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Schwarzenegger to Sue Big Oil for 'Murder'
By Andy Rowell
The Terminator is back. And this time he has Big Oil in his sights. Ex-California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger has vowed to take on Big Oil "for knowingly killing people all over the world."
Reflecting sentiments expressed by many commentators over the years, including myself, of how the denial and delay campaign by big oil over climate change is similar to the one by Big Tobacco over the evidence of smoking and health, Schwarzeneger said:
"This is no different from the smoking issue. The tobacco industry knew for years and years and years and decades, that smoking would kill people, would harm people and create cancer, and were hiding that fact from the people and denied it. Then eventually they were taken to court and had to pay hundreds of millions of dollars because of that."
Speaking at the SXSW festival, Schwarzenegger added, "The oil companies knew from 1959 on, they did their own study that there would be global warming happening because of fossil fuels, and on top of it that it would be risky for people's lives, that it would kill."
The fact that oil companies knew about the dangers of climate change and denied the evidence has become known globally as the #Exxonknew scandal. The evidence of Big Oil's culpability has been slowly amassed over the years by journalists, researchers, academics, activists and politicians. For a quick overview of Exxon's decade's-long climate denial campaign, go here.
Indeed, as I have pointed out before, many of the people "researching climate deniers were loosely involved with Greenpeace USA, which released the ground-breaking Exxon Secrets data-base before turning their attention to the Koch denial machinery, but also others of note include the Climate Investigations Center, Union of Concerned Scientists; Sourcewatch; DeSmogBlog as well as academics, such as Naomi Oreskes, who wrote the wonderful Merchants of Doubt, as well as Michael Mann, the climate researcher, who himself has been on the frontline of the climate wars."
To add further to this evidence, a report released last November by the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) synthesized years of research exposing what the oil industry and other major fossil fuel producers knew about climate change, when they knew it and what they did about it. The report evaluated the evidence in light of fundamental principles of legal responsibility and concluded that the major carbon producers could and should be held accountable for our changing climate.
When the report was released, I wrote: "The parallels with tobacco are uncanny. Big Oil learnt from the masters of deception, the tobacco industry. Just as the tobacco industry would fund decades of denial, so too would Big Oil. Just as the tobacco industry's denial campaign started in the fifties, so too did the oil industry's."
CIEL President Carroll Muffett said last November, "Exxon and its oil industry allies have given us a decades-long history of climate change, climate denial and climate chaos. This report exposes that history and suggests that the future of these companies will be marked by climate litigation and climate accountability."
And now Schwarzenegger wants to sue the oil companies to make them accountable. "We're going to go after them, and we're going to be in there like an Alabama tick," he continued at the SXSW festival. "If you walk into a room and you know you're going to kill someone, it's first degree murder. I think it's the same thing with the oil companies," said Schwarzenegger.
Although no time has been set for the legal case, in the meantime, at the very least, Schwarzenegger said that any fossil product should come with a health warning in it, just like tobacco. "To me it's absolutely irresponsible to know that your product is killing people and not have a warning label on it, like tobacco. Every gas station on it, every car should have a warning label on it, every product that has fossil fuels should have a warning label on it."
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
By Dan Gray
- Research shows that 16 weeks of a vegan diet can boost the gut microbiome, helping with weight loss and overall health.
- A healthy microbiome is a diverse microbiome. A plant-based diet is the best way to achieve this.
- It isn't necessary to opt for a strictly vegan diet, but it's beneficial to limit meat intake.
New research shows that following a vegan diet for about 4 months can boost your gut microbiome. In turn, that can lead to improvements in body weight and blood sugar management.
By Jeff Turrentine
Nearly 20 years have passed since the journalist Malcolm Gladwell popularized the term tipping point, in his best-selling book of the same name. The phrase denotes the moment that a certain idea, behavior, or practice catches on exponentially and gains widespread currency throughout a culture. Having transcended its roots in sociological theory, the tipping point is now part of our everyday vernacular. We use it in scientific contexts to describe, for instance, the climatological point of no return that we'll hit if we allow average global temperatures to rise more than 2 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels. But we also use it to describe everything from resistance movements to the disenchantment of hockey fans when their team is on a losing streak.
By Mark Mancini
On Aug. 18, Iceland held a funeral for the first glacier lost to climate change. The deceased party was Okjökull, a historic body of ice that covered 14.6 square miles (38 square kilometers) in the Icelandic Highlands at the turn of the 20th century. But its glory days are long gone. In 2014, having dwindled to less than 1/15 its former size, Okjökull lost its status as an official glacier.
By Alex Schwartz
Among the many vendors at the Logan Square Farmers Market on Aug. 18 sat three young people peddling neither organic vegetables, gourmet cheese nor handmade crafts. Instead, they offered liberation from capitalism.
I’m a Psychotherapist – Here’s What I’ve Learned From Listening to Children Talk About Climate Change
By Caroline Hickman
Eco-anxiety is likely to affect more and more people as the climate destabilizes. Already, studies have found that 45 percent of children suffer lasting depression after surviving extreme weather and natural disasters. Some of that emotional turmoil must stem from confusion — why aren't adults doing more to stop climate change?