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2017 SkS Weekly Climate Change & Global Warming News Roundup #49

Posted on 9 December 2017 by John Hartz

A chronological listing of news articles posted on the Skeptical Science Facebook page during the past week. 

Editor's Pick

Climate Science On Trial Again

Our Childrens Trust

On Monday, before a panel of three federal judges, a group of young Americans will argue that they should be able to take the government to trial next February for failing to take adequate action against global climate change. A Justice Department attorney will argue against them.

Kids across America would be smart to send their good vibes to California this weekend. More specifically, they should focus on San Francisco and even more specifically on the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

While that may be a strange place for kids to think about, the quality of their lives in the years ahead is hanging in the balance. Another bunch of kids and young adults will battle a lawyer from the federal government in front of the Court’s three-judge panel Monday to argue that President Trump must do something about global climate change. The kids went to court because young people, present and future, will suffer most from the dangerous impacts of global warming, much worse than the wildfires, floods, hurricanes, droughts and rising seas we see today.

The stakes are big. In their lawsuit, Juliana v. United States, the youngsters charge that the government is contributing to climate change by doing things like allowing coal and oil to be produced on public lands. They argue that a climate system capable of sustaining human life must be protected by the government as a public trust. But their most important argument – one that could take their case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court – is that the federal government’s failure to do enough about global warming will damage the planet so profoundly that it violates children’s constitutional rights to life and liberty. 

Climate Science On Trial Again by William S Becker, HuffPost, Dec 8, 2017 

Links posted on Facebook

Sun Dec 3, 2017

Mon Dec 4, 2017

Tue Dec 5, 2017

Wed Dec 6, 2017

Thu Dec 7, 2017

Fri Dec 8, 2017

Sat Dec 9, 2017

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Comments 1 to 23:

  1. Go you kids! I have total respect for what you are doing, and will watch with interest.

    Lawyers can be intimidating, I have dealt with plenty of them. But a lot of it turns out to be hot air, empty rhetoric,  and bluster, so dont let it intimidate you too much, and keep your discussion composed and civil, but forceful.

    The main thing they will do is cast doubt on the science, and claim its not settled science and there's no consensus,  so this is the main thing you have to counter. Point out that we have five independent studies showing 90 - 95% agreement between climate scientists that humans are warming the climate. Point out its climaate researchers views that count most, as they have the expertise. Point out polls like the Oregen partition are deeply flawed.

    Above all do accept the fact a few climate scientists are dissenting voices, but that you do not require 100% agreement for settled science. There are always a few eccentric scientists with opposing views in any field of science, and there's still a flat earth society that is not entirely just for humour.

    And point out that all natural climate trends should be causing a cooling effect rather than warming, and the fact that the denislist's haven't provided a competing, fully thought out alternative theory, that covers all issues and has won the respect of science academies and the IPCC and climate research community.

    Kill it. Kill it with fire.

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  2. nigelJ @ 1

    Assuming the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals allows this case to go forward, if you were the judge what would you order?  And who would you order to do it?  Or do you, as the judge, just say, yes, it affects the life and liberty of every American.  Then what?

    Perhaps someone can point me to a rational discussion of what this case could achieve.

    Relating to the Jacobson vs Clack litigation, I have just finished reading the published response of Jacobson and then the reply of Clack to that response.  It is laughable to think that some judge with legal training could ever make sense of the complicated issues raised between the two of them even after listening to endless "experts" on both sides. 

    This case by these children all sounds wonderful but do you really expect some judge to come down with any decision that would have any legal effect?

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    Moderator Response:

    [JH] You claim to be a lawyer. If so, you should be able to do your own legal homework on this case.  

  3. NorrisM @2

    "Assuming the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals allows this case to go forward, if you were the judge what would you order......?"

    I'm not sure why you are asking me. I'm not a lawyer, and I do not have a law degree, or know the American legal system, and you know this already, so theres not much I can say about what sort of legal case they can bring or what the judge would order, or damages they could demand. They will be getting that sort of advice.

    Wouldn't it have been of more use for you to share your legal knowledge with us than ask a layperson on the law?

    All I can say is the constitution is law in America, and violations of the constitution certainly have had legal consequences in the past with award of damages, or requiring various other orders, and the Federal government is not immune.

    According to the article its all happened before "Climate science has been in court before. When he was president, George W. Bush also wanted to ignore the seriousness of climate change. His Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided that CO2, the gas most responsible for the planet’s warming, is not a pollutant that could be regulated under the Clean Air Act. Twelve states and several cities disagreed and took EPA to court. The U.S. Supreme Court ruled that if the Administrator of EPA certified that CO2 does in fact endanger public health and safety, the gas should be regulated."

    What I can do is give some advice on how to argue the facts 1) based on my knowledge of the climate issue and 2) I have actually represented myself in civil court several times, and won every case, so I know a little about how to present an argument.

    And regardless of the legalities,  the case the kids are bringing will focus attention on a very worthy subject.

    "Relating to the Jacobson vs Clack litigation, I have just finished reading the published response of Jacobson and then the reply of Clack to that response. It is laughable to think that some judge with legal training could ever make sense of the complicated issues raised between the two of them even after listening to endless "experts" on both sides. "

    Clack v Jacobson is complicated, but no more so than a complex financial fraud trial, or some high profile complex murder case. Judges and/ or juries hear those all the time.

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  4. The NY Times article titled Soil Power has hit the nail sqarely on the head.  Read David R Montgomery's book, Growing a Revolution and then his previous book Dirt.  It is all laid out clearly how to proceed and is a great read to boot.

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  5. This just in...

    People around the world beset by the impacts of global warming like droughts, heat waves and storm surges are calling for “climate justice,” and many are pleading their cases in court.

    Globally, there are at least 1,000 active legal cases related to climate change, more than two-thirds of them in the United States, according to a recent tally from the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment, in London.

    A summit on Tuesday in Paris — with more than 50 heads of state attending — on how to finance the transition to a low-carbon economy will be followed the next day by a climate justice forum.

    Climate change: Global warming victims seek justice, on the street and in courts, AFP/Hindustan Times, Dec 10, 2017

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  6. Moderator and nigelj

    I will see if I can find some discussion of what is expected to be achieved beyond the publicity. 

    My rhetorical point is that the courts are not the place to decide these very complex issues.  The problem courts have in cases like these is that they know very well any specific direction to the government could have massive financial costs which they are not equipped to evaluate. This is the function of the legislative arm which balances a great number of competing expenditures then weighing the use of deficit financing versus raising taxes.  Many years ago our Canadian Supreme Court came down with a decision stating that if waiting lines did not improve they would render a decision finding that the Canada Health Act was beyond its power in prohibiting two tiered health care. What happened?  Nothing.

    Where specific issues are involved like civil rights or abortion these are legal questions where an answer can be given which can then be worked around by the legislative arm.  I was familiar with the US Supreme Court decision on CO2 and that is why I asked if there were some discussion of what they think could be achieved in the children's case beyond publicity. 

    It is often the case in democracies that if a group of people are not happy with the government they resort to the courts.  What happens is that our political system gets bogged down because every step taken by the legislative arm gets met with years of litigation.  I do not think it is the way to run a democracy personally.  Courts usurp the political process if they start making policy decisions.  Clearly this is not a bright line between the law and policy but there are limits to what the courts can and should do.  If you are not happy with your politicians then boot them out.  If the US Supreme Court does get rid of "gerrymandering" this would go a long way to bringing more democracy to the legislative arm in the US.

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  7. Norrism:

    Currently in the USA the legislature is controlled by people who do not care about anyone except rich donors.  The EPA was sued to declare carbon dioxide a pollutant and the EPA lost during Bushes term.  The court required the EPA to declare CO2 a pollutant because the judges were required to read the overwhelming evidence that it is a problem.  The Trump EPA has not challenged the declaration of CO2 as a pollutant because they would be in violation of the court order.

    The court can declare that CO2 pollution is a national emergency and the legislative branch has to deal with it.  It can set goals that have to be achieved.  It can take punitive action if the goals are not met.  This is currently done with sulfate pollution.

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  8. NorrisM @6

    Ok thanks for some legal background and history. But you seem to miss the obvious thing, these kids (and others around the world as JH points out) are bringing courst cases only because all other avenues have been exhausted or been obstructed. The stupid politicians are failing to do the right thing, so it only leaves legal action.

    So I'm right behind what these kids are doing, and you might be surprised with the result. The constitution is a document so general that it is open to interpretation, and so we cant possibly guess where this court action could go. It may be symbolic,or it may lead to changes.

    You quote problem areas of such cases selectively, because  clearly other environmental actions bought against the government that have cost implications have actually succeeded, like the EPA example above. The fact you ignore this as if it doesn't exist, is not very impartial of you.

    And climate change is essentially fossil fuel companies causing humanity harm in a similar way to tobacco, or any drug, or poison. Its also tragedy of the commons issue. To summarise these are all manifestly legal issues ultimately, and because politicians are failing to take the lead, it only leaves the courts.

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  9. Having worked in government (not the US), and having taken some of the basic "management" training, one of the things that is expressed clearly is that every action and expenditure has to be done in accord with legislation that grants the authority/power. Yes, the government can pass legislation to change those powers, but ultimately there is a constitutional requirement, too - legislation can be deem unconstitutional and thus void.. (And the constitution is usually hard to change.)

    IANAL, but in the EPA case, the US Supreme Court declared that the EPA was required to do something based on existing law. My guess is that courts more often declare that something cannot be done, rather than requiring it, but c'est la vie. In the case discussed above, part of the goal may be to get a court decision saying the government must act. (Whether it will or not is an open question - you can always prolong the thing by forcing the complainant to sue again that you breeched the first decision.)

    IAStillNAL, but key words in legislation are things like "may" (grants the power to do something, but does not require it), and "shall" (gotta do it, son).

    An odd part of the current US pattern is that more and more governments are taking a "hands off" approach, in terms of actions and regulations. In the 'ibertarion ideal, everything gets decided in courts with very minimal government legislation, If the government will not act "in the common good", then an injured party has little left but to sue, it seems to me. If your reaction is "take me to court", then you aren't really justified in complaining when someone actually does.

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  10. I have now read the entire 54 page judgment of Judge Aiken of the United States District Court For the District of Oregon rendered on November 10, 2016 allowing the action commenced in Eugene, Oregon, to proceed.  It is this decision which the Federal Government has moved to contest (by a writ of mandamus) in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco.  Oral arguments will begin on Monday,  December 11, 2017 which will supposedly be broadcast live.  If I had the time I would very much enjoy hearing the arguments on both sides. 

    I at least now know what the plaintiffs are seeking.  They wish to "order the Defendants (now only the Federal Government) to cease their permitting, authorizing, and subsidizing of fossil fuels and, instead, to move to swiftly phase out CO2 emissions, as well as take such other action necessary to ensure that atmosphere CO2 is no more concentrated than 350 ppm by 2100, including to develop a national plan to restore Earth's energy balance, and implement that national plan so as to stabilize the climate system." 

    The judgment deals with all of the legal issues and certainly was an interesting read, even citing Justinian's Corpus Juris Civilis from around 530 AD in support of the "public trust doctrine" supposedly imported into US law via English common law.  She even throws in the Social Contract theory (not specifically naming John Locke) but referencing Thomas Jefferson and the Founding Fathers regarding "certain inalienable rights" and that governments were established by consent of the governed for the purpose of securing those rights.

    It is interesting that on page 4 of the judgment, Judge Aiken notes, that for purpose of this motion, "I proceed on the understanding that climate change exists, is caused by humans, an poses a serious threat to our planet."  This I assume is from an admission from the Federal lawyers (during the Obama administation) that "climate change poses a monumental threat to American's health and welfare by driving long-lasting changies in our climate, leading to an array of severe negative effects, which will worsen over time."  I wonder if the Trump administration is bound by this admission at this stage of the proceedings.

    As with so much litigation, so much depends on the "roll of the dice" on the constitution of what I think is a three judge bench which will hear this application in the Ninth Circuit.   In the Bellon case  of the Ninth Circuit in 2011 environmental advocacy groups sought to compel the Washington State Department of Ecology and other regional agencies to "regulate greenhouse emissions from five oil refineries".  The NInth Circuit Court of Appeals found that the plaintiff's injuries were "too attenuated".

    All of the concerns I have raised above regarding "separation of powers" under the US Constitution are discussed in this judgment as well as the difficulty of the remedy.  Although Aiken suggests that the plaintiffs will have a tough row to hoe to meet all the potential objections, the judge did allow the case to proceed.  It will be interesting to see what the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decides in this case.  The Distict Court judge was able to "distinguish" the Bellon decision.  

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  11. NorrisM, it really doesn't matter whether the Trump administration is bound by the Obama administration's 'admission' that climate change exists. If they attempted to contest it they'd have literally nothing to stand on. Federal rules for scientific evidence simply don't allow the kind of nonsense the 'skeptic' case is built upon.

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  12. Note that a US court has been recently asked to place judgement on climate-related questions. This link has been posted elsewhere at SkS, I expect, but another mention is worth it in this thread:

    A Minnesota case, not the US Supreme Court, but still part of the legal precendents. I have no idea whether there has been any attempt to appeal.

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  13. Norrism:

    The US Supreme Court has already ruled that carbon dioxide is a pollutant.  The clean air act, passed a long time ago (1970's?) says pollutants must be regulated.  It follows that if the government is not regulating sufficiently that it can be sued for non-compliance of the previous ruling.  The Trump administration cannot claim that CO2 is not a pollutant since that has already been determined.

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  14. "But their most important argument – one that could take their case all the way to the U.S. Supreme Courtis that the federal government’s failure to do enough about global warming will damage the planet so profoundly that it violates children’s constitutional rights to life and liberty."

    This seems to be the most important thing. Given how Americans are always invoking the importance of the constitution, (including Trump and his people) the judges and lawyers invloved in this climate matter have a responsibility  be true to the principles of the constitution and take it deadly seriously.

    Destabiliation of the earths climate and ecosystem can only damage life and liberty. It cannot enhance liberty or life.Liberty must include freedom from unwanted and avoidable harm imposed by other parties, including unconstrained use of fossil fuels. The scientific case of harm has already been made and accepted in the US Supreme court ruling on C02 as a pollutant. It interferes with peoples freedom to live without the insidiously growing threat and costs of climate change.

    We know climate change imposes costs. This only leaves two options for the courts, awarding substantial damages or making an order that the federal government do more to reduce emissions. In the circumstances the later option makes more logical sense. 

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  15. Just finished watching the live argument in Julianna v. U.S et al before Thomas CJ, Kozinski J. and Berzon J.  of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.  Could not resist.  The argument only lasted an hour.  It is now on YouTube.

    Based upon the oral argument, my guess is that the US government will not be successful in its application to effectively dismiss the case through a writ of mandamus.  Berzon J. was clearly in favour of the plaintiffs in allowing the action to proceed and Kozinski J. was in favour of the US Government but Thomas CJ I think will come down on the side of allowing the action to continue on the grounds that if they awarded mandamus in this case they would be flooded with similar mandamus cases.  Mandamus is only granted in extreme cases.

    However, unless the US government at some point moves for a "summary judgment" sometime prior to the actual trial, this would mean that the trial would go forward.  It was projected to start in February but issues of discovery I suspect will move that timing back.

    On its "merits" Thomas CJ indicated that he was "sympathetic" to the jurisdictional argument of the Attorney General (separation of powers) but this was not the venue to be deciding the issues on the merits. 

    What is very fascinating is that it is questionable whether the government can withdraw its admissions that I referenced in an earlier post (see 10 above).  If they cannot then the trial would proceed on the assumption that climate change "poses a serious threat to the planet". 

    Kozinski J's question to counsel for the children was very interesting.  He basically asked her: So if the District Court (Judicial Branch) comes up with a decision that implements the requested order in some manner (see above) and the Executive Branch comes up with a different conclusion either on how serious climate change is or how to deal with it, who wins, the Judicial Branch or the Executive Branch?  She tried to avoid a direct answer but finally had to admit that her argument meant that it was now "part of the Constitution" and would force the Executive Branch to implement the method determined by the Judicial Branch. 

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  16. Recommended supplemental reading:

    U.S. government calls for teens' climate change lawsuit to be halted by Tina Bellon, Reuters, Dec 11, 2017

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  17. NorrisM,
    I agree that 'Legal System competition results' should not be seen as valid ethical or moral assessments. The laws or constitution may be poorly written. And even well written ones can be open to unanticipated interpretation (such as the 2nd Amendment/Clarification/Correction of the USA Constitution, or the common current misunderstanding of what 'pursuit of happiness' is all about - at the time that term was written it was generally understood to be pursuit of the basic needs of a decent life, not 'whatever a person wants to believe or desires'). And the legal judgments made could also be politically rather than Good Objective motivated (the USA Supreme Court producing fairly predictable split-decisions indicates that even the highest levels of the law could be politically biased).

    As a Professional Engineer I am well aware of the challenges of specifying 'Rules/Requirements - Standards of what is acceptable' that will be interpreted as intended by everyone in any and all current and future situations. Stating the Public Interest Good Objective of the Rule/Standard can help get the desired 'interpretation and application'.
    The Good Objective of Engineering Standards is to protect the general population and other life from the potential harmful consequences of pursuers of personal benefit, particularly pursuers of profit who would try to get away with benefiting from quicker, cheaper and more damaging actions. In many cases National Standards get weakened to 'compete' with other lesser National Standards (or Private Interests try to get the Standards written to benefit from unjustified limits on competition from alternatives). And the development of International Standards is not guaranteed to be a solution when Private Interests get a say in their development. Many International Standards are not the highest justified standard that has been established by any nation. They often become a lower, or even the lowest, standard that has been developed, and include fudge wording that 'allows' a Nation to require a higher standard if it wishes. Any nations with higher standards then have their higher standards challenged by parties wanting the benefit of the 'Lower International Standard'. This can result in a spiral of competition to get away with the worst behaviour to get a bigger competitive advantage (most likely why the likes of Trump like the idea of getting out of the Paris Agreement).

    Someone with a Private Interest will always try to claim that their Private Interest does not 'break any rule (as they interpret them)'. And when those Private Interests are able to influence the making or enforcement/judgment of the 'Rules' they will deliberately weaken/distort the Rules in favour of their Private Interest in spite of being able to understand that their Private Interests are impediments to achieving Public Interest Good Objectives (or will actually be harmful to others which is worse than just being barriers to the development of lasting improvements for everyone).

    The resulting reasonable understanding is that the highest level Public Interest Good Objective is increasing understanding and awareness and applying that knowledge to develop lasting improvements for all life/humanity, including the future generations. And that is what the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) present. The SDGs are open to improvement for Good Reason. But the SDGs have a very robust reasoned basis, so they are not likely to change significantly (just like climate science is not likely to change significantly).

    Correcting everything that has developed to be consistent with achieving the SDGs is what is required. And that will include using the SDGs as the basis for evaluating the acceptability/legitimacy of any Winner/Leader anywhere on this planet. That is just Common Sense that needs to become the Common Understanding.

    This is not my opinion. This is my understanding based on many things including:
    - John Stuart Mill's warning in “On Liberty”. “If society lets a considerable number of its members grow up mere children, incapable of being acted on by rational consideration of distant motives, society has itself to blame for the consequences.”
    - And the critique stated in the 1987 UN Report “Our Common Future”. “25. Many present efforts to guard and maintain human progress, to meet human needs, and to realize human ambitions are simply unsustainable - in both the rich and poor nations. They draw too heavily, too quickly, on already overdrawn environmental resource accounts to be affordable far into the future without bankrupting those accounts. They may show profit on the balance sheets of our generation, but our children will inherit the losses. We borrow environmental capital from future generations with no intention or prospect of repaying. They may damn us for our spendthrift ways, but they can never collect on our debt to them. We act as we do because we can get away with it: future generations do not vote; they have no political or financial power; they cannot challenge our decisions. 26. But the results of the present profligacy are rapidly closing the options for future generations. Most of today's decision makers will be dead before the planet feels; the heavier effects of acid precipitation, global warming, ozone depletion, or widespread desertification and species loss. Most of the young voters of today will still be alive. In the Commission's hearings it was the young, those who have the most to lose, who were the harshest critics of the planet's present management.”

    So I understand and share the concern about having faith/belief in any System that can be seen to not be Guided/Ruled by a Good Objective that is understandably in the Global Public Interest. No sub-group (regional, tribal or business group), is justified in pursuing an Interest that compromises the development of lasting improvements for all of humanity on this amazing planet, including all of the future generations. In fact, no sub-group of life on this planet is justified in pursuing an Interest that compromises the development of lasting improvements for a robust diversity of all life on this amazing planet.

    A significant developing risk to the USA with its current Winner/Leaders is collective action by more responsible leaders to selectively effectively penalize the irresponsible Winner/Leaders in the USA for failing to behave more responsibly. Global penalty tools are often not very precise. Collateral damage to undeserving victims is often the result of attempts to 'motivate the harmful less responsible Private Interest people to change their minds'. This is probably why many major corporate leaders have stated their opposition to the understandably irresponsible actions of the Trump Administration, Senate and House Leadership regarding climate science.

    These 'justifiably concerned children' pushing legal action regarding climate action based on climate science can do the irresponsible Winner/Leaders in the USA a big favour if their lawsuits significantly increase pressure on those irresponsible Winner/Leaders, motivating them to actually behave more responsibly, more considerately, less harmfully (and less self-destructively).

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  18. NorrisM,

    My understanding is that you are not completely correct regarding what is harmful to democracy.

    The potential pressure on unjust pursuers of Private Interest to change their minids because of the threat of consequences from legal action like the one these children have brought is actually 'helpful to democracy/humanity'.

    The following are clear and ultimately unsustainable threats to democracy:

    • Unjust Voter suppression laws like the ones that could help a person like Roy Moore, or an actually convicted criminal, running as the Republican candidate in a region like Alabama Win election (these are examples of the Law System Gone Wrong, like Jim Crow and many other cases - ultimately corrected but only after significant harm is done ... but still a simmering threat because the unjust societal attitudes behind it were never fully corrected - leaders failed to push to have the portion of humanity they have leadership influence on responsibly grow-up and change their minds for Good Reason).
    • District Gerrymandering based on the 2010 census to unjustly create more House of Representative or State Legislature winners for a party than that Party actually deserves. Obama and Holder hope to lead to the undoing of much of that democracy damaging action in the 2020 redistricting. But much damage has been done including the potential long term distortion of the US Supreme Court in favour of Unite the Right types.
    • Misleading message creation and delivery to keep the general population from being more aware and from better understanding what is going on, and to tempt people to be greedier and less tolerant in the hopes that becoming/supporting more of that type of person, a person undeniably harmful to the future of humanity/democracy.

    Based on the above it is almost certain that Unite the Right groups around the world that rely on getting greedier and less tolerant people angry enough to vote and vote for the United group of people with unjust harmful Private Interests, are clear significant threats to the future of Democracy and humanity.

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  19. Gerrymandering is a huge problem just as any first past the post election systems are. All parties can abuse this, so its better to just fix the problem and improve the system.

    It's better to adopt some form of proportional representation, which fixes all these problems. STV (single transferable vote) is quite interesting. 

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  20. As I (and a number of other commentators suspected) Trump has "put on hold" the Red Team Blue Team proposal of Scott Pruitt.  Here is what Climatewire reported on December 15, 2017:

    "The effort by U.S. EPA to publicly debate mainstream climate science is on ice. The idea has created divisions within the Trump administration, spurring high-level staff discussions at the White House about how to proceed."

    If I were to guess, Trump is a little worried about his "hoax" comment.

    I suspect that Curry et al have said no if there is interference in the process.  So Trump has put it on interminable "hold".

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  21. Norrism

    I think that the Trump administration has figured out that there is no case for the Red team to argue  A Red-Blue team exercise would show that scientists agree that AGW is human caused and a severe threat to humanity. 

    The original conservative idea was to make scientists agree on a consensus.  They thought that scientists would never agree.  That was the start of the IPCC reports.  Those reports now show we are in deep doo-doo.

    The"skeptic" argument does not withstand close scrutiny.  They can only continue to argue when they are able to change their argument every minute.

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  22. Another one bites the dust!  I have just seen on MSNBC that Judge Kozinski, one of the three judges of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeal who just heard the Juliana v US mandamus application by the US Government (see par 15 above) has just resigned from the bench "amid sexual misconduct allegations".

    It was bizarre, I was sitting in my hotel room (out of town on business) scrolling through the TV channels before retiring and I suddenly find myself looking at the face of one of the judges I just watched on the televised hearing that I have referenced above.

    How this impacts the upcoming decision is anyone's guess.  Having said that, my best guess is that the decision will just be rendered by the remaining two, Thomas CJ and Berzon J.  Berzon J was clearly in favour of allowing the case to proceed.  I had predicted this in any event thinking that the decision would probably be a 2 to 1 decision with Kozinski dissenting (if not all three allowing it to proceed).

    I know most of you are going to chuckle about this but I had noted above that Kozinski J. was the one siding with the US Government in the exhanges between the bench and counsel!

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  23. For me it comes down two  simple things. (1) CO2 is bad for you. (If you dispute this, go breathe from your car's exhaust pipe.) (2) You never add your trash to the pile that is already there, thereby making it bigger. Just cut down on your trash.

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