Expect media activism in run-up to Supreme Court’s climate change case

Lee Casey and David Rivkin had a piece in yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, “Climate Change heads to the Supreme Court.” The subhead — “Green activists hope to force electric utilities and many others to pay ‘public nuisance’ claims for emitting carbon dioxide” — sets forth the basics of the case, which will be argued Tuesday to determine whether courts can assign individual liability for individual contributions to climate change (really), on the grounds of common law nuisance.

There are several cases in the federal judicial circuits confronting similar claims, from utilities causing or contributing to global warming to oil companies causing or making Hurricane Katrina worse. Imagine if this practice is unleashed.

The Casey/Rivkin piece hits the right notes but also provides context for the next few days’ worth of marches, stories, human interest items and editorials in the establishment press. For example, Washington is presently being swarmed for four days by Al Gore, Van Jones and the left-liberal greenosphere.

History also suggests that there will be media activism in the coming days. In “Red Hot Lies” I detail this practice, opening with when SCOTUS argument loomed in 2006 in another global warming case, Massachusetts v. EPA. The Washington Post “hurled a three-pronged assault of brow-furrowing at the Supreme Court in the days before argument in the important Massachusetts v. EPA case, including heart-wrenching tales of ski resorts in peril,” and an op-ed by Al Gore’s cinematic collaborator Laurie David. The Post also published an unsigned editorial warning the justices that the Georgetown cocktail set was watching them closely on this one and would sure hate to get mean about things.

Whatever their impact on this 5-4 opinion (in which I and two colleagues represented the “skeptic” scientists in their amicus brief to the Court), that case directly led to the extant, looming regulatory train wreck of EPA trying to seize economic regulatory authority through an administrative version of the failed cap-and-trade legislation.

That scheme is so bad that even Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-CA) expressly cited it as a threat to regulated interests that were insufficiently rolling over and accepting cap and trade.

We have the slim Mass. v. EPA majority to thank for that unfolding disaster. They revised the Clean Air Act from how it was written and interpreted for 35 years into a vehicle for ideologues in their push to “fundamentally transform America.”

With next week’s case, things could get worse. Yet the administration is taking a curious line in Tuesday’s argument. It is arguing the substance, but has declined to address whether the “political question” doctrine assigns responsibility for this matter to the political branches. Laurence Tribe, of all people, made a compelling case that, under our Constitution, global warming-related issues should be decided by the political branches. That is, until by order of the Obama administration, he didn’t.

Team Obama wants the Court to step aside in this particular mess, arguing in essence that we’re handling it, but they don’t want a ruling that will impede the trial bar and activist courts from interfering in future cases should the EPA enterprise go down in flames. They want the Court only to rule that Congress has addressed this, as five justices ruled the Clean Air Act is really a global warming regime, and EPA is proceeding on the authority we conjured from the emanations and penumbras of that law.

  • Russell C

    As I described in my Breitbart article last November, “Global Warming Nuisance Lawsuits Are Based on a Fatal Flaw” ( http://biggovernment.com/rcook/2010/11/27/global-warming-nuisance-lawsuits-are-based-on-a-fatal-flaw/ ), we’re told by the entire far-left not to listen to the skeptic scientists because those people have been paid by big coal and oil to ‘make stuff up’ and stretch out the “settled debate”. Problem is, the corruption accusation is not just some generic one, it is solely based on a phrase taken from a 1991 memo – and the memo itself is never show in its complete context by anyone claiming the memo phrase is all the smoking gun proof they need. Worse, one of the lawyers in this Connecticut case has very close ties to the enviro-activist group that successfully promoted the accusation after 1996, as I noted in my article, and this same lawyer also uses the unsupported accusation phrase in his other global warming nuisance case, Kivalina v Exxon.

    Not likely to occur, but what do we suppose would happen if any of the Supreme Court justices happened to notice this particular flaw in the case?

  • mememine69

    There is now serious talk of issuing criminal charges against those in academia and possibly the news editors too for knowingly leading the world to another Bush-like false war of climate change. And since the majority of voters are now former believers, the chances of taxing the air to make the weather colder are slim to none, but criminal charges are a certainty to those responsible for this Iraq War of science because government always needs an enemy to blame. 25 years of yelling “FIRE” in the theatre and condemning billions of children to death might well go down as one of the worst crimes in modern day history. Climate CONTROL is how history will call it.
    The countless thousands of consensus climate change scientists who out numbered protestors for some reason have been warning us of a coming climate crisis for the last 25 years. So why have these thousands been silent since IPCC funding was cut off and since Obama didn’t even mention the crisis in his state of the union speech? Why? Scientists have families too so why are they not marching in the streets as the world walks away from climate change?
    Media takes the crisis more seriously now than the scientists and government do, as we watch the lazy copy and paste news editors create their own stories of climate crisis, but they call it “investigative” and “researched”.
    And meanwhile, the UN had allowed carbon trading to trump 3rd world fresh water relief, starvation rescue and 3rd world education for just over 25 years of climate control instead of needed population control. Just think what the 50 billion dollars of government money spent on researching the “effects” of climate change could have done for poor people and fighting real pollution.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Paul-Taylor/1227016022 Paul Taylor

    Environmental groups take tax deductible donations from you and industry to operate global fear-mongering campaigns about theoretical problems of pollution, species extinction and climate change. These eco-groups also lobby intensely for costly government regulatory controls of the environment. As taxpayer-subsidized nonprofits, green group assets for enviro-propaganda and lobbying have grown to some $1.5 billion annually.

    The Daily Caller has reported that environmental groups have spent $125 million on political causes, advertising and campaigns since 2009 – $40 million of which was spent in California where the carbon trade-postponing Prop 23 was defeated.


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  • sawdustking

    “Imagine if this practice is unleashed.”

    Imagine waking up one morning and finding the power had gone out. Then when you get in your car you notice that all of the gas stations are being boarded up. Then waiting for new elections to bring in the right people to pass an amendment to the constitution before you could use electricity or gasoline again.

    • Demonized

      That’s why I have a year’s supply of diesel for the car truck and generator, a full backup power system including 1.5kw of solar panels, more than a year’s worth of stored food, acreage for hunting gardening and livestock — well, there’s a lot more but you get the idea. Won’t say much here about the arms and ammo but use your imagination.

      Guess I’m one of them extremists.

      • sawdustking

        Well you’re looking less and less extreme every day. I don’t have the food and fuel stocks just yet, but I’ve officially designated my 303 Enfield my apocalypse gun and intend to keep a couple hundred rounds handy. Enough gas to make it to the Bitterroots and I’ll have it made. Forget the gold grab your guns and your Bible.

        PS You can kill a moose with a 22. Just get a couple of bullets in the lungs from both sides and follow it for 2 or 3 days until it drops. Thems good eatin’!

  • mememine69

    How funny is it, that it’s the media alone now that are the only ones acting like there is a climate crisis, ever since Obama bailed on the crisis in his state of the union speech, and the scientists were silent in not only having Obama walk away, but the senate too when it cut all American IPCC funding, like most of the total IPCC funding. The scientists expected reaction was…………..?
    The media now even makes up it’s own stories about climate crisis and calls it “research”. More like being lazy and copy and pasting.
    The biggest irony in all of this is the fact that if it weren’t for scientists originally, with their pesticides and cancer causing chemicals polluting the planet in the first place, we wouldn’t even be needing environmentalism near as much.

  • libertyatstake

    “…that case directly led to the extant, looming regulatory train wreck of EPA trying to seize economic regulatory authority through an administrative version of the failed cap-and-trade legislation.”

    Which is why the House GOP needs to hike up its big boy pants and starve the EPA of funds. No quarter.

    “Because the Only Good Progressive is a Failed Progressive”