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Global Warming on Trial - 03/21

By Rich Trzupek
  Wednesday, March 21 marks an important moment for the future of science in the free world: The Federal District Court of Northern California will hear opening arguments in the case “People of California” v. British Petroleum plc et al. This will be the first time that a federal court will have the opportunity to hear the scientific arguments on both sides of the global warming debate.
  The good news, as far as skeptics/realists like yours truly are concerned, is that the judge hearing the case is no lightweight. The Honorable William Haskell Alsup holds a degree in chemical engineering and a record of diving deep into the technical issues that inevitably color cases of this type.
  That’s not always the case in the judiciary. In fact, it’s usually not the case. Your typical judge has little or no interest in personally understanding science. Instead, they tend to adopt the default position that the scientific opinion expressed by someone connected to the government is “right” by default, and any member of the public disagreeing with that opinion is therefore wrong.
  It’s an intellectually lazy, disreputable way to exercise jurisprudence, but such is the world we live in. Liberals typically love judges who approach technically-complex cases in such simplistic ways, so long as the administration in power duly supports their view. When a new broom sweeps clean, as has now occurred, their enthusiasm for the “my government is always right” judicial principle declines substantially.
  Whatever Alsup decides, his record strongly suggests that it won’t be based on political correctness, popular opinion or media pressure. He will rather decide the case based on its merits and the science at the foundation of each side’s arguments.
  I say “sides”, but the irony of this particular lawsuit is that the defendants have spent years bending over backwards to try to placate the tree-hugger crowd. Big energy companies have donated hundreds of millions of dollars to environmental groups and to universities conducting environmental research. They did so in the mistaken belief that by supporting “the cause”, their enemies might not exactly become their friends, but maybe they’d stop demonizing them 24/7?
  It was a truly forlorn hope, as every industry that found itself under green crosshairs has found out over the years. The enviros don’t care about science, they don’t care about facts and they don’t even care about results. They care about the almighty dollar, just as much as any corporation full of supposed cigar-chomping robber barons plotting the downfall of civilization.
  Well, perhaps “just as much” is stretching the point a bit. Most corporate honchos I have met over the years have at least a passing interest in creating and supporting good paying jobs. Sure the big-wigs understand that their share-holders expect big profits and, sure, they get their golden-parachutes and all that, but at the end of the day, the people working for them are – at least in theory – partners in progress, not pawns in a shell game.
  By contrast, Big Green doesn’t give a crap about the people it supposedly protects. It cares about digging as deep into their pockets as they possibly can and the weapon they use to get at the money they hunger for so very, very much is plain old, unbridled fear.
  There was a time when some (not all) environmental activists were legitimately concerned about the environment. That flavor of green Kool-Aid has all but disappeared from the public policy grocery shelf. Modern environmental groups aren’t interested in helping people understand degrees of risk, much less complex concepts like weighing risk versus reward. They are clearly and solely bent on stirring up public panic about any issue they think will resonate with people who trust them.
  This moronic case in California is further proof of how desperate Big Green is getting. They cannot bear the reality of living with an administration that is willing to call them out on all the shrill hyperbole they have shamelessly employed. They are a dinosaur in death throes, and I hope Judge Alsup is kind enough to put them out of their misery.




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