Sunday, February 15, 2009

Exxon Mobil sued for causing climate change

The Alaska native village of Kivalina is suing several major energy corporations, including Exxon Mobil, for creating a public nuisance in the form of climate change which has forced them to move inland to a cost of 400 million, and conspiring to keep the facts about that nuisance from the public.

Exxon Mobil, and several other defendants like Peabody Coal did fund the efforts, now finally beginning to subside, by organizations such as the un-aptly-named Greening Earth Society, the Global Climate Coalition, the George C. Marshall Institute, and the Cooler Heads Coalition, organizations who for years distributed contrived and psuedo-scientific climate denial information.

All of their efforts are now a matter of court record, cited as conspiracy?. You can get the court documents here.

Did they conspire?

I guess a jury will get to decide. And since this is a civil trial, the burden of proof is "a preponderance of the evidence." The Inupiat of Kivalina, and their canny lawyers, are in with a chance, I'd say. Most likely the firms will have to pay them to go away. I remember my John Grisham! Most of these cases are settled out of court.

I mentioned once or twice before on this blog that when the real effects of climate change begin to sink in, some of the businesses involved in the climate denial campaign might find themselves in court. This is a little earlier than I was expecting, but then climate change in Alaska, despite what "pit-bull with lipstick" Mrs. Palin had to say, is far advanced.

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