The San Francisco Decision Has Scientific Errors but Uses Sound Legal Principles

The eco-left has long pursued legal strategies in support of their goals in addition to legislative and administrative ones. Their latest legal approach was to persuade various “blue” cities to file suits against major oil companies on the basis that the companies should be held liable for flooding and other hypothesized damages allegedly caused by global warming.

The good news is that Federal District Judge William Alsup in two of these cases brought by Oakland and San Francisco dismissed the cases. As H. Stirling Burnett has stated, in his June 25 decision, Alsup decided Congress and the president were best suited, as opposed to cities, states, or the judiciary, to determine what to do about human greenhouse gas emissions from the use of fossil fuels. Alsup said if he allowed the lawsuit to continue and the plaintiffs won, he would essentially be allowing two cities to set U.S. domestic and international energy and climate policy, which would violate the Constitution’s division of powers and federal law.

“We must weigh this positive: our industrial revolution and the development of our modern world has literally been fueled by oil and coal,” Alsup wrote. “Without those fuels, virtually all of our monumental progress would have been impossible. All of us have benefited. 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?”

It is hard to overlook Alsup’s scientific view that humans cause global warming, but his errors here really illustrate his view that the judiciary is not well equipped to decide such issues. He got the science wrong, but appeared to get the law right. If his decision should be appealed by the plantiffs, I hope that his legal views will be upheld despite his scientific errors.

via Carlin Economics and Science

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June 29, 2018 at 10:58PM

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