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(Hot) Air Let Out of California’s Global Warming Lawsuit

The California court climate class ordered by a judge has ended—with everybody agreeing the climate has changed.

This is good news. It means anybody who calls an oil company representative a “Climate denier!” from now on will either by lying or ignorant. This ought to make for quieter politics.

We saw earlier that the state of California was suing some oil companies.

Grant Me This

The concern was that because certain people were raking in a lot of money, they might have been tempted to skew research results in the direction of the money source. Well, it is a fallacy to say that because somebody took the government’s money to engage in climate research they necessarily shaded results in the government’s favor. But it does increase the chances.

What’s that? You think it’s only private concerns that are seduced by money? That, somehow, when an agency takes government funding all possible avenues of confirmation bias and enticements to please the hand that is feeding them are removed? How odd.

Anyway, California thought there might have been some kind of conspiracy by oil companies to hide secrets about global warming. We also saw that secrets of the kind hoped for by climate activists weren’t really possible.

But Judge William Alsup didn’t know that and so ordered both sides present to him a tutorial in the physics of externally heated fluids flowing over a rotating sphere. The class as scheduled to last a mere four hours. But, hey, what’s so difficult? Activists, politicians, celebrities, even reporters know all about this simple subject.

We’re Here to Help

Aiding his honor were two friend-of-the-court briefs, one of which was led by Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, Willie Soon, David Legates, Yours Truly, and others. The other was from scientists William Happer, Steven E. Koonin, and Richard S. Lindzen.

Happer and the others provided a lovely summary.

1. The climate is always changing; changes like those of the past half-century are common in the geologic record, driven by powerful natural phenomena

2. Human influences on the climate are a small (1%) perturbation to natural energy flows

3. It is not possible to tell how much of the modest recent warming can be ascribed to human influences

4. There have been no detrimental changes observed in the most salient climate variables and today’s projections of future changes are highly uncertain

Interested readers can explore the reasoning behind this four simple and true points at their leisure.

Monckton’s (my) group had two straightforward points.

First result:…there is no “consensus” among scientists that recent global warming was chiefly anthropogenic, still less that unmitigated anthropogenic warming has been or will be dangerous or catastrophic…

Second result:…even if it be assumed [for the sake of argument] that all of the 0.8 [degree Celsius] global warming since anthropogenic influence first became potentially significant in 1950 was attributable to us, in the present century little more than 1.2 [C] of global warming is to be expected, not the 3.3 [C] that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had predicted.

Again, you can…click here to read the rest.

Update Since writing, a new motion to enter another Amicus was submitted by the Concerned Household Electricity Consumers Council. Also, Chevron’s class notes are up.

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