Anne Arundel County v BP P.L.C. et al.

When the day arrives where enviro-activist media writers attempt to dissuade the public from reading any of my analysis of the “Exxon Knew”-style global warming lawsuits, it wouldn’t surprise me at all if they descended to hurling superficial accusations such as saying my label of “Sher Edling boilerplate lawsuit filings” doesn’t fit the definition of “boilerplate.”

The Sher Edling’s law firm’s Maui v Sunoco filing is 139 pages long while their Annapolis v BP is 171 pages, which is so much of a huge length difference that these cannot be literal copies from one courthouse filing to the next. If Mr Cook is wrong on that claim right from the start, it stands to reason that none of his blog posts are worth reading.

Uh, huh. That would be a pure “nothing to see here, move along” Streisand Effect tactic, potentially prompting people to ask instead what it is, specifically, that I detail in these lawsuit filings. In my dissection of Annapolis v BP, my comparison of it to Maui v Sunoco detailed how both, along the prior thirteen Sher Edling boilerplate filings, contain largely the same blocks of text, and I illustrated specific faults with those blocks via a checklist of the repetitions and their ties to dicey sources, along with an additional note about a particular omission problem. I went so far as to speculate that the strange omission might be repeated in a future Arundel County lawsuit filing.

That omission is indeed repeated now in Arundel County v. BP. But on top of that, this latest boilerplate filing is actually as close to a literal copy ’n paste from one courthouse to the next as it could be.

No joke. Annapolis PDF file is 171 pages, Arundel is 176 pages. After just 9 pages, a two-page difference between the two occurs, resulting first from the last two lines in the Arundel County version on PDF file page 6 being placed on the next page when there was adequate enough room otherwise, while the mere length of the “Anne Arundel County” plaintiff name in the in the Arundel version prompts an additional line in both section 3 and section 4 on its PDF file page 7. And that’s the reason for the page number difference in the following side-by-side comparison checklist:

✓ Reference to the ‘leaked’ “reposition global warming as theory rather than fact” memo set on pg 84 of Annapolis / pg 86 of Arundel, each with the same paragraph number 116.

✓ Reference to the ‘leaked’ “victory will be achieved …” memo set on pg 93 of Annapolis / pg 95 of Arundel, same paragraph number.

✓ Reference to the “Black Report” to claim Exxon knew back in 1977-’78 how the polar region temperatures were going to rise on pg 58 / 60.

✓ Reference to a particular narrative about ‘Big Oil’ bankrolling skeptic climate scientists on pg 96 / 98.

✓ Reference to the “Richard Lawson” memo, which does nothing to confirm industry-led disinformation campaigns exist, on pg 84 / 86, with their citations of Naomi Oreskes.

And, as noted above — ✓ Reference to a now smaller number of statements from President Lyndon Johnson in order to float the unsupportable idea that President Johnson “knew” about man-caused global warming in 1965, pg 55 of Annapolis / pg 57 of Arundel, where previously in Sher Edling’s Baltimore v. BP filing it was perfectly fine to include the bit about Johnson’s special message to Congress … which, as I described in my dissection of Sher Edling’s Rhode Island v. Chevron, turns out to be a type of misinformation leading straight to Naomi Oreskes as the apparent originator of that specific misdirection.

To see much more detail on how the above Arundel passages are faulty and how each has dicey associations with specific enviro-activist people, simply go back to the checklist in my dissection of Annapolis and pretend it’s a dissection of Arundel … literally substitute the name boilerplate copy ’n paste-style, if you like.

Meanwhile, I’m not kidding about the two-pages-off “boilerplate” copy ’n paste pattern problem of identical wording between Annapolis and Arundel. Simply open the online PDF filing for Annapolis in one tab of a browser window and the pages for Arundel in another tab, and choose any page among the first 130 in Annapolis, and then choose a page two numbers ahead in Arundel. This pattern keeps right on going up to pages 131 / 133, where the County name introduces another disruption of the paragraph formatting.

Other places such as Energy in Depth are reporting sizable questions with how these lawsuits are pitched to the state and local prosecution authorities; Climate Litigation Watch is detailing directly related problems (some of the correspondence among the lawsuit people is heavily redacted as though there was some kind of national security item to keep hidden).

Who knows how those behind-the-scenes actions might fall apart in a much bigger way. But even in the absence of that, there is still the proverbial ‘elephant in the room.’

It’s simply a matter of time before some prominent true believer who previously endorsed these lawsuits — a governor, a state legislator, a county administrator, a city council member — goes off-script and asks how their respective lawsuit has any chance of winning when it relies on science assertions that can be shot down by PhD-level atmospheric physicists / climatologists, and when it relies on utterly faulty ‘leaked memos’ evidence and other lame out-of-context material sourced from really dubious enviro-activists, all of which is slapped together in amateur-style hand-me-down templates by lawyers who seem to be hoping nobody ever starts noticing all the problems within them.

Even if all the true believer plaintiff associates stay on-script, this is still an unsustainable situation. There’s nothing stopping the defendants’ law firms from pointing out those faults, and there’s nothing preventing a major conservative leader from pointing out how these lawsuits are a microcosm of how the larger global warming issue has been little more than an effort made possible by the complicit mainstream media to not only dazzle the pubic with cherry-picked scary science scenarios of what happens if drastic mitigation action isn’t taken, but also to distract them from seeing assessments from skeptic scientists via a ‘character assassination sleight-of-hand trick.’

The science is settled” / “corrupt skeptics colluding with industry execs knew ‘victory will be achieved when we reposition global warming as theory rather than fact’ / “reporters may ignore skeptic material because of points 1 & 2.” Implode the central point in these lawsuits, and the other two collapse by default, a situation that reporters in the mainstream media could have figured out for themselves many years ago …… which potentially opens up a Pandora’s Box on what else the mainstream media could have figured out among other controversial issues after undertaking traditional, unbiased examinations.

The intended outcome of these lawsuits is to affirm there’s a climate crisis in dire need of mitigation. The unintended outcome, via deep examination of these lawsuits, may instead be a huge backlash against the people and institutions that the public trusted – mainstream media reporters, politicians, social media / politically-correct industry magnates, and environmentalist leaders.