Archive for the ‘Legal’ Category

Case dismissed?


All this rests on the notion that humans can somehow tune the climate to their liking – whatever that may be – which of course has never been shown to be true. Are court cases and ‘rule books’ just the latest attempts to impose the will of one group in society, over everyone else? As this report says: ‘But such court battles are long, and often fail’. And ‘long’ often means expensive.

After climate talks in Bonn, many criticize outcomes as weak. Increasingly, concerned citizens see legal action as a path for climate action — a thousand climate lawsuits are currently active around the world, reports DW.com.

As climate negotiators return home after a two-week “intersessional” climate change conference in Bonn, Germany, their homework is only half finished. The COP24 annual climate conference, scheduled for December in Katowice, Poland, is supposed to decide a “rule book” for implementing the Paris Agreement.

But with so much at stake, there’s not nearly enough action, environmental activists say.

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Our indecision is final?


When is a ban not a ban? The Telegraph quotes the SNP’s own website which currently states: “The Scottish Government has put in place a ban on fracking in Scotland – meaning fracking cannot and will not take place in Scotland.” Seems clear enough from the renewables-mad SNP – but read on…

The Scottish Government’s claim in court that it had not banned fracking has been described as ‘beyond humiliating’; as two petrochemical companies argued that ministers did establish an ‘unlawful’ ban, reports the Daily Telegraph.

A lawyer for Ineos, which runs the giant Grangemouth refinery complex, said that ministers had created a policy through public statements that would prevent a fracking industry from developing in Scotland.

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Image credit: yournewswire.com


One of a number of ways the police can or could use drones.

Crimes that involve chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear (CBRN) materials pose a deadly threat not just to the target of the attack but to innocent bystanders and police investigators, says Phys.org.

Often, these crimes may involve unusual circumstances or they are terrorist-related incidents, such as an assassination attempt or the sending of poisons through the mail.

In the recent notorious case of poisoning in the UK city of Salisbury in March 2018, a number of first responders and innocent bystanders were treated in hospital after two victims of chemical poisoning were found unconscious on a park bench.

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Hambach surface mine, Germany [image credit: Wikipedia]


Looks like a case of protest gone mad over Europe’s largest surface coal mining operation.

The finance chief of an RWE renewable energy subsidiary was struck by unknown assailants as he crossed a park near Düsseldorf, reports DW.com. Police said they were investigating “in every direction”.
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A German energy executive has been badly injured in an acid attack, his company confirmed early Monday. Bernhard Günther, the CFO of energy giant RWE’s green subsidiary, Innogy, was struck as he crossed a park in Haan, a well-to-do suburb of Düsseldorf on Sunday.

“We are deeply shocked,” said Innogy chairman Uwe Tiggs. “Our thoughts are with Bernhard and his family and we wish him a speedy recovery.”

Two unknown perpetrators poured acid over the 51-year-old’s face before fleeing the scene on foot, according to a statement Günter made to police.

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The writing is on the wall for German diesel car makers after this ruling. If bans or other rules are imposed on diesels in German cities, sales are bound to take another hit – on top of the recent VW ‘dieselgate’ fiasco.

Germany’s top administrative court has ruled that it is legal for cities to ban diesel cars, reports DW.com.

The government opposes the bans, but is under pressure from the EU to do more to combat air pollution.

Germany’s Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig ruled on Tuesday that cities may be permitted to put driving bans in place for diesel vehicles.

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Image credit: carspart.net


Free handy hints here from the BBC, including: forget about face masks, avoid busy roads, and – wait for it – ‘stand back’ after pressing the crossing button at traffic lights.

Campaigners win a third High Court victory over the UK government’s plans to tackle air pollution – BBC News.

The judge in the case said the government plan was “unlawful” and that more action was needed in 45 English local authority areas.

He said ministers had to ensure that in each of the areas, steps were taken to comply with the law as soon as possible.

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Image credit: meobserver.org


The VW diesel scandal has led to media-fuelled paranoia about diesel engines in general, so any result is possible from this court hearing. Diesel vehicles could be banned from central Stuttgart, where Mercedes-Benz makes thousands of them every week and is a key employer.

One of Germany’s top courts will decide Thursday whether some diesel vehicles can be banned from parts of cities like Stuttgart and Duesseldorf to reduce air pollution, a possible landmark judgement for the “car nation”, reports Phys.org.

Eyes have turned to the Federal Administrative Court in Leipzig after years of failure by federal, state and local governments to slash harmful emissions.

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Norway’s Goliat oil platform [image credit: T3n60 @ Wikipedia]


Another attempt to use the law to get a court to take on the role of government over supposed climate issues bites the dust, assuming no appeal. The green groups were ordered to pay the state’s $94,000 legal costs.

Oslo District Court on Thursday ruled that Norway’s drilling for oil in the Barents Sea does not violate a constitutional right to a healthy environment, reports The Barents Observer.

The government acts in accordance with the law when awarding new petroleum exploration licenses for the Barents Sea, the ruling by Oslo District Court reads. Greenpeace, one of the three organizations which filed the lawsuit, has published the court’s 49-pages comprehensive ruling.

The lawsuit was challenging Norway’s 23rd oil licensing round arguing that opening up the Arctic continental shelf would violate the country’s Paris agreement commitments to limit temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

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Electric bike crackdown in New York

Posted: December 26, 2017 by oldbrew in Legal, News, Travel
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Electric delivery bike [credit: electricbike.com]


Pollution-free pizza deliveries are too racy for NYC it seems.

Cheap, electric bicycles have made life a lot easier for New York City’s legions of restaurant delivery workers, but the party may be over in the New Year, says Phys.org.

City officials are promising a crackdown on e-bikes, which may be loved by environmentalists and the largely poor, immigrant workforce that relies on them, but are loathed by many drivers and pedestrians who think they are a menace.

Under city law, the bikes are legal to own and sell, but riding them on the street can lead to a fine of up to $500.

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The gloves are off in the polar bear wars, as Dr Susan Crockford launches a strong response to a recent unfair and malicious attack on her reputation by a group of climate scientists.

polarbearscience

Today I sent a letter to the editors of the journal Bioscience requesting retraction of the shoddy and malicious paper by Harvey et al. (Internet blogs, polar bears, and climate-change denial by proxy) published online last week.

The letter reveals information about the workings of the polar bear expert inner circle not known before now, so grab your popcorn.

Harvey et al. 2018 in press climate denial by proxy using polar bears_Title

I have copied the letter below, which contains emails obtained via FOIA requests to the US Geological Survey and the US Fish and Wildlife Service by the Energy and Environment Legal Institute, E&E Legal, and the Free Market Environmental Law Clinic (USFWS request; USGS request) and sent to me by lawyer Chris Horner in 2014, unsolicited. I reveal some of them now, with his permission (most of the emails are boring, involving mostly technical topics not relevant to anything, as might be expected).

The emails in…

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Grenfell Tower fire [image credit: BBC]


Insulation added to buildings like the ill-fated Grenfell Tower was a result of climate regulations, as this extract from a Sky News report shows. But the manufacturers themselves helped write those rules, and now some critics who tried to point out potential fire hazards in the materials say they were subjected to intimidation by them.
H/T Damian

While legal threats were being made in private, the plastic insulation industry was openly advertising its role in writing the rules that govern the fitting of its products to millions of buildings across the country.

The main lobby group for the plastic insulation trade was, until November 2017, called the British Rigid Urethane Foam Manufacturers’ Association [BRUFMA].

Partly in response to Grenfell Tower – or what it refers to as “events of this year” – BRUFMA changed its name to the Insulation Manufacturers Association.

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Suppressing Climate

Posted: November 3, 2017 by oldbrew in censorship, climate, ideology, Legal
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And the difference between so-called political correctness and censorship is…???

Science Matters

The above video is how I first heard of PragerU.  Now the nonprofit organization is suing Google and Youtube for their ideological bias in suppressing Prager’s videos.

PragerU Sues YouTube For Discriminating Against Conservative Videos
is an article by Ben Weingarten at The Federalist.  Excerpts below with my bolds.

Those blackballed from social media platforms for sharing views dissenting from prevailing progressive Silicon Valley orthodoxy have to date had little recourse against the tech speech police. That is why PragerU’s newly filed suit against Google and Google-owned YouTube alleging unlawful censorship and free speech discrimination based on the educational video purveyor’s conservative political viewpoint has the potential to be groundbreaking.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in California, details upwards of 50 PragerU educational videos that YouTube has, in PragerU’s view, unjustifiably slapped with “restricted mode” or “demonetization” filters, violating its First Amendment right to free speech. These filters…

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You couldn’t make it up. Welcome to the crazy world of climate recriminations.

Judith Curry writes: Well I am just speechless.

Climate Etc.

by Judith Curry

Mannian litigation gone wild. — Steve McIntyre

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Golden Gate Bridge from Fort Point, San Francisco


Some may say this smacks of an attempt at extortion, but the oil companies can at least afford the fees of the lawyers. Can it be a punishable offence to lack confidence in some of the claims of some climate scientists?
H/T The GWPF.

Two Northern California cities filed separate lawsuits against five major oil companies Wednesday, asking state courts to force the companies to fund infrastructure the cities say is needed because of climate change.

The suits, filed by San Francisco and Oakland in state Superior Court, are among the first in which plaintiffs are seeking to force companies to pay for infrastructure to protect coastal cities from potential damages caused by rising sea levels.

The cities are asking for the oil companies to pay for sea walls and other infrastructure projects, the cost of which aren’t yet known, according to the cities, but are expected to be in the billions of dollars, they said.

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Russian response to the 2013 protest


They got off lightly compared to their Russian fiasco in 2013, as The Barents Observer points out. Probably cheap publicity given the level of fines.

Each of the six activists got from 25,000 to 30,000 Norwegian kroner (€2,700 to 3,200) in fine by the police in Tromsø.

It was last Thursday the activists protested the Norwegian oil company Statoil’s drilling in the Barents Sea. With kayaks, some of the protesters went inside the 500-metres safety zone around the rig «Songa Enabler» at the Korpfjell prospect.

Located 415 kilometres from mainland Norway, the drilling is the northernmost to be explored this season.

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puffinFrom the Evening Express

The Scottish Government gave consent to four major wind farms in the Firth of Forth and the Firth of Tay in 2014, but the RSPB launched a judicial review.

The charity initially won a court victory but it was later overturned, clearing the development and prompting the RSPB to seek a further appeal.

Scotland’s Court of Session last month refused the application for the case to be sent to the Supreme Court, but the RSPB has now applied directly to the UK’s highest court.

The charity said it recognises the role renewable energy has in reducing emissions but the current project could lead to major declines in the population of gannets, puffins and kittiwakes.

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grenfell-firesequence

Report written by commenter ‘stickywicket’ at Spiked online

Everyone has been shocked to the core by the images of the inferno that engulfed the Grenfell Tower, killing 79 people. Most were horrified by the suggestion in the Times that the cause of the fire might have been penny-pinching on the type of cladding used in the recent refurbishment of the building. It seems unbelievable that they didn’t spend an extra £5,000 for fire resistant cladding.

This is probably not the whole story. The revelation that a further 70+ tower blocks have failed fire safety tests tells us that there is an endemic problem. We don’t know the precise reasons for the fire yet, but we should certainly look at the influence of slavish devotion to green regulations.

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As predicted here a few days ago, U.S. President Donald Trump has decided to end involvement in the Paris Climate Accord.

A tweet from the well informed Tony Heller around 4.20pm GMT today indicated the administration’s direction of travel.

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Signatories (light green) and parties (orange) to the Paris Agreement [credit: Wikipedia]


H/T GWPF / Washington Times

It may be a bit of a legal minefield but it would put an extra element of democracy into the current situation.

As President Trump’s top advisers prepare to hash out a final policy on the Paris climate agreement dumped onto their laps by President Obama, another option has hit the table: Declare the deal a treaty and send it to the Senate to be killed.

The treaty option could emerge as the middle ground in the increasingly tense battle between “remainers” on the one hand, who say the president should abide by Mr. Obama’s global warming deal, and the Paris agreement’s detractors, who say Mr. Trump would be breaking a key campaign promise if he doesn’t withdraw from the pact.

Mr. Trump’s principal advisers are slated to meet Thursday to hash out a final set of recommendations for the president, with several deadlines looming next month.
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City life in China

Maybe the courts could order the issue of free anti-pollution masks, pending any government ‘clean-up’ action.

The UK government may face legal action after seeking to delay publishing its plan to tackle air pollution until after the general election, says BBC News.

The courts had given ministers until 16:00 on Monday to set out draft measures to combat illegal levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2) pollution. A 2016 court ruling said existing measures proposed by the government did not meet the requirements of law.

The general election is scheduled to take place on 8 June.
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