Climate Law

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

by Ed Berry

In a precedent-making decision, the Montana Supreme Court dismissed yesterday 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 followed the recommendations of the Montana Attorney General, and 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.” The ruling forces those filing future GHG-emissions lawsuits to first prove the scientific credibility of their global warming claims by means of legally competent evidence.

As the Montana Supreme Court stated the case:

Petitioners ask us to enter judgment in this original proceeding to declare that the State of Montana (State) holds the atmosphere in trust for the present and future citizens of the State of Montana. Petitioners further contend that this trust imposes on the State the affirmative duty to protect and preserve the atmosphere, including establishing and enforcing limitations on the levels of greenhouse gas emissions as necessary to mitigate human-caused climate change.

But, the Court wrote, it was “persuaded” by the Attorney General’s arguments that the evidence Our Children’s Trust offered for human-caused global warming is in legally substantial doubt:

… 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” [to restrict CO2 emissions.] (Emphasis added.)

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

CPI used 2 key scientific exhibits in its Motion to Intervene: A 321-page “Climate Depot Special Report” compiled by Marc Morano and The Heartland Institute’sNature, Not Human Activity, Rules the Climate” edited by S. Fred Singer. The full legal exhibits may be viewed on (See 1000 Scientists Dissent and Climate Change Reconsidered.)


  1. 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 hand pick a liberal judge. When they do, Climate Physics Institute will organize the defense. Since OCT seems to have unlimited eco-money to pursue its goal of shutting down America, Climate Physics Institute 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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, who 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.

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