Boy Sues Government To Stop Global Warming. James Hansen Comes Out Of Hiding

I had thought the furor was over, that those who held ultramontane views about climatologists like James “Lock me up!” Hansen (see below the fold) had given up and gone home, the state of the world being so pleasantly clement and so on. But no. Many remain screwed up into tight little balls of pure fret.

Take poor Alec Loorz, who is nigh eighteen years upon this globe and who, so the Atlantic informs, became a climate activist at age 12 after watching An Inconvenient Truth twice in one evening. Now, I once performed a similar feat when I was that age with Star Wars but as much as I then lusted after a light sabre, I did not delude myself into thinking I was a Jedi Knight. Full disclosure: I still pine for a light sabre.

Poor Loorz is thoroughly American. Not only did he become an “activist,” he turned to that most modern of paths, the Way of the Lawsuit. So dedicated an adept is he that he managed to wangle four other “juvenile plaintiffs” to sue the “federal government in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.”

Incidentally, I say “poor Loorz” because I hate to pick on a kid and because, so the magazine says, poor Loorz has been “diagnosed with Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder” and it is not clear how much this malady drives his activism.

The five children “are demanding that the U.S. government start reducing national emissions of carbon dioxide by at least six percent per year beginning in 2013.” You will be interested in the name of the suit: Alec L. et. al vs. Lisa P. Jackson, et. al. The later named individual is the power-grubbing head of the EPA. It must have come as a pleasant shock to her to be sued to do what she most earnestly wants.

Skip all the legal mumbo jumbo and focus on what is tangible: the reduction of CO2 by six percent each year. Supposing the lawsuit wins (it won’t), we would have to find a way to measure precisely how much CO2 is emitted before we can know if the decrease from one year to the next is six percent. This being strictly impossible, we would have to resort to bureaucratic definitions of “emit” and “reduce” and of even what “CO2” means.

This tool, if in the hand of a progressive government, would dwarf the fear factor of the IRS by three orders of magnitude. Think of the indulgences given to “minority owned” and “union staffed” businesses (as in Obamacare). Think of a weaselly EPA “investigator” sniffing around your home with his “greenhouse gas” detector, issuing non-disputable citations for “leakage.”

Somebody needs to tell poor Loorz that the Way of the Lawsuit is a one-way path to hell.

But poor Loorz is not entirely culpable. We can put some of the blame of folks like James Hansen, who peeked out of his cell yesterday to issue yet another conditional threat which promised (again) that end is near.

A “conditional” threat is one which says, “If we don’t do X, then the end shall come.” X can be anything the activist earnestly desires, such as X = “reduce CO2 emissions by six percent,” or X = “enable the EPA to tax businesses on emissions,” and on and on. You’re hearing a conditional threat whenever you hear of “tipping points.”

One reason to be suspicious of environmentalist threats is that they are almost always in conditional form, and the X is always reduced to monetary or bureaucratic terms. Conditional threats can be valid, of course, but any physical theory worth its weight should be able to make unconditional predictions.

Hansen’s newest conditional threat is projected at Canada. “If Canada [uses its oil sands], and we do nothing, it will be game over for the climate.” Game over! Oh, Hansen also says the future he envisions is “apocalyptic.”

We can say with high confidence that the recent heat waves in Texas and Russia, and the one in Europe in 2003, which killed tens of thousands, were not natural events — they were caused by human-induced climate change.

That’s high confidence, brother. That extreme cold weather in Alaska and other parts of the globe this past winter? Also global warming. Say, medium confidence.

Anyway, Canada will indeed use its lucrative and much needed oil sands. And the US of A will do…what exactly? Well, either we take those oils for our own use or we let China buy them. Both of these scenarios see the USA “doing” something. Do these somethings thus negate the conditional apocalyptic prediction?

Come on, Hansen, old boy. Let’s give us a real forecast. Cease these vagaries and put some dates and hard numbers on the doom you see so clearly.


  1. Rich

    “Cease this vagaries”. “Cease these vagaries” surely since vagaries are erratic and unpredictable actions particularly with reference to the weather.

    I suspect poor Loorz is aiming to “raise awareness” by this action. Or it’s a gimmick in preparation for his next job application.

  2. Bruce

    Alec Loorz should be forced to give up any activity that produces CO2 to prove he is sincere.

  3. Wayne
  4. Will

    Where are the 18 year olds who want to sue Hansen? Or Suzuki? Or Gore? Sheesh… Talk about unfair. 🙂

  5. Luis Dias

    Somebody needs to tell poor Loorz that the Way of the Lawsuit is a one-way path to the Dark Side


  6. Carmen D'oxide

    Waiting for the Plant Kingdom to counter-sue on the grounds that a reduction in CO2 is a path of slow starvation for them — clearly something we can say with confidence.

    BTW, perhaps his name is misspelled? Loozr?

  7. chris y

    I do not expect Hansen to make any more falsifiable predictions on CACC. Vague scenarist drivel is much more helpful for promoting CACC policies.

    On the other hand, Paul Ehrlich has been handsomely rewarded for making scads of predictions, all of which have been wildly wrong. Perhaps there is no downside to making wildly wrong predictions…

    Here is one of Hansen’s early predictions that is a bit off track-

    In 1988, Hansen predicted that the west side highway in NYC (10 feet above sea level) would be underwater in 20 to 40 years. Sea level at NYC has been rising about 2.2 cm per decade for the last century. For Hansen to be correct, sea level would need to rise at least 3000 mm in the next 17 years, or 176 mm/year. This is almost a factor of 100 larger than what is currently observed.

    He revisited the sea level prediction more recently-

    In March 2006, James Hansen told ABC News that “If the proper actions aren’t taken, Hansen said, then the sea level could start rising much more quickly, ultimately reaching 80 feet, and be well underway toward that by the time today’s children are in middle age. ”

    Assume ‘well under way’ is half-way there, or 40 feet. That’s a rise of 40 feet in the next 40 years, which is more than 300 mm/year. Since current (2012) sea level rise is <3 mm/year, Hansen’s prediction is off by a factor of 100.

    One question- Why is NASA GISS still located in soon-to-be-drowning NYC, when its director has been shouting about Poseidon's coming wrath for 3 decades?

  8. Windy

    Another reminder of why we need loser pays to reduce frivlous law suits used as PR stunts like this one. This kid will likely next legally change his name to Lorax. lol

  9. Joke

    First I’ll drop these…

    …and then ask if anyone else thinks the less children are educated the more likely they are to seek an arbiter for their decision making. It seems more and more now when ignorant people gather in one place they seek out someone with knowledge to instruct them in methods of attaining what they desire. OWS hippies, for one example, are daily fed misinformation, act like criminals and then get positive feedback from people like Michael Moore and Geraldo Rivera.

    Give this kid a lollipop and send him to train in a vocation.

  10. A Lovell

    “Many remain screwed up into tight little balls of pure fret.”

    How very excellent. What a lovely mental picture!

  11. Ray

    In ancient Israel the penalty for false prophecy was death. I am for reinstituting that penalty.

  12. I want to sue the government because Mom stopped breast-feeding when I was only a year old.

  13. Will

    I want to sue the government for restricting my “right” to cultural expression. I come from a long long line to tabaccy smokers.. Heck, we predate both the US and Canada! It’s part of my heritage dang it. It’s cultural. If I were to quit smoking now my ancestors would turn in their solidly Christian graves!!

  14. bob

    chris said:

    “Why is NASA GISS still located in soon-to-be-drowning NYC, when its director has been shouting about Poseidon’s coming wrath for 3 decades?”

    I don’t think Hansen is dumb enough to believe his propaganda.

  15. ssquared

    Let’s hope that one of Mitt Romney’s first acts is to purge the government of Hansen and his brethern.
    He probably can’t be fired but he can be reasigned to St Lawerence Island in the Bearing Straits.

  16. karabar

    And I predict that Hansen will die an excruciating death, due to an asshole green with envy over the shit that comes out of his mouth.

  17. I think Loorz would have more luck suing Al Gore for systemic child abuse by means of “An Inconvenient Truth” and associated fear mongering forced upon the children.

  18. Frank White

    The first thing these young people will have to do is to show the court that they have standing, that they have the legal (apart from political) right to demand that the government do something or desist from doing something.

    I predict there will be no challenge in court because the plaintiffs have no standing.

  19. Scrap Iron

    Bruce writes earlier, “Alec Loorz should be forced to give up any activity that produces CO2 to prove he is sincere.

    I agree.
    First, he should end voluntary respiration.

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