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A win: Australian Federal Court tosses out high schoolers climate case

The good news is that the experts are very unhappy:

Today’s disappointing federal court decision undoes 20 years of climate litigation progress in Australia

The Conversation

The federal court today unanimously decided Federal Environment Minister Sussan Ley does not have a duty of care to protect young people from the harms of climate change.

The ruling overturns a previous landmark win by eight high school students, who sought to stop Ley approving a coal mine expansion in New South Wales.

The bad news is that these same experts can’t see how profoundly silly their reasoning is:

So why was Ley successful? The federal court’s 282-page judgment offers myriad reasons for why no duty should be imposed on the minister. But what emerges most clearly is the court’s view that it’s not their place to set policies on climate change. Instead, they say, it’s the job of our elected representatives in the federal government.

Well, do we live in a democracy or don’t we?

If only Jacqueline Peel and Rebekkah Markey-Towler could persuade us that coal is a killer, they wouldn’t need to go to court to force their opinions on everyone else.

One of these two experts gets Australian government research funding for “climate change litigation” projects. Evidently she’s funded by taxpayers to steal rights away from them.

The whole case was silly beyond words. If the Environment Minister has a Duty of Care to stop a coal mine for fear of losses to these teens in future years, then surely the Treasurer also has a Duty of Care not to wreck the economy and put those same teens in debt on a frivolous pagan quest to stop floods, storms and droughts? Likewise, the Minister for Energy has a Duty of Care to make sure these students don’t grow up to live in a third world banana republic that can’t power factories to provide jobs or keep their quality of life as high as it was for their parents.  Where does it end? With a dictator running a command economy, and gulags for the dissidents.

From the original ruling we see the maths never added up:

In the ruling, Justice Mordy Bromberg noted that the expansion of the Whitehaven Coal-owned mine would lead to an additional 33 million metric tons (36 million U.S. tons) of coal being extracted over 25 years and 100 million metric tons (110 million U.S. tons) of carbon dioxide being released into the atmosphere.

The world uses 8.5 billion tons of coal a year, and the court case was about 1.3 million tons of coal per year or 1 part in 6,500 of annual coal consumption.  Even if coal was bad, and even if warming was bad, and even if CO2 caused warming, this case still would not make sense.

h/t Michael K.

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