AALS Workshop on Torts, Environment and Disaster June 8 – 10, 2012 Berkeley, California

I was alerted to a meeting [h/t Jason Johnston] in which the claim that skillful multi-decadal regional climate model predictions are available and can be used in litigation. This meeting is constructed on a flawed premise.  There is no such skill in regional climate prediction. This is discussed on my weblog; e.g. see

Kevin Trenberth Was Correct – “We Do Not Have Reliable Or Regional Predictions Of Climate”

and peer-reviewed papers; e.g. see

Pielke Sr., R.A., R. Wilby, D. Niyogi, F. Hossain, K. Dairuku, J. Adegoke, G. Kallos, T. Seastedt, and K. Suding, 2011: Dealing  with complexity and extreme events using a bottom-up, resource-based  vulnerability perspective. AGU Monograph on Complexity and  Extreme Events in Geosciences, in press.

and in my son’s weblog; e.g. see

A Handy Bullshit Button on Disasters and Climate Change

and his publications; e.g. see

The Climate Fix

The meeting announcement reads [highlight added]

AALS Workshop on Torts, Environment and Disaster June 8 – 10, 2012 Berkeley, California

Why Attend?

Rather than a singular catastrophic event, Hurricane Katrina seems more and more like the opening act in what will become known as an age of disaster.  Since Katrina, not only hurricanes, but also oil spills, earthquakes, floods, tornadoes, terrorist attacks, volcanoes, heat waves, blizzards, and all manner of other disasters seem to be occurring in the United States and across the globe with increasing regularity and destructiveness.  The sober predictions of climate models suggest that the frequency and scale of weather-related events will continue to increase. The implications of this age of disaster for environmental law are profound, including the rise of vulnerability assessment and adaptation planning as new areas of expertise, the renewal of debate over scientific uncertainty and worst case scenarios as key drivers of policy, and the challenge of defining and achieving justice for disaster victims.

Disaster takes center stage for this Mid-Year Meeting, the first in Environmental Law since 2004 and the first to be organized concurrently with a Tort Law event.  This Workshop – Torts, Environment and Disaster – will bring together scholars and teachers for two days of intensive presentations and discussion on disaster.  Plenary sessions for both Environmental Law and Tort Law attendees will consider such topics as the history and psychology of disaster and perspectives on the precautionary principle.  Environmental Law sessions will include such topics as disaster planning and prevention, federalism and disaster, and climate change adaptation.  Engaging lunchtime speakers, professional development and teaching sessions, and breakout group discussion will round out the program.

Planning Committee for AALS Workshop on Torts, Environment and Disaster

Robin K. Craig, Florida State University College of Law

Eileen Gauna, University of New Mexico School of Law

Laura Hines, University of Kansas School of Law,Chair

Douglas A. Kysar, Yale Law School

Robert L. Rabin, Stanford Law School

Anthony J. Sebok, Yeshiva University Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Lisa Grow Sun, Brigham Young University J. Reuben Clark Law School

Who Should Attend?  Law teachers interested in environmental law, natural resources law, oil and gas law and disasters.

When? The workshop will begin on Friday, June 8 with registration at 4:00 p.m. followed by a reception at 6:00 p.m. and the documentary film, “Out of the Ashes: 9/11” at 8:00 p.m. The program will include two full days of plenary sessions and concurrent sessions specific to Torts and Environment and small group discussions. The workshop will conclude at 5:00 p.m. on Sunday, June 10, 2012. In addition to the program sessions, there will be luncheons on Saturday and Sunday and another reception on Saturday evening.

Where?  The Mid-Year Meeting will be held at the Claremont Hotel in Berkeley, California. The room rate is $189 for single or double occupancy; subject to a nightly sales tax of 14.065%. Hotel reservations will be available in January.

Meeting Registration?  Look for meeting registration coming in January 2012.  You may register for both the Workshop on Torts, Environment and Disaster and Workshop on When Technology Disrupts Law:  How Do IP, Internet and Bio Law Adapt.  The registration fees for faculty at AALS member and fee-paid law schools are: $495 Early Bird Registration, $535 After Early Bird Date, and $780 for both workshops.


The Workshop includes both Torts and Environmental Law concurrent plenary sessions.  Below are the plenary sessions that are designed for both Torts and Environmental Law interests as well as the Environmental Law specific plenary sessions.

I have extracted one of the  abstracts of a session to illustrate how off-base this meeting is

Environmental Law Plenary: Climate Adaptation
Victor B. Flatt, University of North Carolina School of Law
Carolyn Kousky, Kennedy School of Government, Harvard University,
Cambridge, MA
J. B. Ruhl, Vanderbilt University Law School
Moderator: Robin K. Craig, Florida State University College of Law

Climate change threatens to become the most global and most dangerousof human-caused disasters, although individual communities, nations, and regions are most likely to experience climate change as increasingly continual “natural” disasters – increased numbers of hurricanes and cyclones, rising sea levels, droughts, floods, loss of key crops, invasions of pests, and increasing outbreaks of various kinds of diseases – typhoid, cholera, malaria – once thought to be more-or-less under human control. This panel explores the concept of climate change adaptation as disaster preparedness and will examine climate change impacts to both humans and other species, the status of climate change as a disaster, and potential adaptation responses.

It is clear that this part of the legal profession has bought into a view of climate science which is not supported by the scientific evidence.  

Comments Off on AALS Workshop on Torts, Environment and Disaster June 8 – 10, 2012 Berkeley, California

Filed under Climate Science Meetings, Climate Science Misconceptions

Comments are closed.