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The climate litigation of California councils appears to be caught in a hypocritical death spiral

California councils sue Exxon but Exxon fights back: Will that be Fake Fear or Fake Bonds?

‘Cross Examination Is Going To Be Brutal’: NYU Law Prof Says Climate Change Litigation Is A Loser

Some Californian councils launched climate litigation against Exxon because they will be wiped out by floods. But at the same time the same councils issued bonds and forgot to mention that the local area was going to be washed away.

Since 1990 or so, the bonds are worth in the order of $8 billion according to a petition from Exxon. The Competitive Enterprize Institute is calling on the SEC to investigate regarding potential fraud.

The councils have painted themselves in to a terminally awkward corner: Are they money grubbers using false propheses to scare up some money, or are they deceptive bond dealers?

For example, San Mateo County claimed in its complaint to be “particularly vulnerable to sea level rise” with a 93 percent the county will experience a “devastating” flood before 2050.

“If sea levels were to raise that high, it most certainly would be catastrophic,” Epstein said.

However, bond offerings in the last few years by those counties and cities weren’t so forthcoming about those predictions, Exxon said in a verified petition filed last month with the District Court in Tarrant County, Texas.

San Mateo’s 2014 and 2016 bond offerings told would-be investors that the county “is unable to predict whether sea-level rise or other impacts of climate change or flooding from a major storm will occur,” Exxon’s petition said.

The councils accused fossil fuel companies of causing their losses, but the counties and cities consume and produces a lot of fossil fuels itself.

[NYU Prof] Epstein’s comments are among a number of voices claiming the counties’ and municipalities’ lawsuits against the energy companies are inherently flawed. Epstein and those other voices point out that California, which includes the counties and cities that filed the lawsuits, is both a great consumer and producer of the same fossil fuels the litigation claims are sowing the seeds of imminent climate change disaster.

Those same fossil fuels also help drive the state’s economy, the sixth-largest in the world, Epstein and others say.

“These counties and cities are huge consumers of energy,” Epstein said.

Looks like someone didn’t think this through.

It’s never a good idea to launch litigation as a fashion statement or as a form of tribal warfare.

h/t GWPF

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197 comments to The climate litigation of California councils appears to be caught in a hypocritical death spiral

  • #

    I have never understood the propensity for litigation in the U.S. It often seems to border on the ridiculous. This is only one more example. My concern is that some of this tendency is spreading North into Canada. I think it is simply a way for lawyers to enrich themselves. I heard someplace that economic growth of a nation is inversely proportional to the number of lawyers in the country.

    410

  • #

    If we could only get people like James Hansen, Michael Schlesinger, Kevin Trenberth, Michael Mann, Gavin Schmidt and others under oath so they could be cross examined about the pseudo-science that formed the theoretical basis for the formation and continued existence of the IPCC and UNFCCC …

    675

    • #

      To the cowardly thumbs downers:
      What is it about an honest debate that you object to?

      403

      • #
        Radical Rodent

        Perhaps these two words: “honest” and “debate”?

        420

      • #
        sophocles

        You’re not worshiping the ground James *Locked-to-the-Fence* Hansen, Kevin *A-Disgrace-to-NZ* Trenberth, Gavin *Adjustocene* Schmidt and The Other Guy all walk on?

        140

        • #

          You’re not worshiping the ground James *Locked-to-the-Fence* Hansen, Kevin *A-Disgrace-to-NZ* Trenberth, Gavin *Adjustocene* Schmidt and The Other Guy all walk on?

          Some history may be in order! VP AlGore got James *Locked-to-the-Fence* Hansen, to buy into Al’s Exploratory natural gas investment ‘opportunities’! Later Al got NASA lobbyist Jimmie to get congress to support investigation of the fake Jimmie CO2 Theseus of the atmosphere of Venus with over-temperature surface.
          This involved huge resource in insanely expensive computer modeling of fake atmospheres containing a we bit of atmospheric CO2!
          Jimmie had no clue as to how any atmosphere may possibly work; or even why some planets even have some atmosphere. All he had was his fake Theseus on the the surface temperature of Venus. Perhaps a bit more before the black helicopters arrive! Check the funding of NASA Goddard in the late 70′s!
          All the best!-will-

          71

          • #

            More history:
            Prior to Hansen becoming buddy-buddy with VP Gore, the Regan and Bush administrations considered him a lunatic for his chicken little claims of a CO2 induced catastrophe. Hansen along with Schlesinger were responsible for the botched feedback analysis that failed to conform to any of the preconditions for applying Bode’s analysis and that comprised the sole theoretical basis for a sensitivity large enough to justify the formation of the IPCC. Hansen and Lebedeff were responsible for the application of homogenization to climate data sets, again based on an unmet prerequisite, which is a normal distribution of sites. Schmidt was Hansen’s chief propagandist and did such a good job at promoting the fake science, Hansen hand picked him to be his successor.

            121

    • #
      Bob Peel

      Can they be subpoenaed? Joined?

      10

    • #
      Murray Shaw

      Re Michael Manne, he is suing Mark Steyne after the latter made the remark that he worked at Penn State but should be in the State Penn. trouble for Mark is that he is having trouble getting Manne to progress the case,has been in discoveries for around three or four years. Seems Manne has thought it through and discovered who may be on Steyne witness list. As you say I look forward to Mark Steyne getting these people on the “stand”.

      Oh the beauty of that thought!

      111

    • #
      Robdel

      Would these agw luminaries not simply lie, even under oath?

      11

    • #
      sophocles

      Ooh! That would be ver-r-ry interesting. I can just imagine the double-speak, the evasions, the half-truths, the humming and harring, but maybe no outright lies.

      yep, Klimate Sky-entist in Court, a new spectator sport! :-)
      Imagine the possibilities for spectator sweepstakes?

      10

  • #

    Well, there’s no doubt that Golden Gate sea levels have been creeping up non-alarmingly since the 1860s. As in the case of Sydney, you can always get another glaciation if you don’t like a tiny bit of ocean creep. Or Californians could move north to a place like Juneau where sea levels are falling (due to post-glacial rebound…but why spoil a good yarn?)

    Behold your terror!
    http://www.psmsl.org/data/obtaining/rlr.monthly.plots/10_high.png

    As to floods, remember that San Francisco briefly became the functioning capital of California when Sacramento got wiped out by the Great California Flood of 1861-2. Many towns even beyond California became paddling only, with LA/Orange County an inland sea for weeks. One would like to say something about “record” and “worst evah”…but local Native Americans had told settlers this sort of thing happens.

    I guess Californians had better do something to get money real soon. If Exxon won’t cough up there’s always Russians. In the age of Upholstery in Space, you’re only limited by your imagination. And there’s no lack of animators in Hollywood and Silicon Valley, right?

    230

    • #
      Mary E

      One would like to say something about “record” and “worst evah”…but local Native Americans had told settlers this sort of thing happens.

      Californians worship the natives, put them on pedestals and make them Noble Savages (a crime, in my mind, it is – that should be done to anyone) and yet ignore all the history, the handed-down lore, treat it as as mythology and refuse to accept the tales of major devastation from weather. When even the paper trail, of old newspapers and authors, is discounted – why listen to a bunch of people who’ve lived there much longer? It’s the same story with the drought in the southwest – it’s NEW! and UNPRECEDENTED! despite evidence that the wet seasons are the rarity there.

      Hubris made the engineers and insurance men and home/farm owners believe the Mississippi could be contained with levees. All forgot, ignored, never realized, the history of flood and river channel changes. The same hubris makes people think that just because they built it up in dry time, much of lowland and coastal California would never flood naturally – only mankind has created the conditions to allow for this.

      Sometimes I am able to laugh at their folly. Usually I just shake my head and wonder how we’ve gotten this far.

      20

  • #
    Stonyground

    It has occurred to me that these kinds of court cases could be what is actually required to bring the problems with global warming theory out into the open. A defense lawyer who had done his homework could make mincemeat out of the plaintiffs. Would the MSM just pretend it wasn’t happening or try to put a pro warmist spin on the proceedings?

    241

    • #
      sophocles

      That’s a good point. As soon as the MSM realizes it, it’s going to very interesting to see the resulting propaganda and spin they will apply.

      The comment the cases will draw will also be interesting; in the MSM’s case it will predictably be the lack of comment.

      There is a strong scent of hypocrisy amongst those bringing these cases. They have also failed to include and state the climate risks in their bond issues, so they will have similar cases brought against them as they lose These spin-off cases over their bonds will also be interesting.

      110

    • #
      Ted O’Brien.

      They should, but I wouldn’t dare count on it. There are learned people who believe the 97%.

      However Exxon has the resources to fight them on at least equal terms. Let’s hope.

      60

      • #
        me@home

        The greed of contingent fee lawyers and their funders will outweigh any virtue signalling pretend belief in the 97%.

        20

      • #
        Alice Thermopolis

        Note an intriguing aspect of this case.

        Exxon is not contesting the Californian actions by running an argument based on flaws in “dangerous anthropogenic climate change” science.

        It has targeted instead a potentially fatal inconsistency between council bond public offerings and their plaintiff filings.

        Presumably it did so because it decided this was probably the quickest route to legal victory.

        There is also another explanation.

        Does Exxon, for corporate PR and other reasons. still want to have one foot in the clean energy camp?

        80

    • #

      As long as you lucked into an open-minded judge that isn’t convinced of catastrophic global warming. Don’t underestimate the power of groupthink.

      60

    • #
      Peter C

      Well done Stonyground,

      Especially the multiple posts.

      I’m think I have said before that you have picked a great name for a skeptic. I wish that I had thought of it.

      Now you say:

      It has occurred to me that these kinds of court cases could be what is actually required to bring the problems with global warming theory out into the open

      That is so right. Warmist have avoided debate from the beginning. But now they are courting that debate in our most stringent forum. The Court of Law!
      How could they have fallen into that self imposed trap?

      Unfortunately I do not have much confidence in Judges and Magistrates to determine these issue. I would rather put my faith in the common man!

      50

  • #
    Stonyground

    It has occurred to me that these kinds of court cases could be what is actually required to bring the problems with global warming theory out into the open. A defense lawyer who had done his homework could make mincemeat out of the plaintiffs. Would the MSM just pretend it wasn’t happening or try to put a pro warmist spin on the proceedings?

    91

  • #
    Stonyground

    It has occurred to me that these kinds of court cases could be what is actually required to bring the problems with global warming theory out into the open. A defense lawyer who had done his homework could make mincemeat out of the plaintiffs. Would the MSM just pretend it wasn’t happening or try to put a pro warmist spin on the proceedings?

    31

  • #
    Stonyground

    It has occurred to me that these kinds of court cases could be what is actually required to bring the problems with global warming theory out into the open. A defense lawyer who had done his homework could make mincemeat out of the plaintiffs. Would the MSM just pretend it wasn’t happening or try to put a pro warmist spin on the proceedings?

    20

  • #
    Stonyground

    It has occurred to me that these kinds of court cases could be what is actually required to bring the problems with global warming theory out into the open. A defense lawyer who had done his homework could make mincemeat out of the plaintiffs. Would the MSM just pretend it wasn’t happening or try to put a pro warmist spin on the proceedings?

    21

  • #
    Stonyground

    Sorry, no idea why that happened, could you delete this and the duplicate posts please.

    41

  • #

    California never thinks things through … it’s one of their more endearing characteristics; after that it’s really dark!

    161

    • #
      sophocles

      Yay! Well said.

      It all started with Proposition 13, an amendment to California’s constitution, enacted in 1978. Up until then, the State of California made its income from a land tax (Property Tax) which was about 5-6% of the assessed value of the land, that is, it excluded buildings, or “developments” from the assessment.

      The Land based property tax turned California into an industrial giant. It was self-sufficient—anything anyone needed or wanted was made in California. It’s industrial capacity was evident through WW2. The San Francisco earthquake of 1903 was recovered from very quickly. “Our tax base is intact,” said the mayor back then.

      After Prop 13, California’s land values inflated rapidly By the big recession in 1991-2 California was effectively bankrupt with high unemployment. Not bad for a state which, prior to Prop 13, had chronic labour shortages. The state government was taxing everything it could (except land) to try and gain income.

      Population movement reversed, instead of arriving in California, people were leaving, and its industry was shutting down or going elsewhere—rented out of existence by rents following land values.

      In the early 1990s, the state of Michigan did the same. In the 2008 crash, General Motors fell over and most of the engineering companies supporting it died. Michigan is now another basket case, with whole suburbs in Chicago and Detroit demolished.

      Both Michigan and California are now industrial deserts. It’s almost all gone.

      The Asian Tigers, Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, all run on a form of land value tax. It’s an open and obvious tax in Taiwan, bringing in somewhere around 72-75% of the government’s income. High incomes have an income tax of about 10% imposed, and those even higher are taxed at a maximum of 15%. Interestingly, Taiwan is an industrial giant.

      In Singapore, most of the land is owned by the Singapore government and leased. The leases form about 72% of the government’s income with a scaled income tax on high incomes the same as Taiwan. You can buy land in Singapore but it is very expensive. When you sell, there is only one buyer. I suspect (but can’t prove) the government capitalizes its lease income into the purchase price.

      Hong Kong is similar to Singapore: all land is leased.

      Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan are all industrial strongholds, with very nimble economies. During global depressions, all countries operating on the IMF and World Bank models deflate— negative growth, and regard 3% and 4% growth as sustainable. Singapore was regularly returning 15% pa rates of growth. When the rest of the world’s growth rates were below zero, Singapore’s had dropped to a mere 5% pa. Hong Kong and Taiwan echoed this.

      If land taxes are so good for national economies, why don’t more countries use it? Australia and NZ built their infrastructure (yes Australia’s coal-fired power stations were built from land taxes!) through land taxes. Both nations then rid themselves of the taxes which built them. Australia’s federal land tax went in 1961.
      NZ’s last land tax went in 1988.

      Where do the wealthy in any country invest their money? In land. Why? Because it isn’t being made any more, it enjoys a monopoly advantage, and it’s never short of people needing to use it and who will pay (exorbitant) rents for that use. Its value rises faster than anything else. Find your nation’s wealthiest individuals and then look at their landholdings. It’s easy to predict: huge.

      The big land owners are the greatest enemies of land taxes because it reduces their ability to gain ever more land to hold. Inheritance taxes (Gift Duties) were removed in NZ recently, clearing the way for the growth of a new aristocracy.

      Wherever there is entrenched and severe poverty, look at the land tenure system and you will see the reason. China is about the only exception to this rule but the wealthiest people emerging in China are property magnates. It will be interesting to see where China is in another thirty years ( a generation).

      72

      • #
        KinkyKeith

        hi Sophocles,

        Interesting, but I’m not sure that land taxes are the issue.
        It seems that the greed of government is the big problem.

        The main thing is to have a stable tax regime. Unfortunately politicians aren’t too practical and always want to have a new tax working.

        61

        • #
          sophocles

          Government needs income to function. When it can’t get income from its natural source, it has to “pluck the goose” in any possible way, and do it with the “least amount of hissing.” Without land taxes, inflation rates are high and so government expenditure rises rapidly. Taxes have to be gathered to replace those which would have been paid by businesses now gone, and those the newly unemployed would have paid. Also the newly unemployed have to be supported somehow—hungry people riot (don’t forget the Arab Spring of a few years ago!). So the plucking increases.

          You have a vicious circle. As the tax base decreases, other taxes have to be raised. As the population welfare requirements increase—no government survives for long if its people starve—so do taxes.

          Land tax has been described as “a virtuous circle.” It is a very stable tax regime: you know exactly how much tax you will pay and when. It keeps inflation down to almost zero which is economically good for everybody except the banks, which stimulates economic activity and employment which enables low individual taxes. Think about it.

          You could always read Progress and Poverty which explains it well.

          The book Social Problems shows all the problems which arise from lack of land tax. You should find it most enlightening, I did. I read it first in 1990 and I could see every problem it discussed (it was written in the 1890s) appearing in NZ where it hadn’t existed before. It should answer most of your questions.

          If you really want to understand how an economy really works then the Science of Political Economy will also help.

          All these books were written in the 19th century by the American social commentator and economist Henry George. If you want to buy the books, they are all still in print and available from Robert Schalkenbach, Publishers (find and follow the bookstore link).
          I have a copy of each and have read them all. I challenge you to read them all.

          If land tax is so good, why aren’t we all using it? you may ask. Here is the answer.

          I challenge you to read all four books completely. They will expand your understanding of the world immensely.

          30

          • #
            sophocles

            The important point to remember about land tax is that it is not a new tax to be added to the mix of taxes but a single tax replacement tax for all the economically damaging taxes.

            Damaging taxes are: the GSTs and VATs, Fuel Taxes, Carbon Taxes, Stamp Duties, Income Taxes, etc etc.
            —anything which bears down upon economic activity and is a stealth tax.

            Land tax, in comparison, is a resource rental, a single annual payment for use of land taken out of the national pool for someone’s exclusive use. As the presence and activities of a government give that land almost all its value, then tapping that value for the government’s income makes much more sense than hitting economic activity.

            LVT is an open tax. You know what you are to pay, instead of taxation by stealth. Do you know exactly how much tax you pay now? I bet you don’t. You could work it out but you shouldn’t have to! You have the right to know just how much you have to pay.

            I ran a back-of-the-envelope calculation fifteen years ago. Then, the NZ Govt needed $39 billion in revenue. At the time, I was losing 42.5% of my income in taxation to enable the government to raise that sum. I found to my amazement, that if NZ moved to a land tax of no more than 6%, the $39 bill would be easily raised and my tax liability (I own land) would drop from 42.5% of my income to only 8%. Bring it on!.

            30

            • #
              John F. Hultquist

              We live in the U.S., and “own” property.
              It is taxed – and for us it is distributed thusly:
              County Roads,
              Current (County) expenses,
              Fire control,
              Flood control,
              Schools, (total of 3 line items),
              Weed control,
              Conservation actions.

              And there are many other fees not tied to land.

              This is not a National “land tax.”

              Politicians try not to use the word “tax.”
              At the next election someone will claim she/he “voted to increase your taxes.”
              The English dictionary has many words that can be used, so not being able to use “tax” is no great loss.

              40

              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                Just replace the word ‘tax’ with the word ‘interest’
                Politicians collect interest on loans on behalf of private financial entities they borrow from.

                00

              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                Or:……private financial entities they borrow from using bonds as collateral for example.

                00

            • #
              Will Janoschka

              Land tax, in comparison, is a resource rental, a single annual payment for use of land taken out of the national pool for someone’s exclusive use. As the presence and activities of a government give that land almost all its value, then tapping that value for the government’s income makes much more sense than hitting economic activity.

              Why must you incessantly bloviate? Property\land is but a minor part of the wealth of the wealthy! Any governmental wealth tax to preserve such individual wealth by government via protective action (police) or providing action (road maintenance) is fine and needed! Sales tax for proper governmental facilitation of useful trade\barter can also be accepted What cannot be accepted is ‘income tax’! Income minus outgo yields the individual wealth to be taxed! Hard work to achieve some taxable wealth should only be encouraged never taxed!
              All the best!-will-

              50

              • #
                amortiser

                As the presence and activities of a government give that land almost all its value

                What nonsense!! Land value comes from the economic forces of supply and demand. Government interventions can artificially raise or lower those values. Zoning regulations are a good example of this and why such regulations inherently promote corrupt behaviour.

                10

              • #
                Environment Skeptic

                “What nonsense!! Land value comes from the economic forces of supply and demand. Government interventions can artificially raise or lower those values.”

                The value of the land comes from the number bonds (IOU’s/I Owe You ) privately owned banks are willing to honour as collateral for new loans so that new money can be created out of thin air during the debt creation process…sometimes the thin air is so thin …that the collateral is proportionally in the order of .04% like the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere somewhat. At these concentrations, the proportion of collateral that actually backs those bonds that were issued resembles closely the proportion of CO2 in the atmosphere that creates overheating. Likewise, when the collateral that actually backs those loans to fight legal battles and so on leads to overheating….like an economic greenhouse effect which invariably overheats the economic environment….In those cases, when the debtor cannot honour the bonds issued, the creditor ends up owning the collateral et all. Like a margin call..Like in Greece…

                Times are good, the thin air is nice, plenty of money created out of thin air by private banks to fund the very highest/highest house prices and in this case, ultra expensive legal cases via the said bonds (IOU’s ).

                The banks are happy, the legal teams are happy and so on.……….

                10

            • #
              Environment Skeptic

              Taxes in modern times are merely to pay the interest on loans if even that.

              00

          • #
            Jonesy

            Bookmarked, thankyou.

            00

        • #
          Richard Ilfeld

          Fundamentals. Land is not intrinsically revenue producing. If you tax a revenue stream it becomes a cost of production. The tax may change decisions at the margin “if you tax an activity, you get less of it”. Yes a land can produce rents, but must be improved to do so. Adam Smith is still a good read.
          Taxing land requires the diversion of other assets to support one that may be passive, may be a net expense, may be a part of the production of some other asset. Because of the propensity of land to be an inherited asset, it often comes into the hands of those who have not enough income to support it. A land tax is thus usually followed by the accretion into a few hands. A mortgage (‘loan unto death’ in derivation, but never mind) allows the accumulation of property within the typical shelter rent payment amount; societies that allow individuals to acquire and hold modest wealth do well, in general. There are a few essential government services, there are some non-essential ones that are useful. A common defense; a solid transportation infrastructure, an efficient & reliable post office, a regulation of the power grid, can be funded by taxes not too different that the cost is done privately. Income redistribution, in the current context, taxing the assets of landowners to give income support to the indigent, can not, and will gives us fewer property owners and more indigent. Any tax on land, or other wealth, will impoverish the population, the rate determined by how fast the government can blow the money non-productively.

          40

          • #
            sophocles

            Richard:
            You raise some points which are quite wrong (I have The Wealth of Nations in front of me …) This discussion is, unfortunately, off topic and so we should not continue it.

            But I will say this, very briefly: Death Duties and Gift Duties were to prevent land being accumulated as inheritance, mainly to prevent the formation of a new aristocracy or “privileged” class. (See “The Menace of Privilege”).

            Land Tax does not cause accretion into fewer hands, quite the opposite. Go read the books I recommended to Kinky Keith.

            A mortgage is a “loan which dies” which is where the “unto death” comes from.

            The Post Office is now obsolescent but not obsolete. There are still documents needing transport such as deeds so it might not go away.

            Power generation and distribution is a natural monopoly and should be publicly owned.

            I have to wonder about your analysis and logic: “will give us fewer property owners and more indigent” History proves otherwise. Henry George exploded that myth in his books “Progress and Poverty” and “Social Problems.” You need to read them as well as “The Science of Political Economy.”

            “Any tax on land, or other wealth, will impoverish the population,” History again, proves the opposite. The lack of land taxation can be shown to do just that. (cf Progress and Poverty.)

            20

            • #
              Richard Ilfeld

              sophocles: I did not communicate well – we would probably agree on some points and fundamentally disagree on others had I defined my terms properly. I do think power generation is on topic; we agree it is a natural monopoly but public ownership does not recommend itself to me. Folks from locales where public ownership has worked well may differ, but I don’t see that as the majority experience. We may both be extreme in attributing causation to taxation, where the tax and the results are both the work of other forces, as might be the success or failure of public or private ownership.

              10

              • #
                sophocles

                Richard:
                you’re a human being, like me :-) . I didn’t communicate myself as clearly as I should have in my first post and KK (quite rightly) has been trying to kick me straight.

                Public ownership for everything is communism and I am not advocating that. The Socialists advocated public ownership for more but that too is flawed. Identifying and publicly owning natural monopolies is right and proper and has been the position of classical economists for over a hundred years. Then there is no need for the complex regulatory web you see in the US for some of their utilities. It then becomes the operation of the monopoly for the best advantage and maximum benefit of all at the highest efficiency. There is no need for public ownership to require public operation. That can be put up for regular tender.

                NZ sold off its national telecommunications organization. Because it was an unregulated monopoly it went nasty and exploited its monopoly position to the hilt, right down to illegal behaviour (personal experience!). Australia is experiencing the fragmenting of a natural monopoly now with its power generation and distribution. I’m not saying there’s any illegal behaviour there because, not being located in Australia, I’m not close enough to the action to be able to make such accusations.

                Taxation sends the signals which direct the economy. Bad and distortionary taxes direct money/investment into areas in ways and quantities it shouldn’t and areas where more investment would be beneficial are starved because of the prospect of poorer returns—poorer signals.

                But, as I said, we’re really quite off topic and while it would be great to have a discusstion, and we could probably get a lot of pleasure from exchanging points of view, in all fairness we probably shouldn’t.

                00

          • #
            sophocles

            Another book, which should be compulsory reading for you, is:

            MILLER George: On Fairness and Efficiency, the Privatisation of the Public Income over the Past Millenium” [2000] The Policy Press; ISBN 1 86134 221 7.

            It will shock you.

            George Miller (d. 2003) was Professor of Epidemiology at the University of London Queen Mary and Westfield College and a member of the Medical Research Council’s Senior Clinical Scientific Staff. He was researching why longevity for some parts of the English population was going backwards. The book is a hard read. The history it details is ugly and the conclusions obvious. You need to read it.

            10

        • #
          KinkyKeith

          Hi Sophocles,

          I think you misread my comment. If you read it again you will see that all I said was that Governments should budget and live within their means.

          I never said : no land tax.

          My comment was about stable taxes and governments shouldn’t impose new taxes on things at whim.

          That is very destabilising and stops investment.

          KK

          20

          • #
            sophocles

            But KK, they do budget. All of them. It’s the high rates of inflation caused by no LVT which destabilises everything. You’re right and I agree with you that lack of stability is bad for investment but at present, without Land Tax you can budget as much as you like and in six months your budget is blown.

            With land tax, inflation drops to almost zero. This enables governments to budget securely and plan for the future instead of having to react now to surprise changes from last year, so you should be jumping up and down for land tax.

            (Remember: Land Tax is a replacement Single Tax rather than one of many stealth taxes.)

            The NZ Govt “fixed inflation” by taking Mortgages and Mortgage costs out or the annual statistics. Hey: suddenly Inflation is down to 3% pa. Meantime, in the real world, it’s still running around 15%. Budgeting under those conditions is, ummm, interesting. Tax stability is almost non-existant. GST goes up to account for unplanned inflation. More petrol taxes are added to meet every “surprise” expense. So we know exactly what you mean.

            20

            • #
              Kinky Keith

              Hi Sophocles,

              again I think you have misunderstood what I have written.

              Government should stay within the budget in terms of spending.

              20

              • #
                Mary E

                Governments not only cannot stay within budget, departments within many governments have routinely gone on spending orgies to make sure next year’s amounts are bigger. US military spending is an exercise in making sure there is nothing left over, for fear the next budget will be smaller, for example. When someone wants to cut the military budget we have a crisis and a media frenzy about serving the vets – they fought for us, we can’t forget them!! and emotional heart-strings are yanked. But cutting military budget doesn’t mean not paying current or past soldiers or taking care of their medical needs, it means cutting out the waste and duplication and, perhaps, less spending on more planes, ships, bombs.

                California spends millions on programs to create artificial equality, artificial everything, almost (including much of their vaunted Green Clean living.) That’s part of their tax problem, the incessant need to throw more money at a problem. Another part is they’ve shot themselves in the foot with their taxation rules.

                Now a few places have decided to re-enact the Big Tobacco trials using CAGW and oil companies as the stand-in for tobacco. They hope to get much needed monies without raising taxes or lowering standards of service, but they are spending big money on the attempt, and I don’t think Exxon is going to roll over – and I am not sure the other big oil/gas conglomerates will either – competitors or not, they all have their heads on this chopping board and if one falls, they all fall. If the cities fail, well, taxes will go up. hey will get their money somehow.

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              sophocles

              My point, which I haven’t made clearly, is:

              California changed it’s tax system without thinking it through. They went from a property tax which provided them with enough income to repair, maintain and add to the state’s, regions, and cities infrastructures. Prop 13 forbade them to continue taxing the inert wealth so they had to turn to taxing everything which moved.

              What they didn’t count on was the inflation from land speculation which hit when the land taxes diminished substantially. That forced the income requirements up every year, so taxes went up, rents went up and businesses and people started to leave as their costs went up. Government income spiralled down.

              The State and cities are desperate for money and these legal actions seem to say that.

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              • #
                F. Ross

                As one who lived through the prop 13 years and as a property owner it was evident that proposition 13 was the direct result of overspending by government. Local property taxing agencies got into the nasty habit of deciding how much money they wanted to spend in the next year and then re-assessing everyone’s property values to increase the property tax to yield that amount. The result was wildly varying property taxes year over year.
                Proposition 13 DID NOT eliminate property taxes; it limited how often and how much property was reassessed and how fast the propety tax could grow (2%/year).
                Before prop 13 many home owners (especially elderly citizens on limited income) were forced to sell their homes because of rampant tax increases. I thank my lucky stars for the likes of Howard Jarvis and Paul Gann.
                Government should be the servant of the people not the masters.

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              • #
                sophocles

                Government should be the servant of the people not the masters.

                Hear! Hear!
                It’s why our societies band together to form governments: to look after and care for its citizens and to provide the services the citizenry needs.

                Some institutions such as the IMF and The World Bank, need that rammed well home. They seem to see millionaires as poor poverty-stricken billionaires and create their policies accordingly. The little man can go hang. (poxy nuisances, mumble mutter … just get in the way of Wealth …)

                I’ve thought for a long time that Californians have lost control of their government. The present one, viewed through my long distance telescope at the behaviour and soundings off of its present governor, doesn’t seem to be doing anything to be any more humane. The Governor seems to be “On a Mission from God” to Save the World and the Paris Accord. Ugh. That’s gonna really cost Californians

                Prof Mason Gaffney (Economics, University of California) stated the push for Pop 13 came from a Californian land speculator whose “returns” from his “trade” were severely reduced by the then property tax.

                I’ve not read Prop 13 right the way through, thoroughly, but I did see, as you’ve confirmed, that the tax was not removed but reduced to the point of impotence.

                Thanks for the information about the wild variation. That is NOT the way to run any tax system.
                It was similar sorts of behaviour in European governments (eg: England) which caused the US Constitution drafters to try ring-fencing US Government as best they could to prevent it happening there. The human animal is nothing if not creative wherever and whenever it really wants to indulge its greed. Acting in Good Faith goes out the window, and you get the Finest Government Money Can Buy.

                Henry George was a Californian and it was the social conditions he saw in the 1850s and later from which he worked out his theory of the causes of poverty. He set these down in his book Progress and Poverty [1870]. Nothing has changed. In fact an enormous amount of effort has gone into trying to bury his ideas. Fortunately for all, his book is still in print!

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      • #
        Extreme Hiatus

        They’d rather not mention this: “In 2012 California produced 197 million barrels of crude oil, out of the total 2,375 million barrels of oil produced in the U.S.[2] California drilling operations and oil production are concentrated primarily in Kern County, San Joaquin Valley and the Los Angeles basin.”

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

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        Mark D.

        Totally wrong!

        Property (land) taxes are among the most regressive and ALWAYS benefit the people that have wealth.

        Detroit certainly didn’t fail because of LOW property taxes and lowering property taxes is what Prop 13 did in Californication. The opposite (not lowering taxes) is the reason people abandoned their properties in Detroit.

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        • #
          sophocles

          Property (land) taxes are among the most regressive and ALWAYS benefit the people that have wealth.

          Where’s your evidence? If you follow up the references I have made and read them, you might decide otherwise.

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          • #
            sophocles

            Umm, since when has Detroit been in California?

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          • #
            sophocles

            My challenge to Mark Dfor evidence hasn’t been accepted. So I will say in response to his

            Property (land) taxes are among the most regressive and ALWAYS benefit the people that have wealth.

            Rubbish. Mi£lton Friedman termed it

            “the least bad tax”;

            Adam Smith considered that:

            nothing could be more reasonable

            The IMF has considered it in principle and so too has the OECD with this working document. Both organisations stop short of recommending it.

            I could easily fill this page with links to economic treatises considering all aspects of the Land Tax and its major and minor advantages, singing its praises and recommending it etc, but the preponderance of such links would send this page into moderation forever. So I won’t.

            California’s mismanagement of its property tax was the problem. They flouted all four of Adam Smith’s maxims for taxes (see SMITH Adam; The Wealth of Nations Book V, Chapter II, Part II
            Of taxes, treating their citizens with what can only be called bad faith.

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          Murray Shaw

          Right on Mark. Detroit fell over because of Democrat local government uninterrupted since 1972. Winston was right re Socialism spreading misery equally, it worked a treat in Detroit.

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        Lance

        I lived in Kalifornia for 15 years. Prop 13 was not about land values only.

        Prop 13 froze the property tax rates applicable to the value of the property ( whether land or land + improvements) at the time it was sold, allowing not more than 2% / yr increase in assessed value.

        Before Prop 13, retired people who bought their home in 1950 for $25,000 , and might be taxed at $300/year , were being assessed on the current valuation of , say, $350,000, and being taxed at $7,000 / yr. The counties were foreclosing on the retirees and selling their homes/properties for tax levies and tossing the old people out in the street.

        The State and the Counties were increasing spending like drunken sailors on shore leave. Their solution was to raise property taxes to pay for it all. Prop 13 was the only thing that protected retirees from the local / state government.

        Now, some want to eliminate Prop 13 protections and tax all the property at current rates to raise money. Essentially it is saying “We don’t want any retirees or anyone on a fixed income to live here. If you can’t pay what we want you to pay, then get out”.

        Rich people who buy a $1M home today will pay taxes on $1M. Right next door to an 80 yr old couple paying taxes on a much lower valuation. The difference? The 80 yr old couple bought their house in 1965. The rich guy bought his house last year. The old couple live on retirement savings or social security. The rich guy is making $500K/yr working for Apple.

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        • #
          KinkyKeith

          That sounds more realistic.

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          • #
            Lance

            Keith: I built a house in Kali in 1990. By myself. Because of Prop 13, I had to pay a School Impact Fee, an Environmental Impact Fee, a Road Use Impact Fee, a penalty for cutting down any tree over 10 cm in diameter, etc. The building permit was $10,000 inclusive of the fees. Then they wanted to tax me for the water from the well I paid for. And tax me for the luxury of owning a septic system. Then they wanted to tax me for the water that was granted in my Warranty Deed from 1849. It never ended. California is all about spending other people’s money and taxing the crap out of them to do so. I escaped from that loony bin in 1997 and Never Looked Back. You could not pay me enough to live there again. It was fine up to about 1993. After that it was an insane loony bin. They actually proposed raising property taxes to pay for “free” condominiums in San Francisco for the “homeless”. Thankfully, that idiocy failed at the ballot box. God help the farmers in the San Joaquin Valley. California is a testament to how Socialist Idiots can destroy a once viable state. The weather is great. The earthquakes, taxes, politics, schools…. Not so much.

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            • #
              Kinky Keith

              Similarly inspired if slightly different targets here too.

              The world has gone mad.

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              sophocles

              You don’t need “Socialist Idiots” … just “Idiots” and there’s far too many of those.
              Sanity is now an endangered attribute.

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        • #
          sophocles

          You are conflating fiscal policy with social policy or what looks to be the total lack of it. If Californians allowed all levels of government to act inhumanely then that is a separate problem from the tax issue.

          A simple social policy would be to discount the taxes for all retirees, and what they couldn’t pay, is still charged to the property but deferred. The property can then be sold at market value after the death of the owner, to defray the charges. Not rocket economix. The whole purpose of government is to look after its citizens not pillage and plunder them.

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        Curious George

        The San Francisco earthquake was in 1906. I hope that the rest of your facts are better.

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          sophocles

          Thank you. Brain fart triggered the wrong finger.
          As for my other facts: check my links and read them.
          Some “Fact Checking” is welcome :-)

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    • #
      Murray Shaw

      Yes Bill, kinda like South Australia, whose Premier has just doubled down on his 50% renewables pledge that has ruined the states electricity reliability factor, and announced he is ramping that up to 75%. Looking forward to the book and film of the upcoming fiasco, it will be something to behold.

      ……..and these people went through the SA education system!

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    Kinky Keith

    An excellent illustrative post, with the apparent potential for a happy ending.

    It’s about time that the same green groupthink that infests Australian local government was put under closer scrutiny.

    Here in Australia so much of what goes on in local government is irrelevant to the good management of the locality.

    More often the focus of councillors is on the next big step up to state or federal politics and the real issues are neglected or under resourced. As Victorians are well aware, so many aspects of the 2009 bush fires illustrated this “refusal to manage” type of governance.

    I would have thought that the case for criminal liability for bushfire related deaths was very clear. Why no legal action there?

    Real practical considerations no longer seems to carry any weight in the modern world.

    Last night at the Singleton talk given by David Archibald, there were 8 people. In a town that is shortly going to lose about 3,000 direct and indirect jobs there was possibly one person from that town at the meeting. Singleton has been declining for some time, I guess people have just given up and will move somewhere else.

    One of the main points that David made last night was the effect of modern politics on the health and well-being of those who can see the work and effort or past decades being trashed. They give up and drink.

    California councils may very well be headed in the wrong direction, but we shouldn’t lose sight of the real lesson that comes from it;

    We Have The Same Problem.

    And it will only go away when we rise up and face it.

    KK

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      el gordo

      The CBA caved in.

      ‘Commonwealth Bank shareholders Guy and Kim Abrahams have dropped their world-first court proceedings against the bank for failing to disclose climate change risks in annual reports.

      ‘They said CBA’s 2017 annual report, which was published last month, included an acknowledgement for the first time from CBA directors that climate change posed a significant risk to the bank’s operations, with a promise to undertake climate change scenario analysis on its business in the upcoming year to assess the risk.

      ‘They said those two changes were a big turnaround for the bank and meant their case did not need to proceed.’

      Guardian

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      • #
        Greg Cavanagh

        Lets hope the Commonwealth Bank comes to the same conclusion as Exxon did.

        “Climate Change poses no risk to our business”.

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        • #
          Ve2

          It would be a poor banker that could not take advantage of any situation.

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          • #
            sophocles

            will gives us fewer property owners and more indigent

            and we have a new driver and justification for higher interest rates and bank fees.

            The climate made us do it!

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      Peter C

      Thanks KK.

      I was really disappointed to read that only 8 people turned up to hear David Archibald on the Renewable Energy Issues . How to engage the populace? Even informing them is an uphill battle, given the stance of our media.

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        yarpos

        The sheeple believe all will be OK, and maybe it will be. The only thing I am certain of is that it will be at great expense.

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      • #
        sophocles

        That’s a shame. Can he be helped to get some TV time?
        (From what you’ve said, it wouldn’t be voluntary on the part of the media …)
        Or post a video on youtube and it’s competitors?

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    Dave in the States

    Let these states, counties, and cities, try and prove CAGW in court. Think about the implications. See if their government employed flunkies’ can stand up to professional cross examination.

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      Kinky Keith

      That’s the logical next step Dave but nobody seems to willing to begin.

      The obvious thing is to challenge the postulated CO2 cause of global warming.

      There is no science!

      And yet the myth goes unchallenged.
      How can this be the case.
      Even the California situation seems likely of resolution through actions not involving examination of the basic CO2 mechanism.

      1. CO2 cannot “cause” global warming. It is a physical and chemical non event in that regard.

      2. CO2 gas given off in the combustion of fossil fuels cannot cause global warming.

      3. All of the funds directed to the UNIPCCC and other local and international efforts to stop climate change should be immediately refunded to the point of origin.

      4. The present rigged/dishonest electricity market should be dismantled, along with the RET and ALL monies obtained from this false science of CO2 must be refunded to the consumer.

      KK

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        OriginalSteve

        The definition of obtaining money by deception is…

        Any one?

        Yes you, up the back….

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        Dave in the States

        That’s the logical next step Dave but nobody seems to willing to begin.

        The prominent CAGW proponents don’t let it go that far. They start stonewalling at discovery. But what about these local yocals who just assume that the science will support their case based on the MSM narratives and what the academics at the community college opine? Maybe Epstein is waving a warning flag for them here: “Whoa guys you might not want jump on that tiger’s back!”

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    Graeme No.3

    Reading this I was reminded of the derivation of a “BEAR” on the stockmarket. The original seventeenth century phrase claimed that such person was “selling the bear’s skin before the bear was dead”. In other words requiring some anticipated favourable outcome, not expecting any adverse circumstances.
    It would seem that these Californian counties were counting on skinning Exxon without any resistance. I wonder if they have a Plan B?

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      yarpos

      I doubt it, they get so carried away they start believing their own BS , and forget there is nothing under the covers.

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      sophocles

      I agree with yarpos. They’ve swallowed the propaganda hook, line and sinker, without doing any real “due diligence” on its evidential foundations. They deserve to be taken apart, brutally, from the start of the case to the final judgement.

      Exxon’s slant is particularly interesting. If they succeed, the losers (the AGs) will be buried alive in cases from their investors. That will really cost them.

      But what should we expect from an electorate which installs someone with the sense and sanity of Jerry Brown as Governor? Anything goes when the lunatics take charge of the asylum …

      However, before we start laughing too hard, we should remember: it has to make it to the court room first.
      I won’t be surprised if it doesn’t …

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    AndyG55

    OT, but funny

    https://m.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/feb/21/trumps-european-climate-change-critics-fuel-us-coa/

    Macaroon et al criticise Trump over Paris agenda, while importing heaps of US coal. :-)

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    • #
      glen Michel

      What is a macron ? Well, if you walk the streets and boulevards of Paris(could work well in a song that) you will occasionally find one attached to the bottom of your foot! Mon Dieu un macron.

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      tom0mason

      Andy55G
      You may find this interesting –

      I note the Australian National University (ANU) and ARC Centre of Excellence for Climate System Science suggests natural rainfall variation is so great that it could take a human lifetime for significant climate signals to appear in regional or global rainfall measures.

      “But the natural variability of precipitation found in this paper presents policymakers with a large known unknown that has to be factored into their estimates to effectively assess our long-term water resource needs.”

      https://phys.org/news/2018-02-rainfall-natural-variation-climate.html

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    toorightmate

    Sir Edmund Hillary was the first to reach the peak of Mt Everest.
    The enormously high Peak of Stupidity has now been scaled by Jay weatherdill and Gov Jerry Brown.

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    yarpos

    I really have the same thought as I do with Weatherill’s 75-100% renewable plans. Yes! please do it and quickly. Sick of talk, lets see actions and consequences.

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      NB

      I am reminded of people who stand at the foot of a building, urging someone to jump. In Weatherill’s case it is a perverse pleasure difficult to resist.

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    Graham Richards

    Wonder what the reaction would be if the “guilty” producers of petrochemicals, the fuels & by products, admitted guilt & as part of their admission decided that in order to be fair to Californians, all products would be withdrawn from the badly mistreated Californian market. All other producers of such products should follow Exxo Mobil’s example lest they also be sued.
    No notice need be given of such action as we all know the insidious nature of fossil fuels & their by products, like fertilisers, pharmaceuticals etc. so suspension of supplies destined for California must be immediate. .??? I also wonder how long it would take for the Californian economy to collapse & their political class to be wiped out?
    One can only dream I suppose.

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      Graeme No.3

      Graham Richards:

      Possibly better would be to announce that they would withdraw all products from the Californian market immediately and wait a few years to see if that had any beneficial effect. Claim that anyone who continued to supply would become liable for any damages.
      Can you imagine the horror; panic buying followed by shut downs as stocks are conserved. No aeroplanes or cars running although they would have to put up with the smug utterances of Tesla owners for a few days until they had to recharge when the gas fueled electricity is no longer working. The revolution might be slowed by the lack of working cell phones but the anger would be immense. A week at the outside for the survivors of the political class.

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      Mary E

      Graeme No. 3 – also to cease all operations -drilling, pumping, refining, piping – any and all gas and oil from the state. Just pull up stakes and leave. If California wants to produce it’s own supply, it can durn well supply its own rigs, pipes, refineries. I am sure the oil and gas companies could use their rigs and people elsewhere, no need for employees to lose jobs if they wish to relocate.

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    Macspee

    Maybe we need some litigation here. Albo says that Adani must stand or fall on its merits but happily supports pouring money into alternative energy projects that have no economic justification at their start, none when they get going and none when they collapse. How about a shareholder class action against the capital destruction policies of the Australia Bank, the Commonwealth bank, et al?

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    Lionell Griffith

    Apparently, stupidity is a renewable commodity. It just keeps coming no matter what. Now if only we could transform it into electricity, it might eclipse fossil and nuclear fuel and a power source.

    Unfortunately, it takes more energy to transform stupidity into something useful that it is possible to get out of it. It is an example of the operation of The Three Laws of Thermodynamics. you can’t get any useful work out of entropy but that is all stupidity can ultimately produce. Stupidity is a net loss even for those who make it a profession to practice it.

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      toorightmate

      Weatherdill has already achieved peak renewable stupidity – with a capacity factor of 100%.

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        NB

        Nonsense. Increased potential for the messianic will encourage miraculous levels of stupidity. You are judging by mere terrestrial standards.

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      Graham Chubb

      The four laws of thermodynamics. You have forgotten the ZERO. There is possibly a fifth – Convergence.

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    glen Michel

    Someone needs to start up a conservative media network, especially in television.The 4th estate is the problem.

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      el gordo

      All we need is balance in the ABC newsroom, then the whole MSM will follow.

      In the old days the Fourth Estate was part of the intelligentsia, but their standing has been on the slide for decades. I blame the interwebs for its demise, which gives all the young reporters on this new platform a chance to make a difference.

      The profession of journalism can be revived, but will need sharp teeth to tackle AGW.

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        NB

        ‘All we need is balance in the ABC newsroom, then the whole MSM will follow.’

        I have a flying pig – would you like to buy it?

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          el gordo

          I cannot say for sure how it will come about, lots of variables in play, but eventually aunty will crack under the weight of climate change.

          The MSM red flags the heatwaves in Queensland, but hardly a serious mention of the cool south easters for a week at a time. Because of their indoctrination they cannot see the anomaly, global cooling has begun.

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        • #
          el gordo

          Or it could come through the legal sphere, the Ridd saga for example, technically he can’t lose so I imagine the Oz would run the story and aunty play catch up.

          The true cause of coral bleaching is too big to ignore, that is when the cracks should appear.

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  • #

    What the climate alarmists fail to understand is that in a court of law the party bringing the case must substantiate their arguments. The defendants have the right to challenge and cross-examine the evidence.
    Relevant to Exxon, last year I looked at the Supran and Oreskes paper “Assessing ExxonMobil’s Climate Change Communications (1977–2014)” in posts here and here.

    The authors assessed the public communications of Exxon on climate change and policy against the published papers funded by Exxon on the topics. But the criteria they used to assess the discrepancies was against a belief statement, not against statements that can be substantiated in Court. I concluded that the statement was AGW is “real, human-caused, serious, and solvable” is, nothing more than a mantra held by people who fail to distinguish between empirical and verifiable statements, tautologies, opinions and public policy, the success of which requires some fanciful global political implementation.

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    • #

      “AGW is “real, human-caused, serious, and solvable””
      AGW (Anthropogenic Global Warming) is by definition human-caused so we can safely ignore that part of the phrase. Is it “real”? There are three parts to that question, past present, and future. We can point out many instances of human-caused warming in the past, UHI effects being one of the most obvious. Global, not so obvious.
      Current warming is a little difficult to believe given all the record cold in the NH this winter.
      There is absolutely no evidence outside of totally unreliable climate model predictions for future warming.
      Well, if you are convinced of warming, is it serious? It appears that there have been no real consequences related to AGW to date. It does not seem likely that there will be future dire consequences.
      Solvable? Only if can believe that anthropogenic CO2 emission is the sole cause of a problem we are not sure exists and that we can actually have the indirect effect of reducing warming by curtailing CO2 emissions.
      The only way I can see to curtail AGW is to remove the A. Pass the Kool-aid, anyone?
      Perhaps this is the real agenda of the likes of Oreskes, Gore, Hansen, or Mann.

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      • #

        You may notice that the Climate consensus proponents – John Cook, Lewandowsky, Oreskes, Dunlap etc – cannot actually support the mantra, but evaluate sceptics on the basis of denying that mantra. In terms of Exxon – one of the World’s most successful business – they may take into research that they have commissioned or sponsored. But if it does not amount to anything they will reject it. Supran and Oreskes are imposing their own value systems in evaluating evidence onto a business using totally different and more purpose-driven criteria.

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      Phoenix44

      To use a medical analogy, it may be a”solution” to amputate my leg, but if a hospital just did that and I went to court, the other potential solutions would also have to be considered – including just living with the problem for some years.

      The real weakness in the AGW story is their solution, since it makes a vast number of unsupported assumptions and relies on forecasts going out many decades. No proper court will give much weight to a forecast, let alone one that claims to know what our economy will look like in 100 years time.

      What is demonstrable however is that the current solution is making people poorer without any obvious benefit. If the various activist groups that claim to care about the poor and the old really did so, they would be taking governments to court for needlessly increasing energy costs.

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      yarpos

      They arent afraid of a bit of tautology, AGW is man made. Guess it would be if it existed.

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      sophocles

      So the assessment is a prime example of “Group Think.”
      If true, then Exxon has a very good chance.
      Couldn’t happen to a nicer bunch of fools!

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      • #

        Exactly. Exxon lawyers, if they understand their brief, should be able to rip apart any claims of climate catastrophism (where’s your evidence?, where’s your demonstrable expertise etc), or the policy impact. By shutting down Exxon, or other US oil companies, will make little marginal difference to global emissions. There is more than enough known reserves of oil in the Middle East and Russia to supply the world for decades. It will however, destroy jobs and investor value in the US and other Western countries, whilst raising global oil prices, benefitting the OPEC nations.

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    pat

    21 Feb: Der Spiegel: The Diesel Disaster: Are Driving Bans Coming for German Cities?
    A court ruling could ban millions of diesel cars from German city centers, rendering the vehicles worthless. The federal government has considered responding with free public transportation and by forcing car manufacturers to submit to new requirements.
    By Matthias Bartsch, Frank Dohmen, Simon Hage, Nils Klawitter and Gerald Traufetter
    That could change on Thursday. The Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig is set to consider whether vague plans to maintain clean air go far enough or whether problematic cities like Hamburg must ensure clean air as rapidly as possible, even if that means implementing driving bans. And there is plenty to indicate that the judges will prioritize health, just as lower courts in Düsseldorf and Stuttgart have done.

    The landmark decision could very well send out shock waves affecting more than 60 municipalities in which, like Hamburg, limits on poisonous nitrogen oxide emissions are consistently exceeded. Germany’s major carmakers would also be put on notice, as would the German Chancellery and the ministries responsible. All have ignored the problem for years and are hardly prepared should the court prove stubborn.

    ***Just a few weeks after the Leipzig ruling, the European Commission is also set to decide whether to initiate legal proceedings against Germany at the European Court of Justice for its failure to do anything about high levels of harmful emissions in its cities…
    A verdict of that nature would destroy billions in value because drivers would suddenly be unable to drive into the city for work or to go shopping. Cars that already have to be marked down significantly in many places could then only be sold in foreign countries.

    Millions of cars would be affected by the ban and there is a possibility that even delivery vehicles and trucks belonging to craftsmen would not be permitted…READ ALL
    http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/emissions-violations-have-german-cities-facing-driving-bans-a-1194269.html

    30 Sept 2015: Guardian: Damian Carrington: Emissions scandal: how the drive for diesel ran out of gas
    Diesel, with its lower CO2 emissions, was a policy priority but NOx failed to fall despite the ‘stringent’ regulations
    It is a story of good intentions being relentlessly undermined and has a nasty twist in the tail: even the real rationale for Europe’s drive for diesel – to curb global warming – has run into the wall.

    The story begins in the early 1990s, when the diesel car was the noisier, clunkier and largely unloved cousin of the petrol car. But with climate change a growing concern, diesel’s lower carbon dioxide emissions caught the attention of politicians looking for easy ways to cut carbon. Sales of diesels in Europe crept up from 15% of new cars in 1990 to 25% by 1995, as politicians cut the taxes levied on diesels.

    But the slow-burn rise of diesels accelerated into a boom after 1998, thanks to the arrival of a new quieter and more powerful engine – called the common rail – and a landmark agreement between Europe’s leaders and its car industry to drive down CO2. By 2008, half of all new cars taking to Europe’s roads were diesel powered…

    “The policy priority was climate change, [but] it was thought that air pollution regulations on vehicles would work,” said Martin Williams, who headed the UK government’s Air Quality Unit for 20 years and is now at King’s College London. “People said ‘sure, diesels emit more particulates and nitrogen oxides (NOx) but we have really stringent regulations”. Twenty years on, we have found out we were wrong.”…
    https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2015/sep/30/emissions-scandal-how-the-drive-for-diesel-ran-out-of-gas

    19 Feb 2016: Guardian: Diesel cars may be worse than petrol for carbon emissions, report claims
    Carbon emissions linked to diesel cars may be up to 50% higher than previously thought, according to new researchDiesel engines may be doing nothing to slow global warming despite being the backbone of Europe’s policy to reduce car emissions, a new report claims…

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      OriginalSteve

      I hate to state the obvioys, but does Germany have green activist judges?

      The US certainly has activist judges…

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      yarpos

      I guess the science must have been pretty settled on diesels in the 90s to have sold so many. Europe certainly digs itself into some big holes. I guess the next set of unintended consequences is waiting just over the mandatory EV horizon.

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        sophocles

        Ah, but the vehicles tested had special routines in their software to detect they were on a test rig and return the “expected” results. It wasn’t just VW.

        I still think that was both funny and clever! :-)
        (Although, I’ll never own a VW, Porsche, Bugatti or Skoda. Can’t be trusted.)

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    pat

    not so much attention being paid to this aspect of the Infrastructure Report. who would be the biggest losers?

    behind paywall:

    Calls for car registration to be scrapped in favour of user-pays system
    Courier Mail-9 hours ago
    The suggestions are part of an Infrastructure Australia report to be released today looking into growth issues that will hit Australia’s capital cities over the next 30 … He said this separate report should consider the details and the specifics around how road users should be charged on a pay-per-use method…

    22 Feb: TheAge: Melbourne’s liveability choice: soar like Manhattan or sprawl like LA
    By Adam Carey & Timna Jacks
    Of the report’s 12 recommendations, the most critical is that governments increase their investment in public transport…

    The report suggeststhat some form of road user charging for trucks and cars must be introduced “within 10 years”, to better manage congestion and deliver revenue for better roads and public transport.
    Premier Daniel Andrews has previously ruled out bringing in a user-pays road pricing system for Melbourne motorists…

    Melburnians will rely more heavily on cars to get to work, with only 3 per cent of jobs accessible within 30 minutes by trains, trams or buses.
    They will be forced to travel further distances; hospitals, schools and universities will be less accessible in 2046 than they are today.
    Melbourne’s fast-growing west will bear the brunt of the growth, with population set to rise by a whopping 96 per cent, fuelling 69 per cent job growth…
    https://www.theage.com.au/politics/victoria/melbourne-s-liveability-choice-soar-like-manhattan-or-sprawl-like-la-20180222-p4z1b5.html

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      el gordo

      A bullet train network, connecting satellite cities in the regions, is the only possible answer.

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        N Q Redneck

        A bullet to the current crop of governments train network, connecting satellite cities in the regions, is the only possible answer.

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        Curious George

        Why a bullet train? It makes sense for large distances only. For a public transportation, a super speed is secondary to frequency. I used to ride a city bus when intervals were 10 minutes. Less so when they made it 15 to save money. To save even more they made it an hour, I switched to my car, and the line was discontinued.

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          el gordo

          ‘Why a bullet train? It makes sense for large distances only.’

          No they have Maglevs which travel at 300 kph, so satellite cities could be spread throughout Victoria and connected to Melbourne. Cheaper than restructuring capital cities.

          China is working on a 600 kph which will be perfect for the Sydney/Melbourne run, its the busiest plane route in the world.

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      Fuel taxes won’t work with electric cars, especially if we charge from our own solar system.

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        sophocles

        You’ll find those taxes will become something with a fancy name such as Road User Charges and you have to buy, say, ten thousand K’s worth in advance. The receipt will have to be glued to the inside of your windscreen for Mr Plod’s viewing along with start/finish odometer readings. You purchase more before those run out. Instant fine if Mr Plod finds your current odometer reading exceeds the end amount of the latest receipt.

        Simple.

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      NB

      It is funny how, in a world where people are more and more able to access information, look after their own interests, self-organise, and access a basic standard of living, governments are inventing weirdo stuff to worry about that just happen to look like problems most readily resolvable by government.

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        sophocles

        Empire building within the government? In some governments, civil servants are paid according to how many people they manage … sorry, Report to them.

        Corruption? What’s that?

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      yarpos

      Lets see, government IT in charge (even if outsourced) of a system of tracking every vehicle in Australia and charging by use.

      How many government computing debacles have we seen at State and Federal levels. If they havent started already there is an ice cubes chance in hell of a completly deployed and operational system being there 10 years from now.

      I doubt they will have resolved whether its a State or Federal responsibility in the NWO and if State then the not invented here syndrome will see multiple parallel disasters. Once again, bring it on! show us the plan and announce the target dates!

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    pat

    23 Feb: TheConversation UK: Why the world is looking to the Philippines for climate justice
    by Annalisa Savaresi, Lecturer, Environmental Law, University of Stirling, Ioana Cismas, Lecturer in Law, University of Stirling & Jacques Hartmann, Senior lecturer and Director of the LLM in International Law & Security, University of Dundee
    In 2016, after a series of particularly violent typhoons hit the Philippines, a group of Filipino citizens and civil organisations, including Greenpeace, accused 47 corporations of having significantly contributed to climate change, and called for them to be held accountable. Dubbed the “Carbon Majors”, these included the likes of Shell, BP and Chevron…

    The Carbon Majors petition bases its claims on a study (LINK) by climate expert Richard Heede (LINK) which attributes “the lion’s share of cumulative global CO2 and methane emissions since the industrial revolution” to the world’s largest producers of crude oil, natural gas, coal and cement…

    In an unprecedented move, in December 2017, the commission agreed to investigate the Carbon Majors petition. Its powers are relatively modest: the commission can only make recommendations to the Filipino authorities and those found to have breached human rights, but it cannot award damages and it has no enforcement powers. Still, its decision could be a game changer for climate change litigation…

    But a balance has to be struck between environmental protection and other legitimate interests, such as providing energy for consumers. However, John Knox, the United Nations Special Rapporteur on human rights and the environment, has pointed out that this cannot result in unjustified, foreseeable breaches of human rights. He has also suggested (LINK) that improved scientific knowledge, such as that used to identify the Carbon Majors, has made it easier to trace the links between particular emissions and resulting harm…

    The decision of the Philippines Human Rights Commission to investigate the Carbon Majors petition is, then, potentially revolutionary. In 2018, the commission will carry out a series of fact-finding missions and public hearings in the Philippines, London and New York to establish whether multinational corporations can be held responsible for human rights violations associated with climate change and, if so, recommend ways to mitigate them.

    Far from being a symbolic gesture, this acknowledgement of multinationals’ role in causing climate change would be a primer, and could potentially spark a domino effect in climate change litigation elsewhere…
    https://theconversation.com/why-the-world-is-looking-to-the-philippines-for-climate-justice-91792

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      OriginalSteve

      Hmmm…sue the multinationals out of existance….jobs disappear…..tax revenue dries up…bureaucrats and politicians swing from ropes in the street…yup…rosy future under climate worrying…..

      There is only 3 missed mortgage payments between civil society and anarchy…

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      Mary E

      So the Philippines have a commission to determine who caused the weather that damaged the Philippines? Oh, that will work out quite fairly, yes?

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    pat

    posted online an hour ago, 0 comments so far:

    23 Feb: London School of Economics & Political Science Blog: Do male climate change ‘sceptics’ have a problem with women?
    Although clearly not all climate change ‘sceptics’ are male, writes Bob Ward, it does appear that those who most intensely promote climate change denial are usually male, and routinely refer to female climate scientists in a dismissive way. He provides some evidence for his argument.

    (BOB WARD) I asked the Charity Commission to investigate whether the under-representation of women within the governance and activities of the Foundation was the result of discrimination. The Commission had previously carried out an inquiry into the Foundation and concluded that it had violated the rules for education charities because it was solely promoting climate change denial.

    However, it refused to make any enquiries about the under-representation of women on the grounds that “there are no legal requirements around gender balance in governance and that under s20(2) of the Charities Act, the Commission is precluded from interfering in the administration of a charity”.

    The Foundation may be dominated by older men because climate change denial is simply not popular among women and young people…
    However, recent polls of the UK public suggest that there is little gender difference among the small proportion of the population who are hardcore ‘sceptics’…

    Anyone who has engaged with ‘sceptics’ will have learned that it is the men who are most vocal about their views. They tend to lack any training or qualifications in climate science, but still appear to believe that they know better than the experts. And there is also a degree of male chauvinism that often underlies the arguments put forward by ‘sceptics’ during public discussions. For instance, when Lord Lawson was asked to comment on a statement by Professor Dame Julia Slingo, the chief scientist at the Met Office, about the link between flooding and climate change, he did not refer to her by her professional title but as “this Julia Slingo woman”.

    Other climate change ‘sceptics’ routinely refer to female climate scientists in a dismissive way. For instance, Professor Joanna Haigh of Imperial College London was called a “puffed-up missy” in a trademark rant by James Delingpole for the extremist website Breitbart. Mr Delingpole also referred on his website to Dr Emily Shuckburgh, an experienced climate scientist who specialises on impacts in polar regions, not by her name or job title but as “some foxy chick from the British Antarctic Survey”.

    Female scientists outside the UK are also exposed to sexist invective from climate change ‘sceptics’, with Scientific American reporting that, in the United States, “more than 90 percent of the harassing emails they receive are from men and often include gender-specific abuse”.

    Of course not all climate change ‘sceptics’ are male chauvinists, but it is clear that those who most obsessively promote climate change denial are usually male, arrogant, and unable to accept that the experts are right, particularly if they are female.
    http://blogs.lse.ac.uk/politicsandpolicy/do-male-climate-change-sceptics-have-a-problem-with-women/

    Bob suffers from a deficit of humour.

    following ends with CAGW rhetoric, but good to see discussing historical climate change is not yet taboo at Yale:

    22 Feb: Yale Daily News: Profs relate climate change, imperial collapse
    by Nick Tabio
    Climate change is often considered a uniquely modern issue. But according to Yale professors Harvey Weiss, Joseph Manning and Robert Mendelsohn GRD ’78, humans have dealt with climate change since the dawn of civilization.
    On Wednesday afternoon, the trio discussed the connections between history, climate change and human civilization at Kroon Hall. The talk was an abridged version of a presentation the three originally gave in October 2017, titled “Collapse! What Collapse?” and revived in response to high demand…

    Two of the speakers used scientific evidence to explain the collapses of historical empires previously thought to have resulted from political or social collapse…
    Joseph Manning, the William K. and Marilyn Milton Simpson professor of classics and history, focused on climate change as a result of volcanic eruptions…

    To conclude the event, Mendelsohn, a professor at both the School of Forestry and Environmental Studies and the School of Management, traced climate change from prehistoric times up to the present, explaining that climate varies both organically and inorganically. He cited evidence that the earth has cooled organically over millions of years and that periods of cool temperature and warm temperature can cycle.

    “Climate change is not new,” Mendelsohn said. “Maybe man-made climate change is new. But precipitation and temperature changes have been going on for a long time and will continue to go on.”

    These organic cycles overlap with human history and can show researchers how humans have been able to adapt over the past thousands of years.

    According to Mendelsohn, the issue is that, in recent centuries, temperatures have grown increasingly volatile as a result of increasing carbon dioxide levels since World War II. He explained that periods of increasing temperatures have forced people to immigrate to find food. He added that he worries increasing temperatures could have repercussions for future generations and lead to a “massive reallocation of people.”

    Marian Chertow FES ’00, a professor at the School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, lauded the three professors for their integration of history and science.
    “The opportunity to bring more objective science to the study of history can only be considered an opportunity to understand the complexities more,” Chertow said. “At the same time, you don’t want to go from saying the social causes weren’t the real causes to saying that the climate is the full cause either.”

    Carbon dioxide levels have increased 35 percent from 1918– 2018; these levels had only increased 5 percent from 1850–1917, according to data collected by NASA.
    https://yaledailynews.com/blog/2018/02/22/profs-relate-climate-change-imperial-collapse/

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      pat

      should have made clear “the Foundation” is, naturally, GWPF.

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      OriginalSteve

      Im sorry but this annoys me…typical vacuous left wing nonsense, creating artificial problem where it doesnt exist.

      Can we just ban the Left and the fools it attracts like flies to manure. What is wrong with these idiots? There have to be roos loose in the top paddock….

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    PeterS

    I have always advocated testing the truth claims of CACGW in the law courts. I still think it would be a good idea and a big eye opener for most people. However, I prefaced that motion with certain prerequisites. For example, the team that would attempt to prove that CAGW is a hoax has to have millions upon millions of dollars to keep the process going with as many professionals as possible as one thing is for sure; the other side will do anything and everything to protect their very successful scam. Actually another way is to have a Royal Commission but of course that will never happen under the likes of Turnbull and Shorten, and even if they did they will do all it takes to sabotage it for obvious reasons.

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    pat

    came across this by chance, posted online 2 hours ago:

    22 Feb: Patch.com: US Climate Change Expert Got Paid By China
    Chunzai Wang was a research oceanographer in the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Lab when he accepted money from China.
    By Paul Scicchitano
    MIAMI, FL — One of the world’s foremost experts on ocean-atmosphere interaction, climate change, and hurricanes has been sentenced by a federal judge to time served for a double-dipping scheme in which he was being paid by the Chinese government while he worked for the U.S. government. Prosecutors said that 56-year-old Chunzai Wang was employed as a research oceanographer in the Atlantic Oceanographic and Meteorological Laboratory at the time. The agency is part of the Department of Commerce’s National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

    U.S. Attorney Benjamin G. Greenberg in Miami announced the sentence on Thursday along with Special Agent In Charge George Lee of the Department of Commerce Investigations and Threat Management Division; Special Agent In Charge Duane Townsend of the department’s Office of Inspector General and FBI Special Agent In Charge Robert F. Lasky in Miami.
    “Wang knowingly and willfully received a salary for his services as an employee of NOAA/AOML, from the People’s Republic of China, Changjiang Scholars Program,” according to federal prosecutors.

    Officials said that Wang entered into contractual agreements to work on China’s Changjiang Scholars Program and its 973 Program beginning in 2010. The 973 program mobilizes scientific talents to strengthen basic research in line with China’s national strategic targets…
    https://patch.com/florida/miami/us-climate-change-expert-got-paid-china

    looked for further MSM coverage and found only this brief local piece, posted 11 hours ago. FakeNewsMSM is not interested in this story:

    22 Feb: CBS Local: Former NOAA Researcher Sentenced For Being On China’s Payroll
    http://miami.cbslocal.com/2018/02/22/noaa-researcher-chinas-payroll/

    6 Nov 2012: TWEET: Donald J. Trump: The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

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    pat

    23 Feb: NZ Herald: Our hottest summer: what caused it?
    By Jamie Morton, Science Reporter
    A “trifecta” of forces combined to make this summer what will be New Zealand’s hottest ever – and experts say the influence of climate change now can’t be ignored…
    That triple-hit combo included a marine heatwave, a La Nina climate system in the tropics, and an extreme positive phase of weather driver called a Southern Annular Mode, or SAM.

    Climate scientist Dr Jim Salinger said the national temperature record for summer was tracking at 18.9C – 2.3C above average, and 0.4C warmer than New Zealand’s previous hottest season in history, experienced in 1934-35.
    Both of those summers had similar ingredients: unprecedented warmth, a very wet February, and a marine heatwave.
    But this time, scientists say, climate change likely played a hidden role…

    The scene had been set by intense high pressure that prevailed across the Tasman and New Zealand during November and the first half of December, bringing an unusually long period of light winds over the sea and around our coastline.
    That lack of wind, and subsequent lack of waves, meant that surface ocean heat was not being churned up – and instead made conditions ripe for a build-up.

    Sea surface temperatures steadily rose, to the point they became between 2.5C and 4C above average through much of December.
    Incredibly, some localised spots off the West Coast even reached between 4C and 6C above normal.

    Niwa meteorologist Ben Noll said the persisting phenomenon had surprised scientists by peaking three times: in early December, late January and mid-February.
    “This thing has been incredible – and looking at the long-range maps, as we head into March, it seems like it’s going to warm up again dramatically here in New Zealand.”…

    Salinger said it was the SAM that had really cranked up the heat this summer.
    The SAM measured the north–south movement of the westerly wind belt that circled Antarctica, dominating the middle to higher latitudes of the southern hemisphere…
    A positive SAM had meant there were weaker westerly winds than normal over the South Island with higher pressures – and less cold fronts crossing New Zealand with their “commando raids of cold air”, Salinger said…
    The La Nina had caused the tropics north of New Zealand to “boil with convection”, Salinger said, which ultimately delivered us a damp, muggy February…

    Climate scientists had also singled out climate change as being a big driver of an increasingly positive SAM.
    “More impacts will come to light as data comes in, but the hot summer is a good example of what will common later this century in the lifetime of today’s children in New Zealand.”
    Noll expected that many of this summer’s extreme features bore the fingerprints of a changing climate.
    “If you are having your warmest month on record, in what is likely to be the warmest summer on record, that takes some pretty remarkable things in the climate space to occur,” he said.
    “I’m sure that for a lot of people, this may be the warmest summer they’ve experienced in their lives.”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=12000289

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      sophocles

      Pat:

      Oh, “Drought is the New Normal” Salinger. If this summer has been hotter than normal, it sure hasn’t felt like it.
      I can’t be bothered trying to prove it either, although the Southern Alps have had a fresh coat of snow. Earlier this week. Maybe that’s what he means?

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    pat

    ***Labor has “a promise for drivers still using fossil fuels”, which is everyone in the State except for 190 drivers! what bizarre wording:

    23 Feb: ABC: SA election: Xenophon’s policy under question, Labor’s electric car push and the Liberal’s pledge funds for food business
    By political reporter Leah MacLennan and Isabel Dayman
    SA Best’s policy also includes free public transport for seniors extended to include peak hour.
    The promise came at the same time Labor was promising to make transport cheaper
    The party has promised to make electric cars in South Australia cheaper by waiving the stamp duty and registration fees on new electric and no-emission cars if it’s re-elected in March.

    Environment Minister Ian Hunter said Australia was lagging behind Europe and the US in its uptake of electric cars, and was hopeful government subsidies would change that.
    “We want to add a little bit of an incentive to purchasers,” Mr Hunter said.
    “If we can do that, we’ll increase the number of units coming into the country, then we’ll bring down the unit cost per vehicle, making them much more accessible to more people right across the country.”

    The Government said there are about 190 electric cars registered in South Australia, and more than a 100 charging stations…
    Adelaide Lord Mayor Martin Haese said the city council is building another 40 charging stations and is hopeful the Government’s promise will help boost car numbers…

    Labor’s scheme would run for five years, and while registration fees would be waived, car owners would still have to pay compulsory third party insurance and other associated fees…

    Real-time fuel data promise
    ***Labor also had a promise for drivers still using fossil fuels, with a plan to introduce legislation to force the publication of real-time fuel price data…
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-23/sa-labor-pushes-to-make-electric-cars-cheaper-if-re-elected/9478138

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    PeterS

    Here are a couple of excellent suggestions made by Martin Armstrong:

    These lawsuits are getting out of control. Congress need immediately to change the law that loser pays all legal fees racked up by their opponent. These lawsuits are frivolous and highly dangerous. The oil industry should shut down all gasoline stations in any county, city, or municipality that files such a suit. Then we will see the people throw out these greedy politicians in a matter of days.

    California Counties Suing Exxon Commit Securities Fraud?

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      Mary E

      Loser-pays-all rarely works well for all lawsuits. Modify it a bit and it might work without causing undue harm to people who are barely able to defend or press a suit to start with – if you bring a lawsuit that can be shown to have been egregious, petty, an attempt to trample speech or other constitutional rights through attrition, and you lose, you pay all costs. SLAPP laws need to be enacted in more states to cover those suits that should never have been brought – knock that suit out before it costs a ton of money.

      It’s a downright shame that groups who cannot prove their case any other way, and or are seeking a windfall in cash, leap to the court system and try to get judgment on potential harm, not actual harm, and start with supposition that CAGW has been proven beyond all doubt. They should hope no one presents good evidence to support doubt, much less actual lack of factual basis for the supposition.

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    pat

    behind paywall:

    21 Feb: Financial Times: Iberdrola chief warns of Enron-style collapses
    The end of the era of cheap money is set to lead to Enron-style collapses of companies in the much-hyped global renewable energy sector, according to the chief executive of one of the world’s largest wind power producers. Ignacio Galán, the chief executive of Spanish utility Iberdrola, said that new non-industrial entrants with little experience were making overly aggressive bids on contracts to build renewable energy, thinking its was a financial “el Dorado”.
    “Because money is so cheap, many people who have no talent in the sector have been coming with an extremely high level of leverage,” he told the Financial Times. “With the change of the rates, there will be a clean up of the sector.”…

    22 Herald&News: New rebellion against wind energy stalls or stops projects
    GLENVILLE, Minn. (AP): But when a developer sought to put up dozens more of the 400-foot towers in southern Minnesota, hundreds of people in the heart of wind country didn’t celebrate. They fought back, going door-to-door to alert neighbors and circulating petitions to try to kill the project. They packed county board meetings, hired a lawyer and pleaded their case before state commissions…

    Although opposition to wind power is nothing new, the residents of Freeborn County are part of a newly invigorated rebellion against the tall turbines. These energized opponents have given fresh momentum to a host of anti-wind ideas and successfully halted projects across the country.
    Some wind developments are still moving ahead, especially in sparsely populated areas, but the success of opposition groups shows that when residents put up organized opposition, they often win.

    Wind power remains broadly popular, drawing support from environmentalists who worry about global warming, landowners who welcome a new stream of steady income and local governments seeking more tax revenue…

    Much of the opposition is centered in the Midwest, which has the nation’s greatest concentration of turbines. Opponents have banded together to block wind projects in at least half a dozen states, including Nebraska, South Dakota, Indiana and Michigan. Disputes are still being waged in Iowa, Minnesota, Illinois and Maryland. Intense opposition also exists in parts of the Northeast, including Maine, New York and Vermont…

    For many critics, their opposition starts with a simple disdain for the metal towers that support blades half the length of a football field. They want the views from their kitchen window or deck to be of farmland or hills, not giant wind-harnessing machinery.

    Others cite grievances that have long circulated on the internet from people living near the towers. They claim the turbines make them dizzy, irritable and unable to sleep.
    The whooshing noise and vibration from the blades, they say, force them to close windows and blinds and use white noise to mask the mechanical sounds.
    Still other homeowners fear for their property values, as fewer people will want to buy a home overlooking a wind farm…

    “A lot of people tell me they like the look of wind turbines,” (Dan Litchfield, a senior manager at Invenergy, one of the world’s largest wind-energy developers) added. “They find them graceful.”…
    That wasn’t the view in Lincoln County, South Dakota, where residents successfully urged officials to block a proposed 150-turbine development. When the wind power company collected signatures and put the matter on the ballot, opponents easily prevailed in the vote.

    Other than people who would earn money from leasing their land for the turbines, nearly everyone opposed the plan, said David Brouwer, who has lived for nearly 30 years outside Sioux Falls…
    “The reality is, it breaks the community up,” Brouwer said. “There are people who were lifelong friends, and they see each other in church and won’t even talk to each other again.”

    In Maine, plans to erect turbines atop ridges have outraged people worried about marring the rugged landscape and hurting tourism. The group Friends of Maine’s Mountains has been fighting wind-energy developments in the state Legislature, before regulatory panels and in the courts. It has managed to slow or stop nearly all of the proposals…
    “Lots of folks in Portland in their BMWs and fine dining restaurants are OK knowing those country bumpkins are getting those wonderful wind turbines so we can have a clean, green conscience,” (Friends of Maine’s Mountains spokesman Christopher) O’Neil said…

    Heidi Gaston, an obstetrics doctor…built a wrap-around porch specifically to enjoy the view and the silence of southern Minnesota. She and her husband can’t imagine staying in their home if seven turbines are erected within a mile.
    Neighbors will take their objections to the state Public Utilities Commission this month. They expect a decision by spring.
    “We moved here hoping for a peaceful country setting,” Gaston said. “And that’s certainly not what we’d have.”
    https://www.heraldandnews.com/news/local_news/agriculture/new-rebellion-against-wind-energy-stalls-or-stops-projects/article_5ec4f00d-e638-5f36-b64d-6088185824b4.html

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    pat

    comment in moderation re: 21 Feb: Financial Times: Iberdrola chief warns of Enron-style collapses

    some people obviously not sharing in the “bribes”:

    22 Feb: FermanaghHerald: Emma Ryan: Sinister extortion campaign against windfarm workers
    http://fermanaghherald.com/2018/02/windfarm-workers-targets-sinister-extortion-campaign/

    22 Feb: NikkeiAsianReview: Thai renewables companies forced to seek opportunities abroad
    Government control and rising competition mean less room for domestic growth
    by APORNRATH PHOONPHONGPHIPHAT
    Thai renewable power companies operating solar and wind farms are shifting investment overseas, despite the government’s target of making renewables contribute up to 25% of the country’s total power mix by 2021. The state’s control over the market has intensified competition, leaving less breathing room for private businesses to grow domestically.
    Impact Electrons Siam, a new-generation renewable power startup, has already moved to develop renewable projects in Japan and Laos…

    “The power rate the Japanese government pays to operators is 40 yen per unit, or around $0.37, well above 4.12 baht ($0.13) the Thai government pays,” Somboon said…
    https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/Trends/Thai-renewable-power-companies-seek-opportunity-abroad

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    pat

    22 Feb: StandardMedia Kenya: Taxpayers could pay billions after power deal flops
    By Macharia Kamau
    Taxpayers could soon have to fork out billions of shillings in penalties again after the Government failed to secure financing for a high voltage power transmission line.
    The Energy Ministry said yesterday the Spanish Government had withdrawn financing for the construction of the 428km, 400-kilovolt power line from Marsabit to Suswa, which could further see a delay in its completion…

    This in effect means the Government now has to spend Sh12.9 billion (US$126.5m?) by August this year to avoid paying billions in penalties to the owners of Lake Turkana Wind Power (LTWP) for failing to have the line in place, according to the contractual agreement.

    The contract with the wind firm stipulated that the Government would incur penalties for failing to take up power from the project after its completion in January last year. If the line is not in place by August this year, the Government will then be paying a monthly penalty of Sh1 billion to the company. The penalties are expected to be passed on to consumers once the power plant starts supplying the national grid with electricity.

    Last year, the Government was slapped with a Sh5.7 billion penalty which was allocated in the supplementary budget. The line was projected to cost Sh15 billion and although some preliminary work has been undertaken, the critical work of putting in place the transmission line has yet to be done…

    The line was supposed to evacuate electricity from the wind farm in Marsabit County to the Suswa station for dispersion to the national electricity grid.

    Delay in the completion of the power line, which was due for completion mid last year, was caused by financial difficulties experienced by the main contractor – Isolux Corsán of Spain – which filed for bankruptcy in July 2017.
    The Energy Ministry has since made several attempts to replace the contractor, but the terms of the loan dictated that the contractor be a Spanish company…

    PS Njoroge told the National Assembly committee due to the failure to secure another Spanish contractor leading to the withdrawal of the Spanish Government, the Kenyan Government was now in charge of the project…
    The Government recently awarded a consortium of Chinese firms the contract to complete the transmission line.
    https://www.standardmedia.co.ke/business/article/2001270806/why-taxpayers-could-pay-billions-after-power-deal-flops

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    RAH

    This kind of stuff is right at the top of the reasons why I voted for Trump. To sum it up, leftist judges have no respect for the laws as written and conservative judges do. The potential examples are many. But there is a principle once stated that I believe is accurate for maintaining individual liberty under any government. Simply stated.
    The boxes of Liberty are:
    The Soap Box (free speech)
    The Ballot Box (free and open elections uncorrupted in their results)
    The Jury Box (trail by Jury before a magistrate/judge which adheres to the laws. We must be a nation of laws and not of men.)
    and
    The cartridge box. (To be used only when the above are corrupted or abrogated to the extent that Tyranny reigns. But must be available to the average citizen.)

    The left continually attacks all of the above and any despot in order to gain absolute power must control off of them. Right now here in the US their after the guns again since some mentally ill troll murdered those kid in Florida.

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      OriginalSteve

      Correct.

      The leftists are human locusts….

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      OriginalSteve

      I blame 2 things the Leftist media wont touch:

      (1) anti depressants – most mass shootings in schools have been by people on then. Clearly drug companies dont want this talked about. Look it up…..

      (2) Gun free zones ( most schools) guarantees undefended innocents…..

      (3) The issue isnt guns, its the mentally damaged people who shouldnt have access to them . This is a fraught area, but needs to be addressed.

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    pat

    18 Feb: St Louis Post Dispatch Editorial: Missouri’s rural way of life threatened by more than wind power
    Missouri is stifling efforts to bring wind power sweeping down the plains from Kansas to Indiana and into the grid beyond. State Public Service Commission regulators have invoked a controversial court ruling that says wind transmission lines must be approved by each individual county along their path.

    The ruling gives some of the state’s least populated counties authority to disrupt plans for power distribution on a regional, or even broader, scale. The $2.2 billion line would help make the nation less dependent on dirty, coal-fired power plants and provide a clean, renewable energy source…

    Missouri has been for years the only one of four states to withhold approval for the 780-mile Grain Belt Express overhead transmission line. A Houston-based company is developing the Clean Line Energy project, which regulators acknowledge is “in the public interest” and could save electric customers in some Missouri cities millions of dollars annually.

    Those claims have not stopped landowners along parts of the line from objecting to the use of eminent domain to build transmission towers on their property…
    The Grain Belt Express plan is more ambitious. It would cross the northern part of the state from St. Joseph on the west to a terminus between Bowling Green and Hannibal on the east. It would cross Buchanan, Clinton, Caldwell, Carroll, Chariton, Randolph, Monroe and Ralls counties.

    Opponents from the group Block Grain Belt Express — Missouri warn that the project would not bring cheap clean energy or jobs to their communities. They say the company is offering “empty claims and false promises,” when their intent is to force property owners to sell easements or have their land condemned through eminent domain…

    Rural property owners fear that the lines will displace communities, disrupt farm operations and bring economic disaster for some while others get wealthy. It’s easy to understand why farmers may not want wind turbines whipping the air over their land, but more is at stake than picturesque farms and a long-valued way of life.

    The Earth is in the grip of global warming…
    http://www.stltoday.com/opinion/editorial/editorial-missouri-s-rural-way-of-life-threatened-by-more/article_6adc8051-528e-59ff-bfdf-13193a2ceb28.html

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      OriginalSteve

      They should really produce t-shirts with pictures of wind farme with the caption “End the Occupation”

      “Rural property owners fear that the lines will displace communities…..”

      Agenda 21 works hand in glove with the”Re-wilding” concept whereby humans are pushed out of the countryside PERMENANTLY, into mega cities where they can be more easily “contained”…

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    robert rosicka

    OT but this piece of absolute horse crap really makes my heart bleed for presstitutes knowing that a tradgedy of any sort is what they try to manufacture and magnify everyday .

    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2018-02-23/no-the-media-doesnt-love-covering-mass-shootings/9477998

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      RAH

      Ha! During the tragedy in Florida the press on the ground were getting in the way of both the police and the emergency medical personnel!
      The evidence is starting to point to CNN having staged their “Town Hall”. One student accuses Jake Tapper of trying to feed him the question he was to ask at the event and CNN controlled who could enter to be in the crowd. All the world is a stage when the “news” has it’s narrative and they will exploit traumatized children to advance that narrative.

      I honestly hope the democrats try and ride gun control as an issue during the coming elections because it has always proved a loser for them. Bill Clinton came right out and said that Gore’s stance and voting record on gun control cost him the presidential election.

      There is no more fundamental human right than the defense of one life and that of their family. The firearm is the great equalizer which makes it possible for the weak to protect themselves and their family.

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    pat

    22 Feb: OilPrice: Are Germany’s Energy Transition Plans Working?
    By Ryan Opsal
    In these scenarios, it’s beneficial to look at the end-use of primary sources of energy, to understand how Germany is ultimately using its energy. So instead of production data, the focus will be on consumption.
    For example, as we’ll cover later, Germany produces a lot of renewable energy, but it doesn’t consume all that energy, and therefore will not have any fundamental impact on the consumption mix.

    BP’s statistical workbooks (data used in this article is sourced from BP’s 2017 Statistical Workbook unless otherwise noted) provide good time-series data that can be used to understand Germany’s transition in this context.
    The following graph draws on BP’s data and furnishes a good look at energy consumption in Germany, going back to 2000…

    Since 2000, renewables consumption in Germany, including biomass, solar, and wind (excluding hydroelectricity) has grown over 1,000 percent. This growth represents a substantial increase, bringing consumption from 3.2 Mtoe (14.3 Twh) in 2000 to 37.9 Mtoe (167.4 Twh) in 2016.
    There is still quite a discrepancy, however, between Germany’s production of renewable energy, and its consumption…

    Around one-third of the energy produced in Germany in 2016 was from renewable sources, but only 12 percent of the energy consumed in the same year was from renewables, creating a gap of 23 percent. This is attributed to both exports and waste, as the distribution network simply cannot keep up with production surges, although progress is being made on this issue…

    As the table below demonstrates, Russian natural gas exports to Germany are only increasing, and show no signs of abatement, mirroring anecdotal reports and the steady progression of the Nord Stream 2 pipeline…
    After 2009, trend of excessive imports is maintained, and then accelerates in 2013 with imports over 13 percent of what is required, and then 27 percent over in 2015.

    The amount settles to 17 percent in 2016, meaning Germany is systematically importing more natural gas than is necessary for domestic consumption. This discrepancy appears to be due to its central location within Europe and its developed natural gas network, which seems to be taking on a redistribution role for European markets.

    Perusing Germany’s natural gas re-export data confirms this, with gas exports going primarily to Belgium, Netherlands, France, Austria, Poland, Switzerland, Italy, and the United Kingdom.

    These exports represent a relatively new development that appears to be a sustained effort toward making Germany a European gas hub…
    https://oilprice.com/Alternative-Energy/Renewable-Energy/Are-Germanys-Energy-Transition-Plans-Working.html

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    Peter C

    FREE SPEECH RALLY MELBOURNE

    We do not often see rallies for conservative causes. But for those who might attend I got this today.

    The Australian Taxpayers Alliance would like to invite you to the Free Speech Rally outside the State Library of Victoria at 1pm on the 24th of February.
    Our Policy Director, Satyajeet Marar will be joining other speakers in sharing his experience defending free speech at the parliamentary inquiry into Section 18c as well as raising awareness about further attacks on this crucial cornerstone of Western society and our political discourse.
    We are joined for this event by:
    Andie Moore from the Australian Libertarian Society
    Tim Wilms from The Unshackled
    Magnus O’Mallon from the Australian Freedom of Speech Movement
    Nathaniel England from the Australian Freedom of Speech Movement
    Freedom of Speech is crucial to our democracy. It continues to remain under threat from legislation including some of the Western world’s stricter defamation laws and 18C. It is also under threat from a toxic political and media environment driven by political correctness and elitism which deter frank discourse on the issues that matter to us.
    What: Free Speech Rally
    Where: State Library of Victoria, Melbourne
    When: 1 pm (1300 hrs), Saturday: February 24th
    We hope that you will join us on Saturday for a great event in support of a solid cause.

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    el gordo

    Barnaby goes to the backbench and David Gillespie is running for leader, but knows nothing about climate change. He walks the walk and talks the talk along Party lines, all hope is lost for a political solution as the pseudo Marxist grip tightens.

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    Peter C

    Barnaby goes to the backbench and David Gillespie is running for leader, but knows nothing about climate change.

    So the Parliamentary Nats have given away their best performer.

    Is there a silver lining to this dark cloud? Possibly

    Tony Abbott is cranking up the rhetoric against Turnbull. Backbench Barnaby might join him.
    http://pickeringpost.com/glance/-barnaby-0-media-1/8044

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      robert rosicka

      I don’t think it’s possible for the Libs and Nats to destroy their credibility anymore but yes there is always the mad monk giving his usual unhelpful and sometimes bizarrely stupid opinions just to pour a bit more fuel on the fire .
      Just as well we have compulsory voting in this country because otherwise pretty much all pollies would be out of a job ,as it stands it’s going to be a labor / green coalition whitewash and more than likely the end of the Libs and probably the Nats .
      Hopefully this does happen and a Cory Bernardi type party emerges from the impending train wreck .

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    Geoff Sherrington

    About 1990 when I worked for a large Aust resources company, I invited Richard Epstein and a couple of other world class law researchers to a private forum of about 20 Australian top people in property rights. He had good ideas based on good observation and a brain far better than mine. Pleased to see that he is now a global top gun. It is hard to argue against his recent proposition that the discovery process here will be brutal. Geoff.

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    cedarhill

    Never forget how the US Federal court systems work. The California law suits are in the Ninth Circuit and their District courts which almost is 100% certainty the judges will rule in favor of the Left. The Exxon case was filed in a district in Texas which is in the Fifth Circuit and their Districts. One will expect the Ninth to rule that Exxon is liable while the Fifth will rule otherwise. Thus, it will all depend on getting five votes of the members of the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS).
    Thus the United States and “evolved” into a forum shopping nation ruled by five oligarchs. The European Union is similar but they don’t call their oligarchs judges.

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    Gerry, England

    It took me ages to stop laughing after reading this. You really could not make up the stupidity of the councils having already torpedoed their case against Exxon.

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    Marjorie Curtis

    Just Briefly: as a geologist, who had actually found oil whilst employed in Aust, I went on a field trip to California in 1983. I was staggered to see the amount of oil in Southern California, even in Los Angeles itswelf, nodding donkeys were everywhere. At one point alongside a road, in a gutter, crude petroleum was flowing out of the rocks at the roadside, and down a drain, running fast and continuously. There were three nodding donkeys in the adjacent paddock! One of the main oilfields in this area is the Santa Barbara Channel, where oil was discovered by EXXON (it might have been ESSO then) when the local nice citizens of Santa Barbara tried to sue them for oil, which they thought had been spilt by Oil Tankers coming from Alaska to LA via the Santa Barbara Channel. Unfortunately for the “suers” of Santa Barbara, when the oil from the beaches was analysed, it turned out that chamically it could not have come from Alaska, and was in fact oil seeping naturally from an undiscovered oil field in the Santa Barbara Channel. I knew some of the geologists at EXXON, and, of course they were delighted, and the whole area was immediately drilled, and has been producing oil ever since (this was in the 1960s), and if you want to see an off-shore drilling rig working, just drive from LA to Santa Barbara, and look out over the ocean. The rigs are now still producing oil. I could go on, but it really goes to show the daftness of the average citizen, falling prey to the AGW crowd.

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