It's the people who use stuff that emits that cause climate change Credit NASA/JPL-Caltech

One of the more ridiculous pieces of buck shifting has just been defeated as a judge throws out the court cases against oil companies concerning climate change. For it’s quite obviously not the oil companies that cause climate change. It’s you and me using oil – or consuming and demanding to consume things which require oil for their production – which do create climate change. It’s us, not them, responsible:

A California federal court dismissed climate change lawsuits against five oil companies by the cities of San Francisco and Oakland, saying the complaints required foreign and domestic policy decisions that were outside the purview of courts, Chevron Corp said on Monday.

Yes, quite, the cases haven’t been dismissed for the right reason. They’ve not even managed to reach the – low in the US system – bar of being a case worthy of consideration.

The cities are trying to get five oil and gas giants, including Bay Area-based Chevron, to help cover the costs of dealing with sea-level rise, like picking up the tab for seawalls.

But it isn’t them responsible, is it?

“The problem deserves a solution on a more vast scale than can be supplied by a district judge or jury in a public nuisance case,”

Think about it just for a moment. Who is it responsible for emissions into the atmosphere? Well, logically, it’s the people who make the emissions into the atmosphere, isn’t it? So, who is to blame for emissions from my driving a car. The company that drilled for the oil? Or me? I would stoutly insist that it is I, me, responsible for that. The oil company is only guilty of performing as I’ve desired, after all, producing what I wish to purchase so that I may use it and thus emit.

Think about a different form of emission. Say, dung, ordure, the stuff that should rightly end in a dunnikin. Imagine that this doesn’t do so. The septic tank breaks, I just squat in the street say. Not that, outside major music festivals, I’m likely to, you understand, just imagine. We most certainly have a public pollutant here, one that is hazardous to the planet. Yes, raw sewage floating around the place is dangerous.

So, who gets sued here? Well, could be me. Could be the public health people for not enforcing the regulations. But there’s absolutely no one who is going to argue that it should be the farmers that grew the food which I ingested to then poop, is there? But that is the argument being made in the oil case.

And given that it’s a ridiculous argument it’s right that the cases have been tossed.