US judge takes cli­mate tu­to­rial, backs oil firms

Down to Earth - - THE FORTNIGHT -

some­what abrupt. Judge Wil­liam Al­sup, who in March took an un­prece­dented cli­mate tu­to­rial while hear­ing the law­suit by two Cal­i­for­nia cities against oil gi­ants, has thrown it out de­spite ac­cept­ing "the sci­ence be­hind global warm­ing". San Fran­cisco and Oak­land had al­leged that the firms were re­spon­si­ble for cli­mate change and de­manded they paid for cop­ing with cli­mate im­pacts. In his rul­ing, Al­sup said the world has ben­e­fited from fos­sil fu­els and it would be un­fair to blame Chevron, ExxonMo­bil, Shell, BP and Cono­coPhillips, in this case, for sup­ply­ing "what we de­manded". The prob­lem de­serves a so­lu­tion on a more vast scale than can be sup­plied by a dis­trict judge, and is best ad­dressed by the gov­ern­ment's leg­isla­tive and ex­ec­u­tive branches.

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