page 86, #8 Baltimore v. BP PDF file page 88, #9 PCFFA v. Chevron PDF file pages 63-64, #10 Honolulu v. Sunoco PDF file page 76, and #11 Charleston v Brabham Oil PDF file pages 101-102.

This unbroken repetition streak came to a – somewhat – end with Sher Edling’s month-old Delaware v. BP lawsuit, which was filed only literally one day after Sher Edling’s #11 lawsuit’s 9/9/20 filing date. It’s all still nearly identical, but notice what I highlight in orange in the screencapture of its PDF file page 131: is where people go to see web pages that have been taken offline, it’s called “The Internet Archive” or “Internet Way-back Machine.” In the time between the last online capture the Internet Archive was able to get on March 4, 2020 and its next capture on September 1, 2020, the Smithsonian Institute restricted public access to their Newsdesk statement about Dr Soon. Why? As seen from a system-wide search of The Smithsonian’s website, no explanation is not offered anywhere within their system regarding that restriction. The most that pops up specifically for Dr Soon’s name are three grabs of the times when the now-missing page was previously captured, and a June 2015 Newsdesk statement about the controversial ‘undisclosed funding’ situation in general. What are all these Sher Edling lawsuits relying on within that missing S.I. Newsdesk statement?

The Smithsonian is conducting inquiries to address the allegations that Dr. Wei-Hock (Willie) Soon failed to disclose to journals the funding sources for his climate change research.

What was the June 2015 Smithsonian Newsdesk statement referring to regarding “recent allegations,” and what corresponds more directly to the now-missing February 26, 2015 Smithsonian Statement about “addressing allegations”?

The February 21-23, 2015 Boston Globe / New York Times / Washington Post newspapers blitz against Dr Soon – best represented by the NYT – containing a particular name that shouldn’t surprise anybody who is familiar with the smear of skeptic climate scientists:

… newly released documents show the extent to which Dr. Soon’s work has been tied to funding he received from corporate interests.
He has accepted more than $1.2 million in money from the fossil-fuel industry over the last decade while failing to disclose that conflict of interest in most of his scientific papers. …
The documents were obtained by Greenpeace … Greenpeace and an allied group, the Climate Investigations Center, shared them with several news organizations last week. …
What it shows is the continuation of a long-term campaign by specific fossil-fuel companies and interests to undermine the scientific consensus on climate change,” said Kert Davies, executive director of the Climate Investigations Center, a group funded by foundations seeking to limit the risks of climate change.

At the time in February 2015, after the strange and unexplained departure of Kert Davies from Greenpeace, his sudden reemergence in the media blitz was a surprise enough to me that I wrote a GelbspanFiles blog post titled “Kert Davies is Back. Again.” The startup of his Climate Investigations Center website made no sense to me in 2014, but my view changed upon my discovery of his related “Climate Files” website and how that could apparently be used as a vehicle to supply global warming lawsuits with material under a name that looks much more benign than one plagued with anti-fossil fuel industry bias like “Greenpeace.”

What is the major fault with the “$1.2 million” that all these Sher Edling lawsuits so desperately seem to allude to via their beloved “” link? Fundamentally, it prompts the overarching question of whether there’s any merit to the Kert Davies-sourced implication that such funding automatically equals a corrupt pay-for-performance, where Dr Soon spews disinformation meeting the approval of his funders. The overarching question arises from:

  • $1.2 million would be a huge amount for a single person to receive. However, the NYT said in 2015 it was over the last decade which simple math division breaks down to $120,000 per year. Did he alone receive that each year, or did it get further subdivided among research assistants?
  • Was all of the $1.2 million actually directed straight to Dr Soon? Lord Christopher Monckton, in his March 3, 2015 WUWT guest post rebuttal to the days-earlier multi-newspaper hits against Dr Soon, noted as follows1) the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics “deducts 30-40% of any external grant to cover its own overhead costs“; 2) “Dr Soon has no authority to sign any research contract to receive any grant, let alone to decide or to dictate the terms of such contracts. Those matters are reserved to the Center.”; and 3) “[i[Given that external contracts are signed and held by the Observatory … claims that he has failed to disclose information about who has funded his past research are manifestly false.” Dr Soon corroborated how the Smithsonian was the receiver of all grant money at that time, and just in a months-old response to a media inquiry, he noted how his employer didn’t shower him with that big Exxon donation.
  • Dr Soon – in some way or another – was funded $1.2 million ……….. to do what, exactly? Knowingly spread disinformation meeting Exxon’s approval? If the only evidence for that is two sets of supposedly measuring when “victory will be achieved after repositioning global warming as theory rather than fact” which turn out to be unsolicited proposals that were never implemented in any fossil fuel industry effort at any time, is that not a fatal problem for this whole accusation effort aimed at Dr Soon?

If the whole accusation effort aimed at Dr Soon was bulletproof, criticisms would be obviously desperate attempts to distract people away from the sight of clear-cut corruption, instead of offering detail points that can be either exposed as outright lies or not.

If those critical points cannot be disputed, and thus decimate the accusation against Dr Soon, several more critical question arise: Did the Sher Edling law firm undertake basic due diligence to find out if the accusation was bulletproof? If the attorneys did not, are they qualified at all to be leading these global warming lawsuits? If they did, are they fully aware of how faulty the accusation really is, and how questionable the principal source for the accusation is, and is this knowledge being withheld from the plaintiffs in these lawsuits?

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October 14, 2020 2:07 pm

Dear World, You’ve just been warned about the US Democrat party. Pray they don’t cheat good enough Nov. 3rd.

Reply to  John
October 14, 2020 2:11 pm

Would you get on a commercial airliner if he was the pilot?

Patrick MJD
Reply to  John
October 14, 2020 9:10 pm

Is the US election really just under 3 weeks away? I am going to get some beers in for that.

D. J. Hawkins
Reply to  Patrick MJD
October 16, 2020 8:37 am

You might want to lay in 20 pounds or so each of beans and rice. Just in case. You never know how far the disruption might spread.

Coeur de Lion
October 14, 2020 2:15 pm


October 14, 2020 2:28 pm

Climate activist lawyers are stuck in the 19th century. Today, Big Oil is owned by Big investment Banks, the same banks that own renewable energy.

Willie Soon was funded by “Big Oil” from 1992 to 2003. Before 2003, Soon had nothing negative to say about the climate scam. As soon as he said something about it, he lost his funding. The actual facts speak against their convenient narrative. Big Oil doesn’t want those against the climate scam. So they fired him. Duh

Reply to  Zoe Phin
October 14, 2020 4:58 pm

Is there no subject on which you aren’t proudly ignorant?

Pat Frank
Reply to  Zoe Phin
October 14, 2020 5:59 pm

Here are two papers, 2, and 4 years predating, respectively, your supposed Soon turn-around, Zoe.

Willie is a hero of honest science. You’re entirely wrong, Zoe.

The 2001 paper, by the way, is the one that initially led me to investigate climate models. On reading Soon, et al., 2001, it was immediately clear that climate modelers, and the IPCC, could not possibly know what they claimed to know.

(2001) Soon, W. Baliunas, S., Idso, S. B., Kondratyev, K. Ya., Posmentier, E. S. Modeling climatic effects of anthropogenic carbon dioxide emissions: unknowns and uncertainties Climate Res. 18(3), 259-275

(1999) Soon, W., Baliunas, S, Robinson, A. B., Robinson, Z. W. Environmental effects of increased atmospheric carbon dioxide Clim Res 13:149–164

The 1999 abstract bears quoting. It’s as true today, 21 years later, as it was in 1999:

A review of the literature concerning the environmental consequences of increased levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide leads to the conclusion that increases during the 20th century have produced no deleterious effects upon global climate or temperature. Increased carbon dioxide has, however, markedly increased plant growth rates as inferred from numerous laboratory and field experiments. There is no clear evidence, nor unique attribution, of the global effects of anthropogenic CO2 on climate. Meaningful integrated assessments of the environmental impacts of anthropogenic CO2 are not yet possible because model estimates of global and regional climate changes on interannual, decadal and centennial timescales remain highly uncertain.

Reply to  Pat Frank
October 14, 2020 9:44 pm

Interesting. So why was he cut off in 2003?

Pat Frank
Reply to  Zoe Phin
October 15, 2020 7:43 am

Willie is paid by Harvard-Smithsonian, Zoe. He gets no income from grants.

Harvard-Smithsonian takes the money and funds its programs. Willie would get his salary regardless of whether he pulls in some specific grant.

Further, Harvard-Smithsonian received a grant in 2008 — five years past your 2003 cut-off — from Southern Company Services (SCS), an energy company (P6882-1-08), specifically to fund Willie’s research on solar radiation and climate change.

Part of the contract stipulated that SCS shall not be identified as the source of the grant. But that part of the agreement was set aside when Willie was scandalously and falsely vilified as being in the pay of big oil.

So, Willie wasn’t cut off in 2003.

Reply to  Pat Frank
October 15, 2020 9:59 am

Interesting. So why was Willie smeared, but not Sally?

Pat Frank
Reply to  Pat Frank
October 15, 2020 11:12 am

Sallie Baliunas was smeared as well, Zoe.

The attacks were severe enough that Sallie resigned her career rather than put up with them.

Gordon A. Dressler
October 14, 2020 2:30 pm

There is a legal term known as “vexatious” litigation. It is well past time for all courts to render the associated legal countermeasures to vexatious litigants such as Sher Edling.

HD Hoese
October 14, 2020 3:03 pm

“…part are all of their research budget….” One might have long been suspicious that they teach you how to use this logical error claim in law school, but it appears that it might have been first taught in kindergarten, repeated often, given how often this, among others, juvenile nonsense reappears, unfortunately even in so-called science documents. Guilty until proven innocent again?

October 14, 2020 3:04 pm

I risk sounding redundant myself by continually pointing out the flaws in these lawsuits whenever they are filed, but one thing needs to be hammered home so that someone with great influence can finally shoot down the ‘skeptic scientists are liars-for-hire’ accusation: there technically isn’t a growing wave of lawsuits proving an industry-led conspiracy to deceive the public about the harm of global warming exists, there is basically only a single lawsuit template used repeatedly to shore up the idea of CAGW, and that template relies on WORTHLESS evidence to dismiss skeptics as villains participating in disinformation campaigns. That’s where the actual conspiracy appears to be, involving a core clique of enviro-activists who’ve been pushing this ‘evidence’ over the last 20-25 years in order to deceive the public about the credibility of skeptic climate scientists.

Harry Davidson
Reply to  Russell Cook
October 14, 2020 3:25 pm

That’s not the game. If they can just win one, then they can lean on that forevermore. So far it hasn’t happened, but the random element inherent in any legal system guarantees that eventually they will win one. And we will never hear the end of it.

Reply to  Russell Cook
October 14, 2020 5:53 pm

If anything should be put on trial, it’s the nonsense the IPCC passes off as the science behind their absurd claims. It’s always been considered dogma beyond question, and it’s time to be questioned because I can’t accept the requirement for energy magically created, literally, out of thin air.

The average not accounted for by the incremental feedback analysis can’t be the power supply providing the Joules required for massive amplification of the forcing by feedback, since the average Joules not accounted for by the incremental analysis are already consumed performing the work of maintaining the average temperature which is also not accounted for.

Harry Davidson
October 14, 2020 3:21 pm

This kind of legal activity just doesn’t work in the UK. Here the loser normally gets costs awarded against them, and if the judge thinks a complainant is taking the mickey, he or she will amuse themselves during the case by finding ways to increase some costs, before lumping the whole lot onto the party that has annoyed them. Even a City Council, cleverly suing an oil company and spending $500,000 on it, would blanche when they lose and find they have pay the other side’s costs of $2.5M. Why so high? They wouldn’t bother to keep their costs down, why should they when it was clear from the start they would win? This whole thing “the process is the punishment” gets turned around into a serious punishment by process the other way.

Going to law, and losing, is a disaster in the UK. It means that companies in dispute will usually sort it out between themselves without going to court if they can and you can’t kill off competition by suing them into bankruptcy – as is common in the US. It does have disadvantages too.

Reply to  Harry Davidson
October 14, 2020 9:41 pm

The same bit where the loser pays for the winner’s legal costs goes in the USA, too.
And in a fair number of cases where penalties are applicable, the judge may award up to treble damages as a penalty.

As manniacal’s lawsuit against Mark Steyn illustrates; the legal process is long and terribly costly in time and money.

Unfortunately, there are ultra rich democrats and liberal private foundations supplying lawsuit happy alarmists with the cash necessary to pursue these vexatious lawsuits.

Harry Davidson
Reply to  ATheoK
October 15, 2020 3:40 am

But in the US the loser paying the opponents costs was unusual, if not rare. In the UK it is what almost always happens.
Punitive damages on the other hand are very, very rare in the UK. The Civil courts see their job as making financial restitution, punishment is for the Criminal court.

October 14, 2020 4:03 pm

All the nonsense about CO2 and its impact on OLR is pure rubbish from a climate perspective. If I asked climate scientist, what was the brightest spot on Earth on 20 July 2020 would their answer be Isaias?!Aq1iAj8Yo7jNg20rmI6ZbdeTV0c9
That bright spot in the mid Atlantic is reflecting 80% of the incoming insolation. 336W/sq.m on average over the day. That is sunlight that did not get absorbed by the ocean below.

Cyclonic storms are not the result of global warming, they are the thermostat. They limit ocean temperature to less than 32C. It is physically impossible for the ocean surface to exceed 32C.

The atmosphere changes gear when the TPW exceeds 30mm. That requires a surface temperature of 24C. High gear occurs when the atmospheric column partitions and forms a level of free convection above ground level. This enables cloud bursts.

At 27C surface temperature above 10 degree latitude, the atmosphere goes into overdrive as coriolis forces combine with cloud burst to create massive storm events that can cover a large ocean area. The thick, highly reflective cloud prevents insolation reaching the surface; extremely effective shutters.

Despite having the sun directly overhead, the ocean surface below Isaias was actually losing heat. Cyclonic storms have unbounded ability to limit ocean temperature to 32C.

October 14, 2020 5:29 pm

“Did the Sher Edling law firm undertake basic due diligence to find out if the accusation was bulletproof?”
“bulletproof”, that sounds really expensive.

Malcolm Chapman
October 15, 2020 4:57 am

Can we look forward to the day when the pronouncements of the ‘renewable energy’ industry are pored over with the same zeal, in search of misleading or self-interested statements, that has been directed at fossil fuels. Just imagine the party – in the streets, in the courts, in the banks, in the homes of old people in the northern hemisphere in winter, in the few corners of the media and the universities that have not grovelled! As you say here (something like) ‘bring on the popcorn’.

October 15, 2020 8:56 am

I like the “Internet Way-back Machine” archive site. But I have to wonder how long it’ll last before the Powers That Be has it de-platformed because of the embarrassing history it keeps.

October 15, 2020 11:52 am

I was so busy assembling this “Delaware v. BP” dissection earlier this week, I missed the news of yet ANOTHER Sher Edling boilerplate copy lawsuit being filed Monday Oct 12:

“Maui County Files Suit Against Fossil Fuel Companies for Costs of Surviving Climate Change”

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