Guest “ROTFLMFAO!!!” by David Middleton
Climate Litigation Has a Big Evidence Gap
Climate-related lawsuits don’t often quantitatively link the defendant’s greenhouse gas emissions to the impacts on the plaintiff. Better lines of communication between climate scientists and climate lawyers could help bridge that gap.
By Kimberly M. S. Cartier 23 July 2021
Climate change has found its way into courtrooms around the world more and more often in recent years: Plaintiffs have brought more than 1,500 cases of climate litigation since 1986, and an increasing number of cases are filed each year.
And every single one of them to reach a judicial decision has failed in the only nation that actually matters… But the authors think that… “Better lines of communication between climate scientists and climate lawyers could help bridge that gap”…
The article refers to a paper in Nature Climate Challenge (Stuart-Smith et al., 2021, pay-walled). While the full text is not available, some of the authors wrote this smarmy little gem for Carbon Brief:
28 June 2021
Guest post: How attribution can fill the evidence ‘gap’ in climate litigation
In November 2015, a Peruvian farmer and mountain guide, Saúl Luciano Lliuya, launched a pioneering bid for climate justice in a German court more than 10,000km from his home in the Andean city of Huaraz.
However, cases that seek damages for the impacts of climate change – like Lliuya’s – have largely been less successful.
In our new study, published in Nature Climate Change, we find that the evidence used in these cases often does not reflect the most recent advances in climate science.
Based on our analysis, we identified three areas where attribution science research could address gaps in the evidence provided to lawsuits on climate change impacts.
First, evidence linking the emissions of individual entities – such as countries or companies – to specific impacts of climate change demonstrates how defendants’ emissions contribute to harms.
Second, researchers can provide a more complete assessment of how climate-related hazards interact with plaintiffs’ vulnerability and exposure to help identify the legally relevant causes of losses.
Finally, attribution studies show how an event of given magnitude was made more likely to occur, and/or how an event of given probability was made more intense. In some settings, the numbers for these two approaches to conducting attribution can be sensitive to the exact definition of the hazard. Attribution science can help to identify these sensitivities and lead to a more robust causal argument overall.
Blather is not evidence, at least not in US courts… Case dismissed. Nothing in this vapid nonsense addresses this:
STANDING TO SUEUS DOJ
The “case or controversy” clause of Article III of the Constitution imposes a minimal constitutional standing requirement on all litigants attempting to bring suit in federal court. In order to invoke the court’s jurisdiction, the plaintiff must demonstrate, at an “irreducible minimum,” that: (1) he/she has suffered a distinct and palpable injury as a result of the putatively illegal conduct of the defendant; (2) the injury is fairly traceable to the challenged conduct; and (3) it is likely to be redressed if the requested relief is granted.
Variations of this image from a 1978 Exxon presentation appear in most, if not all, nuisance climate lawsuits in US courts:
Here’s the same graph with HadCRUT4 NH overlaid on it:
Way back in 1978, Exxon knew what we all know today… The climate models aren’t worth schist.
Cartier, K. M. S. (2021), Climate litigation has a big evidence gap, Eos, 102, https://doi.org/10.1029/2021EO161031. Published on 23 July 2021.
Stuart-Smith, R.F., Otto, F.E.L., Saad, A.I. et al. Filling the evidentiary gap in climate litigation. Nat. Clim. Chang. (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41558-021-01086-7