The Associated Press had a useful article the other day about California Attorney General Jerry Brown’s ongoing climate change lawsuit against automakers. The central idea here is that carbon emissions from automobiles constitute a “public nuisance.”
Although these suits do pose some interesting legal problems, they do not represent a major doctrinal change–at least for the plaintiffs. The people who are turning themselves in ideological knots are their opponents, such as the libertarian Pacific Legal Foundation:
“We disagree with the way he’s using the courts to set national social and environmental policy,” said Dave Stirling, vice president of the Sacramento-based Pacific Legal Foundation.
The Democratic attorney general is “trying to force certain types of solutions on very difficult problems” that should be handled by Washington lawmakers, Stirling said.
Funny–I always thought that libertarians were opposed to top-down regulation by “Washington lawmakers.” When confronted with overwhelming scientific evidence that anarchic markets cannot solve a problem, they are reduced to undermining their own world view.