In an article in The Guardian called “‘Game changing’: spate of US lawsuits calls big oil to account for climate crisis” by Dharna Noor, it notes the litigation regarding climate change litigation is increasing globally and in the US. Here are a few salient paragraphs:
“Climate litigation in the US could be entering a ‘game changing’ new phase, experts believe, with a spate of lawsuits around the country set to advance after a recent supreme court decision, and with legal teams preparing for a trailblazing trial in a youth-led court case beginning next week.
The number of cases focused on the climate crisis around the world has doubled since 2015, bringing the total number to over 2,000, according to a report last year led by European researchers.
The US has not always led the way, but experts say that could be changing as:
The first constitutional climate lawsuit in the US goes to trial on Monday next week (12 June) in Helena, Montana, based on a legal challenge by 16 young plaintiffs, ranging in age from five to 22, against the state’s pro-fossil fuel policies.
A federal judge ruled last week that a federal constitutional climate lawsuit, also brought by youth, can go to trial.
More than two dozen US cities and states are suing big oil alleging the fossil fuel industry knew for decades about the dangers of burning coal, oil and gas, and actively hid that information from consumers and investors.
The supreme court cleared the way for these cases to advance with rulings in April and May that denied oil companies’ bids to move the venue of such lawsuits from state courts to federal courts.
Hoboken, New Jersey, last month added racketeering charges against oil majors to its 2020 climate lawsuit, becoming the first case to employ the approach in a state court and following a federal lawsuit filed by Puerto Rico last November.
‘I don’t know of another time in history where so many courts in so many different levels all over the globe [have been] tasked with dealing with a similar overarching issue,’ said Karen Sokol, law professor at Loyola University New Orleans College of Law.
Research also continues to unearth more about the fossil fuel industry’s knowledge of climate change. A January study revealed that Exxon had made “breathtakingly” accurate climate predictions in the 1970s.“
2,000 and counting court cases is quite telling. What has long troubled me is the scientists for the fossil fuel industry used used to speak at conferences over their concerns of climate change, then called global warming. Shell Oil scientists even made an educational video back in the mid-1990s.
But, that was all before the industry adopted a “naysaying campaign” armed by adverting consultants who helped the tobacco industry deceive the public about nicotine. Like that industry, the fossil fuel companies know what they do is harmful.
Now, kids and young adults are part of a movement in these lawsuits saying stop hurtin the planet we live on. And, stop the lying which continues to this day. I hope their efforts bear fruit. We need it to.