Balance of Probability: CC Well Past the Legal Test

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“University of Adelaide research has found governments and companies face a likely increase in law suits for their role in global warming and consequent damage to health and communities, and that these claims have a good chance of succeeding.”

The thrust of this piece ist that the likelihood that humans have cause climate change is greater than 50% plus one – which is the legal test in civil court.

In fact, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) said in its 2001 Summary for Policymakers (attached) that, “In the light of new evidence and taking into account the remaining uncertainties, most of the observed warming over the last 50 years is likely to have been due to the increase in greenhouse gas concentrations.”

As to a definition of “likely,” the IPCC is specific: “In this Summary for Policymakers and in the Technical Summary, the following words have been used where appropriate to indicate judgmental estimates of
confidence: virtually certain (greater than 99% chance that a result is true); very likely (90-99% chance); likely (66-90% chance); medium likelihood (33-66% chance); unlikely (10-33% chance); very unlikely (1-10% chance); exceptionally unlikely (less than 1% chance). “

All this could (but probably will not) have a bearing on the suit that Friends of the Earth, et al, are threatening against the recalcitrant federal government for failing to make any effort to meet Canada’s Kyoto commitments.

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