January 25th, 2011

Eco-lawyer Humiliated in Gaffe over Climate 'Victims' Lawsuit Claims

Prominent eco-lawyer gaffes in article trumpeting climate con lawsuits. Skeptics and not ‘victims’ of man-made global warming are filing the vast majority of cases.


The global warming charade takes a new comical twist as one mainstream news agency seeking to trumpet pro-environment legal claims becomes embroiled in an embarrassing gaffe with a piece of fluff entitled, 'Climate change: Dogs of law are off the leash.'


Richard Ingham (AFP) in his 'jaw dropping' article promotes a non-story about potential lawsuits being filed by ‘victims’ of climate change (January 23, 2011) predicting, “Compensation for losses inflicted by man-made global warming would be jaw-dropping.”


However, closer examination proves claims in the story run contrary to a swath of evidence showing most lawsuits in the U.S. are against ‘back door’ EPA greenhouse gas regulations.


Discredited Global Warming Professor Source of Wild Claims


So who is Ingham’s source? None other than David Victor, director of the Laboratory on International Law and Regulation at the University of California, San Diego. Victor states, “Lawsuits in the United States related directly or indirectly almost tripled in 2010 over 2009, reaching 132 filings after 48 a year earlier.”


However, Victor disingenuously fails to elucidate on the details of who made those 132 filings.


Indeed, on closer inspection we find that over 90 of such cases are petitions filed against the EPA by opponents of the doomsaying lobbyists Victor represents. So if Victor’s aggregation is as he asserts then we may infer that more than 70 per cent of all U.S. claims are AGAINST proponents of environmental regulations.


A Rundown of the Key Issues and the Claimants


One of the most crass of the new EPA regulations petitioners are fighting is the absurd ‘Proposed Regulation Facilitating Geologic Sequestration of CO2’ which impacts consumers under the Safe Drinking Water Act by claiming that U.S. citizens need ‘protecting’ from being ‘poisoned’ from carbon dioxide in beverages such as Perrier Water.


Others among the 90 plus climate skeptic petitioners are the Pacific Legal Foundation (PLF), the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC), the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), and the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI). 


But one of the most powerful in the list of 132 claimants is the Peabody Energy Corporation (PEC), the world’s largest coal company. PEC is in effect, challenging the right of the current U.S. federal government to introduce cap and trade regulations by the ‘back door.’


PEC is demanding that the EPA shall convene a full evidentiary hearing as a part of a full reconsideration of the junk science supporting so-called man-made global warming.


Attorneys for PEC and other large corporate litigants are determined their case is powerful enough to have all the EPA’s findings on carbon dioxide invalidated.


Doomsayers Desperate to Amend Laws to Evade Justice


Even if only a minority of such lawsuits succeeds then the prospects for proponents of the failed doomsaying cult are most grave. Apart from finding themselves hit with hefty civil penalties there is the genuine prospect of criminal charges being brought against those individuals implicated in international fraud on the largest scale ever known.


Prominent in the legal fight against the climate fraud is Virginia's attorney general, Ken Cuccinelli who has been pursuing disclosure of key data and emails from the University of Virginia that may implicate discredited climatologist, Michael Mann.


Cuccinelli has been conducting his pre-investigation under the Virginia Fraud Against Taxpayers Act ("FATA"). If Cuccinelli gets his way this former top climatologist could be thrown behind bars.


But Mann is not alone. In Britain police recently announced their criminal inquiries into Climategate are "global and ongoing" after prosecutors admitted another climatologist, Professor Phil Jones, criminally subverted Freedom of Information laws. Jones escaped jail in 2010 simply on a technicality - the short statute of limitations had expired. But this year Jones may still face prosecution under the more powerful Fraud Act (2007) for conspiracy which is not limited by such a restrictive time limit.


Ultimately, all such legal challenges must be answered. Many, such as PEC’s address the entire body of leaked emails from 'Climategate' as well as those other 'gate' revelations including the frauds allegedly perpetrated under such sub-headings as 'Himalayan Glaciers,' 'African Agricultural Production,' 'Amazon Rain Forests,' 'Melting Mountain Ice,' 'Netherlands Below Sea Level' as well as those much-publicized abuses of the peer-review literature and so called 'gray literature.'


Courtroom Scorecard Shows Skeptics Winning


So far in such courtroom battles skeptics are consistently outperforming doomsayers. In 2007 in the High Court in England Al Gore’s film, ‘An Inconvenient Truth’ was found to contain nine lies and was banned from being shown in England’s schools as an objective documentary.


In October 2010 New Zealand skeptics inflicted a crushing courtroom defeat against a pro-green Kiwi government in Kiwigate. Lawyers for the government humiliatingly had to admit that the country did not possess an “official” temperature record otherwise it faced being found guilty of data fraud.


While the ongoing success of Virginia’s AG, Ken Cuccinelli in advancing his legal action against Michael Mann has forced two pro-doomsaying Democratic state senators, A. Donald McEachin and J. Chapman Petersen into desperate measures to try and get the FATA Act quickly repealed before Cuccinelli nails his Mann in court.


So curious readers may now want to enquire directly with David Victor to state precisely how many ‘victims’ of man-made global warming are behind those 132 lawsuits. David invites correspondence so I’m sure he’ll be delighted to answer you by email here: david.victor@ucsd.edu or by phone: 858-534-3254.