We are developing the social individualist meta-context for the future. From the very serious to the extremely frivolous... lets see what is on the mind of the Samizdata people.

Samizdata, derived from Samizdat /n. - a system of clandestine publication of banned literature in the USSR [Russ.,= self-publishing house]

The world is getting hotter and it is all that nasty man’s fault

I suppose it had to happen. As global temperatures supposedly rise – and it is not difficult to accept that claim right now in my sweltering apartment – certain groups are playing the victim card by suing governments and other agents for causing global warming and hence hurting their livelihoods.

26 comments to The world is getting hotter and it is all that nasty man’s fault

  • Simon Lawrence

    ‘Beyond reasonable doubt’ applies to whether the crime was committed as well as who committed it. Man-caused global warming is not proven beyond reasonable doubt. I don’t see how this can pass in the courts.

  • A few years back, everyone was worried about the hole in the ozone layer. Now that the hole has disappeared, the credit is given to banning all sorts of ozone destroying chemicals. I don’t buy it.

    In ten years time, global warming will turn out to be much ado about nothing. It will be replaced by some other perceived global calamity waiting to befall us for the sins of industrialization and technological development.

  • Dave

    Check this one out:
    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/sci/tech/5196362.stm

    …”which produced multiple fireballs and left glass over three hundred thousand square miles, with no sign of a crater.”

    “Within this region, certainly all of the humans would have been killed. There would be no hope for anything to survive,” he said.

    “According to Boslough and Wasson, events similar to Tunguska could happen as frequently as every 100 years, and the effect of even a small airburst would be comparable to many Hiroshima bombs.”

  • veryretired

    The tobacco settlements in the US were forced by the adoption of what has been called “Tobacco Law”.

    Many of the normally required rules of evidence and procedure were either dropped or violated, including the case of a judge who ordered the defense not to present the statistical evidence that clearly showed smokers engendered less medical costs than they paid in, not more, as was the contention of the suit.

    If, as it seems likely, big lawyers get a whiff of big fees from big settlements, I predict the pattern will repeat itself. The various entities which “everybody knows” cause the release of carbon dioxide, and therefore cause global warming, will find themselves in court, facing modified rules and judicial fiats that make settlement the only viable option.

    Anyone who doubts this could really happen should research the history of the breast implant suits. They destroyed several companies and many reputations, even though there was no reputable research showing the implants caused any of the damage claimed.

    This is not about science, but money and power, as, unfortunately, so many things turn out to be.

  • Heffalump

    The hole in the ozone layer over Antarctica is still there just as it purportedly has been for millions of years and always will be as long as ozone is produced by ultrviolet rays striking oxygen molecules. The French discovered it before freon was used (1957, 1958) and other research I’ve read deteermined that it was a natural phenomenon caused by the scarcity of ozone producing sunlight in the Antarctic winter.

  • Pete

    This is an interesting one, as it’s pretty much the plot line of Michael Crichton’s novel “State of Fear”.
    This is a badly written but still quite enjoyable thriller about a group trying to trigger environmental catastrophes to support an effort to sue the US for global warming. He has a lot of fun mocking the inherent uncertainty of temperature and sea level measures, of contradictory statistics (like the fall in upper atmosphere temperatures, or the increases in glaciation in some areas).
    Fun, but not as much fun as Lomborg’s The Skeptical Environmentalist.

  • guy herbert

    There appear to be only two actual lawyers involved in this, puff, those who run the website Climate Justice that is funded by Friends of the Earth. Their slogan is the rather tendentious “enforcing climate change law”, which might lead you to believe there is such a thing.

    Of the cases they list and there really aren’t many) some are wildly speculative. But typically they are suing governments for not doing something, seeking to enforce an extreme interpretation of their duties under law created for other purposes (wildlife protection, pollution control, planning, human rights, freedom of information) rather than pursuing claims in direct damages. Climate Law is product packaging, and propaganda tying together, and expressing a motivation for such litigation. So this is very unlike the tobacco cases, save in the expression of the conviction that if something happens you don’t like, somebody is to blame.

  • Mark V.

    I’d love to see these people bring a suit against the governments of India and, more particularly, China, pound for pound the two biggest pollutors in the world. I find it unlikely they’ll try to tag China with a pollution suit when other groups on their side won’t lobby too vehemently for a human rights investigation. Not as much propaganda value.

  • guy herbert

    Synchronicitously, I got a fascinating round-robin email this morning, in my capacity as a notorious human-rights advocated:

    To: undisclosed recipients

    Subj: WANTED! -cast and crew for revolutionary film…

    Dear friends of People and Planet,

    I have written a short 15 minute film entitled ‘Reckless In Charge Of A Planet’ on the subject of ‘Tort Law as Applied the Environment’.

    The aim is to create an entertaining piece of work which is designed to educate, and empower the audience on this pressing subject.

    Synopsis:

    A lumberjack who hates cutting trees down decides to throw in his job.

    On the way to the interview for an eco-friendly job, he is arrested after being involved in a bicycle accident.

    Whilst in police custody he realizes that most activities in modern society are criminal, since they knowingly cause damage to life and property by damaging the environment.

    He sets about educating those around him as to the legal implications of their daily lives, and more importantly, WHAT WE CAN ALL DO ABOUT IT!

    Before he knows it, our hero has instigated a global environmental revolution…!

    see: http://www.reclaimthelaw.org (EcoTort!) and http://www.permaculture.org

    If anyone wants to be in a film, contact me, and I can put you in touch with the auteur.

  • Jacob

    Concerning the tobacoo settlement:
    Only gullible fools can beleive that tobacoo companies will reach into their pockets and pay the “good” guys (i.e. the government) hundreds of millions of $ in damages from a secret fund they posses.

    What the tobacoo settlement involved was the granting of monopoly rights to the tobacoo companies, so they can raise prices and thus finance those millions out of future earnings, gotten from the poor smokers, forced by government to pay higher prices for cigarettes.
    So the tobacoo settlement was nothing more than imposing a new tax on smokers, via a judicial process rather than the constitutional legislative tax authorization.

    It might happen in this case too. Since it seems the enviros can’t get carbon taxes imposed via the legislatures they will try to do it via the judges, hoping to find some sympathetic judges and juries. Who will pay in the end ? The usual suspects, you and me, and everybody.

  • Pete

    very badly written (he makes Dan Brown seem Dickensian) but still immensely enjoyable for all the angst it caused the bleeding hearts.

  • Defense: the sun is hotter. Case dismissed without prejudice. Have a nice day.

  • guy herbert

    Mark V.,

    other groups on their side – ?

  • abc

    I think this is less the victim card being played and more an attempt by peoples who are now directly threatened by a warming climate, to influence industrialised nations, particularly the U.S., to act.

  • Jacob

    “an attempt by peoples who are now directly threatened by a warming climate…”

    And an attempt by fat lawyers to generate some more income for themselves, i.e. – to rob the rest.

  • Johnathan Pearce

    abc and Jacob are both right: it may be that some of the folk looking to sue are genuinely motivated by desire to influence those that they think, rightly or wrongly, to be culpable for global warming; Jacob is also right to doubt the motives of their legal champions.

    Someone else on this thread drew parallels with the massive tobacco lawsuits. That is true up to a point. I think that in a purely free market order, there might be cases of property owners suing businesses that say, polluted the air that drifted over the former’s home, etc.

    I should have perhaps have avoided the expression “victim card” in this case, but maybe my cynicism about much of what passes for greenhouse gas commentary got the better of me.

  • abc

    I understand the skepticism with regard to the interests of some of the environmental campaigners. But behind this there may be an indigenious people who are struggling to maintain a way of life which depends on environmental conditions. The Inuit Circumpolar Confererence (ICC) who represent the interests of the Inuit people of Alaska, Canada, Greenland and Russia are attempting to sue the U.S. government along these lines. But the historical relationship of the Inuit with some environmental campaigners has been uneasy. For example, there has been conflict with animal-rights campaigners who recruit celebrities such as Paul Mcartney and Brigit Bardot to give voice to their campaign against traditional hunting practices and the, probably small-scale, export of sealskin products to help local Arctic economies. From what I read Greenpeace are not popular amongst Inuit people. But these local people are at the forefront of the change in climate and I imagine are probably the keenest observers of it.

  • I wonder how much of ths is due to HAARP and other programmes I’m intricately interested in [if it's possible to be so].

    Also – how can I access all your pieces in one place?

  • Nick M

    I have a very strong suspicion that Global Warming in the sense that the greenies mean it is an absolute crock.

    Look at some of these howlers from the great and the good of earlier times…

    Failed Predictions

    Although if you want to really gape in wonder at the true Moonbattery of the enviro-fringe I can suggest little better than:

    vhemt

    Alas, I can no longer find the article by the extreme neo-primitavist who argues that humanity didn’t just go wrong by inventing GMOs or computers, jet engines, railways or the industrial revolution but we lost the true path when we first developed spoken language.

    It was a transcript of a speech he delivered in English at a greenie conference…

    And I don’t think it was a spoof.

  • veryretired

    Jacob sees what’s going on. I wasn’t equating the two legal cases, just predicting the same perversions of the legal process for the same venal motives disguised as good intentions as in the earlier tobacco and implant circuses.

    The court system has become an enormous slot machine. If you keep pulling the handle, maybe the 7′s all show up and there’s a big payoff to split up.

    I’m afraid the well being of indigenous peoples, or any of the other tear jerking motives being trotted out to camouflage the whole sleazy business, has very little to do with it.

  • Reiner_Torheit

    Nick M’s comments are fatally flawed. He abrogates a monopoly on truth to himself with no demonstrable basis for doing so, forgetting that his own ramblings on global warming might equally well turn-up in some future listing of laughably inaccurate statements of yesteryear. Sorry Nick, but showing that “some people in the past were wrong about some things” doesn’t make you “right”. At all. It just displays the level of intellectual desperation in your flailing “argument”, mate.

    R.T.

  • Nick M wrote:

    I have a very strong suspicion that Global Warming in the sense that the greenies mean it is an absolute crock.

    Look at some of these howlers from the great and the good of earlier times…

    Perhaps I could interpret that somewhat, for those who like a discussion on the philosophy of argument.

    Just because someone is “great and good” is no reason to follow their beliefs, when they are arguing outside their field of personal competence. This is because they are making a call to status, rather than to knowledge and logical argument therefrom. In fact, making such an argument should, in my view and unless clearly on the basis in the following paragraph, cause their immediate demotion from “great and good”.

    On a related matter, those in high office (of whatever sort) must necessarily rely on experts for most, if not all, of their own decision making. However, it is the officeholder himself who decides which experts to believe (should there be conflicting opinions). On this, the rating of the officeholder should depend on how often he believes the expert who turns out (with hindsight) to have been right. That ability, of the officeholder, to pick “sound experts” (and also sound policies) is something on which one might already have knowledge; this is even if one does not have knowledge of the particular issue under consideration.

    Finally, if it can be shown that the logical thought processes of the officeholder (or anyone else) are faulty, even though it is not known, at the current time, whether their initial premises are true or false, that is good reason not to accept their argument.

    Coming back down to ground, Numberwatch again helps us. This time it with an eminently readable article, at least for those with more than cotton wool between their ears: hard evidence from the late John Daly. It might, of course, not be correct; however it certainly does more than call on the unsubstantiated overwhelming support of an unsubstantiated number of unnamed scientists, who are all – of course – actually experts in the field, and acting independently, without common cause with each other.

    Best regards

  • Nick M

    R. T.,

    Sorry mate. I didn’t “abrogate a monopoly of truth” to myself. I said I had a suspicion that G W is a crock. That’s really not the same thing. I posted the link to “failed predictions” as an example not an argument and also because I thought it might amuse the commentariat.

  • In 2004, Elliot Spitzer joined a bunch of other Attorney Generals to try to sue some power utility companies for GW crimes. But I didn’t hear anything more about it. Seems it was thrown out of court.

    Personally, I’d love to see one of these suits go to court. If enough money was on the line, it could be the Snopes Monkey Trial for GW.

  • Susan

    So. this is happening because nasty man? But how is it? so how can you stop these nasty man? Will the nasty man keep doing this too the world? So far I know that Arizona is about 100-123 F’. But as you can see is the nasty man is doing a world a favor… But how are they? The news said that these people are doing the world a favor.. But how? I’m only 9 and know so much about the earth… My teacher love the world but She wants to know how is it getting hotter and hotter.. kk tell me when you know..