There’s a problem with this Mr. Huhne

The science also opens up the possibility that the victims of climate change could begin to take international legal action against the countries responsible, particularly the early industrialisers, such as Britain, Belgium and Germany, whose carbon continues to warm the planet a century after it was emitted. Legal action is not a substitute for politics, but it could highlight the evidence in an uncomfortable way.

There is no international tort law. And countries aren’t responsible for emissions either. Individuals are. By consuming things that have had emissions embedded in their production.

Imagine, just as an example, that my little stove keeping my office warm this morning were coal or oil fired, instead of wood. And further that the emissions from it caused a Bangladeshi farmer’s land to sink beneath the waves. Get over all of the idea that we can’t trace it so accurately.

So, who is responsible for those emissions? The coal or oil company that sold me the fuel? Nope. The country, Portugal, in which I am burning it? Nope. My country of origin, the UK? Nope. I suppose we could try blaming the dogs sharing the heat with me but in reality it is me that is responsible for those emissions. And thus it is me that should be sued.

And there is no legal system at all that provides a manner of suing me for this tort, assuming that it exists.

Now, it is I suppose possible that we could say that governments are responsible for the private actions of citizens or residents. But that’s the point at which we also give governments the power to control those private actions of citizens or residents. And that’s also the point at which you all get told to fuck off I’m afraid.

23 comments on “There’s a problem with this Mr. Huhne

  1. See what I mean now about CiF being little more than clickbait these days?

    Chris Huhne. Telling us we all have to take responsibility. Just think about that. Chris Huhne…!

  2. This is so stupid I can only assume that Mr Huhne has been paid by the oil companies to make the Global Warming case look so stupid no one in their right mind would support it.

    Especially at a time when the wheels are falling off the Global Warming bandwagon. There is no evidence that anyone is suffering from any adverse consequences of CO2 emissions. Indeed there is no evidence of any adverse consequences of CO2 emissions. Even if there was, there is no evidence linking it to any specific country. God knows what the USSR did to the atmosphere, or Brazil burning the Amazon, or Indonesia setting its bogs on fire, but I doubt they will be paying up soon.

  3. “Now, it is I suppose possible that we could say that governments are responsible for the private actions of citizens or residents. But that’s the point at which we also give governments the power to control those private actions of citizens or residents.”

    This probably looks more like a feature than a bug to Chris Huhne

  4. If the Guardian is now opening its pages to polemic from former jailbirds (of the criminal not political prisoner type) there are plenty of others who could receive such space to expound their bullshit theories.

  5. There is a lot more than “a” problem with Mr Huhne. He is a very talented arsehole. Talented at BEING an arsehole, that is.

    Taking moral lessons from a convicted liar ? I think not.
    Alan Douglas

  6. If they can sue the west, does that mean the west can invoice them for all those benefits of the industrial output over all those years that have found there way to the 3rd world?

  7. Further to David Moore, perhaps those benefiting from climate change itself- e.g. farmers in high latitudes, those extra people surviving the winter etc. could be charged for the service. Further since the only mechanism proposed for man’s influence on the climate is the emission of CO2 all farmers everywhere shoulld pay for the boost to crop growth this provides.
    Of course that depends on proving that the climate is changing due to man’s influence however despite mankind churning out record amounts of CO2 for the last twenty years the weather has stubornly refused to get warmer- there has been no change for some 17 years.

  8. The convicted liar should be careful about what he wishes for. Increased crop yield from higher CO2 is an incontrovertible fact. Net harm from global warming is harder to prove.
    Let’s sue the farmers!

  9. William
    ‘What a short memory you have, even for your own words.’
    The item you quote seems to say the same as this article, is that what you are referring to?

  10. Eddy,

    You are presuming that the wiki-fiddler bothered to actually read the article rather than acting as a manual denial-bot.

    Both articles say that the individuals are responsible. The previous article simply says that the energy providers aren’t to blame and this article simply says that there is no international legal mechanism for pursuing the individuals (and apportioning blame is impractical in the vast majority of cases.)

    Both articles deny core tenets of Oor-Wullie’s back-to-peasantry faith. Therefore outrage must be expressed (however ineptly.)

  11. Presumably, having some trace of honesty, Huhne, if only at the insistence of the Guardian, is also on record as saying that, since “the science” says increased CO2 means better crop growth, the rest of the world owes us some significant money.

    What – Huhne and the Guardian don’t have any trace of honesty, who woulda thunk?

  12. It’s about Western de- industrialisation. This is just another weapon for use in that campaign. The science, even if correct, doesn’t matter.

    It is always about us.

  13. Tim said: “And there is no legal system at all that provides a manner of suing me for this tort, assuming that it exists.”

    A beneficial crisis. If any attempt at legal action fails these people can turn to us and squeak “There is no legal remedy to right this wrong so lets create one”.

    Of course, it won’t involve enabling a Bangladeshi farmer to sue Tim by accurately connecting Tim’s CO2 emissions to the farmer’s flooding, it will involve developed governments taxing their public even more to pay into funds administered by western government and/or representatives from environmental NGOs to increase their spending of our money on the things they want.

  14. There’s a problem with this Mr. Huhne

    The problem is that he seeks (and is given) a platform, rather than crawls away into a corner with the shred of dignity which silence would confer.

  15. Any appeal to “The Science” is inevitably followed by pseudoscientific global warming bollocks. The use of the definite article is a clue that we’re dealing with a religious belief as opposed to a rational one, it might as well be called “The Word”.

    I’ve never heard of actual, empirically evidenced knowledge such as physics or chemistry being referred to as “the science”. Real science is just “science”.

    Anyway, if we get sued can we not just claim it was our wife who did it?

  16. Huhne’s so-called science is based on computer modelling not actual research involving experiments to test theories in the real world.
    China’s CO2 emissions are more than one-and-a-half times those of the next-largest emitter (the USA) and more 17 times those of the UK – so logically China should pay by far the largest share of compensation: let’s see how far he gets with that one!

  17. Now, it is I suppose possible that we could say that governments are responsible for the private actions of citizens or residents. But that’s the point at which we also give governments the power to control those private actions of citizens or residents. And that’s also the point at which you all get told to fuck off I’m afraid.

    Didn’t we cross that bridge some time ago? The government has appointed itself responsible for our healthcare, and so now we’re not allowed to do anything fun.

  18. This could be interesting.

    http://joannenova.com.au/2013/12/ipcc-science-on-sea-levels-dumped-by-an-australian-state-government/

    “The Australian:

    The NSW government will order councils to study the scientific evidence for sea-level rise on a beach-by-beach basis, amid fears that many local authorities may be undermining property values by imposing punitive planning conditions based on predictions contained in reports of the UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.”

    Be nice if people and businesses got to sue the Greenshirts for money lost and damage done, for a change. Wonder ho keen councils would be on their new religion then.

  19. So just out of interest, let’s assume there’s some case of environmental fouling which is indisputable; say a large and important river which, on entering country A is clean and sparkling. The citizens of country A are dumping their sewage, toxic waste, corpses etc into it, such that by the time it enters country B it is foul and destructive of health, wildlife, fisheries, agriculture, it smells of poo, etc. What are country B’s options?

    If there is no legal option, what are we left with? War?

    There’s a whole series of agreements covering rivers, watersheds and so on. Who gets to use what for irrigation, drinking, where the sewage goes and so on. Basically this is sorted out by international treaty.

  20. “Legal action is not a substitute for politics, but it could highlight the evidence in an uncomfortable way.”
    Uncomfortable for who?
    Perish the thought there might be a court immune from political pressure or lobby group fashion statements, but just suppose:
    The whole Global Cilimate boondogle thrown open to being required to provide actual evidence suitable for a court of law..
    Wow!

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