|Cooling tower emitting H2O|
Can't see the CO2!
(Image credit: AFP via @daylife)
Daniel Fisher, Forbes Staff
A federal judge in Mississippi has ended a long-running suit that attempted to hold a selection of U.S. utilities and coal and oil companies responsible for flooding damage caused by Hurricane Katrina.
U.S. District Judge Louis Guirola Jr., in a decision released yesterday, dismissed Comer vs. Murphy Oil with prejudice, meaning it can’t be refiled or reconstituted. The decision should serve to preclude, other similar lawsuits accusing companies of emitting global-warming gases that cause damaging weather patterns.
Guirola dismissed the case for legal reasons — he’d already dismissed it once before, and he said the plaintiffs were barred by various legal doctrines from reviving it — but “out of an abundance of caution” he reiterated why the case shouldn’t be allowed to proceed.
Those reasons are becoming familiar in global-warming cases: Guirola ruled the case invalid because the underlying issue of global warming is a political question, best left to the legislative branch and regulators to decide. And because existing tort law requires plaintiffs to prove a more solid connection between their injuries and the actions of those they are suing than a scientifically plausible argument that one contributed to the other.
Why aren't there more sensible judges?