Wednesday, February 02, 2011


From a January 24th editorial in Investor's Business Daily:
After the 1998 tobacco deal, many wondered where the next battleground for the shakedown lawyers would be. Few wonder now. The legal war over climate change is heating up -- and it'll be costly. . . And the media are finally picking up on this.

"Climate-change litigation is fast emerging as a new frontier of law where some believe hundreds of billions of dollars are at stake," AFP reported Sunday.

Though not yet widespread, climate-related lawsuits have "ballooned" in the last three years, AFP said. Deutsche Bank says filings in the U.S. alone went from 48 in 2009 to 132 last year. "Entrepreneurial lawyers" are stalking prospective defendants, while businesses and insurers are trying to find ways to protect themselves.

While none of the lawsuits has been successful, the sheer volume of future suits is expected to generate what Rutgers law professor Howard Latin predicted in 2007 would be "one of the biggest legal practices in the next 20 years."

The typical defendants are energy-related companies and those that emit large amounts of carbon dioxide, or whose products generate CO2, which is supposedly causing the planet to heat.

We've found no reliable estimates as to how much global warming litigation will cost. But this we do know: It will be expensive, and painfully so.

AFP reports that "compensation for losses inflicted by man-made global warming would be jaw-dropping, a payout that would make tobacco and asbestos damages look like pocket money."

The potential defendants in global warming litigation have a far bigger financial footprint than the handful of giant tobacco companies who were victimized by the settlement.
(via Maggie's Farm)


suek said...

All it's going to take is one environmentally activist judge and all hell's going to break loose.

I read the book "Death of Common Sense", and became extremely discouraged. The problem was that I found myself looking for the last chapter to offer a solution - a way out of the mess we've created - and it didn't. Very depressing.

MaxedOutMama said...

Carl - this is off topic, but I thought you might be interested the the ACA Litigation Blog

It has links to all the court filings and blow-by-blow commentary.

MaxedOutMama said...

Regarding the actual post, I think this is just one more step up in our tragically failed environmental regulation scheme.

Yes, it is going to be expensive. But we have a huge surplus of lawyers, and it's going to happen.

OBloodyHell said...

> Yes, it is going to be expensive. But we have a huge surplus of lawyers, and it's going to happen.

True, but only until the economic collapse.

Then, we all know what The First Thing We'll Do is...

Ah... Um... sorry, Carl.


suek said...

>>we have a huge surplus of lawyers>>

I have one son who has chosen to study law. A bit late, imo, but he and his wife are apparently on the same page, so who am I to advise against it! And besides, my vote against it is based on principle, not practicality.

Still...if I were king, I'd shut down about 50% of schools teaching law, and expand by at _least_ 50% the number of schools teaching medicine.

But...that's just me.

Gotta wonder, though, when a state continues to fund a school like UC Irvine, when research _clearly_ indicated prior to the school's opening that another law school was _not_ needed. AFAIC, that's a misuse of state money. If a private institution wants to open in spite of the info available, fine - but _not_ a public institution.

I voted - but they didn't listen!

suek said...

By the way...I found these two articles on the Health care issue to be interesting:

Carl said...

Reader Warren pointed to this on Hugh Hewitt's blog suggesting that it will be worse in California.