Climate adaptation, reparation and restoration

“We need to ask whether environmentalism has gone completely bonkers.” – Paul Driessen

Tomorrow is Earth Day. Paul Driessen helped organize the very first Earth Day on his college campus back in 1970, when we had truly serious environmental problems – most of which we resolved in the ensuing years. This year, he suggests that we use the occasion to ask whether environmentalism has gone completely bonkers.

For just one reason why this is a legitimate question, look at Boulder, Colorado’s recent lawsuit against ExxonMobil and Suncor – for causing climate change that its legal team alleges will bring hotter and colder weather, wetter and drier weather, more snow in some years and less in others, wildfires, beetle infestations and other calamities that will cost the city millions in adaptation and mitigation expenditures. All because of the oil and gas that Boulder’s politicians and citizens have been happily consuming for over a century.


Climate adaptation, reparation and restoration

Boulder, CO wants oil companies to restore snowy winters of an idyllic past – and pay it billions

By Paul Driessen

This Earth Day (April 22) we need to ask whether environmentalism has gone completely bonkers.

Back in the 1970s, I skied Colorado’s cross-country and downhill slopes pretty regularly. Some years were incredible: many feet of snow as glorious to behold as to ski on. Other years, like 1977, I’d come around a bend on my XC skis, see nothing but rock in front of me, and just ditch.

Who knew the industry I worked for in the later 70s was causing these climate and weather mood swings – even then, long before carbon dioxide levels hit the cataclysmic 400 ppm mark? Who knew profit-hungry oil companies were already preventing the Centennial State from having endless seasons of perfect ski conditions, followed by ample spring meltwater for cities, agriculture and trout streams?

I ask this because the People’s Republic of Boulder, CO has joined Oakland, San Francisco, New York and other liberal enclaves in suing for “climate relief.” Boulder doesn’t share the CA/NY worries about rising seas. Even Al Gore doesn’t claim the Pacific Ocean will reach the Mile High City anytime soon.

Boulderites want the courts to force ExxonMobil and Suncor to pay treble damages for causing too much snow and thus floods in some years, too little snow and thus droughts and poor ski conditions in other years; multiple heat waves in some years, bitter cold in others. They seek unspecified cash for climate adaptation, repair and reparation expenses – and restoration of idyllic conditions of selected past years.

Their 106-page, 478-paragraph complaint (with scores of sub-paragraphs) alleges that oil companies have committed public and private nuisance, trespass, continued sales of “huge amounts of fossil fuels,” and willful concealment of known harm from those sales – all to the great detriment of Boulder citizens.

Affordable fuels have brought them lights, heat, livelihoods, living standards

These are the same fuels that saved whales from imminent extinction and gave Boulder and humanity prosperity, technology, health and longevity no one could even imagine when Colorado became a state in 1876. But now they’re suing the companies that have provided reliable, affordable fuels and raw materials that have brought them lights, heat, livelihoods, living standards, and countless products from paints, plastics, pharmaceuticals and fertilizers to skis, ski parkas, and vehicle fuel and asphalt roads to ski areas.

No wonder Para. 476 pointedly says “plaintiffs do not seek to enjoin any oil and gas operations or sales in Colorado.” To paraphrase Para. 453: plaintiffs received immense benefits from defendants’ products and actions, and it would be unconscionable and contrary to equity for plaintiffs to retain those benefits. Before collecting a dime, plaintiffs should reject future benefits and pay Exxon for past benefits received.

As to alleged fossil fuel damages in the form of wildfires and beetle kills, perhaps Boulder and its Sierra Club allies could employ better forest management – such as thinning trees, removing dead and diseased trees, and spraying to control pine bark beetles. It would be equally salubrious if they would stop abusing gullible children – by having little Sequoia berate Exxon for causing floods, fires and less snow.

As to the allegation that Exxon and Suncor have deprived Boulder of its once-snowy climate, the area’s annual snowfall records demonstrate how ludicrous the claim is.

Smoking too much ganja

Its heaviest calendar year snow was 159 inches in 1997; the worst was 36 inches in 1904. It had over 100 inches 20 times since 1897, including 11 times since 1970 and four times over 125 inches since 1985. It had under 50 inches 11 times since 1897: six times 1904 to1943, just three since 1970, and none under 61 inches since 1982. Anyone who sees a rising CO2/lower snowfall connection is smoking too much ganja.

So where does Boulder get the evidence to back up its allegations? As Alfonso Bedoya might have told Humphrey Bogart in a climate change version of The Treasure of the Sierra Madre, “We don’t have to show you any stinking evidence!” Instead of evidence, the city has assertions, a phony 97% consensus that fossil fuels are causing dangerous manmade climate change, a report saying Boulder will have more heat waves and less snow by 2050, and computer models that supposedly back up the report.

In the real world, the 20-year temperature “pause” is back, the sun’s “quiet phase” may be reaching a “grand solar minimum,” and actual temperature, hurricane and other data contradict climate model predictions and scenarios. In fact, the models are little more than high-tech circular reasoning.

Where reality contradicts models, reality must be wrong

Since they are based on the assertion that rising atmospheric carbon dioxide levels drive global warming, Garbage In-Garbage Out models will always generate the calamities that alarmist researchers and Boulder lawyers are blaming on Big Oil. Where reality contradicts models, reality must be wrong – and actual temperature measurements must be adjusted to reflect model outputs and dominant climate theory.

When did the sun and other natural forces cease being a factor? What caused the ice ages, interglacial periods, Medieval Warm Period, Little Ice Age and Anasazi drought? Questions like these are off limits.

Indeed, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and dominant, government-funded climate research have gone from seeking to identify human influences on Earth’s climate … to decreeing that only human influences matter, natural forces no longer play a meaningful role, and humans can control climate and weather by eliminating fossil fuels and regulating atmospheric greenhouse gas levels.

Those assertions now have the unwavering support of an entire industry – the $1.5-trillion-per-year Climate Industrial Complex: politicians, regulators, researchers, industrialists and activists, who protect and advance alarmist claims, promote allegedly “renewable” energy, resist examination and reform, and denounce anyone who questions climate chaos orthodoxy as “planet-threatening climate change deniers.”

Arrayed against the contingency fee seeking Boulder legal team is an oil industry whose spokesmen offer timid tripe: “Lawsuits like this do not solve the global problem of climate change.” It should be up to “appropriate regulatory agencies,” instead of judges, to decide how much CO2 a company may emit. Oil companies “should not be subject to liability for engaging in acts of commerce while adhering to our already stringent state and federal laws.” Can’t we have a more robust defense on the merits?

Boulder and its allied cities and counties have little reason to worry that their absurd assertions will be challenged on the merits in court. But they don’t even care about winning their case. They just hope Exxon and Suncor will pay them a few hundred million bucks – and pave the way for more lawsuits.

In fact, a 2016 “Lawyers for Better Business” report said climate lawsuits will soon “dwarf all other litigation in terms of the number of plaintiffs and the timeframe in which it can happen.” It’s likely to become a global industry, “with much bigger damages than seen with tobacco and asbestos.”

How else will profligate progressive politicians pay for all the welfare programs that keep them in power?

Such is the sorry state of US and international politics, education, science and jurisprudence.

Blanketing the planet with wind and solar installations is eco-friendly?

What alternatives do these litigants and activists offer for the fossil fuel, nuclear and hydroelectric energy they want to ban? They seem to think the billions of tons of lithium, cobalt, iron, copper, manganese, rare earth metals, concrete and other raw materials needed for millions of wind turbines and solar panels are somehow “renewable” – and blanketing the planet with wind and solar installations is eco-friendly.

They seem convinced that it’s better for Planet Earth to ban drilling, and instead convert another billion acres of crop and habitat land into gigantic biofuel plantations. In fact, this year’s Earth Day organizers want future plastics to come from non-hydrocarbon sources – which would mean plowing under hundreds of millions more acres to grow crops for petrochemical feed stocks.

This is sheer lunacy. It’s the product of the fear, loathing, despair, intolerance and groupthink that pervade Big Green environmentalism today.

Will the Scott Pruitt EPA finally reverse the ridiculous Endangerment Finding that is yet another foundation for this climate nonsense? Will Neil Gorsuch be the deciding vote that brings a modicum of sanity back to our Supreme Court and legal system? Only time will tell.

Paul Driessen is senior policy analyst for the Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow ( and author of books and articles on energy and environmental policy.


19 thoughts on “Climate adaptation, reparation and restoration”

  1. I suggest that the oil companies just stop delivering ANY oil products to Boulder and about a 50 mile radius until such time as the City agrees to indemnify them for the decisions of the city dwellers to use such products.

    I think the suit would evaporate inside a month, probably closer to a week…

    • This is exactly my thoughts.

      BOLDER should have the guts, nerve, love of nature, gonads, etc. to BAN all gasoline powered engines withing their city limits.

      BOLDER should prohibit ANY gasoline powered vehicle from entering.

      BAN all electrical devices since the power comes from coal/gas fired plants.

      No more lazy-ass ski lifts. Walk UP the damn hill.

      No more damaging electrical lights, invented by those 2 Racist White Men: Tesla and Edison.

      BOLDER should take the bold (pun intended) progressive stand and FIGHT THE USE OF Racist OIL (I just love throwing in that word “racist” since it scares so many White executives…)

      The residents of BOLDER need to SUE the City of Bolder for permitting the oil poison to enter the City Limits.

  2. one of your better items Paul,
    the original enviro mobs were honest and intent on serious damage to waters land n soils as well as cleaner air in cities
    nothing at at all to do with real pollution and all about hype fearmongering money tax grabs
    for SFA issue of CO2.
    Was amused to hear EU biofuels rely on palm oil which is ruining habit n land in asia.
    and air travel comes in at 5% of global co2 emitters
    funny how Bransons got so many new planes on order and is into even more wasteful “spacetourism” i guess the rich are allowed to pollute anytime..its just us minions who should be walking n freezing.

  3. “carbon dioxide levels hit the cataclysmic 400 ppm mark?”

    Cataclysmic? The plants love it and want more! CO2 becomes a serious problem for us at 15% or 150,000 ppm. This is when it kills us. 400 ppm is nothing except an improvement over plant killing ice age CO2 levels..

  4. Viewing the AGW movement as a science and expecting actual empirical data to change public opinion is a hopeless wish. The AGW movement is an actual religion funded by taxpayers and officiated by the Progressive Left. Established religions have purposely been removed from public life and AGW has been substituted complete with guilt and a path to salvation. The only real difference is that the government passes around the “plate” and you MUST contribute.

    • Currently the Trump appointed head of the EPA is being threatened by 170 of our Federal Government elected “lawmakers” to oust him from appointed office.
      The 170 (traitors IMO) initiated this immediately after Sessions stated he was looking into illegal slush funds used by members of the government.
      No coincidences

  5. We need to bring suit against the self appointed “Climate Saviors”, for causing the enactment of laws which cause food shortages and fuel shortages which causes loss of human lives, as well as deforestation and wasteful use of other energies and materials caused by their insane fixation on reducing the essential plant food CO2.
    In actuality these self appointed Climate Savior zealots have taken the practice of Planned Parenthood to a whole new level.
    WE MUST DEFUND AND EXIT THE United Nations also.

  6. Is it a coincidence that Earth Day is celebrated on Lenin’s birthday?
    From the above article it is clear that the current environmental movement is made up of unhinged leftist.

  7. Those rare earth metals to run all the green technology are mined in China at enormous cost to the environment. Out of sight, out of mind. But the fanatical greens are already out of their minds.

  8. Boulder, CO has drank too much Cool Aid, free money to be had via a court room. If you want money you have to work for it.
    They have forgotten their own NA history right back to the 1600s and for that matter the Vikings and the North American Indians and then the Clovis who were in NA first.
    Since the 1600s NA has experienced three major Grand Solar Minimums, three separate 70 year Gleissberg periods, Countless La Nina and El Nino events, Countless Sudden Atmospheric Warming events, Hurricanes, Tropical Storms, Nor’easters, Droughts, Heatwaves, over the last 500 years.
    All of which are SUN powered, either by its excess, or by its scarcity of energy.
    And yet they still blame the steam engine or turbine which makes the majority of the electricity they use, as well as the internal combustion engine which powers the vast majority of their transport vehicles, because they produce a tiny amount of CO2, in comparison to the 99% released by the oceans as part of the overturning current and volcanism from the ring of fire and Atlantic rifts, as well as the 10,000 of active submerged volcanos in the Oceans.
    If Boulder, CO wished to take one for the team it should ban electricity production and usage via steam generation and all Hydrocarbon power transport.
    Within 2 years of enacting such an ordinance, Industry will have moved elsewhere, tax paying workers will have moved after the jobs, and the City bankrupt. Perhaps the place could be used as a Dystopian Theme Park, of how not to do it.

  9. Has anyone ever taken the climate models that are the basis of the present climate blame and future climate predictions and started them back 250, 500, 1000, 2000 years to see if the models predict our previous 100 years of climate? I wonder how fast they diverge from the historical records and arctic/antarctic ice core data. Is there a URL showing anything like this?

    • Yes, up to a point.
      To get them to hindcast AGW with a reasonable amount of closeness to perceived reality the Climate Data Gods have had to remove most of the inconvenient warm periods from the historical climate records from about 25 years after Dalton.
      AGW climate predictions are about having your propaganda climate cake and eating the icing on top, to avoid it looking like snow.
      As the worlds climate is driven by SOalr Energy, the only solar climate model I have seen is this one:
      Using JPL data GP is able to hindcast previous GSM and GSM causing cycles as well as predicting future GSM and GSM causing cycles, as well as the other two types of solar output periods the Gleissberg period which follows the GSM and the Solar Warm Period which ends the 172 year cycle.

  10. In a few years time this is all going to boil down to a simple axiom. Use carbon based fuels to generate heat and electricity or freeze.
    I expect that these environmentally dedicated entities will simply migrate somewhere else. I don’t expect them to practice a “sustainable” environmentally focused lifestyle. For them living in caves and hunter gathering is not acceptable. The bottom line is that you cant have it both ways. As more of the carbon tax schemes filling the coffers of the legal funds, funding corporate flights , nice cars, nice boats, and private jets are drained from the swamp, The inventive ones will look for new ways to graft the productive members and corporate entities of society. lol
    Wont be long before the empirical evidence of an ice Age makes arguing the AGW agenda look more and more ridiculous.

  11. We will never beat the global warming hoax until we acknowledge that the media in general, and the global warming propaganda in particular, is controlled. A Senate report entitled “The Environmental Chain of Command” is quite specific.

  12. How about lawsuits against lawyers who climb on the AGW bandwagon. Text books in chemistry, physics, geology, geography (meteorology) and history provide irrefutable evidence against the AGW pseudoscience. They could be charged with charlatanry (charlatan: someone claiming knowledge/skills he/she/it does not have). The affected oil companies should grab the opportunity to expose the fraudsters.

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