Skip Navigation

Amici Curiae Brief: The People of the State of California vs. BP P.L.C., et al.

March 19, 2018

Submitted to the U.S. District Court, Northern District of California, San Francisco District. Written by Monckton, Soon, Legates, Briggs, Limburg, Jeschke, Henney, Whitfield, and Morrison. Attorneys: Braden and Ferrara.

gavel and book


Methods: The amici curiae present herein two scientific results not mentioned in the parties’ briefs but directly and decisively relevant to the determination not only of these but of all suchlike proceedings. The first result has been peer-reviewed and published; the second is currently under peer review. The underlying science is simple enough to allow the Court, which has earned a unique and commendable reputation for diligent mastery of scientific questions, to understand the argument and to verify its soundness. To assist the Court and to vitiate any allegation of prejudice on the part of its amici, they will state explicitly whether each premise is regarded as mainstream climate science, in which event they will provide mainstream citations from peer-reviewed learned journals.

First result: The amici curiae will demonstrate that there is no “consensus” among scientists that recent global warming was chiefly anthropogenic, still less that unmitigated anthropogenic warming has been or will be dangerous or catastrophic. The “consensus” proposition, as defined by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), states no more than that most of the global warming observed since 1950 was anthropogenic. That proposition does not necessarily entail the conclusion that global warming has been or will be net-harmful. In 2013, a paper was published falsely asserting that some 97.1% of 11,944 peer-reviewed papers on climate and related topics published in the learned journals during the 21 years 1991-2011 had explicitly stated in their abstracts that recent global warming was chiefly anthropogenic. That paper received worldwide publicity.

However, its authors did not ask whether the 11,944 papers had stated that unmitigated global warming might prove catastrophic. It will be shown that on careful examination of the list of all 11,944 papers only 43, or 0.3%, had in reality stated their assent even to the anodyne proposition that recent warming was chiefly anthropogenic. In any event, argument from “consensus” is a logical fallacy. Thus, there is no agreement among relevant experts on the fraction of observed warming since 1950 that was anthropogenic, and, therefore, no such agreement on the answer to the Court’s eighth question.

Second result: The amici curiae will demonstrate that, even if it be assumed ad argumentum that all of the 0.8 Kelvin global warming since anthropogenic influence first became potentially significant in 1950 was attributable to us, in the present century little more than 1.2 K of global warming is to be expected, not the 3.3 K that the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) had predicted.

It will be demonstrated that the current models greatly overstate the feedback response to direct warming, owing to a long-standing error of physics recently discovered by the amici curiae, the decades-old official predictions that upon the restoration of thermal equilibrium in the climate system following a doubling of the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide there will have occurred a global surface warming of 3.3 ± 1.2 K, are excessive. Accordingly, the extreme predictions of 4.5 K to 11 K on which national and international policies and plaintiff’s case have been predicated are excessive a fortiori; global warming will be small, slow and net-beneficial; and plaintiff’s case must fall.

Verification: By several methods whose results cohere, the amici curiae determined and verified that the mid-range estimate of global warming per doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide (approximately equivalent to expected 21st-century warming from all anthropogenic sources) will not be 3.3 ± 1.2 K but only 1.2 ± 0.15 K If these results be correct, concern about global warming is unnecessary, whereupon not only must plaintiff’s case fail but defendants’ public assertions that global warming is a serious problem are also unjustifiable.

Respectful submission: The amici curiae, therefore, respectfully submit that, in the light of these results, which are directly relevant to the issue before the Court, plaintiff’s claims should be dismissed and defendants, having based their public expressions of concern about global warming on the same error as plaintiff, should meet their own costs in the cause.

Christopher Monckton, Third Viscount Monckton of Brenchley, was Special Advisor to British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher from 1982 to 1986.
Willie Soon is an astrophysicist and a geoscientist based in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
William M. ‘Matt’ Briggs is a policy advisor at The Heartland Institute. @mattstat