Model Prisoners


As if it weren’t bad enough that some alarmists see climate observations not playing out the way their favorite models predicted and respond that there must be something wrong with the observations.


Now we read the claim that “global warming” litigants should not need to comply with the oh-so-inconvenient necessity of establishing “causation,” but should be able to cash in simply because someone has written a computer model saying that some company’s alleged contribution to global warming is what caused their weather damage.


According to the physicist Miles Allen, who has been pushing this litigation theory (see “The Politically Incorrect Guide to Global Warming and Environmentalism“, p. 32):

We are starting to get to the point that when an adverse weather event occurs we can quantify how much more likely it was made by human activity. And people adversely affected by climate change today are in a position to document and quantify their losses. This is going to be hugely important.

Assessing liability on this basis is of course bananas — the first part is and will remain unsupportable conjecture (at least until it gets before a U.K. jury) — but it could have been crazier. He could have said that we can quantify how much of a weather event was caused by which disfavored oil company . . . somehow. If the former is possible, the latter should be, right? Yet that doesn’t seem to worry him.

After all, this is simply one step removed from James Hansen’s hysterical testimony — accepted by the jury — that a particular power plant would be responsible for wiping out 400 species. The Guardian piece continues:

There are legal precedents for making exceptions to normal rules of causation. One example is the decision of the House of Lords on mesothelioma, where past employers can be liable for having contributed to the overall exposure, though the harm cannot be scientifically attributed to any specific period of employment.

“In that case an exception was made to the normal rules on causation in order to prevent an injustice that would otherwise have occurred,” [barrister Stephen Tromans] said.

It gets worse, as you knew it would.

There may also be grounds for a case on the basis that firms have tried to misinform the public – as in US cases against tobacco firms – about the effects of their business.

Owen Lomas, head of environmental law at City firm Allen & Overy, said: “If you look at the extent to which certain major companies in the US are accused of having funded disinformation to cast doubt on the link between man-made emissions and global warming, that could open the way to litigation.”

You disagreed with my unsupportable claims and the weather damaged someone’s home; you must pay. And pay, dearly, you will.

Walk through this logic and shudder. Let’s help the historians and decide among ourselves what the sign is that we have officially entered a period of societal madness.


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