Montana Supreme Court rejects the Global Warming petition by Our Children’s Trust

“This establishes once and for all, at least as far as Montana law is concerned, climate science is decidedly not settled.” – Attorney Quentin Rhoades

Barhaugh v. Montana: Petition for Original Jurisdiction

The Petition is based on its claims (highlighted) that human carbon emissions cause bad things to happen. They quote flaming alarmists for their evidence. They try to prove a theory is true, which contradicts the scientific method. They assume if bad things happen then human carbon emissions are the cause, whereas logic says an effect cannot prove its cause.

Dr. Ed Berry retains attorney Quentin Rhoades


Since we had only one week for our attorney to file our Motion to Intervene, there was no time to ask for money. So, I guaranteed to pay all Rhoades’ discounted legal fees of about $7000 but had to pay only $5000 because these 15 donors paid $2090 to accomplish this win in the Montana Supreme Court:

  • James Hyatt
  • Steven Scheye
  • Chauvin Emmons
  • William Dallin II
  • Frederick Hammel
  • John Mauzey
  • Joe Beardsley
  • Mae Woo
  • Mark & Pam Agather
  • Max & Linda Agather
  • George & Lovella Torp
  • Keith & Jolene Regier
  • Chris Rosenau
  • Anonymous
  • Anonymous


Motion to Intervene

The Motion to Intervene contains these sentences about climate:

  • The facts of the petition are presented as if a record has been made in a trial court, after complete pretrial proceedings and discovery, establishing an absence of any contested evidence. Of course, no such proceedings have been had, and there is no “consensus” that human activity is effecting the world’s historically-ever-changing climate.
  • If the Court declares the State has a duty to stop carbon gas emissions to protect the world’s atmosphere, there will be devastating results for the State’s economy.
  • The reduction in economic activity due to carbon restrictions will also impair State tax revenue.
  • If the Court grants the Petition and holds that carbon gases must be regulated sufficiently to “mitigate human caused climate change,” then Intervenors’ interests in values other than the global climate will suffer.

Intervenor’s Answer to Petition

This answer to the petition presents climate facts that dispute the Petitioners’ climate claims, and concludes:

  • In sum, there can be no public trust if the public trustee –the government –is utterly powerless as a practical matter to effectively protect the corpus of the trust. In this case, the corpus is the global atmosphere. Even if it were undisputed that global climate change is human-caused, Petitioners fail to allege –let alone prove –that any measure Montana could possibly take would reduce total global carbon gas emissions sufficiently to have any measurable impact on the direction or rate of climate change. If they cannot prove a connection between eliminating of Montana’s minute carbon emissions, and a reduction in the pace of global climate change, then public trust doctrine cannot, even under their own flawed legal theory, apply.

Intervenor’s Exhibit C on Climate

Exhibit C shows:

  • This new 2010 Climate Depot Special Report features the skeptical voices of over 1,000 international scientists, including many current and former UN IPCC scientists, who have now turned against the UN IPCC. The more than 300 additional scientists added to this report since March 2009 (21 months ago), represent an average of nearly four skeptical scientists a week speaking out publicly. The well over 1,000 dissenting scientists are almost 20 times the number of UN scientists(52) who authored the media-hyped IPCC 2007Summary for Policymakers.

Intervenor’s Exhibit D on Climate

Exhibit D concludes:

  • This NIPCC report falsifies the principal IPCC conclusion that the reported warming (since 1979) is very likely caused by the human emission of greenhouse gases.
  • In other words, increasing carbon dioxide is not responsible for current warming.
  • Policies adopted and called for in the name of ‘fighting global warming’ are unnecessary.

State of Montana Summary Response

Attorney General Bullock noted the court would need to determine that the Petitioners’ claims about climate science are true before it could rule in favor of the Petitioners:

  • This disputed record is just one example of the factual determinations this Court would need to make to rule for Petitioners.
  • In addition, it would need to address, among other issues, the current state of climate change science; the role of Montana in the global problem of climate change; how emissions created in Montana ultimately affect Montana’s climate; whether the benefits of energy production must be balanced against the potential harm of climate change; and the concrete limits, if any, of the alleged “affirmative duty.”

Order – Final Disposition

The Final Deposition contains these sentences about climate:

  • As the State points out, the petition incorporates factual claims such as that the State
    has been prevented by the Legislature from taking any action to regulate [greenhouse gas]
  • The State posits that the relief requested by Petitioners would require numerous other factual determinations, such as the role of Montana in the global problem of climate change and how emissions created in Montana ultimately affect Montana’s climate.
  • This Court is ill-equipped to resolve the factual assertions presented by Petitioners. We further conclude that Petitioners have not established urgency or emergency factors that would preclude litigation in a trial court followed by the normal appeal process.


The Petition is based upon its assumption that all its climate claims are true. The Intervenors presented evidence that contradicted the Petition’s climate claims. This evidence affected AG Bullock’s reply to the Court because he could not go on record disputing the Intervenors’ evidence.

The Montana Supreme Court would have ruled in favor of the Petition but for the evidence presented by the Intervenors. The court could not determine whether the Petitioners or the Intervenors were correct about climate because, in the court’s view, there is no scientific consensus that is suffiently well-settled to decide the case as a matter of law. Therefore, the rejected the Petition.

Attorney Quentin Rhoades wrote the Montana Supreme Court ruled against the Petitioners because:

  • “There is no scientific consensus that is sufficiently well-settled to allow a court to decide the case purely as a matter of law.” 

The alarmists’ case for human-caused climate change failed in the Montana Supreme Court. Climate alarmists have not returned to present their case in a Montana court, and now, their 2011 claims of imminent climate disaster have obviously failed, so they have lost their credibility.

Attorneys for Petitioners

Thomas J. Beers
P.O. Box 7968
Missoula, MT 59807-7968
Telephone: (406) 728-4888
Facsimile: (406) 728-8445

L. Randall Bishop
P.O. Box 3353
Billings, MT 59103-3353
Telephone: (406) 245-7555
Facsimile: (406) 245-0840

James A. Manley
201 4th Ave. E.
Polson, MT 59860
Telephone: (406) 883-6285
Facsimile: (406) 883-2861

Elizabeth Best
P.O. Box 2114
Great Falls, MT 59403
Telephone: (406) 452-2933
Facsimile: (406) 452-9920

Amy Poehling Eddy
1230 Whitefish Stage Rd., Suite 100
Kalispell, MT 59901
Telephone: (406) 752-3303
Facsimile: (406) 755-6398

Gregory S. Munro
3343 Hollis Street
Missoula, MT 59801
Telephone: (406) 207-8267
Facsimile: (406) 243-2576

Attorney for Intervenors

Quentin M. Rhoades

Rhoades, Siefert & Erickson
430 Ryman Street
Missoula, MT 59802


In a precedent-making decision, the Montana Supreme Court dismissed the Petition for Original Jurisdiction by Our Children’s Trust saying unsettled factual issues related to limiting emissions of greenhouse gasses (GHGs) must first be addressed in a lower court.

The Montana Supreme Court wrote it was “persuaded” by the Attorney General’s arguments that the Petition’s evidence for human-caused global warming is in legally substantial doubt.

The Montana Supreme Court rejected the claim made by Our Children’s Trust in its May 4, 2011, Petition, that a “scientific consensus exists that increasing emissions of greenhouse gases (GHG) are affecting the Earth’s climate.”

This ruling forces those who file future GHG emissions lawsuits to first prove the scientific credibility of their global warming claims by means of legally competent evidence.

Dr. Ed Berry, CEO of Climate Physics LLC, said “The Montana Supreme Court’s decision was influenced by the Motion to Intervene which included 118 Intervenors, 13 minor children, 15 state representatives, 7 state senators, and 8 elected state officials.”

Rhoades: Bullock agreed climate science is not settled

by Quentin Rhoades, Attorney for the Intervenors 07-15-2011

Montana Attorney General Steve Bullock’s response to the Atmospheric Trust Litigation (ATL) makes an interesting story.

As detailed in our motion to intervene, Bullock crowed about his “commitment to the environment” while on the stump, bragging, for example, that he is a TerraPass member, and promising to invoke the Clean and Healthful Environment clause of the Montana Constitution to crack down on industry. 

Thus we argued to the Supreme Court that he was not qualified to resist the ATL petition.  He could not defend the action without breaking campaign promises.

In response, he insisted he was well-qualified and sought to prove his bona-fides by arguing that the science on man-caused global warming is not settled.  His denial of a scientific consensus disqualifies him in the eyes of the Left as a legitimate candidate for Governor – especially since he convinced the Court to so rule.

Thus, the Montana Supreme Court became the first court in America to rule on the ATL litigation. 

And not only is it the highest court of a sovereign state, but it ruled that there is no scientific consensus that is sufficiently well-settled to allow for them to decide the case purely as a matter of law. 

Once Bullock’s core constituents learn of his arguments against the ATL petition — and of the significance of the Montana Supreme Court’s ruling — they will be apoplectic.  (As an aside, we were particularly gratified by this ruling because — unlike Bullock – it was our petition that provided the court with actual evidence contesting the facts alleged in the ATL petition to be undisputed.)

On the other hand, Bullocks strategy was heavily damaging to our efforts to get this thrown-out of the courts entirely.  Instead of arguing the case was not justiciable, he took the preposterous stance that it should be remanded to a trial court for fact-finding.  He also expressly objected to our motion to intervene, and to the Republican Leaders’ request to file an amicus brief. 

In other words, he fought all efforts to have the issue returned to the political branches for decision, and he fought the public’s and the Republicans’ efforts to even participate.  There’s no way anyone in industry or from any conservative school of thought can find anything redeemable in this stupid approach.

So, for all the talent he supposedly possesses, Bullock’s entire response to the ATL litigation was a political and legal cock-up.  I bet he’s gotten a real earful from the lawyers who filed the petition, and their allies, and I doubt many from our side have offered him much in the way of praise.  No wonder he’s delayed his announcement for Governor.

Addressing Climate Change is Neither Frivolous nor Criminal

Guest Commentary: Jim Manley to Flathead Beacon

By Jim Manley , 07-28-2011

In his July 6 Beacon commentary, Dave Skinner accused a number of attorneys and their clients of “criminal frivolity” regarding a petition filed in the Montana Supreme Court. The author doesn’t appear to be well-informed on the petition, science or basic tenets of our constitutional system of government.

It is an odd “crime.” Six busy Montana attorneys agreed to represent these plaintiffs without charge. Contrary to Mr. Skinner’s suggestion, none of us are even environmental attorneys. We are all parents and grandparents who happen to be attorneys. The plaintiffs did not seek any money. The attorneys made no money. So what is the crime? “Fraudulently working for free?”

The “children” plaintiffs, all from Montana, included a Harvard planet science student, an MSU agronomy student, and a UM pre-med student. Is it possible these students know more about the science than Mr. Skinner, and are legitimately concerned about their government’s failure to address this serious threat to their future?

It was expected, when this legal action began, that virulent deniers would personally attack our clients and us, rather than address the science. Virtually every legitimate scientific organization in the world has concluded that man-caused global warming is a serious problem that must be addressed:

  • U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • NASA (Goddard Institute for Space Studies)
  • National Academy of Sciences
  • National Research Council
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • American Meteorological Society
  • World Meteorological Society
  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Institute of Physics
  • American Chemical Society
  • U. S. Environmental Protection Agency

There is no real scientific controversy about this.

Maybe Mr. Skinner knows more than all the scientists, but some of us believe we owe it to our grandchildren to listen to the scientists. As one physicist said, “The thing about science is, it’s still true even if you don’t believe it.”

The petition sought a declaratory ruling that our Montana Constitution and common law say that the government holds the atmosphere in trust for this and future generations (as our Supreme Court already held with regard to water and land). If the constitution provides that – then the current politically driven legislature is not legally allowed to ignore it. The Supreme Court denied the petition on procedural grounds, ruling that the case will have to be started in a district court (which will result in a delay of perhaps years).

Perhaps Mr. Skinner’s confusion regarding “frivolity” and “crime” stems from not understanding the limits of political-trend rule in our constitutional system. Mr. Skinner’s inflated rhetoric alleges we are “good totalitarian elitists” trying to “subvert the political processes of a free country …” It is true that the “processes” of the current political, legislative branch have effectively stopped the governor and state agencies (executive branch) from continuing the remedial work the governor began, to address this threat to our children’s future. But if our constitution provides that every Montanan is entitled to a “clean and healthful environment” (as it does: Article II, Sec. 3) and provides the government has a trust duty to protect “all surface, underground, flood and atmospheric waters within its boundaries” (as it does: Article IX, Sec. 3), then the current legislature is not at liberty to prevent the Montana government from honoring these constitutional rights and duties. We do not have “freedom” to violate the constitutional rights of others, even those too young to afford lobbyists or junk science propagandists. A basic tenet of our system of government is that there are limits to the excesses of the majority rule of the moment. The limits are set out in the constitution.

Our children deserve to inherit a livable planet, like we did. That won’t be possible if our government continues to ignore its moral obligation to future generations, by letting fossil fuel corporations dump gigatons of pollution into the atmosphere every year, as they now do.

Jim Manley is a Polson attorney, one of the six Montana attorneys representing the plaintiffs in the recent Montana Supreme Court petition in Barhaugh, et al v. State of Montana, Sup. Ct. Case No. OP-0258.

Montana Supreme Court: Climate science is NOT settled

To: Editor, Flathead Beacon, by Quentin M. Rhoades, Esq.

I read with great interest your recent Guest Commentary of Jim Manley regarding his Climate Change lawsuit. (July 28, 2011.) Mr. Manley portrays himself and his team of attorneys working on the case as simple country lawyers who are generously protecting future generations, at no charge mind you, from hayseeds and industry hacks in the Montana Legislature. The reason for my attention to Mr. Manley’s column is that I served as an attorney in the Climate Change case, representing the Big Fork based Climate Physics LLC, the Western Montana Fish and Game Association, and 106 other intervenors, including over 30 Montana Representatives and Senators, as well as other elected officials, ordinary citizens, and their children.

Mr. Manley is wrong on several points.

First, he and his fellow trial lawyers who filed the suit are some of the most seasoned plaintiff’s attorneys in Montana, having won literally scores of rich contingency fee verdicts and settlements. Mr. Manley himself recently achieved the most valuable insurance bad-faith jury verdict in Montana history. A simple country lawyer he is not. Rather, his is a sophisticated legal mind that you underestimate at your peril.

Second, Mr. Manley claims “there is no real scientific controversy” about Climate Change.

Not so. In the briefs submitted to the Supreme Court on intervention, we included a virtual mountain of science to the direct contrary of Mr. Manley’s arguments, including the opinions of over 1,000 climate scientists refuting the theory of human-caused Climate Change. In view of this evidence, the Montana Supreme Court ruled that there is no consensus, and dismissed the case on its factual substance.

It ruled that in the face of the bona fide scientific dispute over the facts Mr. Manley and his colleagues allege, the case must be submitted to a trial court for evidentiary findings before the Supreme Court can consider legal arguments.

Finally, the Supreme Court’s dismissal was not, as Mr. Manley implies, based on missteps of procedure made in the presentation of the case. Rest assured, Mr. Manley and his colleagues are far too cagey for procedural blunders.

Truth is, the Montana Supreme Court became the first court in America to rule on the Climate Change litigation instigated by the Oregon environmentalist organization calling itself “Our Children’s Trust.”

And the Court held:

There is no scientific consensus that is sufficiently well-settled to allow a court to decide the case purely as a matter of law. This establishes once and for all, at least as far as Montana law is concerned, climate science is decidedly not settled.

So next time someone tells you that only barefoot bitter-clingers and greedy industry polluters reject the notion of a scientific consensus on human-caused global warming, tell them they can add the Montana Supreme Court to their list of “deniers.”


Quentin M. Rhoades, Esq.

Rhoades Siefert & Erickson

Law does not determine truth in science

Legal arguments cannot determine whether a scientific theory is true or false. Only the scientific method can make this decision.

In her article in Montana Lawyer, District 11 Court Judge Amy Eddy shows she did not learn from her experience. She repeats the Petition’s climate claims even though the Intervenors introduced evidence that shows the Petition’s climate claims were false.

According to the Great Falls Tribune, the Court said the case raised too many questions about Montana’s contribution to global warming, so the Court could not resolve the factual assertions and rejected the plaintiff’s claim that the matter was too urgent to wait for action by a lower court.

The Story behind the story


In 2011, the Montana Supreme Court rejected the Global Warming petition by Our Children’s Trust.

According to attorney Quentin Rhoades, whom I hired to defeat the petition, “This establishes once and for all, at least as far as Montana law is concerned, that climate science is decidedly not settled.”

Therefore, it is illegal for Montana schools, colleges, universities, and government agencies to teach, promote, or make decisions on the groupthink belief that our carbon emissions threaten the planet.

When they lost, the attorneys for Our Children’s Trust vowed to take their case to a Montana court because they claimed in 2011 that human emissions will affect life on earth in only a few years if we don’t stop our carbon emissions.

Why did they not file a lawsuit to prove their climate belief is true? Because they know that they cannot win such a lawsuit.

The Democrat governors since 2011 refused to enforce this Montana Supreme Court decision. Now, Republican Governor Greg Gianforte has the opportunity to establish climate truth in Montana.


  1. Folks,……We are under attack!
    If these tactics win even once, then another will follow, and another, and another.
    Cap and Trade, Obama Care, Excess in Washington, Higher Taxes.
    We are becoming a Third World Nation destryed from within!!

    We MUST stand up for our Freedom from an over reaching government, crushing policies to villify Business in our Country by this Administration, crippling Corporate Taxes that drive Buisneses to other Countries so they can compete in a Global Market, giving billions to other countries that we have to borrow and pay interest on.

    The EPA, NLRB, CARE, and too many other Agenda Driven Organizations are killing the ability to Prosper in the United States.

    We are becoming Europe!

  2. The significance of this Montana Supreme Court decision will become more apparent in the coming months.

    For example, this decision makes it illegal for Montana universities, colleges, and public schools to teach students that the science of climate change is a "settled science" and to promote the United Nations Agenda 21, Sustainability, Earth Day, and all other activities that derive from the claim that human carbon dioxide emissions cause significant climate change.

    The decision makes illegal, null and void all agreements by Montana cities with the United Nations ICLEI program, EPA's enforcement of its greenhouse gas restrictions in the State of Montana, all federal and state programs that derive from the United Nations climate change claims, all special interest laws that benefit "renewable energy" over carbon fuels, all actions, regulations and laws that restrict carbon dioxide emissions, all actions to restrict the use of gas, oil and coal based upon carbon dioxide emissions, all actions to restrict construction of carbon fuel power plants, and it invalidates Gov. Schweitzer's signature of the Western Climate Initiative.

    In addition, while not binding on other states, other states can use this Montana decision as a precedent to stop environmental actions related to carbon dioxide emissions.

    We expect Our Children's Trust (OCT) to file a lawsuit in a lower court, most likely in Helena where they can handpick a liberal judge. When they do, Climate Physics LLC will organize the defense. Since OCT seems to have unlimited eco-money to pursue its goal of shutting down America, Climate Physics LLC is now accepting donations to build the legal defense fund necessary to stop OCT from achieving its goal.

    Since OCT has filed similar actions in all 50 states, we welcome communications from those fighting these battles in other states. The science is the same in all states, so we can pool our resources to most efficiently win the coming scientific battles in the state courts.

    Committee For A Constructive Tomorrow (CFACT) issued this summary.

  3. Thank you Dr Ed. Without your quick response and dedication, we would have been routed once again by the outrages claims of special interests. You and your organization are heroes. I for one will be sending a donation. Anyone who reads this should dig as deep as you can in your pocket to help our watch dogs on this issue continue the good work.

  4. I always get a sad laugh at how you use the word 'environmentalist' as if it were a dirty word. Generations from now, people (assuming there are any) will look back at those who allowed the initial destruction of our environment simply as being naive, but they will find evil in those who fought for the final destruction.

  5. Back in 1970, America was the greatest industrial nation on the face of the earth, yes there were problems, called Acid rain. Most industries were learning how to clean up their emission. Maurice Strong and one of the Rothschild went before the United Nations and they launch the environmental movement, this was in 1971.

    Also in 1971, President Nixon announced over television that he was changing the economy of the United States from an industrial to a service economy. President Nixon also opened the trade door with China. In the same year, Mr. Nixon had Congress passed the Environmental Protection Act. The same year Nixon took us off the gold standard, the dollar was no longer tied to gold.

    The rest of the industrial world complained about the removal of gold from our dollar, so Mr. Nixon promised them we would start to buy their products. In order for America to buy their products, we had to close down all industries that produce air pollution using the EPA.

    Question: If America no longer has factories the pollute, then where is all this CO2 coming from. One more thing, in 1970 the average family owns one vehicle, this all started to change in 1972, to a point where how everyone owns a vehicle.

  6. Thank you Ed and others for taking care of this issue. We are blessed to have your expertise here in the Flathead and in Montana. I am also thankful that you have guts enough to take a stand against political (and scientifically inaccurate) correctness.
    Have a Merry Christmas

  7. Thank You Ed.

    I am glad you led this to a positive conclusion. Thank You for standing up for scientist, law and science. I will be making a contribution to cover your cost.

    Have a bless holiday and new year.

    To Stan Rose: Environmentalists have become religious zeolites and "useful idiots"; as a result they are destrying our country and are therfore "four letter words" or filth.

  8. To Stan Rose:

    I must assume that by "those who fought for its destruction", you mean those who fought to stay alive and live freely. Mere survival as a species, let alone the production of things that make our existence tolerable, requires the co-production of those things that, to paraphrase, "initially destroy our environment." Aside from the untenable hypothesis that activity of rational humans, in itself, can permanently and even measurably affect climate, I should remind that there is no value to be gained by making it impossible for humans to survive, because there is no such thing as "value" without humans to conceive it.

    You may try to tell me that what humans do as freely living and interacting beings threatens their survival anyway. I will concede that you are entitled to your fanciful hypotheses, and even that they have some probability of validity. But I will tell you with 100% certainty that man will not survive (would not have survived) without using and transforming the world around him. Maybe I'm just smart this way, but it seems obvious to me that one has to go with the odds. If a person makes choices according to what could happen versus what surely will, the best outcome is complete insolvency.

    Use of the term "environmentalist" with a pejorative connotation (or as you say, as a "dirty word") is a self-inflicted wound. I, for example, can't help it if a person whom I would prefer to describe as an "idle dreamer" or a "public nuisance" arrogates another, more lofty-sounding term to himself.

    If you only get a "sad laugh" out of the comments of those with whom you take issue, I can expect that you will feel utter despair from mine. You could prevent or alleviate such tribulation, however, by reading a simple economics book. Not a political sermon that consists of a string of slogans, but a logical economics text that starts from the most basic fact of reality (scarcity) and basic theorems (human action, marginal utility, division of labor, etc.). If you are not aware of these concepts, there would be no point in further argument, because there is nothing for me to learn from you.

    And lest you be offended by my derision of your doctrines or thought process, please know that I am offended by a group of "advocates" who are generally unwilling (or unable) to abide by simple cost-benefit analysis.

  9. rob says:
    July 26, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    I am so proud of what you have done here. It is upsetting to say the least that my kids are taught the global warming sham like it’s real. Thanks again.

    Kozlowski says:
    February 20, 2012 at 11:52 pm

    Thank you Dr. Ed for fighting this for all of us. Were it not for people of good will, the luddites would have won. Sadly it seems every generation has it’s own version of this same battle to fight.

  10. The ramifications of this decision seem to be spectacular.

    Can I now, as an individual, go into any and all Montana public institutions to see if they are breaking the law re/settled science?

    I would absolutely love to call people out on this. And I would start immediately in our public schools and city/town institutions if I'm within my rights to do so. I didn't know about this trial in depth until recently.

    What Dr. Ed has apparently orchestrated, with the help of others, is one of the great events I have ever seen, especially in view of what we are up against. I will send him a (necessarily) small contribution toward helping, at least symbolically in the fight.

    He spent a chunk of his own money to make this happen and others need to help out if they can. There will be ongoing battles from the environmental Left, which has the deepest of pockets.

    I am spreading the word about this site and what Dr. Edwin X Berry has done. This guy is a fighter-patriot and I am inspired and made proud by his example.
    Thank you, Dr. Ed.

  11. You have previously written op-ed letters about this 2011 case, misstating facts about what the Montana Supreme Court’s ruling on it is. So here you are again, grossly misstating facts about it.

    Both the title and text of your narrative about the Court’s ruling in this 2011 case are false and untruthful. They are completely divorced from the reality of the Court’s actual ruling.

    Starting first with your title:

    “Montana Supreme Court ruled climate change science is not settled”

    That title is false. The Court’s ruling in this 2001 case neither states nor implies that climate change science is not settled. If you read the Court’s signed ruling, you would know that it made no such ruling in this 2011 case. Hence, your title is patently false.

    Secondly, the sentence you quote as text from the Court’s ruling is also patently false.

    ‘In 2011, the Montana Supreme Court ruled: “There is no scientific consensus [about the human effect on climate] that is sufficiently well-settled to allow a court to decide the case purely as a matter of law.”’

    That you put quotes around the sentence beginning “There is no scientific consensus…” can only mean that you are quoting it as exact text from the Court’s ruling. But the quoted sentence is not anywhere in the 3-page text of the ruling. Further, the actual ruling neither suggests nor implies that there is no scientific consensus about human effects on climate that is sufficiently settled to decide the case as a matter of law, or of anything else for that matter. In fact, the Court’s written ruling is void of any mention of a scientific consensus about the human effect on climate, including whether it is sufficiently well-settled or not.

    Hence, both the title of your narrative and your quote about what the Court ruled is this case are false. And assuming your statement about Quentin Rhoades interpretation of what the Court’s ruling means is correct, then you both are wrong about its meaning because the ruling neither states nor implies that there is no settled scientific consensus that human carbon dioxide emissions change the climate according to Montana law.

    What the court’s ruling on this case actually says is that “….this case does not involve purely legal questions,” and “This court [the Montana Supreme Court] is ill equipped to resolve the factual assertions presented by the petitioners.”

    While the Court denied and dismissed the petition entered in the case, it did so for constitutional reasons that had nothing to do with whether there is a sufficiently well-settled consensus about a human effect on climate.

    For anyone who is unaware of the Court’s ruling in this case, read it for yourself in its entirety so you make your own determination of the truth about this. Here’s the link to the full text of the Court’s ruling:
    http ://

    In addition, your claim about attorney, Quentin Rhoades, filing a successful intervention in the case on behalf of your Climate Physics Institute group is also false and misleading. To quote the Court’s ruling exactly as it is worded:

    “IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Climate Physics Institute group’s Motion to Intervene is DENIED.”

    That Quentin Rhoades filed a motion to intervene in the case on behalf of the Climate Physics Institute is not in question. The truth, however, is that what you refer to as a “successful intervention” was that the Court denied his motion to intervene in the case. Hence, his intervention could not have been “successful” because he never actually intervened in the case due to the Court’s denial of his motion. Apparently, you don’t understand what denial of a motion to intervene means.

    Finally, your statement that the Court’s ruling in this case “…may allow Governor Gianforte and his Montana government to require Montana schools, colleges, and universities teach that nature causes climate change” is disingenuous at best. The issue is not whether nature can cause climate change or whether students in public schools and universities in Montana are, and should be, exposed to scientific information about climate changes, regardless of the cause. Of course, it can and they are and should be.
    The issue is whether recent changes in global climate are natural or primarily human caused and what the published scientific evidence tells us about climate change and its attribution. What you seem to want, but won’t admit, is a governmental requirement to teach students in public schools and universities in Montana that nature is the only cause of recent climate change, as if it was settled science. The fact is that there is virtually no credible published scientific evidence supporting such a conclusion.

    Students should be exposed, of course, to existing scientific information and evidence of climate change and its attribution, including the unknowns and uncertainties. And when exposed to the evidence, we should expect they will have the ability to both assess what it means and make an informed judgement about it using critical thinking. That is what climate scientists have done and are continually doing. This does not mean that climate change science is settled. But it does mean that almost all climate experts have reached a collective judgement, position, and opinion, based on available scientific evidence, that humans are the primary cause of the observed changes in climate since the industrial era began.

    Your rejection of the scientific consensus about human caused climate change is no secret. But that you bring this Court case up again almost 10 years after the Court ruled on it, and fabricate both a fictitious quote, as if it came from the Court’s ruling, and a narrative that is completely divorced from the reality of what the ruling actually says begs the obvious question of why. It seems nothing more than a blatantly deceitful attempt on your part to create a false perception that a Montana Supreme Court ruling on a 2011 case should somehow be construed as an implicit affirmation of your rejection of the scientific consensus on anthropogenic climate change. Your false narrative about the ruling on this case is nothing more than misinformation. You ought to either revise it so that it accurately reflects what the Court actually said in its ruling or remove the entire thing from your site.

    1. Jerry Ellwood,

      You could not be more wrong when you say to Ed Berry.

      “Both the title and text of your narrative about the Court’s ruling in this 2011 case are false and untruthful. They are completely divorced from the reality of the Court’s actual ruling.
      Starting first with your title:
      “Montana Supreme Court ruled climate change science is not settled”
      That title is false. The Court’s ruling in this 2001 case neither states nor implies that climate change science is not settled. If you read the Court’s signed ruling, you would know that it made no such ruling in this 2011 case. Hence, your title is patently false.

      Secondly, the sentence you quote as text from the Court’s ruling is also patently false.
      ‘In 2011, the Montana Supreme Court ruled: “There is no scientific consensus [about the human effect on climate] that is sufficiently well-settled to allow a court to decide the case purely as a matter of law.”’

      I address those two assertions in turn.

      Firstly, if the Court had ruled other than “Montana Supreme Court ruled climate change science is not settled” then the Court would have been wrong. This is because the scientific method decrees that nothing can be “settled”.

      Science is a method which seeks the closest approximation to truth by searching for information that refutes existing understanding(s) and amending, replacing or rejecting the existing understanding(s) in light of discovered information.
      The antithesis of science is pseudoscience.
      Pseudoscience is a method which adopts existing understanding(s) as being truth and searches for anything (e.g. information, authority, consensus, argument, etc.) that bolsters existing understanding(s) while ignoring or rejecting anything which refutes it.

      In other words, pseudoscience is “settled” but science cannot be.
      (As the original motto of the Royal Society says ‘Nullius in verba’ which means ‘Take nobody’s word for anything”.)

      The default about science is that a scientific conclusion is the nearest approximation to truth which we now have and – being a scientific conclusion – it is not “settled”.
      So, please quote any ruling you think the Court made to assert that the science is settled.

      Secondly, you do not show the quotation Ed Berry provides is incorrect, but you say it is “patently false”.
      You may not like what the Court ruled but you are being silly when you claim it is “patently false” without providing a refutation of it by a superior Court.

      The purpose of your comments is not clear, but they are obviously not intended to enlighten.


    2. Dear Jerry,

      After your comment, I put all my posts on this subject into this post to make this subject easier to understand.

      To reply to your comment, I only need to quote attorney Quentin Rhoades (above) who says the rejection of the Petition legally means:

      “There is no scientific consensus that is sufficiently well-settled to allow a court to decide the case purely as a matter of law. This establishes once and for all, at least as far as Montana law is concerned, climate science is decidedly not settled.”

      Rhoades is the attorney who knows more about the meaning of this case than either of us. If you wish to play attorney, then you should file your case in a Montana court and prove the Petition’s climate claims are true.

      The Petitioners never returned to a Montana court to attempt to prove their climate claims are true. Why? It has been ten years. This delay implies even the Petitioners believe their Petition’s climate claims were lies.

      Should anyone now attempt to show in court that human carbon emissions cause significant climate change, they will have to explain why the Petition’s claim of a climate emergency in 2011 has proven to be false.

      Regarding your argument that “IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Climate Physics Institute group’s Motion to Intervene is DENIED,” you must look at the whole order. The Court ruled:

      “Therefore, IT IS ORDERED that the Petition for Original Jurisdiction IS DENIED and DISMISSED.
      “IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Legislative Leaders’ Motion to File an Amicus Brief is DENIED.
      “IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the Climate Physics Institute group’s Motion to Intervene is DENIED.”

      Since the Court dismissed the Petition, it had to deny the motions that depended on the Petition to clean the slate. These denials do not affect any other statements in the court’s Final Disposition.

      The absence of any follow-up by the Petitioners or by anyone who supports their claims proves the climate alarmists have no case.

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