A federal judge Monday tossed out two groundbreaking lawsuits by San Francisco and Oakland that sought to hold some of the world’s largest oil companies liable for climate change.
In an exhaustive, 16-page ruling that touched on such scientific matters as the ice age and early observations of carbon dioxide, U.S. District Judge William Alsup acknowledged the problem of a warming planet but said it is just too big for the courts to solve.
The cities are trying to get five oil and gas giants, including Bay Area-based Chevron, to help cover the costs of dealing with sea-level rise, like picking up the tab for seawalls. However, Alsup, noting that Congress and the White House, not the judiciary, are responsible for addressing the fallout from fossil fuels, granted the industry’s request to dismiss the suits, reports AP News.
“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,” he wrote.
The two cases are among the first of many nationwide that have recently attempted to force the oil industry to pay for what might amount to hundreds of billions of dollars to combat climate change. While the other municipalities, including a handful in California as well as New York City and Kings County, Wash., are closely following what happens in the Bay Area, Monday’s decision does not affect the cases in other courts.
The cities and counties all claim that oil companies have long known that greenhouse gas emissions from fossil fuels are warming the planet. Yet, according to the suits, the industry did nothing to prevent problems and even sought to cover up its ties to the climate, akin to how big tobacco tried to deceive the public about the health impacts of cigarettes decades ago.
The lawsuits argue that like tobacco companies, the oil firms create a public nuisance and should be held accountable. San Francisco alone estimates that rising seas at the hands of climate change has put $10 billion of public property and as much as $39 billion of private land at risk.
But Alsup, who works in the court’s Northern District of California, opined that the world has undoubtedly benefited from fossil fuels, from the industrial revolution to today’s modern conveniences. The bench, he determined, was not in a position to weigh the industry’s positives against the negative.
“Having reaped the benefit of that historic progress, would it really be fair to now ignore our own responsibility in the use of fossil fuels and place the blame for global warming on those who supplied what we demanded?” he wrote. “Is it really fair, in light of those benefits, to say that the sale of fossil fuels was unreasonable?”
Alsup tried to grapple with such questions at a first-of-its-kind climate “tutorial” in March. He invited experts from both sides of the case to weigh in on the science of climate change. The hearing was so popular that it had to be live-streamed to an additional courtroom.
In the end, Alsup determined that the nation’s environmental agencies should be tapped for their expertise on the subject and that the legislative and executive branches of government should have final say.
Attorneys for San Francisco and Oakland are reviewing their options and are not yet ready to concede defeat.
“Our belief remains that these companies are liable for the harm they’ve caused,” said John Coté, spokesman for the San Francisco City Attorney’s Office. “This is obviously not the ruling we wanted, but this doesn’t mean the case is over.”
Besides Chevron, the targets of the lawsuits were BP, ConocoPhillips, ExxonMobil and Shell.
Meanwhile, actual unbiased data has proven that the notion of man-made climate change is a complete hoax.
Slowly facing up to the fact their hoax has been exposed, “experts” are now saying climate change is likely to be markedly less severe than forecast.
Imagine that. After being debunked countless times for faking and cherry picking data to fit the agenda, climate change cultists have begun backtracking on former predictions of doom for humanity.
The study questioning the future intensity of climate change was carried out by American climatologist Judith Curry and UK mathematician Nick Lewis.
It is based on analysing the warming effect of so-called greenhouse gases and other drivers of climate change, from the mid 19th century until 2016.
It forecast that future warming will be between 30 per cent and 45 per cent lower than suggested by simulations carried out by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel one Climate Change.
The study in the American Meteorological Society’s Journal of Climate predicts temperature rises of 1.66C compared to one IPCC forecast of 3.1C and 1.33C compared to another IPCC study predicting 1.9C.
The fraudulent 2015 Paris climate agreement sought to siphon money from the United States in a massive Communist wealth redistribution plan, which collaborating nations claim will limit climate change to 2C above pre-industrial levels and no more than 1.5C if possible. The plan has long since been proven to have no effect whatsoever, and could actually increase the problem.
Mr Lewis, said:
“Our results imply that, for any future emissions scenario, future warming is likely to be substantially lower than the central computer model-simulated level projected by the IPCC, and highly unlikely to exceed that level.”
Mr Americana, Overpasses News Desk
June 26th, 2018