People use the legal system for the strangest things…
There’s an Eskimo village in Alaska that is having some problems with wave surges. The waves are coming in winter when there was usually sea ice protecting the village. The waves are causing erosion and they are now wanting to relocate the village to a safer place to the tune of $400 million. Who do you think they’re trying to get to pay for it? THE OIL COMPANIES!! (and 14 power companies and one coal company). The village claims that their problem is because of global warming, and the defendants in the lawsuit are the ones causing the global warming.
Reached by phone in Boston, attorney Matt Pawa said other lawsuits have been filed seeking damages from global warming, but this is the first one that has a “discretely identifiable victim.”
Damage to Kivalina from global warming has been documented in official government reports by the Army Corps of Engineers and the General Accounting Office, Pawa said.
The lawsuit invokes the federal common law of public nuisance, and every entity that contributes to the pollution problem harming Kivalina is liable, Pawa said. “You can sue them one at a time or some subset of them,” he said.
The lawsuit also accuses some of the defendants of a conspiracy to mislead the public regarding the causes and consequences of global warming. The suit was filed in California because that’s where many of the defendants are located or do business, Pawa said.