Wednesday, December 1, 2004

Pick your polluter at random and spin the wheel for cash!

I hope anyone taking legal action haven't reap any of the benefits of industrialized civilization themselves! For that matter, who are you going to sue? It's pretty hard to determine direct harm to an individual from only one or a small number out of the millions of polluters on the planet. Otherwise, legal action of this kind is purely arbitrary and mischievous -- oh wait, that's not a problem! Look at what we do to cigarette manufacturers!

Relatives of elderly people killed by heat waves could one day launch legal action against greenhouse gas polluters in the light of new research published today.

Human influence has at least doubled the risk of a heat wave such as the one that struck Europe last year, which was linked to 27,000 excess deaths across the continent, including Britain. And the risk that similar heat waves will strike each summer is rising as a result of greenhouse gas emissions, report Dr Peter Stott from the Met Office's Hadley Centre, and Dr Myles Allen and Dr Dáithí Stone of the University of Oxford, in the journal Nature.

[. . . . . ]

The legal implications of how greenhouse gases are "loading the weather dice" are explored in an accompanying analysis by Dr Allen with Richard Lord, QC.

There are difficulties in linking global emissions to a local death, said Dr Allen. If, however, the predictions of the Nature study are borne out, "it will become increasingly hard to argue that any resulting damage was unforeseeable".

Hmmm . . . I seemed to have missed the legal sessions of my climatology course.