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Global Warming To Be Put On Trial? 1100

Posted by ScuttleMonkey
from the break-out-the-popcorn dept.
Mr_Blank writes to mention that the United States' largest business lobby is pushing for a public trial to examine the evidence of global warming and have a judge make a ruling on whether human beings are warming the planet to dangerous effect. "The goal of the chamber, which represents 3 million large and small businesses, is to fend off potential emissions regulations by undercutting the scientific consensus over climate change. If the EPA denies the request, as expected, the chamber plans to take the fight to federal court. The EPA is having none of it, calling a hearing a 'waste of time' and saying that a threatened lawsuit by the chamber would be 'frivolous.' [...] Environmentalists say the chamber's strategy is an attempt to sow political discord by challenging settled science — and note that in the famed 1925 Scopes trial, which pitted lawyers Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan in a courtroom battle over a Tennessee science teacher accused of teaching evolution illegally, the scientists won in the end."
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Global Warming To Be Put On Trial?

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  • Really... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Mister Transistor (259842) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @08:27AM (#29199575) Journal

    They'll be trying the existence of Manbearpig. Really, I'm serial!

    • No... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Gription (1006467) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @09:28AM (#29200475)
      What they are actually doing is the latest modern improvement in the scientific method:

      This is the new step where a non trained and non qualified person gets to make a final determination on subject that previously could only be judged by waiting for the results of experimentation.

      This replaces the previous doctrine of popular acclaim in the mainstream media.
      ("Did you know the average 50 year old man has 5 pounds of undigested red meat in his colon?")
      • Re:No... (Score:4, Interesting)

        by digitig (1056110) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @09:39AM (#29200655)
        I was once at a standardisation meeting in which the US delegation demanded that the claim that "a pure Poisson process is time stationary" be put to a vote. It's the American way, democracy in action. Truth is decided by majority vote.
      • Re:No... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by kimvette (919543) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @11:35AM (#29202581) Homepage Journal

        What would be better is if groups with actual political power in this area are forced to release their raw data and the method by which they arrive at their conclusions. It would be interesting to see if/how many/if any data points they reject to conform the results to their predetermined conclusions. If they were to release the raw data AND how they arrived at their conclusions and it shows they're not lying, then they would gain a lot more credibility outside of the hippie crowd.

        I'm no treehugger. However I believe in personal responsibility so I do what I can to conserve, and when I can afford to build my dream home I plan to utilize both photovoltaic electricity and geothermal climate control.

        However, I'm against the BANANA and NIMBY mentalities: whenever groups DO try to act upon green efforts (Cape Wind/Nantucket Sound Wind Farm, nuclear plants, new natural gas depots, fuel refineries using new "green" refining technologies and methods, etc.), self-proclaimed "green" politicians seek to oppose those efforts at every turn - most notably (the late) Ted Kennedy, the man who opposed the Nantucket Sound wind far, because it would be "unsightly" as he cruises in his yacht.

        What we need is cooperation from all parties: unlike the Al Gore mentality, it does not have to be all-or-nothing. Because we are decades or centuries away from "Mr. Fusion" and "antimatter" generators, we need to make use of what we can today. Solar, water, and wind power will work only in certain locations of the globe, so we have no choice but to continue to use fossil fuels, nukes, and renewable sources like trees.

        Also, electric cars aren't quite there yet (not until if you run out of a charge you can just walk a couple of miles to the nearest charging station and borrow a charged, lightweight ultracapacitor to get you there to recharge). The range just isn't there, current li-ion technologies don't handle deep cycling well, and the price needs to come WAY down before it makes good economic sense for the average driver to buy one. Right now, if you drive the average 12,000 miles per year, even a hybrid is a stupid economic choice based on the average cost premium over a conventional car. It makes sense if you drive 30,000+ miles (a hybrid would make economic sense for me) but such drivers are not the norm.

        So there has to be a happy medium. I say build the nukes, but have a decent plan for recycling and/or storing the waste. Build new coal plants, or better yet, trash incinerators, but just make sure they have moden scrubbers in place, as well as a responsible ash disposal plan in place. That doesn't mean to stop investments in fusion resources, but since we don't have it yet, we can't just quit fossil fuels cold turkey.

        Also, ethanol is not a good solution here in the US (corn is a poor choice), and I'm not too fond of the idea of soy-based biodiesels putting one of the 8 major allergens (soy proteins) in the air in heavy doses.

  • Just what we need (Score:4, Insightful)

    by RobVB (1566105) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @08:27AM (#29199577)
    3 million businesses pressuring 1 judge to decide whether or not the work of millions of scientists is trustworthy.
    • by A. B3ttik (1344591) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @08:51AM (#29199887)
      The Board of Businesses is not trying to get the courts to decide whether or not Global Warming is a reality. They are not even trying to get the courts to decide whether or not Global Warming is caused by human-created emissions. They are trying to get the courts to rule on whether Global Warming will be _harmful_ to humans.

      EPA spokesman Brendan Gilfillan said the agency based its proposed finding that global warming is a danger to public health "on the soundest peer-reviewed science available, which overwhelmingly indicates that climate change presents a threat to human health and welfare."

      The EPAâ(TM)s endangerment finding for greenhouse gases, as proposed in April, warned that warmer temperatures would lead to "the increased likelihood of more frequent and intense heat waves, more wildfires, degraded air quality, more heavy downpours and flooding, increased drought, greater sea level rise, more intense storms, harm to water resources, harm to agriculture, and harm to wildlife and ecosystems." Critics of the finding say it's far from certain that warming will cause any harm at all. The Chamber of Commerce cites studies that predict higher temperatures will reduce mortality rates in the United States.

      What's basically happening here is that the EPA is trying to get "Greenhouse Gases" to be covered under the "Clean Air Act," which currently only regulates the amount of toxic emissions that industries and products are allowed to produce.

      My question is this: What is the EPA _really_ trying to accomplish with this? Covering CO2 under the Clean Air Act would completely hamstring American businesses, forcing them to severely cut CO2 emissions. At this point, that is barely even technologically feasible, much less cost-effective, much less profit-producing. So what, are they _trying_ to bankrupt America businesses? Are they _trying_ to return us to the Stone Age? Are they _trying_ to give American companies as much of a handicap as possible in the global market, such that they will now have to compete with now even cheaper alternatives made in countries that don't have such off-the-wall regulations?

      I hate to resort to calling the EPA malicious, because I want to believe that they think that what they are doing is right, but, seriously, that's the only alternative. They certainly aren't trying to _actually_ clean up the air, since worse offenders than the USA already exist and won't be affected by this law at all. In fact, I would speculate that these countries are simply going to grow and gobble up whatever materials we're no longer able to use under this law, and completely take over what little markets American products still have a place in.

      This only effect of this law will be to hurt businesses, and they know it, and they're fighting back. And make no mistake, this isn't just Large Evil Corporations, either, this includes literally millions of "little guys."

      • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @09:02AM (#29200061)

        True. I think that's something that's hugely overlooked---energy is becoming not only a hammer for the big corps to put the hurt smaller businesses, but the regulations are also suited that way such that only large corps are either getting paid or will meet or be excluded from the energy regs.

        Also from the article summary:

        "and note that in the famed 1925 Scopes trial, which pitted lawyers Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan in a courtroom battle over a Tennessee science teacher accused of teaching evolution illegally, the scientists won in the end."

        Umm, no. Scopes lost in the trial. That said, the public perception of the trial was that the claims made against Scopes were ridiculous. But saying scientists won is wrong from a historical perspective, the judicial decision standpoint, and even the current, modern day standpoint where (the extent of) evolution is still debated today.

      • by Choad Namath (907723) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @09:18AM (#29200317)

        I hate to resort to calling the EPA malicious, because I want to believe that they think that what they are doing is right, but, seriously, that's the only alternative. They certainly aren't trying to _actually_ clean up the air, since worse offenders than the USA already exist and won't be affected by this law at all.

        Come the fuck on. You cannot honestly believe that the US government, which depends on tax revenue from American businesses and their employees, would intentionally handicap said businesses? To what end? Stop trying to turn a legitimate difference of opinion into some sort of battle between good and evil.

        As far as the "worse offenders" go, the EPA doesn't exactly have jurisdiction over other countries, so it's a moot point. You're presenting an imaginary alternative -- that the EPA could somehow regulate greenhouse gases in China, India, etc. -- as some sort of evidence that this is only intended to bankrupt the EPA's revenue stream? Get a grip.

      • by je ne sais quoi (987177) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @09:19AM (#29200329)

        My question is this: What is the EPA _really_ trying to accomplish with this? Covering CO2 under the Clean Air Act would completely hamstring American businesses, forcing them to severely cut CO2 emissions

        This is completely and utterly false. In other words, it isn't true. Case in point: Germany, like many other EU states has implemented a carbon tax [wikipedia.org] to limit CO2 emissions. It's working in that Germany's emissions are now below the Kyoto accord requirements [dw-world.de]. All this, yet Germany's economy is recovering from their recession [euobserver.com], and the recovery is faster than the U.S. recovery is. Lastly, the carbon taxes have all been projected to increase the number of jobs [feasta.org], not "hamstring" businesses like you say:

        The positive effects of the ecological tax reform were highlighted by the Federal Environmental Bureau (Umweltbundesamt) in early 200210 when it stated that by the end of that year, its projections showed that ecotaxes would have reduced CO2 emissions by more than 7 million tonnes while at the same time creating almost 60,000 new jobs. Other researchers 11 were even more positive, saying that between 176,000 and 250,000 new jobs would be created. These figures were based on the assumption that the trade unions would moderate their wage demands by linking any increases in gross pay to changes in prices and productivity.

        So when you look at the actual evidence, carbon taxes do pretty much precisely exactly the opposite of what you said. Do yourself a favor and stop reading talking points written by Exxon.

        • by A. B3ttik (1344591) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @09:29AM (#29200483)
          This isn't Carbon Taxes. This isn't Kyoto.

          It's worse.

          It would classify CO2 under the same classification as Asbestos, Chloroform, and other dangerous toxic chemicals, attempting to effectively limit emissions by orders of magnitude. That's not cutting it in half, or even a third. It's cutting it down by a factor of TEN.

          It's stupid and impossible.
      • by MindKata (957167) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @09:24AM (#29200399) Journal
        "They are trying to get the courts to rule on whether Global Warming will be _harmful_ to humans."

        They should say it in a language business people understand. I.e. Money. Any Global Warming regardless of the cause will give sea rise which in turn displaces millions of people living near the coasts (global cost will be many billions). Plus the loss of every beach on the planet wiping out all coastal businesses dependent on beach tourism (cost again in many billions). Plus crop yields affected world wide (cost again in many billions). (Thats just 3 examples off the top of my head). Also when I say billions thats the very low end of the cost range. For example, the global cost of wiping out (or protecting) every coastal city thats even just only 10 meters (or less) above sea level must be way off into the trillions range globally. They could probably equate just sea rise with a global cost in billions per extra meter of sea rise. Thats a graph business people would understand.

        But I deeply suspect these business people are not looking for the truth (whatever it is), they are instead looking for an excuse to use, regardless of any truth. Because as always, they are focused on finding ways to increase their money. As they say, "Follow the money". What do business people have to gain from this legal action? ... Money. Otherwise they wouldn't take the time and money to start legal action.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Mahalalel (1503055)
        Excellent post. The question really is whether humans are causing it or whether it is merely a part of earth's natural cycle.

        And I would like to point out that it is not yet a consensus among scientists that global warming is not part of a natural cycle, or that humans are causing it. According to the survey cited in this article:
        http://www.cnn.com/2009/WORLD/americas/01/19/eco.globalwarmingsurvey/index.html [cnn.com]
        Climatologists are 97% agreed that humans are causing it, Petroleum geologists are at 47% and
      • by Remus Shepherd (32833) <remus@panix.com> on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @09:47AM (#29200771) Homepage

        The EPA's goal is to keep the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere below a certain level (probably 550 ppm). It's exactly analogous to their other regulatory activity, where they limit the levels of mercury in water or arsenic in playground soil.

        Will it hamper American business? Sure. The same way the other regulations have hampered American business -- business would love to sell arsenic-laden playground soil, or pump mercury into rivers, if by doing either of those things they could increase their profits. We hamper business to prevent them from valuing money over people's lives, or over the health of the environment. It's sadly necessary to do so.

        And yes, plenty of non-US businesses are spewing CO2 and pumping out mercury and feeding their children sweet, tasty arsenic. I'm sure the EPA would love to stop them but can't. They can only make sure the US is safe. When dealing with pollutants that cross borders -- like CO2 -- they're going to need help from international treaties. But that doesn't absolve them of trying to keep our own house in order in the meantime.

      • by spectrokid (660550) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @09:49AM (#29200799) Homepage
        Oh yes please, PLEASE continue like this. CO2 reduction is BAD for American companies!!! In the mean while, here in Denmark we will develop CO2 reduction technology like insulation, [rockwool.com] biofuels [novozymes.com] and windmills [vestas.com]. Ten years from now, you can then come back to this forum and ask yourself why Uncle Sam lost all its jobs to a "socialist" welfare state.
        • by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @12:00PM (#29203101) Homepage

          Trust a representative of a "'socialist' welfare state" (your words) to fail to understand the Broken Window fallacy.

          When you impair efficient economic activity via aggression (e.g. by coercing others into reducing CO2 emissions without substantial evidence of harm) you inevitably create a wealth of opportunities for commerce related to working around or repairing the damage. At a naive first glance this looks like an improvement; visible activity exists as a direct result of your actions. The problem, of course, is that this activity is far from free. Had you just left things well enough alone the resources being spent on workarounds and repairs would have been available for more productive ends; because you could not resist the impulse to "help", however, all must bear the costs of first deliberately breaking a working system, and then fixing it (assuming it is even possible to do so in full), and the resources thus expended are gone forever.

          Aggression can sometimes bring wealth to those who employ it, but only at an even greater expense to others. It can never result in a net improvement for all involved.

          • by TheRaven64 (641858) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @01:22PM (#29204415) Journal

            Trust a representative of a "'socialist' welfare state" (your words) to fail to understand the Broken Window fallacy.

            You are missing the point that 'green' technologies are more efficient. How do you imagine US companies are going to compete when their European competitors are producing twice as much for the same energy investment?

            The broken window fallacy makes a number of implicit assumptions. If you smash the window and then replace it with double glazing, for example, then it no longer becomes a falacy; the people installing the window benefit from the work, but the person having the window installed also benefits from the lower heating and cooling costs and after a while recoups the cost of having the new window installed. Their cost of doing business is then lower, and they can undercut the shop across the street that didn't have its window smashed and is paying twice as much to keep the shop warm.

            • by JesseMcDonald (536341) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @03:38PM (#29206743) Homepage

              You are missing the point that 'green' technologies are more efficient.

              I'm not missing the point, I'm saying that it's irrelevant. If the efficiency gains of "green" tech were sufficient to justify the costs (in the opinions of those paying for them) then there would be no need to encourage their adoption by force.

              The same counter-argument applies to your broken-window scenario. The owner could have replaced his or her own window with a double-glazed variety at any time. That this was not done proves that the owner did not consider the replacement worthwhile--there was a benefit to be had, perhaps, but other things took priority. When you break the window the owner gets the benefit of the double-glazing, but is also forced to forgo these other goods which the owner considered more urgent, resulting in a net loss.

              What it comes down to, really, is sheer arrogance. You're claiming that you know better than others how they should utilize their own property, that by forcing them to take actions they would not have chosen of their own free will you can improve their situation. Why? Because you're better than they are, of course. Because you know best.

              Adult human beings are not game pieces to be manipulated for your own ends, or young children--or pets--requiring your governance "for their own good". They are free agents, self-owners, deserving of a chance to make their own choices, and mistakes, regarding both themselves and their property.

    • Re:Just what we need (Score:4, Informative)

      by jcochran (309950) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @09:00AM (#29200015)

      I'd suggest reading a bit of:

      Kicking the Sacred Cow
      by James P Hogan.

      You would be rather surprised and intrigued by what you'll read.

      In a nut shell, the evidence via ice core samples, tree growth rings, etc do show a correlation between increased global temperatures and carbon dioxide levels.
      However, it seems that the carbon dioxide levels increase about 40 to 50 years *after* the temperature increase.

      Additionally, the archeological evidence coming to light now isn't that the naming of of Greenland by the vikings wasn't a propaganda triumph, but instead a quite literal statement. Interestingly enough, *farms* are being discovered under the glaciers.

      • by Will Fisher (731585) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @09:19AM (#29200321)

        We know there has been natural global cooling - ice ages and the like, so it would make complete sense for there to have been natural global warming at some point too.

        We also know in the UK the romans (circa 100BC) grew grapes almost up to the scottish borders, something not possible today because it's too cold.

        So, the climate has always been changing, and while it's almost certain that humans have made an impact on the environment, I find it very hard to believe that the results will be catastrophic.

        • Re:Just what we need (Score:5, Informative)

          by MrHanky (141717) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @10:14AM (#29201197) Homepage Journal

          Have you checked whether the Romans actually grew grapes in England, or are you just repeating stuff you read on the internet? I ask since you say it's impossible today. Which it isn't [allotment.org.uk]. Southern England has a proper wine industry [english-wine.com]. Today, it's even possible to grow grapes some places in Norway [online.no].

          I know re-posting bullshit you've seen at +5, insightful before can be tempting, but half of your "empirical" evidence is plain wrong, and I haven't found sources for the other part (not that there's much point to it).

      • by TapeCutter (624760) * on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @09:25AM (#29200409) Journal
        ... rates number 11 [skepticalscience.com] in this handy list of psuedo-skeptical arguments [skepticalscience.com]
      • by Geoffrey.landis (926948) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @09:33AM (#29200561) Homepage

        I'd suggest reading a bit of:

        Kicking the Sacred Cow by James P Hogan.

        You would be rather surprised and intrigued by what you'll read.

        Well, surprised, anyway. Indeed. That Velikovsky was right about crashing planets, AIDS is caused by drug use, cold fusion works, the big bang never happened and cosmology is a fraud, Einstein was also a fraud, modern science doesn't work, evolution is a hoax, and perpetual motion would be possible, except for conspiracies of scientists.

      • by jeffb (2.718) (1189693) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @09:41AM (#29200677)

        Hogan has written some entertaining science fiction, and he's got a fairly broad grasp of a lot of scientific fields, but he suffers badly from blind arrogance -- he decides what ought to be right, and then focuses in on evidence to support it, dismissing evidence that contradicts it. Not that this is particularly uncommon, of course, but since his successful fiction career has earned him a wide readership, he's in a better position than most to spread disinformation.

        Just remember that he's no Clarke or Asimov when it comes to science writing.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        However, it seems that the carbon dioxide levels increase about 40 to 50 years *after* the temperature increase.

        you've bought into a classic denier talking point.

        just because during the natural ice age cycle CO2 lags temperature does not mean that CO2 doesn't cause warming. it's just that in the natural cycle CO2 doesn't just magically appear en masse, its released by an increase in temperature brought about by other changes.

        during natural warming, increases in solar insolation due to changes in the earth's

  • Neat (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @08:31AM (#29199625)

    A problem I have been working on is pretty dicey. I think the problem is polynomially solvable (and not NP-hard), and a colleague of mine thinks that it is NP-hard. I am thinking of just getting a judge to rule on that.

  • by damburger (981828) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @08:32AM (#29199631)

    Is to try to overrule the verdict of the scientific community because they don't like what it says. The climate change battle is over, and it is now a conclusive scientific consensus that it is happening and that human action is contributing to it. We need to slash our emissions dramatically, these guys just want other people to do it.

    • by drinkypoo (153816) <martin.espinoza@gmail.com> on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @08:41AM (#29199725) Homepage Journal

      and it is now a conclusive scientific consensus that it is happening and that human action is contributing to it

      Even the Bush administration admitted these things before they left the building. The idea of suing for scientific consensus is about the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard... no, wait, being forced to give creationism equal time in class is a more ludicrous idea. But this is close...

      • by dkleinsc (563838) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @09:27AM (#29200457) Homepage

        "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"
        -Upton Sinclair

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by eldavojohn (898314) *

      Is to try to overrule the verdict of the scientific community because that verdict is going to reduce many business's profit margins and put some of them out of business.

      Let's not beat around the bush and cut straight to the chase: they want the court to rule in favor of either economic well being or environmental well being. It's no coincidence to me that this hand is being forced as our country comes out of a lengthy and somewhat painful recession and the people in power now many nod toward the environment unlike the people in power for the past eight years. It's not that the commerce people "don't like it" ... it's more so that it has a very measurable effect on them a

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by brian0918 (638904)

      it is now a conclusive scientific consensus that it is happening and that human action is contributing to it

      Science does not go hand-in-hand with majority opinion - neither does science require consensus, nor does consensus imply any connection to reality.

      • by damburger (981828) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @09:02AM (#29200063)

        As a follower of Objectivism (more properly called Opinionism, unless you can explain the method by which you guys are sure your view on the world corresponds directly to the reality of it...) you obviously think that a minority opinion is better than a majority opinion.

        However, in the real world scientists require a basis of consensus to build the next level of research on. Physics would get nowhere if we constantly had to prove the laws of gravity to retarded cranks such as yourself in the name of inclusiveness.

  • by professorguy (1108737) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @08:34AM (#29199651)
    This gravity thing is turning out to be a pain in the ass. There's no end of constructions required to keep everything from falling down. I'm sick of it. I'M SUING GRAVITY.

    I assume after a judge rules in my favor, I'll be free to float around all day long. Objective reality? That's for people without lawyers. See you in orbit, suckers!
  • Judicial Activism (Score:5, Insightful)

    by kalidasa (577403) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @08:37AM (#29199687) Journal
    So an organization that loves to complain, loudly and vocally, about "judicial activism," now wants judges to rescue it from the policies of the Congress of the United States and the unary Executive that they helped to create? Now that's a rich vein of hypocrisy.
  • And if they lose? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by OzPeter (195038) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @08:40AM (#29199713)

    The 'business community' wants to put Climate Change on trial to test the veracity of the data. However this really means that the don't believe the data is true and just want someone powerful to side with them

    But if the trial goes through and the judge supports the climate change data, will this actually convince these people that the data is correct? I'm guessing not.

  • Wrong question (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Psychophrenes (1600027) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @08:43AM (#29199755)
    Who cares if global warming is caused by humans or not? Do we actually need to prove that to reach the conclusion that polluting its own environment is a rather stupid behavior for any living being?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by khallow (566160)

      Who cares if global warming is caused by humans or not? Do we actually need to prove that to reach the conclusion that polluting its own environment is a rather stupid behavior for any living being?

      That's flawed thinking. We pollute our environment because we do things that we consider more important than the damage we do to the environment. That is the benefits are perceived to be greater than the costs. It would be stupid to pollute to the point that the costs vastly outweigh the benefits (for example, to pollute the Earth to the point that humans can't survive unaided on its surface even for brief times). Similarly, it'd be stupid to treat the elimination of pollution as the sole purpose of humanit

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by russotto (537200)

      Do we actually need to prove that to reach the conclusion that polluting its own environment is a rather stupid behavior for any living being?

      Yes. Any living being pollutes its environment, by converting substances it needs to live into wastes which it cannot use. It's unavoidable.

  • Cimate change (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nomad-9 (1423689) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @08:45AM (#29199795)
    A judge might not be the best person to rule on scientific evidence. Specially when the science is complex. The consensus should do. Some orgs endorsing AGW:
    • National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration
    • National Academy of Sciences
    • American Geophysical Union
    • American Institute of Physics
    • National Center for Atmospheric Research
    • NASA's Goddard Institute of Space Studies
    • American Meteorological Society
    • National Research Council
    • American Physical Society
    • US Geological Survey
    • Academia Brasileira de Ciéncias,Brazil
    • Académie des Sciences, France
    • Accademia Nazionale dei Lincei, Italy
    • Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia
    • Royal Society of Canada, Canada
    • Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina,ï Germany
    • Indian National Science Academy
    • Indonesian Academy of Sciences
    • Royal Irish Academy
    • Academy of Sciences Malaysia
    • Academy Council of the Royal Society of New Zealand
    • Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences
    • Royal Society (UK)
    • etc...

    On a side note, regarding the AGW debate, a decent attempt at objectivity here, with a few interesting links in the info section: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kVi0QSDcFQQ [youtube.com]

  • by kheti (1469383) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @08:56AM (#29199949)
    What is the ideal temperature for the planet? Without human intervention the planet has been warmer (ice-free poles) and the planet has been cooler (glaciers covering much of North America, Europe and Asia). The "catastrophe scenario" of high average temparature is and what should be on trial, not that warming has taken place.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @09:08AM (#29200157)

    We're after all not sitting over man made laws. Then, by all means, the court would be the correct place to go.

    We're sitting over nature's laws here. And as much as we deem ourselves important, nature doesn't care jack about our laws. She has her own set and they break ours any time. You can rule as much as you want that this hurricane can't go through your home town, if you put it to the test you'll notice that your law is ignored with impunity and ther's jack you can do about it. "I hereby fine the storm a fine of 20 million dollars..." is that what you want to say about it if it dares to ignore your law, little man?

    Global warming is or is not. That's something scientists can find out, if anyone. No court can make a final decision on that.

    Oh... OH! It's just about liability, we don't give a shit about whether or not the planet is doing the Dodo, what matters is whether we have to pay for it? Ok, my bad, carry on. Hope your money buys you another planet when you win this case and then mommy decides you weren't.

    Answer me this: Can you risk being wrong? Do you have a spare planet, just in case? Personally, if there's even a small chance that we're going to heat up our blue marble beyond the point of what we commonly call "habitable", I would try to avoid it. Just in case. 'cause ... well, dunno about you, but I don't have a spare planet in my back yard where I can go when we trashed this one for good.

  • by vmxeo (173325) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @10:03AM (#29200997) Homepage Journal
    Businesses suing over Global Warming science? I'm starting my new book now, and it's gonna be called Inherit the Hot Wind: The Scopes Money Trial.
  • Misleading title. (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DigitalReverend (901909) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @10:12AM (#29201159)

    Global Warming is not being put on trial. We know it's happened, it's happened many times in the history of the earth, so has global cooling. What is being put on trial is the idea of humans causing it or contributing to it. Everyone is bitching about the corporations because they are about money, well let me tell you what, the scientists are trying to keep their funding too.

A holding company is a thing where you hand an accomplice the goods while the policeman searches you.

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