Pennsylvania Bucks County v. BP PLC, et al.

There’s only one reason why I don’t label this newest one filed on March 25, 2024 as a “Sher Edling boilerplate copy lawsuit” – it doesn’t have Sher Edling’s official ‘signature’ on it.

It might as well, since it is a near-total copy of their Feb 20 “Chicago v BP” lawsuit – see my dissection of that one here. It shares text straight out of others. No joke, witness how this March 27 Pennsylvania Record article quoting the Bucks County filing as saying fossil fuel companies led …..

…a disinformation campaign beginning as early as the 1970s to discredit the burgeoning scientific consensus on climate change, deny their own knowledge of climate change-related threats, create doubt in the minds of consumers, the media, teachers and the public about the reality and consequences of burning fossil fuels, and delay the necessary transition to a lower-carbon future.

Want to see that almost identically again? Look no farther than Sher Edling’s 12/20/23 twin filings on behalf of two Native American Tribes in Washington state. Those twin filings just left out whose minds the ‘doubt’ was created in. What to see that same basic paragraph wording split into two pieces? It’s in Sher Edling’s nearly 6½ year-old filing of Marin County v Chevron, just without the word “burgeoning” and a couple others. Want to see that word-for-word identical again? Try Sher Edling’s seven weeks-old Chicago v BP. [4/11/24 Author’s addition: Piling on – want to see that same paragraph repeated almost identically outside of all the Sher Edling filings? It’s in California AG Rob Bonta’s CA v Exxon. Hat tip to WUWT commenter “mkelly” about the nonsensical notion of a “burgeoning consensus.” ]

Therein currently lies the problem for Bucks County. Chicago gives Sher Edling second billing in that lawsuit, after the Chicago-based law firm of DiCello Levitt LLP. In Bucks County, there’s DiCello Levitt, no mistake about that ……. but no mention of Sher Edling whatsoever.

A run-through of what earns the label “boilerplate copy” for most of the Sher Edling-handled lawsuits reinforces the ‘plagiarism problem’ here for Bucks County, along with how this latest lawsuit is vulnerable to being dismissed outright from being devoid of evidence to prove its main accusations … just like the others it copies from:

Ye olde “reposition global warming” memos
— the memo set sent unsolicited to a public relations campaign
rejected outright, including its illogical narrow audiences targeting suggestions
tossed in the trash
— a Sher Edling trademark accusation from day 1.

Just like in Chicago v BP, the Bucks County filing oddly puts the “r” between brackets.

✓ the “Chicken Little” / “Doomsday” ‘Advertorials’ pair attributed falsely to the Western Fuels Association “ICE”-acronym public relations campaign.
never published anywhere
disingenuously cropped to delete a pair of inconvenient truths
— the ones about which Vic Sher, lead lawyer at Sher Edling, cannot keep his details straight
— the ones about which Naomi Oreskes, who’s on retainer with Sher Edling, claims to be an expert
— sourced from the horribly degraded photocopy pile at “Greenpeace USA neé Ozone Action”

Just like in Chicago, these two (worthless-as-evidence to prove disinformation campaigns exist) advertorials are on the page immediately following the “reposition global warming” memos, with text too small and blurry to be readable.

Ye olde “victory will be achieved”memos
— citation going to the the innocuous-looking “Document Cloud” file link seen in all prior filings Sher Edling filing (just four small changes to that weblink reveals Kert Davies uploaded it to Document Cloud when he worked at Greenpeace. Davies traces back to the old Ozone Action group where the above-noted “reposition global warming” memos first began getting their major ongoing media traction)
— a memo set of basic truisms, containing no actual disinformation, where if its points were mirror-flipped, the set would be happily endorsed by Greenpeace

Just like in Chicago, the worthless accusation about those memos appears in Bucks County in identical fashion.

✓ “Bankroll” / “paid” / “funded scientists” – my dissection of Chicago focused on the new angle for the Sher Edling boilerplate copy lawsuits, on how they were continuing in a pattern to switch out the word “bankroll” for “paid” in their accusation against Dr Willie Soon, and were clumsily now plagiarizing the supposedly unconnected California AG office’s filing. As I showed there, it was easier to drop in a translucent blue box to show where the identical text ended between California v Exxon and the Sher Edling-handled New Jersey lawsuit.
no report offered by the Smithsonian Institution that Dr Soon failed to properly report his funding

Bucks County vs Chicago concerning Sher Edling’s highly suspect new plagiarism problem?  Identical.

The 178-page Bucks County filing is in a non word-searchable PDF format, but it is only a ten-page difference between it and Sher Edling’s 188 page word-searchable Chicago filing; To find what you want to see in Bucks County, just look for it in Chicago, then go back a few pages in Bucks County.

Meanwhile, I’ve suggested to more than one group of people that it would be wise to get some powerful plagiarism-detecting / illustrating software program to show just how much text is ineptly shared among these supposedly unrelated law firms filing “ExxonKnew”-style lawsuits. These things have every appearance in the world as being efforts stemming from a common single template. That revelation by itself would shoot a huge hole in the notion about these are being independently-led actions which have made their own discoveries of evidence proving the industry colluded with corrupt scientists in disinformation campaigns.

Question is: who put together that common template at the beginning of this all?

The good news here: it seems just recently – perhaps – there might be a handy new means of getting to the bottom of who exactly promotes this traveling circus lawfare effort. As noted by the people at Energy in Depth on the same day of the filing, questions abound on whether the Bucks County officials were fully transparent about their decision to jump on this climate lawfare bandwagon. The Bucks County Commissioners who ultimately approved this decision are a three-member panel, two Democrats and one Republican.

My guess on March 25th was that the Republican minority member, Gene DiGirolamo, was outvoted by the majority, so I figured it might be worth a shot to email him the following day and point out that this and other technically plagiarized / boilerplate copy lawsuits might actually risk being dismissed in domino fashion, and that he might try advocating that his county should self-dismiss its lawsuit to avoid that embarrassing crash. I was disappointed to see a day later in various news reports that Commissioner DiGirolamo was widely quoted in various news reports with remarks – including “These companies have known since at least the 1950s” – looking like something written by Greenpeace people. That led me to wonder if emailing him was a mistake, where he could relay what I said to the handlers of these lawfare efforts and thus prompt that mob to start deleting some of their hidden incriminating documents.

But less than 10 days later, as reported by EiD via a news item in the April 4th Delaware Valley Journal:

Bucks Commissioner DiGirolamo Withdraws Support for County Lawsuit Targeting Big Oil

Now, that is a fascinating development. Did he receive and read my email? Was he persuaded by well-informed fellow Republicans and ordinary citizens that the fossil fuel industry could not have known with any certainty about catastrophic global warming as far back as the 1950s in the face of reports back then about runaway global cooling, and my email was one more bit added to the pile he received about the folly of entering into a fatally faulty lawsuit?

I don’t know. He hasn’t replied yet to my initial email or my followup inquiry a couple days ago.

Just as I recommend investigators – objective reporters / law firms representing the defendants in the “ExxonKnew” lawsuits / congressional staffers – to calculate how much apparent plagiarism is happening in this lawfare madness, I also recommend them to see if Commissioner DiGirolamo can offer some insight on how this particular lawsuit show landed in Bucks County.

Inquiring minds want to know.