Memo to Brill and his NZ climate cranks: pay up or shut up

by Gareth on February 4, 2014

I suppose it had to happen. Jim Salinger’s excellent summary of the strange case of the climate cranks and their attempt to sue the New Zealand temperature record has attracted a response from deep inside La La Land. Barry Brill, chairman of the NZ Climate “Science” Coalition and litigant in chief, has posted a piece of piss-poor propaganda trying to make their actions seem reasonable. He fails spectacularly, as you might expect — but he also fails to mention the most salient fact of all.

Brill is the ex-lawyer who put the losing court case together. He, together with the trustees of the NZ Climate Science Education Trust — Terry Dunleavy, Bryan Leyland and Doug Edmeades — are in default of the costs awarded against them by the judge. It’s a cool $89,000, and if Brill et al don’t pay up, the NZ taxpayer will have to foot their bill. As one of those taxpayers, I object strenuously to funding their absurd political posturing.

Brill, Leyland, Dunleavy et al would do well to remember that in the “court of public opinion” people who welch on their debts and try to avoid the consequences of their actions are regarded as mountebanks and charlatans. They should shut up until they’ve paid up.

{ 26 comments… read them below or add one }

Rob Taylor February 5, 2014 at 4:53 pm

Barry Brill stood for the ACT party in the Northland electorate in 2011, so let’s hope he does so again this year… run, Bazza, run!

nigelj February 6, 2014 at 10:54 am

Hopefully he will run into a large tree, and suffer some pain in the area of his head.

Rob Taylor February 6, 2014 at 2:08 pm

In which case, Brill would claim that said tree is secretly owned by Judge Venning’s family trust and, therefore, proves that global warming is a myth.

Thomas February 6, 2014 at 2:56 pm

Once more it is pretty clear that ACT = Nutcases. Hopefully the electorate will have enough of these silly old boys and send Banks his cabal packing once and for all this year.

RW February 7, 2014 at 10:39 pm

Anthony Violi – orchestrator of anti-AGW propaganda in Australia – has turned up on City-Data forum (weather subforum). He deserves a good telling off – too scared to come here and spout his drivel, though.

CTG June 18, 2014 at 9:36 am

So the trust has been liquidated, and found to have no assets – quelle surprise!

NIWA is now considering prosecuting the trustees. A word of advice to Leyland, Dunleavy and Edmeades: find a different lawyer…

Macro June 18, 2014 at 11:41 am

The legal standing of the “trust” will be interesting noting that it was initiated after the filing of litigation. Will it be enough for them to avoid personal responsibility for their scurrilous accusations?

Gareth June 18, 2014 at 12:06 pm

I sincerely hope not.

andyS June 18, 2014 at 1:16 pm

I am wondering why the case went ahead if it was transparently obvious that the trust was set up to limit liability in this way.

Is there no way a court can call these things into question before proceedings start?

Gareth June 18, 2014 at 1:45 pm

Because (I would guess, IANAL), that the question of the trust’s status is something a separate court would have to adjudicate – and might not have been obvious before the case. After all, if you read the NZCSET trust deed, it states that the trust has all sorts of wonderful and laudable objectives. Not including bringing a court action – but there was a “catch all” statement to cover such things.

andyS June 18, 2014 at 1:51 pm

You would have thought that NIWA would have twigged though. Renwick states as much in the RNZ interview

Gareth June 18, 2014 at 2:06 pm

NIWA were fully aware of the probable shonky status of the trust – that’s why they asked the judge to make the principal litigants (including Brill, who is not a trustee) jointly liable for the costs. The judge turned that down, and said that NIWA would need to pursue cost recovery as a separate action after the Trust proved unable to pay up.

The RNZ news item quotes NIWA’s CEO saying that they reserve the right to pursue the trustees for costs. It remains to be seen whether they are willing to do that. More legal costs with no certainty that Leyland, Edmeades or Dunleavy will be able to pay up.

Rob Taylor June 18, 2014 at 2:39 pm

I don’t see the problem, Gareth; if Leyland, Edmeades or Dunleavy can’t pay up, let them go bankrupt and Brill pay the full amount.

As a barrister and solicitor, Brill can’t take refuge in bankruptcy. Of course, he could flee the country, which would make for some great headlines….

andyS June 18, 2014 at 2:57 pm

We could probably run a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo if things got tough. People pay for all sorts of crazy things on that, like “solar freakin roadways” for starters

Thomas June 18, 2014 at 10:20 pm

Andy Said: “We could probably run a crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo….”

So do you really feel obliged to help these fools to pay their brill? (oop’s I meant to say bill of cause).
How very kind of you. Are you feeling a bit culpable after cheering them on back in time then? Or do you still buy into their wicked logic?

andyS June 18, 2014 at 10:59 pm

Hi Thomas
No I don’t feel obliged to help them out. However, having discussed the issues with them they seem happy that they are correct and that NIWA privately agree with them.

Gareth June 19, 2014 at 9:10 am

If you think that “NIWA privately agree” with the NZCSET on anything, you are either completely nuts, or being grievously misinformed. If NIWA chooses not to pursue Brill and the trustees for the costs owing to them, it will be because it’s not worth throwing good money after bad.

Rob Taylor June 18, 2014 at 1:49 pm

C’mon, Andy, surely you can put in a good word for the fearless climate warriors of NZCSET with your mates at Heartland?

$90K, to the Koch brothers, would be just like spare change lost between the seat squabs of their limousines.

andyS June 18, 2014 at 1:50 pm

Yes, good idea, I’ll call my friends at Exxon Mobil

Rob Taylor June 18, 2014 at 2:30 pm

Really? I would have thought they’d have told you never to call them direct, but only via their front groups?

http://www.desmogblog.com/2013/09/10/dealing-in-doubt-greenpeace-exposes-fossil-fuel-funded-climate-denial-machine

andyS June 18, 2014 at 2:54 pm

I do actually have some old mates from Uni who work for Exxon

They do not fund “climate denial networks” as it happens

bill June 18, 2014 at 10:22 pm

Oh, I don’t know, andy; surely they’ve bought you a beer?

bill June 18, 2014 at 2:48 pm

Well, I thought I’d wander over to the Antipodean heartland to see how the cognoscenti are justifying this one, and what do I see? Why, it’s a breathless announcement of Bio’s ultra-weapon via science super-site Jo Nova’s

Will this be the magic bullet to destroy climate ignorance?

Well, um, no, Richard, you may rest assured that all the evidence suggests your brand of ignorance is unconquerable.

As to whether it will result in a last-minute reversal of the overwhelming tide of the war; well, hmmm… I rather think not. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for the internal contradictions among the enemy alliance to inevitably tear them apart, either…

Couldn’t see much in the way of a comprehensive justification of the above, by the way. Doubtlessly this is forthcoming.

So, andy, do you ever feel the teensiest, tiniest bit embarrassed about running with this lot?

Rob Taylor June 18, 2014 at 11:00 am

Indeed, CTG, we can only hope that the NZCSET trustees engage a very expensive QC to defend them… (evil laughter)

Gareth June 18, 2014 at 11:10 am

The really irritating thing about this is that I’ve had a post on the liquidator’s report in draft form for a couple of days. I should have broken the story yesterday… (But I will have more, just wait and see).

noelfuller June 19, 2014 at 11:26 am

For those interested you can preview a 6 page article by Al Gore due for release in Rolling Stone magazine, July – the title: “The Turning Point: New Hope for the Climate”

There’s some interesting stuff on what positive moves are taking place round the planet but for a good laugh the prize lines for me are:

In Georgia, the Atlanta Tea Party joined forces with the Sierra Club to form a new organization called – wait for it – the Green Tea Coalition, which promptly defeated a Koch-funded scheme to tax rooftop solar panels.

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