Putting oil companies on trial

by frog

 It is a peculiarly American approach to problem solving – find yourself a judge and head off to court.  So, little surprise then that James Hansen, who I’ve devoted a bit of time to this week, is calling for the CEOs of large oil companies to be put on trial for ‘crimes against humanity and nature’, because of the way they have undermined public understanding about about global warming in the same way that tobacco companies hid the links between smoking and cancer.

Speaking before Congress again, he will accuse the chief executive officers of companies such as ExxonMobil and Peabody Energy of being fully aware of the disinformation about climate change they are spreading.

In an interview with the Guardian he said: “When you are in that kind of position, as the CEO of one the primary players who have been putting out misinformation even via organisations that affect what gets into school textbooks, then I think that’s a crime.”

It’s interesting that some of the misinformation about climate change that big oil companies have been using has stemmed from individuals and organisations based here in New Zealand – our little climate denial claim to fame.  Hansen says the science is now 99 percent certain and urgent action will be needed from the next US president, analogous to the effort Kennedy invested in going to the moon, if we are to bring our global concentration of CO² equivalent from 385 parts per million to the necessary 350.

frog says

Published in Environment & Resource Management by frog on Tue, June 24th, 2008   

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