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Climate Change Legal Action

Discussion in 'Energy, Environment, and Policy' started by RichardC, Dec 24, 2014.

  1. RichardC

    RichardC Cdn Sig & Solar Supporter

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    The abject failures of our national and international political institutions to take effective action to protect our children and grandchildren from the dangers of man-made global warming requires pursuit of alternative strategies. Hence the need to explore the creative use of the legal system as a source of potential remedies.

    I credit James Hansen for the inspiration to start this thread. In a recent blog post he noted that:

    See: Assuring Real Progress on Climate

    The potential roles for the legal system in combatting climate change and related malfeasance are legion, and have been touched upon in a number of threads. Some options could include:

    • Actions against polluters for their emissions and the resulting damage (under nuisance or other legal theories).
    • Actions against state and federal government agencies for their failures to discharge their statutory or regulatory obligations.
    • Actions demanding that states, such as New York, New Jersey and Louisiana use their parens patriae powers to bring claims against those who are principal contributors to climate change (and potentially to the disinformation campaigns that facilitate the continuing emissions).
    • Demands that the FTC and states use their extensive investigative powers under Section 5 of the FTC Act (and the corresponding provisions in state laws) to pursue those promulgating denier disinformation.
    • Action on similar grounds (i.e., for misrepresentations) in states, such as California, which permit such actions to be brought.
    • Actions pursue information about inappropriate campaign contributions and other similar activities under various campaign finance, freedom of information and lobbyist registration laws.
    • Demand that the SEC investigate the adequacy of the disclosure by fossil fuel companies of their indirect contributions to denier organizations.
    • Securities law actions under Rule 10b-5 claims for material non-disclosure relating to either inadequate treatment of climate change risks to enterprise value or the support of denier activities.

    Any thoughts?
     
  2. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Thoughts? Yeah, that we are in a brief interglacial period, and the real worry is that we will slip into another ice age. We seem to be overdue for such a period of catastrophic cooling.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalkHD1419439791.647205.jpg
     
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  3. wcalvin

    wcalvin Member

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    #3 wcalvin, Dec 24, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 24, 2014
    All necessary, but not sufficient.

    All necessary, but not sufficient.

    Remember that the trouble comes from the CO2 accumulation in the air. Emissions are an annual rate of adding to the problem.

    Nature cleans up the accumulation very slowly, initially by acidifying the ocean surface even more. It takes a thousand years for nature to remove 75%, even if emissions stopped now.

    The real issue, now that we have so much accumulation (43% over the preindustrial high), is removing the excess from the air. Besides backing us out of the climate danger zone, this will reverse the ocean surface acidification. Emissions reduction is about buying time to do that. See my

    The Emergency Cleanup of Excess CO2 via a Second Manhattan Project


    ocedanCCycle.jpg

    - - - Updated - - -

    Overdue, yes. But that's just the earth orbit/tilt factors permitting, all else being equal, the accumulation of ice in high northern latitudes.

    All else is not equal, however; most of the pros think that 43% excess of CO2 has preempted the next ice age accumulation and the changes in atmospheric/ocean circulation that make it a world-wide climate change from warm-and-wet like today into the cooler-drier-windy-dusty mode. Besides, ice age changes are very slow, and our extreme weather form of climate change has been fast in onset. They won't "cancel out."
     
  4. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    Agree. According to me ice ages are driven from CO2 concentration in the atmosphere. As an evidence of this we can see that in the last 800.000 years ice ages always occurred in correspondance of the CO2 peaks. Don't agree that the earth axes and tilting of the poles can affect ice ages. My 2 cents.
     
  5. Cosmacelf

    Cosmacelf Active Member

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    Which is cause and effect for co2 peaks? Co2 could easily be due to the colder tps not a cause of it.
     
  6. Raffy.Roma

    Raffy.Roma Active Member

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    CO2 is mainly caused by fossil fuels consumption.
     
  7. mknox

    mknox Well-Known Member

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    Look at root causes. Heavily tax parents who have children rather than actually providing tax incentives.
     
  8. Doug_G

    Doug_G Lead Moderator

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    "Overdue" isn't a thing. The pattern of ice ages and warm periods are determined by well-documented and well-understood changes in the Earth's orbit. Perturbations from the other planets, mainly Jupiter, are the cause of these changes.

    Now if we really were headed into an ice age, that would be a reason for very serious concern. But we're not.
     
  9. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    #9 nwdiver, Dec 24, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 13, 2016
    Orbital shifts are the trigger for natural climate shifts. The climate cycles that we find in ice cores sync with changes in earths orbit causing a slight warming effect. This small change CANNOT account for the large swings in temperature that are seen. Only the cumulative effects of other factors such as Albedo and GHGs like CO2 can account for those large swings in temperature.

    This is why in the climate record temperature rise does precede rise in CO2... but it's the rise in CO2 and its resulting feedbacks that are responsible for the majority of the temperature change.

    Bottom line; Climate Change can be triggered by a lot of things but CO2 is ALWAYS a key player. Physics doesn't care if it's being released from slightly warmer oceans or moronic bipeds too lazy, stupid or irresponsible to use sustainable forms of energy.

    More CO2 = A warmer planet.



    Back on topic.... :redface:

    Public Trust Doctrine (US common law)
    'The Government holds in public trust for all its citizens the resources they need to survive and can be held responsible if they fail to protect those resources'

    http://billmoyers.com/episode/climate-change-next-generation/
     
  10. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    The problem is: How do you hold the government acceptable when they can gerrymander the election districts to provide the outcome they want?" In addition, some poll workers have changed the computerized ballots to the party that they favour. Even when caught, the altered ballots are just invalidated, rather than added to the other side, so the result is almost the same as if they didn't get caught.
     
  11. nwdiver

    nwdiver Active Member

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    This is action that would be carried out through the judicial not the legislative branch of government. This would basically be a carbon tax set in place by acknowledging the fact that there is an external cost to CO2.
     
  12. RichardC

    RichardC Cdn Sig & Solar Supporter

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    Agreed, this "myth" is thoroughly rebutted at: http://www.skepticalscience.com/heading-into-new-little-ice-age.htm.

    See also: http://www.skepticalscience.com/climate-change-little-ice-age-medieval-warm-period.htm

    - - - Updated - - -

    Agreed. There are a wide variety of potential remedies. Ranging from declarations of legal rights, injunctions, damages, writs of mandamus and others. The courts have a broad range of options when seeking to shape an appropriate remedy.
     
  13. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Correct. But generally you use the judicial system to right a particular wrong (climate in this case). I was commenting on the general problem of holding the government responsible. And, of course, the judicial system will only work if it isn't stuffed with judges friendly to the status quo.
     
  14. Lloyd

    Lloyd Active Member

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    I believe that there should be a way to Check Your Vote. There should be a website to poll your vote to make sure that it was registed as you voted. It would help catch this type of fraud.
     
  15. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Ideally, you shouldn't have to go to a polling station in the first place. You should be able to vote online. In fact, it should be possible to vote for every bill that comes up. Of course, that would eliminate the need for about 90% of the politicians so I suppose they won't vote themselves out of a job.
     
  16. dhrivnak

    dhrivnak Active Member

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    Now the next time you find yourself in Wal-mart stop and look around, I mean really look around. Would you want everyone to be voting on every bill? Be careful what you ask for. :)
     
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  17. Johan

    Johan Took a TSLA bear test. Came back negative.

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    These are interesting concepts Richard, and there are many things (bad) you can say about the legal system in the US, but on the other hand the legal system there has the potential, as you say, to be a player unbound by commercial and political (the same as commercial for the most part) interests. I hope more of these issues do get tried legally, but as always it will have to be a "brave" judge somewhere allowing a case. Just like the people v.s. tobacco companies for example.
     
  18. ItsNotAboutTheMoney

    ItsNotAboutTheMoney Active Member

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    The answer is to grit your teeth and say yes. Democracy is just better than all the other systems that suck.
     
  19. jerry33

    jerry33 S85 - VIN:P05130 - 3/2/13

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    Perhaps that's my problem. I've been to Walmart once or twice.
     
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