Hopefully this will trigger many more lawsuits aganst fossil fuel giants.
Courtesy of NYT:
After four years of legal sparring and finger-pointing, oil-industry giant Exxon Mobil will go to court on Tuesday to face charges that the company lied to shareholders and to the public about the costs and consequences of climate change.
The case turns on the claim that Exxon kept a secret set of financial books that seriously underestimated the costs of potential climate change regulation while claiming publicly that it was taking such factors into account. It follows a sprawling investigation that included millions of pages of documents and allegations of a chief executive’s secret email account.
It is only the second climate-change lawsuit to reach trial in the United States, but it could be a bellwether for the long line of other suits awaiting trial that are intended to hold fossil fuel companies responsible for the costs of climate change.
It will begin in a New York City courtroom on Tuesday, where the lawsuit filed last year by the New York Attorney General’s office claims that the oil industry giant engaged in a yearslong “fraudulent scheme” that “in effect erected a Potemkin village to create the illusion that it had fully considered the risks of future climate change regulation and had factored those risks into its business operations.” The deception “exposed the company to greater risk from climate change regulation than investors were led to believe,” according to the lawsuit.
This lawsuit is long overdue, and it just so happens to coincide with a new report compiled by an international team of scientists.
Courtesy of EcoWatch:
An international group of scientists released a report today detailing how the fossil fuel industry actively campaigned to sow doubt about the climate crisis and what steps need to be taken to undo the damage, as the Los Angeles Times reported.
Here were the main findings of the report:
1. Internal corporate documents show that the fossil fuel industry has known about human-caused climate change for decades. Its response was to actively arrange and fund denial and disinformation to suppress action and protect its status quo business operations.
2. As the scientific consensus on climate change emerged and strengthened, the industry and its political allies attacked the consensus and exaggerated the uncertainties.
3. The fossil fuel industry offered no consistent alternative explanation for why the climate was changing — the goal was merely to undermine support for action.
4. The strategy, tactics, infrastructure and rhetorical arguments and techniques used by fossil fuel interests to challenge the scientific evidence of climate change — including cherry picking, fake experts and conspiracy theories — come straight out of the tobacco industry’s playbook for delaying tobacco control.
5. Informing the public about how these arguments are deceptive not only begins to correct the misconceptions, but also will make it harder for future campaigns to use these misleading tactics to confuse the public.
Well, that is fairly damning, but not at all surprising.
One would think that these companies would have put the survival of the planet over making a profit, but clearly that was not the case.
Just another reminder that unchecked capitalism is toxic for the world we live in.