The ground-breaking work by ClimatePrediction.net has borne fruit, and the result will be a steadily rising increase in business uncertainty for those corporations who support efforts to obfuscate and refute climate science.
Admittedly, this is a kind of Revenge of the Geeks scenario, but one I've been looking forward to for a while. Science geeks borrow time on ordinary computers to make a super-cheap kind of mega-super computer which they use to calculate a more exact probability of damaging rainstorms in Somerset four years ago? Which may become the basis for civil suit using a 1500-year old system of law first worked out by warrior farmers in what is now Germany, Denmark and Old England? Sounds nuts, doesn't it? Like something out of a fantasy video game.
But at this point anyone who has been hit hard by recent extreme weather event who happens to live in a jurisdiction where English common law is the baseline of the legal system now has the option to sue any of several major corporations and behind-the-scenes financiers of climate denial propaganda.
Three such lawsuits, summarized here, are at various levels of appeal.
Of Anglo-Saxon-Norse ancestry myself, as my name, body type and hair color attest (read fat, burly, white man with reddish-blond hair), I can't wait for the Wapentake to assemble.
It's time for the law-speakers to speak the law.
I for one would love to see Lord Haw-Haw himself, the evil Monckton, in the dock. That is unlikely, of course, but not entirely out of the question. I think he'd make a great drama out of it, all squirmy and smarmy and Golum-like.
Enough imaginative scenarios. But this is fun for me.
And what could be more conservative and traditional in Britain and the US than that those who carry out and finance public harms have to pay for the results in civil court?
There will be an end to the tort suits, of course, when we get congressional action on climate. So what the ClimatePrediction.net news does, really, is provide a new constituency for a climate bill:
All those energy corporations that have up until now been arguing against one.