Adjudicating the future: silencing climate dissent via the courts

by Judith Curry

A British academic wants an international court to declare climate skeptics wrong, once and for all.

From Donna LaFramboise [link]:

Last week, a three-day conference took place in the UK attended by a “key group of the world’s leading judges, lawyers and legal academics.” Pompously titled Adjudicating the Future: Climate Change and the Rule of Law, its Twitter hashtag was #ClimateCourts. Some of its events were held in the very room in which UK Supreme Court decisions are delivered.

The Supreme Court has a YouTube channel where you can watch law professor Philippe Sands argue, at that conference, that the International Court of Justice (which he describes as “the principal judicial organ of the United Nations”) has two choices: “consign itself to irrelevance” or join the fight against climate change.  

A 21 page text version of Sand’s speech is found here.

Bemoaning “legislative inertia” (p. 18), he seems intent on achieving, via court fiat, what political leaders accountable to the electorate have so far declined to do. On five occasions, he talks about the immense authority with which an international court decision would be imbued. Facts are one thing, he says, but facts that “have the special authority of the law to back them” are uniquely legitimate (pages 12, 14, 15, 19).

Much like the 20 American academics who want to silence climate skeptics by threatening them with criminal investigations, this British academic wants to silence dissent via an international court ruling that says skeptics are wrong.

The text version of Sands’ speech doesn’t adequately capture what he actually said. Starting at the 39:30-minute point on the video, here’s what you’ll hear:

It is one thing for the [Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] to come to such conclusions as a matter of its opinion. It’s quite another for an International Court of Justice to give them the authority of a judicial determination as to what the facts are and what the scientific evidence is.

…As I noted at the outset, there is a broad emerging consensus on many of these factual matters, but they do remain subject to challenge in some quarters, including by scientifically qualified, knowledgeable and influential individuals. And the courts could play a role here in finally scotching those claims.

One of the most important things an international court could do – in my view it’s probably the single most important thing – is to settle the scientific dispute. A finding of fact on one or more of these matters…would be significant and authoritative and could well be dispositive on a range of future actions that are needed, including in the conduct of negotiations. A finding of fact by the [International Court of Justice] would be of great authority in proceedings before other international courts and tribunals, and before national courts also.

Did we catch that? Sands wants a court to settle the scientific dispute. Fully aware that qualified individuals hold contrary climate opinions, he – a non-scientist – wants a court to finally scotch those claims. As he reads the tea leaves, the verdict is predictable in advance. At this moment in its history, he believes, the International Court of Justice will deliver the sort of climate change ruling he considers “helpful.”

What chance will a science teacher with a non-mainstream view of climate change have at an employment hearing once the world’s highest court has declared her views to be non-facts? How many more young journalists will avoid thinking for themselves after a court has ruled that X is climate gospel and Y is climate heresy?

Science academies need to inform lawyers such as Philippe Sands that the courts are not – and can never be – adjudicators of scientific truth. Going down this path will bring both science and the law into disrepute.

Robin Guenier’s response

Robin Guenier’s notes and response to this have been posted at Paul Matthews blog [link].  Well worth reading (he uses my recent congressional testimony in his arguments).  His conclusion:

Professor Sands believes that climate change is “one of the greatest and most vital challenges of our age” and asserts that in view of its “real and imminent challenges … the international courts shall not be silent”.

These are honourable sentiments. However, he also believes the way for the courts to make a contribution – the “single most important thing [they] could do” – would be “to settle the scientific dispute”. And to do so by “finally scotching claims” that he thinks are not based on established fact.

But, for the courts to purport to settle a legitimate scientific disagreement, would strike at the essence of the Scientific Method – the basis of scientific practice for over 150 years. It would risk bringing international law into disrepute.

Professor Sands may consider that a risk worth taking. However he might perhaps note that it’s not disputes about science that are making it so difficult to reach a global agreement to reduce GHG emissions. The problem derives from the understandable wish of the developing countries – responsible for about 70% of global GHG emissions and comprising 82% of the world’s population (including virtually all the world’s poorest people) – to develop their economies and to eradicate poverty. Following China’s example, they believe that the provision of reliable, affordable energy, derived largely from fossil fuels, is the best way of achieving these goals. And the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change specifically entitles them to give such action overriding priority.

JC reflections

Attempts or desires to use the courts to enforce consensus climate science has recently been seen in:

The Minnesota case is fighting back against the consensus.

This whole notion of a climate  ‘consensus’, 97% and all that, has been very cleverly, and arguably dishonestly, marketed.  These people are still thinking that ‘speaking scientific consensus to power’ is actually going to work in terms of radically reducing global carbon emissions.  At this point the science is almost irrelevant; the big issues in play are that India,  Africa, etc. want electricity for its population and for economic development, and coal is the most economical way to accomplish that.

Trying to destroy science in the process of denying that radical near term emissions reductions aren’t going to work is just plain stupid, not to mention dangerous and a few other adjectives that one can think of.

 

142 responses to “Adjudicating the future: silencing climate dissent via the courts

  1. A few centuries back we didn’t have the International Court of Justice to declare what the truth is, but we did have the Pope.

    That didn’t work out so well.

  2. Albert Einstein would be appalled.

    • Gareth:
      The church claimed its view was “settled”. Did Galileo say the same of his though?

    • stevefitzpatrick

      All people who have given it a minute’s thought should be appalled. Silencing political opponents via ‘legal action’ and government enforcement is the quintessential approach of totalitarians everywhere, and betrays the weakness of their arguments. The professor is, sadly but obviously, an id!ot.

  3. Pingback: Adjudicating the future: silencing climate dissent via the courts | Enjeux énergies et environnement

  4. The parallels with Galileo are eerie. Most people think that Galileo’s heliocentric view was the scientific consensus of his time and that the Church suppressed that as heresy. However, the prevailing scientific view of the day was geo-centrism and that helio-centrism was not correct.

    How could they believe such nonsense? The best scientists of Galileo’s day noted that there was no stellar parallax. That is, the star field looked exactly the same six months apart. This is true within the limits of their limited observation technology. This fact was incorrectly believed by scientists to falsify heliocentrism. Unfortunately, the church took sides.

    • Dear Professor Sands,

      Regarding yr earlier view on climate ‘science’ that the
      law’s opinion might be unhelpful to both science and to
      law, you were on firmer ground, Professor Sands, than now.

      On the Science, think Marcia Wyatt’s map of climate’s
      internal dynamic, ARS 4th model temperature projections,
      …oops … and the scientific method that depends on
      nobody’s authority …oops again. On the Law, because
      adjudicating scientific debate ain’t the laws domain.Think
      Galileo’s court case, consensus certainty versus what –
      is – now – history.

      Say, when will they evah learn … wheeen will they evahhh
      learn?

      • It takes a special kind of fool to believe some judge can say a few words, bring down his gavel, and presto change, the science is settled for all time. And no one will object.. And peace will prevail. And Professor Sands will sleep better at night.

        No kidding. How do these people get their Ph.D’s?

    • I was just about to post on the subject of Galileo. Of course the scientists of the time were right to consider the lack of observed parallax as evidence against heliocentrism, and to say that the theory had not been established. Stellar parallax was not observed until 1838. Also, Galileos purported physical proof of the motion of the earth was that the combined motion of the earth around the sun and the spin of the earth caused the tides, a notion we now know to be completely wrong. The important point to take from this is that neither side would have been justified in talking about “settled science”.

  5. While they’re at it, the International Court of Justice – whee! – might just as well rule that π is equal to 3.0000 and that is a criminal offense to teach Darwin’s theory on the evolution of species in government-run schools.

    All government, in its essence, is a conspiracy against the superior man: its one permanent object is to oppress him and cripple him. If it be aristocratic in organization, then it seeks to protect the man who is superior only in law against the man who is superior in fact; if it be democratic, then it seeks to protect the man who is inferior in every way against both. One of its primary functions is to regiment men by force, to make them as much alike as possible and as dependent upon one another as possible, to search out and combat originality among them. All it can see in an original idea is potential change, and hence an invasion of its prerogatives. The most dangerous man to any government is the man who is able to think things out for himself, without regard to the prevailing superstitions and taboos. Almost inevitably he comes to the conclusion that the government he lives under is dishonest, insane and intolerable, and so, if he is romantic, he tries to change it. And even if he is not romantic personally he is very apt to spread discontent among those who are.

    — H.L. Mencken (1922); emphasis added

    • Oh, yeah. And while we’re quoting Mencken, with regard to the quasi-religious (and definitely anti-scientific) nature of the great gaudy “We’re All Gonna Die!” anthropogenic global warming – er, “climate change” – cult’s flagrant authoritarianism:

      It is the natural tendency of the ignorant to believe what is not true. In order to overcome that tendency it is not sufficient to exhibit the true; it is also necessary to expose and denounce the false. To admit that the false has any standing in court, that it ought to be handled gently because millions of morons cherish it and thousands of quacks make their livings propagating it — to admit this, as the more fatuous of the reconcilers of science and religion inevitably do, is to abandon a just cause to its enemies, cravenly and without excuse. It is, of course, quite true that there is a region in which science and religion do not conflict. That is the region of the unknowable.

      The American Mercury (May 1926)

  6. I can’t tell if these attempts to criminalize scientific dissent are the last gasps of a corrupt, dishonest movement or the beginnings of a genuine tyranny.

  7. Only a US court will do as is already in process. The judge will get a serious education.

    • When the hell have you yet encountered a judge open to being educated?

      [Social Justice Warriors] do not engage in rational debate because they are not rational, and they do not engage in honest discourse because they do not believe in objective truth. They do not compromise because the pure spirit of enlightened progressive social justice dare not sully itself with the evil of the outdated Endarkenment. They are the emotion-driven rhetoric-speakers of whom Aristotle wrote: “Before some audiences not even the possession of the exactest knowledge will make it easy for what we say to produce conviction. For argument based on knowledge implies instruction, and there are people whom one cannot instruct.”

      — Vox Day, SJWs Always Lie: Taking Down the Thought Police (2015)

      • Too late to stop it, it’s already happening. The case will be high profile and the arguments from both sides laid bare to the public as never before. It will go to the supreme court in a half decade or more if climatic developments don’t settle it sooner.

    • Well maybe. Depends on whether the judge is impartial and can be educated, or if he or she is a true believer as is apparently the case with the UK supreme court justice. True believers have displayed a willingness to go to extremes to protect their POV. If that happens to be a judge at trial, skeptical evidence will be tossed and any spurious/dishonest evidence supporting agw will be admitted.

  8. “Trying to destroy science in the process of denying that radical near term emissions reductions aren’t going to work is just plain stupid, not to mention dangerous and a few other adjectives that one can think of.”

    !!!!!

  9. “And the courts could play a role here in finally scotching those claims.”

    A court is set up to scotch rather than determine claims?

    Huh?

    I don’t know how many letters this bloke has after his name, but jurist he is not. Just to make that one statement above, regardless of the particular matter in hand, shows that Sands is no judge and no man of the law, either of its letter or its spirit. He is inattentive, careless and distracted.

    He is a slob.

    • FWIW, and for those who might be interested, my take on Sands and his legal helpers – three of whom appear to be of the ‘let’s all celebrate EarthDay’ kind – after watching this 90 minute video is available at:

      Of legal beagles and climate change views

      P.S. While I’m here … Judith, your link to “Robin Guenier’s notes and response” appears to be missing (at least that’s the view from here!) So, here are some links:

      Paul Matthews’ post: https://ipccreport.wordpress.com/2015/10/09/robin-guenier-on-philippe-sands/

      Guenier’s (pdf) notes and response to Sands:

      https://ipccreport.files.wordpress.com/2015/10/notes-on-sands-lecture_ty.pdf

      As you’ve suggested, Guenier’s response is well worth the read.

      • It’s only through your post Hilary that I learned that not everyone at the event considered the Philippe Sands argument without reproach. Thank you for that. There was some limited debate from what one can tell. But it seems not a single climate dissenter – sceptic, lukewarmer, ecomodernist or policy sceptic lawyer – was given advance notice of this groundbreaking rollout of would-be global legal activism, let alone invited to attend. Robin’s done a great job of catchup but the reaction of the two legal eagles responsible, including Sands, to Guenier’s notes politely emailed to them has been perfunctory at best. A stitch-up that Judy rightly links to the cleverness and dishonesty of the 97% consensus. I’m particularly grateful to Donna for alerting me to the seriousness of this and I’m sure I’m not alone in that.

  10. eddie willers

    How about “loser pays”?
    That usually shuts up bullies and socialists.

  11. Well it should be pretty easy for a judge to tell which side is right by carefully measuring the bumps on the experts’ skulls.

  12. The AGW faithful now seem to be getting desperate and the 2015 Paris conference looms as potentially being even more ineffectual than the Oslo conference of 2013.

  13. Sands is wandering into political territory I would rather not see judges going into. He seems a highly politicised person who is appealing to the very narrow Guardian intelligentsia.

    His latest escapade is to demand that Britain takes far more refugees. This and his pontifications on his climate change lecture are here

    https://twitter.com/philippesands

    tonyb

  14. “A British academic wants an international court to declare climate skeptics wrong, once and for all.”

    I think this post misrepresents his point. He is talking about international law directing government action. A debate can go on, but at some stage governments have to make a decision. A majority decision. And internationally, something has to codify that decision. They can’t wait for every last sceptic. Nothing can be done that way.

    He thinks the ICJ or some such can be the basis for such decision making. Well, that’s his field so it’s not surprising that he thinks that way.

    • No, Sands is not talking about ‘directing government action’.
      He is talking about law courts directly ruling on science. Here is a direct quote from Sands:

      “One the most important things an international court could do – in my view it is probably the single most important thing it could do – is to settle the scientific dispute”.

      Robin Guenier, with his usual politeness, merely describes this statement as “extraordinary”.

      • Well, indeed courts can’t settle science, any more than politicians can determine the value of π. No-one has to actually believe what a court says. But the court can seek to determine the scientific conclusions on which governments should act, and that is what he is writing about. Whether the ICJ should rule on that, I am unconvinced. I notice that this much quoted phrase was indeed not in his paper, but in what he said (I’m told) in presenting. It is not well put.

      • Nick, you continue to make a complete fool of yourself. That phrase is a direct quote from his printed paper.

        Or are you deliberately saying things that you know to be false, just to try to spread confusion?

      • But the court can seek to determine the scientific conclusions on which governments should act

        And, the light of the huge uncertainties, decide IF governments should act?
        Why would lawyers understand science any better than politicians do ?

      • Paul,
        Yes, I see now that it is in the text. The post above listed it as part of “The text version of Sands’ speech doesn’t adequately capture what he actually said”.
        But look at how he continued:
        “One the most important things an international court could do – in my view it is probably the single most important thing it could do – is to settle the scientific dispute. A finding of fact on one or more of these matters, or indeed on other pertinent matters, would be significant and authoritative and could well be dispositive on range of future actions, including negotiations. A finding of fact by the ICJ would be of great authority in proceedings before other international courts and tribunals, and before national courts. “

        As to making a fool of myself, I don’t think it is ever foolish to try to ascertain what people are really saying. You don’t get that by picking out odd phrases. Sands is not saying that the court should tell people what to think. He knows perfectly well that a court just can’t do that. He’s saying that the court could rule on how governments should act.

        I don’t have any enthusiasm for lawyers to be ruling on science. But I do think that what Sands said should be properly reported.

      • Nick Stokes

        I don’t have any enthusiasm for lawyers to be ruling on science.

        We’re with you there, chum.

      • “And the courts could play a role here in finally scotching those claims.”

        Sands’ words, nobody else’s. Words we should never hear from a jurist. A negation of the purpose of courts. Shameless and blatant. Make no excuses for this ranting mullah, this authoritarian fop.

        It begs the question: if he can be so outrageously wrong about his own functions, how wrong might he be about the rest?

      • God, Nick Stokes you sometimes show yourself to be sooooo idiotic.

      • ‘I’ll be
        judge ,
        I’ll be
        jury,’
        said
        cun-
        ning
        old
        Fury,
        ‘I’ll
        try
        the
        whole
        cause
        and
        con-
        demn
        you to
        death.’

      • “No-one has to actually believe what a court says.”

        OK, so here we have Racehorse Nick Stokes, informing us of what we are facing… A corrupt legal system that people don’t believe in or trust, that should be obeyed anyway, because they are directing action.

        Welcome to WarmerWorld. We’re glad you’re here.

        Andrew

    • A debate can go on, but at some stage governments have to make a decision.

      A decision out of ignorance? or guesses? or superstition?
      Is that what we’ve come to?

      • A debate can go on, but at some stage governments have to make a decision.
        begs the real question. The “some stage” should not be reached before consequences can be understood. Who would make that claim today about engineering the climate and the economic consequences?

    • Nick,

      This is why Judith and others think the purveyors of climate change driven disaster are being dishonest when they communicate. The only misrepresentation going on here is by you.

      Or are you simply reading challenged. If so, perhaps I can be of assistence. I spent several years as a Chapter One reading tutor.

  15. The link to Robin Guenier’s very thorough and carefully referenced response to Philippe Sands is here.

    • … and the corresponding blog post discussion is here.

      On the question of precedent (mentioned above), someone draws attention to the Aquila earthquake ruling, where scientists were sentenced to six years in jail for failing to predict an earthquake (presumably by lawyers with an understanding of science at the same level as Philippe Sands). Fortunately it was overturned.

      Another relevant legal precedent might be the notorious Scopes Monkey Trial.

      • A better case, for the USA,was about creationism, where the judge ruled that science is what scientists do. The creationists argument was what science could look at, in terms of the science of creationism, but the creationists did not do the actual science.

        Given a neutral jurist, this would not bode well for the likes of Sands. As several skeptical scientists have pointed out, their position is in that broad range that the IPCC states is most likely, and they are doing science to back it up. A correct ruling would be that politicians would need to do the POLICY. This is because it would be correct based on science to not want to start mitigation until 2100. Of course, the science also indicates that mitigation should be 50% by 2050, if not sooner.

        Just what is it that the judge is supposed to decide? If you examine Sands, it is not about what the IPCC states. It is belief in a range that requires policy today, not in the year 2100.

  16. Could get worse. It’s probably only a matter of time til some judge somewhere decides that climate change is a crime against humanity and that he has juristiction. He can then start issuing international arrest warrants …

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/aug/20/spain-judge-baltasar-garzon-prosecute-global-corporations

  17. Jonathan Sumption, a judge of the UK Supreme Court, and the author of a four volume history of 100 Years War gave a lecture on the “uncertain boundary” of legal decision making. He is broadly against this sort of ‘mission creep’ for two reasons: firstly it pre-empts the democratic process, and secondly in order to make the question “legal” the issues have to be greatly (over-)simplified. These points bear against the US Supreme Court, but at least that body has some connection to the democratic process and its judges are Americans. The International Court has no democratic legitimacy whatsoever.

    The lecture is here: http://www.legalweek.com/digital_assets/3704/MANNLECTURE_final.pdf

  18. Promoting the institutional bias, activism and dishonesty that inhere in government climate ‘science’, up to the government ‘justice’ level where it can be so much more effective.

    What could possibly be more logical ?

  19. I worry so much for our planet and our way of life in the west. The Paris cuddle will be a debacle for all clear thinking people. Lord Monckton was right, the fools in Australia lopped off the head of one of the saviours of western democracy in Tony Abbott and maybe Stephen Harper will be next.

    We have three fronts to fight now, The Cult of Islam, The Cult of Climate Change and the Greed and megalomania of the Cult of the UN.

    If I wasn’t an aethiest, I’d say god help us.

  20. Not being an American, perhaps I am not fit to comment, but I would have thought that this would violate Americans constitutional rights in some way. Perhaps someone could clarify this

    • Hank Zentgraf

      Our constitution does not recognize the International Court of Justice as an authority that will override it. Our problem is that we have had several Supreme Court justices give speeches supporting the idea that foreign laws should be considered in the high court’s decisions. We have witnessed many court decisions that are not supported in any way by our constitution. Many judges see the constitution as a “living document” that can be altered to suit their view of what is “good”. Also there are many people in the USA that look to international political and judicial bodies as supreme and view their pronouncements as near perfect in nature.
      In the case of climate science the UN IPCC has heavily influenced the funding choices that our scientific laboratories favor. Young Ph.D.’s are discouraged from pursuing innovative studies that might challenge the “consensus”. Our government agencies are behaving as though the science is settled. This is a great black mark on an otherwise great nation!

      • Hank,

        We have a SCOTUS justice that doesn’t think the US Constitution is the best model for a constitution! In her own words, as reported:

        ‘ “Iwould not look to the U.S. Constitution, if I were drafting a Constitution in the year 2012. I might look at the Constitution of South Africa,” says Ginsburg, whom President Clinton nominated to the court in 1993. “That was a deliberate attempt to have a fundamental instrument of government that embraced basic human rights, had an independent judiciary. … It really is, I think, a great piece of work that was done.” ‘

    • Most Americans don’t care what the UN thinks. Only the left cares and then only when the UN reinforces their dogma. Every dog likes his own dogma.

      • The US doesn’t care what some court in the UK thinks either and, in this case, there is precedent, with all due respect and affection to the fine people of the UK.

      • Justin, thanks for your Ginsburg quote. I rarely see the legal elite or the political elite give passionate support for the constitution.

  21. Sour grapes. The plague, pestilence, seas rising, climate wars, and all the other old testament claptrap of Al Gore didn’t work out, so now its down to the iron fist of the state. Let’s try the law; it has worked so well so many other times the populace didn’t agree.

    It’s only missing music.

    I was not too long ago in China, and listened to the some very wonderful 1800s Western classical music broadcast to the crowd of about 150,000 in Guangzhou, with children playing in the many fountains lit up with alternating primary colors, and an artifact, a pagoda far in the distance. In interstices came the authoritarian messages of some female leader at once taking credit for the festivities, and reminding everyone of the power and control of the state.

    I suppose the good news is so far stagnation by authority has failed. It took many centuries in the Middle ages, which was broken out of by the confluence of many fortuitous factors. Fortunately for China, and unfortunately for the leaders intent on control, outside influence broke thousands of years of stagnation, and same with Japan.

    This next primitive turn may take longer still. A control by a political elite and right thinking scientists stifling every advancement and thought from cheap crops, cheap energy, cheap drugs, pesticides, even schooling may still destroy good ideas. Too scary. Stop that avenue of thinking. Stifle it. In climate science, it’s “Denier.” GMOs, we know what that is. Genetic engineering? Artificial Intelligence? All will be stifled.

    The only thing that gives me hope is that the music is missing. Without the music, that unifies every major religion that has ever existed, free thought may still triumph.

    Everything else can be controlled.

  22. This is hardly the first time something like this has been tried.

    After all, isnt this exactly what the Galileo trial in 1633 by the Pope (the only world court) was about? silencing the sceptic who dared to challenge the “settled science”

    If they win, history is unlikely to treat them any more kindly

    • If I were a defense lawyer at such a trial as is proposed, the first thing I would call into evidence would be the transcript of the Galileo trial, including Galileo’s under breath final remark.

  23. Lawyers also think ahead.

    Having a court pass judgment on the science would remove an obstacle to class action suits seeking reparations.

  24. It is without doubt the Third World’s desire to emulate the West by developing their economies and energy infrastructure using abundant fossil fuel resources, combined with the FCCC’s apparent acceptance of this fact, which provides the greatest stumbling block to global emissions reductions (climate change mitigation). I’m not of the opinion however that this renders the scientific debate on the existence or seriousness of man-made climate change largely irrelevant. The science MUST, per se, remain the primary, if not the only impetus for reducing carbon emissions. Also, UNFCCC is strongly committed to emissions reductions in developing countries and to the pursuance of widespread use of renewables along the line of the developed world model:

    http://unfccc.int/resource/docs/2014/smsn/ngo/421.pdf

    (see 3. Developing country emissions reductions)

    As such, a pronouncement on consensus climate change science as fact by an international court of law will oblige fossil fuel companies in the West who may harbour scepticism that their industry is destroying the planet and who will undoubtedly be heavily involved with helping developed nations to expand their economies, to tailor their activities with this ‘fact’ in mind. Western renewables companies who wish to become involved with the rapid development of energy and infrastructure in developong nations will of course face no such hindrances imposed upon them by the observance of international law on climate change.

  25. “One of the most important things an international court could do – in my view it’s probably the single most important thing – is to settle the scientific dispute.”

    Even a remote possibility of such a ruling, simply the fact that there are activist schemers applying pressure for such a ruling, is confirmation that no state should relinquish its sovereignty to an international court.

  26. Galileo Galile was tried by the Inquisition, found “vehemently suspect of heresy”, forced to recant, and spent the rest of his life under house arrest.

    Many thousands of us disagree with the consensus that Natural Climate Variability stopped and now Earth only warms because Humans are using fossil fuels.

    I wonder how many of us will be included in the trial and how many will be arrested. I suspect some countries will rebel and the UN Forces will need to be sent in to enforce the court decision. The US Congress will not agree. Martial Law will be needed to shut the rest of us up.

    They must take away our guns first. That is being attempted.

  27. Law professor Philippe Sands seems to have a mental cavity. He has forgotten that judges do NOT make law, they decide on a case according to the law, based on EVIDENCE. They are INDEPENDENT, especially from any political belief. The court room is a place to test the facts and evidence about a case, not to pronounce someone guilty based on a pre-judgement without reference to the evidence. Further, the decision of innocence or guilt in a democracy for criminal cases (he likens sceptics to criminals) is NOT made by the judge, but by a ‘jury of peers’, i.e. the general public. Going by the polls, the general public is not interested in climate change, i.e. it doesn’t place that high on their list of important issues. Only politicians, gravy-train scientists and businesses, and environmentalists see it as important.

    Judges are meant to be the bastion of defence against miscarriages of justice, yet here we see a prominent judge brazenly saying he would make a judgement, following a political will, that would have devastating consequences for hundreds of millions of people. Such a gross departure is this from what is expected of the judiciary, that his position has become untenable, and he really has no option but to resign. If he wants to be a partisan campaigner, so be it, but being a judge is fundamentally incompatible with that.

  28. Pingback: Robin Guenier on Philippe Sands | The IPCC Report

  29. They’ll have to lose the wigs to avoid farce at the outset.

  30. There are many problems with Sands’ proposal, but the most obvious one is that judges are not particularly qualified to decide scientific disputes. Mostly, they are simply political appointees or elected officials. It is ludicrous to think that they could settle a complex scientific dispute. The fact that Sands is a professor and has made such a ludicrous proposal reflects very poorly on academia in general.

    I would sharply distinguish what’s Sands is proposing from the Minnesota trial. In the Minnesota trial costs and benefits are to be adjudicated in a practical sense and there will be responsibility for the costs. Also, in the Minnesota trial the hearsay rule generally requires that actual facts be proven and that a party is not generally entitled to prove a fact by saying that an organization believe it to be true.

    JD

    • “The fact that Sands is a professor and has made such a ludicrous proposal reflects very poorly on academia in general.”

      Indeed. And what is even worse is that it seems (for example from the twitter storify of the event) that nobody there really challenged any of his nonsense (either the misrepresentation of the certainty of the science or the daft idea of courts ruling on science). It shows how deeply mired in unscientific, leftist authoritarian groupthink his little world is.

  31. Our own Congregation for the Doctrine of the Faith, eh?

  32. Trying to destroy science in the process of denying that radical near term emissions reductions aren’t going to work is just plain stupid, not to mention dangerous and a few other adjectives that one can think of.

    Trying to say that emissions reductions are necessary is just plain stupid.
    The natural climate cycles are very robust and temperature is still well in bounds. There is no reason, other than flawed climate model output, to believe CO2 causes any harm.

    On the other side, fossil fuels have increased food production and increased CO2 has been a part of that.

    Low cost, abundant, energy is the most important factor in the advancement of Man.

    Keeping fossil fuels from the developing countries is criminal; it is genocide, much more so than the DDT ban.

  33. All of the political appointments that serve in the UN as experts in the science of global warming are not enough… a British academic now wants the international legal system to declare humanity is guilty of the crime of living? What next? Will Leftists gather to break the shop windows of the productive?

  34. Those In power rewrite history. Why not rewrite science too? How about awarding a Nobel to the first European judge to find America guilty of saving Europe from liberal fascism by unleashing its tiger of capitalism upon the Axis powers?

  35. This is not about science, CO2, or climate change. This is about global governance, centralized control, and ultimately truncating future potential outcomes.

    Here comes Paris!

  36. This would be just abysmally sad if it wasn’t so magnificently hilarious.

    Do you reckon that while they are at it, the court could rule that Bamstercare as it is designed must work and achieve the goals as was intended and have the other sickest joke that has been played thus far into the 21st century just ipso presto, begin to work as desired?

  37. Science is a process, not a result.

    Those that question a result of science are not anti-science. Instead it is those who would interfere with the process.

  38. Curious George

    Professor Sands would fit nicely in a 1938 Germany. The NSDAP ideology is slowly catching up in London – and George Mason University – and elsewhere.

  39. This reminds me of the attempt years ago by the state government of Indiana (?) to define by law the value of Pi as 22/7, instead of the messy digital version of 3.1415…………

  40. Many thanks to all who helped bring this appalling notion to light. Paris will fail, and in many senses already has. In the US, EPA’s CPP will be found unconstitutional. No less than Larry Tribe has laid out the multiple grounds. And every year that goes by, the ‘settled’ climate science is more unsettled.

    • And every year that goes by, the ‘settled’ climate science is more unsettled.

      I don’t think any scientists has said anything is really settled except that human activity is causing the earth to warm through increasing greenhouse gases. Even Anthony Watts says he doesn’t deny that. And while there is uncertainty about how much it will warm, I think that there is a consensus among scientists and in the literature that there are risks of warming significant enough to cause substantial harm.

      • And while there is uncertainty about how much it will warm, I think that there is a consensus among scientists and in the literature that there are risks of warming significant enough to cause substantial harm.

        It’s a trend. And take any trend far enough and it’s extreme.

        But its foolish to solve trends for a millennia or even a century in the future because they tend to reverse.

        And near term warming would appear benign if not beneficial.

        I wonder how many exaggerations of global warming would be prosecuted?

      • But its foolish to solve trends for a millennia or even a century in the future because they tend to reverse.

        Ok, Eddie, how much energy would we need to take billions in deep poverty this century and move them to the industrialized middle class this century?

      • I wonder how many exaggerations of global warming would be prosecuted?

        None, by the liberal courts.

      • Ok, Eddie, how much energy would we need to take billions in deep poverty this century and move them to the industrialized middle class this century?

        I don’t know the answer but I have an educated guess that the energy for development of the undeveloped will be less than past energy requirements because it will be based on modern technology, not the old tech that say, the US developed with.

        As to the question, there’s an implied error ‘industrialized middle class’ which should probably be ‘service sector middle class’ which is all the talk about China these days. And service sector is much less energy intensive.

        It is interesting that these discussions take place after CO2 emissions may already have peaked ( remember you hear it from Eddie first ). Most of the top emitters already have declining emissions with the exception of India. Economic advancement ( from manufacturing to service ), technological advancement, ageing populations, declining populations are reducing emission from an increasing number of nations from forces which have nothing to do with government.

      • I don’t know the answer but I have an educated guess that the energy for development of the undeveloped will be less than past energy requirements because it will be based on modern technology, not the old tech that say, the US developed with.

        It may take less per capita to get there, but people in the developed world use far more energy per capita than the in the developing nations. So if you add say another billion from the developing world to developed status, where does that leave us?

      • “I don’t think any scientists has said anything is really settled except that human activity is causing the earth to warm through increasing greenhouse gases”.

        But they aren’t just saying “human activity is causing the earth to warm through increasing greenhouse gases”. They’re saying “the science is settled” and quoting bogus 97% or 95% consensus numbers while promoting billions in wealth transference based on “the science”.

      • I don’t see many scientists say that the science is settled to the point where there is no reason to test our current understanding, but for me it is settled enough that we need to act to avoid the risks.if you have a comprehensive review like the IPCC reports and every major scientific organization endorsing essentially the same thing then that’s settled enough for me.

      • Writes this gullible doofus:

        …but for me it is settled enough that we need to act to avoid the risks.if you have a comprehensive review like the IPCC reports and every major scientific organization endorsing essentially the same thing then that’s settled enough for me.

        Hey, great. Now shall we talk about the truly marvelous real estate opportunity I’ve got for you, a monument-grade asset that’s busily trafficked over New York City’s historic East River?

        You’ll recoup your modest investment by way of tolls and concessions before even a year or two have elapsed.

        Just post your online banking information here, and we’ll get the process moving….

      • Five of the six top emitting nations/regions have falling rates of emissions.

      • Isn’t that the same fallacy that you said I am making about trends in temperature? What makes you think trends in energy efficiency or use will continue at the same rate in the future?

      • Just to expand on what I said before about energy consumption and income in developed vs developing nations. I got the numbers for per capita GDP and per capita energy consumption by country. I then calculated a correlation coefficient for those numbers and got .785. That’s a pretty strong correlation and supports my contention that development will almost certainly lead to more energy consumption.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_energy_consumption_per_capita

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_GDP_%28PPP%29_per_capita

        http://www.endmemo.com/statistics/cc.php

      • Joseph

        You write- ” but for me it is settled enough that we need to act to avoid the risks.if you have a comprehensive review like the IPCC reports and every major scientific organization endorsing essentially the same thing then that’s settled enough for me.”

        What do you believe the rate of warming will be over the next 20 years?

        What will be the largest negative impact on humans over that period to justify the expense?

      • “if you have a comprehensive review like the IPCC reports and every major scientific organization endorsing essentially the same thing then that’s settled enough for me”

        You mean the IPCC reports where they express a greater amount of certainty in their models the further they deviate from reality?

        An endorsement like that should be laughed out of the discussion, not held up as a reason for supporting policy and silencing critics (aka people pointing out the errors/fraud in methodology).

      • Joseph – your arguments, like those of other CAGW believers starts with tje assumption that increased levels of co2 will habe a net negative impact. How anout starting from a point cliser to – we don’t really know and go from there. There is at least as much actual observational evidence that oncreased levels of co2 are beneficial, yet you and other warmest ignore or disregard that evidence. Time for you and others to start over.

  41. I believe the RICO matter is about prosecuting fossil fuel companies that may have intentionally engaged fraudulent activities, not enforcing some consensus.

    But, for the courts to purport to settle a legitimate scientific disagreement, would strike at the essence of the Scientific Method

    The science will continue whether there is a court ruling or not. There is nothing stopping anyone from doing science whose findings are inconsistent with the current mainstream opinion. Judith posts science related articles every weekend that she believes should make us question the current view. She and Dr. Wyatt are free to and do publish their studies that they think should make one question the current view. Unfortunately for Dr Curry the skeptic views and arguments have not been very persuasive to the vast majority of climate scientists

    • ristvan | October 12, 2015 at 12:03 pm |
      And every year that goes by, the ‘settled’ climate science is more unsettled.

      Joseph | October 12, 2015 at 12:34 pm |
      …the skeptic views and arguments have not been very persuasive to the vast majority of climate scientists.

      Does anyone have objective evidence to support these seemingly contradicting statements? I am not aware of any legitimate poll as to the “views” of a vast majority of climate scientists. Both sides claim they are winning.

      • Does anyone have a list of scientists with their statements and signatures?
        I do want to see the list with names, info about each and signed statements about what they really believe.

      • Science is not decided via committees or polls. Data. Results. One person can upset the apple cart with reproducible data. Forget this bizarre notion of settled science and consensus. It’s irrelevant.

      • Michael Cox | October 13, 2015 at 12:49 am |
        Science is not decided via committees or polls. Data. Results. One person can upset the apple cart with reproducible data. Forget this bizarre notion of settled science and consensus. It’s irrelevant.

        That is a nice (and accurate) scientific comment that ignores the reality of the political, social, and legal environment we live in is. If someone makes a statement they should be able to support it with citation or other evidence. I assume neither the statement of ristvan or Joseph can be substantiated.

  42. Considering the minimal proportion of the annex 1 countries’ contribution to the final concentration in 2100, these countries have a valid cause of sueing the rest of the world for endangering the world population. OTOH the rest of the world is now benefiting from the current mild climate caused by the annex 1 countries.

  43. OTOH the rest of the world is now benefiting from the current mild climate caused by the annex 1 countries.

    And benefiting from the economic growth that Annex I engendered.
    And benefiting from the technology that Annex I developed.
    And benefiting from plant fertilization of CO2 in the air.
    And…

    The economic imagination can go on and on…

  44. Prohibition didn’t eliminate the drink trade.

  45. To enforce “Climate Think,” the First and Second Amendments to the US Constitution would have to be rescinded.

    If these amendments were rescinded by a liberal / fascist / socialist government there would be a civil war in this country. No doubt about it.

    • To enforce “Climate Think,” the First and Second Amendments to the US Constitution would have to be rescinded.

      If these amendments were rescinded by a liberal / fascist / socialist government there would be a civil war in this country. No doubt about it.

      While I seem to be on “permanent double-secret probation” with regard to Moderation Hell on this Web site (and doubtless this comment will be delayed eight or ten hours if it’s allowed at all), it’s worthwhile to recapitulate a reasoned observation about the elements of the Bill of Rights with regard to the above comment:

      The Bill of Rights was, unfortunately, misnamed. It was not a list of things Americans were allowed too do, under the Constitution. It was and remains a list of things government is absolutely forbidden to do — like set up a state religion, or steal your house — under any circumstances.

      The Bill of Rights was the make-or-break condition that allowed the Constitution to be ratified. No Bill of Rights, no Constitution. And since all political authority in America “trickles down” from the Constitution, no Constitution no government. And, since the Bill of Rights was passed as a unit, a single breach, in any one of the ten articles, breaches them all and with them, the entire Constitution. Every last bit of the authority that derives from it becomes null and void.

      Let’s review:

      • No Second Amendment, no Bill of Rights.

      • No Bill of Rights, no Constitution.

      • No Constitution, no government.

      — L. Neil Smith The Deal (December 1, 2013)

  46. When I read the previous post by Marcia Wyatt on uncertainty, I thought she might have added an eighth category to her seven areas of perspective, or perhaps an addendum to the seventh category which was solutions. It is hard to provide a solution, when one is being attacked in many ways; Not only ad hominen attacks, but attacks legally, on your ability to do your work, or to even have a job.

    As some of you may have heard last night, President Obama said real leadership would be that of attacking Climate Change. It has been repeated so often, particularly in the main stream media, that anyone who challenges it is now considered to be evil, stupid, a flat earther and of course one who denies the Holocaust happened.

    I stated on this blog about a year ago about a long time communication I had with a climate scientist involved in modelling , The communication changed from email to landline phone. That person was in tears, because that person was afraid to honestly do the persons work. Afraid because of the possible loss as a support to family.
    Someday I hope to have permission to use the persons name.

    Most who contribute here know the name of Lennert Bengsten. His credentials included that of being head of the Max Planck Institute for meteorology along with a very long and stellar list. He changed his mind regarding significant AGW (when did it become climate change?) and joined an organization which is skeptical of AGW.

    Soon he resigned from it. Why? He said he was concerned for his health and safety. He said he could see no end to the attacks. Reminded him of the days of McCarthy. He also said that he wondered what his Jewish friends thought of it all with the denier label.

    Climate science like politics is becoming increasingly more divisive. Sad!

    .

  47. Unbelievable! Coming back to the times of obscurantism! I am atonished!

  48. I wouldn’t worry too much, after all we can all be certain the Royal Society and other similar bodies will take up the cudgels on behalf of science ………. won’t they?

  49. Berényi Péter

    International Law will suffer mightily as soon as it tries to rule over Science.

    Attempting to settle a scientific disagreement by court procedure is just as foolish, as a “scientific” derivation of justice. The latter harms science, the former does the same to the judiciary.

  50. Would the definition of legally fair and impartial be any court that is anti-American?

  51. Here in the United States, the US Supreme Court has already ruled that mainstream climate science as embodied in IPCC 2007 AR4 is valid for purposes of implementing regulatory limits on US carbon emissions. The court did so in 2010 by upholding the EPA’s 2009 Endangerment Finding for carbon pollution against the lawsuits which had been brought against the EPA after it had initially published the Endangerment Finding.

    The Supreme Court ruled in 2010 that the EPA had properly followed its standard procedures for examining the scientific questions concerning the potential dangers to public health, to public safety, and to the environment posed by excessive concentrations of a pollutant, in this case CO2, in the atmosphere.

    The court determined that under existing environmental law, the EPA is the agency of government which is assigned primary responsibility for determining if a threat to human health and the environment exists from the presence of a pollutant in the atmosphere, and for then devising a reasonably fair and reasonably effective regulatory framework for mitigating that threat once an Endangerment Finding has been published.

    For purposes of regulating carbon emissions in the United States, IPCC 2007 AR4 is now the regulatory law of the land.

    But despite this major victory in the courts, one which occurred five years ago, the EPA has not followed its normal practice for developing a fair and effective regulatory framework for regulating what the agency has identified as being a dangerous pollutant, carbon dioxide when present in excessive atmospheric concentrations.

    If it had followed past practice, the EPA should have decided upon an Ambient Air Quality Standard (AAQS) for atmospheric CO2 concentrations and should have then published a comprehensive plan for achieving that AAQS. Such a plan would distribute the economic and social burdens of the necessary CO2 emission reductions fairly and equitably among all classes of CO2 emitters, and would appropriately recognize that CO2 is a well-mixed GHG on a worldwide scale and that America’s own contribution to worldwide reductions in CO2 emissions must be determined by an explicit policy decision which recognizes the realities of CO2 emission control on a worldwide basis.

    What the EPA has done instead is to publish the Clean Power Plan, a plan which unfairly assigns primary action for mitigating America’s CO2 emissions to just one class of CO2 emitter, coal-fired power plants. It is a plan which falls well short of meeting the Obama Administration’s own stated goal of achieving a 28% reduction in US carbon emissions by 2025, a 32% reduction by 2030, and an 80% reduction by 2050.

    The question naturally arises, why haven’t environmental activist organizations sued the EPA demanding that it follow past practice and set an AAQS for carbon dioxide concentrations? Why haven’t Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders made a commitment to use the full legal authority of the EPA in forcing a dramatic reduction in America’s CO2 emissions, a goal which the EPA has unquestioned legal authority to pursue by virtue of the fact that an Endangerment Finding for carbon pollution has been published and has been successfully defended in the courts?

    • Why has the federal gov responsibility for ENvironmental Protection and not the individual states? Here in the UK, although a much smaller country we are devolving powers to local regions/states. The American system seems to be going the other way – smacks of true socialism to me,

      • Rob Johnson-taylor: “Why has the federal gov responsibility for ENvironmental Protection and not the individual states? Here in the UK, although a much smaller country we are devolving powers to local regions/states. The American system seems to be going the other way – smacks of true socialism to me,”

        Here in the United States, direct cooperation among the EPA and the individual states is more often than not the approach that is used for implementing any nationwide abatement program for a pollutant identified through an EPA Endangerment Finding as being a threat to human health and the environment.

        In many cases, each state develops its own plan for achieving the targeted emission reductions for a specifically identified pollutant; and once the plan is approved by the EPA, the regulatory agencies in the state governments do the day-to-day work of administering and enforcing the abatement program for that pollutant.

        If the EPA were to follow past practice, they would set a national Ambient Air Quality Standard (AAQS) for CO2 and then ask each of the individual states to develop a plan which met the EPA’s pollution abatement targets, allowing each state the option of deciding how their own plan is to be designed and structured within the overall EPA guidelines for that specific pollutant.

        Because CO2 is a well-mixed gas and because it is a product of a wide variety of economic and social activities, the EPA guidelines for meeting President Obama’s stated emission reduction goals would have to include options for imposing direct regulatory constraints upon the availability and supply of fossil fuels and for enacting strong economic disincentives against the burning of fossil energy resources, mostly in the form of stiff taxes on fossil fuel consumption.

        It is impossible to achieve President Obama’s emission reduction goals without enforcing very stringent energy conservation measures on all classes of carbon emitters. In addition to directly or indirectly constraining the supply and availability of fossil fuel energy resources, the most fair and effective means of enforcing the needed energy conservation measures is to raise the price of all fossil fuel resources to levels which strongly encourage energy conservation efforts on the part of anyone and everyone who emits CO2 as part of an ongoing economic or social activity.

        Neither the US Congress nor the individual state legislatures will ever enact a stiff tax on carbon, regardless of which party controls them. The only approach which can possibly work is for the EPA and the state governments to jointly develop a framework of carbon pollution fines for CO2 emissions which is the functional equivalent of a legislated tax on carbon. The most practical approach to accomplish this objective is for each state to levy these carbon pollution ‘fines’ as part of its regulatory enforcement plan and then to retain the monies they’ve collected for their own individual use and benefit, as they see fit.

    • Beta Blocker,

      You are a strong advocate of increasing the nuclear component of our energy mix. So am I and most other rational people.

      You want the Federal Government to do this by over regulating fossil fuel generated electricity as they have done to nuclear. You continually advocate that this be done on the basis of the bogus assertion that CO2 is a pollutant. This is bass ackward. You and your colleagues in the nuclear business need to do your jobs, innovate and fight over regulation of your industry so that nuclear becomes the most cost effective way to meet our energy needs.

      Your continual whining about the politicians of both parties not doing their jobs is disingenuous.

      • Mark Silbert: “Beta Blocker, You are a strong advocate of increasing the nuclear component of our energy mix. So am I and most other rational people.”

        Thirty-five years in nuclear construction, in nuclear operations, and in nuclear waste management activities pursued under various federal and state environmental rules and regulations has left me with a variety of strong opinions and opinionations about what kinds of issues are real issues being raised for seriously important reasons and what kinds of issues are faux issues being raised for purposes of pushing some particular technical, economic, social, and political agenda.

        Mark Silbert: “You want the Federal Government to do this by over regulating fossil fuel generated electricity as they have done to nuclear. You continually advocate that this be done on the basis of the bogus assertion that CO2 is a pollutant. This is bass ackward. You and your colleagues in the nuclear business need to do your jobs, innovate and fight over regulation of your industry so that nuclear becomes the most cost effective way to meet our energy needs.”

        I am merely pointing out the facts which various factions on one side or the other of today’s major public policy questions are deliberately ignoring in order to push the narrow interests of their own particular technical, economic, social, and political agendas.

        Environmental activist groups refuse to acknowledge that a clear and unambiguous public policy pathway is available to them right here, right now for pursuing all of the GHG reduction measures they say are necessary; and moreover, that not a word of new legislation is needed to go down that public policy pathway; i.e., it can all be done unilaterally and legally by the EPA using existing environmental laws and existing regulation publication & rollout processes.

        Most advocates of nuclear power refuse to acknowledge that the primary driver of nuclear’s high costs in the year 2015 here in America isn’t the burden of nuclear regulations per se, it is the fact that America’s entire industrial base for constructing large-scale high technology industrial facilities has significantly atrophied in the two decades since the last nuclear plants were constructed. America is no longer a friendly place for building and operating any kind of large-scale industrial facility, let alone a large-scale nuclear facility.

        Mark Silbert: “Your continual whining about the politicians of both parties not doing their jobs is disingenuous.”

        Not hardly. A truly robust publc debate over the validity of today’s climate science is needed, but that robust debate will never occur unless the average Joe and Jane on the street is being asked to make the significant economic, social, and personal lifestyle sacrifices which are necessary in order to achieve President Obama’s ambitious GHG reduction goals in the time frames he has outlined.

      • Beta Blocker,

        Where have you been? The debate is raging.

        The American public is being asked but we are saying hell no.

        CO2 is a faux issue and it’s silly to confuse the real issue (long term low cost plentiful energy) with it. It’s a diversion and lacks credibility as a motivation to do serious stuff. I believe that nuclear energy is a big part of the solution to providing long term, secure, low cost energy.

        I am sure you have done excellent work in your 35 yr. career in nuclear but I guess we’ll have to let the next generation lead the way.

  52. FUBAR comes to mind with this witch burning.

  53. Philippe Sands’ view that judicial courts should settle scientific disputes has a postmodern ring to it. His ideas makes sense if you assume that science is a purely human construct, and that objective truth is an illusion. If that is so, why not have science answer to politics?

  54. Pingback: The Courts & the Climate | Big Picture News, Informed Analysis

  55. “At this point the science is almost irrelevant; the big issues in play are that India, Africa, etc. want electricity for its population and for economic development, and coal is the most economical way to accomplish that.”

    The man who ‘invented’ Global Warming
    Sir Crispin Charles Cervantes Tickell is one of the most influential people behind the idea of man-made global warming. Yet you could easily be forgiven for having never heard of him
    http://blogs.telegraph.co.uk/news/jamesdelingpole/100069775/the-man-who-invented-global-warming/

    “The market system is not functional,” insisted the chairman, Sir Crispin Tickell, incidentally, one of Prince Charles’ most trusted advisers
    http://www.africaclimatesolution.org/news.php?id=6370

  56. Arch Stanton. The Rosenberg article is an incredible rant; so extreme it’s funny. Could it be that in fact he’s a closet sceptic who’s written it as a spoof to discredit the intolerance and religious fervour of extreme AGW believers? Great job if so!

  57. “Trying to destroy science in the process of denying that radical near term emissions reductions aren’t going to work is just plain stupid, not to mention dangerous and a few other adjectives that one can think of.” – JC

    ‘Signing sciences death warrant’, ‘destroying science’…..remind me, who are the alarmists?

  58. I believe that Professor Sands has shown us the way forward to a glorious future where there will be no scientific controversy at all. Sweet consensus will reign supreme and pointless research into and discussion of such topics as the big bang, inflationary universe, colliding branes, did the universe have a beginning or was it always here, particle physics (seems a good thing the ICJ hasn’t yet ruled on whether neutrinos have mass or not), the ultimate fate of the universe, is c really constant, what is the exact value of Pi (and Epsilon), is mathematics (any of it) right, is zero an integer….the field is inexhaustible. I look forward to the court commencing its work in the comfort of a climate that is two degrees warmer than today’s.

  59. Pingback: Weekly Climate and Energy News Roundup #201 | Watts Up With That?

  60. As with Climategate, the issue here is not so much that a few people (Mann, Sands…) are mounting an attack on science and its methods; rather, it is that their establishment institutions are failing to rebuke them.

    And so, as with Climategate, what this more generally tells us, is that it isn’t just that there are a few rotten apples (no institution is perfect of course), but that (virtually) the whole barrel is rotten. Not to be trusted, certainly not for the purposes of public policy.

  61. Pingback: Silencing Dissent – The U.N, Courts & the Climate | NewZSentinel

  62. Pingback: Adjudicating scientific disputes in climate science | Climate Etc.

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