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Time to Hold Petroleum Perpetrators Accountable for Climate Damage


Time to Hold Petroleum Perpetrators Accountable for Climate Damage

Dana Drugmand

“We’ll see you in court.”


I was’t able to tell from the linked NYT article whether DeBlasio’s suit is against the five corp’s individually; it would seem ripe for a RICO action against the whole rotten bunch, which allows for treble damages.


There are also numerous lawsuits that hold the state and federal governments responsible for allowing climate change to occur. Our Children’s Trust is facilitating one of these lawsuits, for a group of 21 young people that want the US government to take climate change more seriously. It is about time to hold our governments and corporations accountable for climate change!


“Mayor de Blasio cited Hurricane Sandy as a painful and costly example of the consequences of decades of climate denial on the part of fossil fuel companies that put their short-term profits above the health and safety of people and the planet.”

I’m sorry what are you talking about Mr. de Blasio?! First of all there is ZERO evidence that you can attribute CO2 emissions from petroleum companies to Hurricane Sandy. Second of all, I love how you act like New York City bears zero responsibility, yet after Hurricane Irene you passed zero bills to help secure infrastructure from flooding and storm surge. How dare you act innocent…


Additionally Mr de Blasio if you are so disgusted by fossil fuels, I would love to see your explanation for why you are supporting natural gas plants to substitute energy production for Indian Point Nuclear Center in 2021. "“It’s time they are held accountable.” F@CKING BULLSH!T… Its time for you to bear responsibility and actually be honest about your intentions, and your failures as a mayor.

I love it how New York acts as if they absolutely did not sign a contract with ExxonMobil to have refineries and production in New York. Oh wait that’s required by law, so WTF are yall talking about how this company is solely responsible for damages.


Sorry (not really) to burst your bubble there FossilPaul, but see:

The connection between Hurricane Sandy and global warming

New study links global warming to Hurricane Sandy and other extreme weather events

Hurricanes and Climate Change

Hurricanes and Climate Change

There are more, but I don’t want to bore the informed.

But regardless, it will be up to the plaintiffs (and the defendants) to put their case before the judge based on the evidence they have. They will win or lose accordingly, regardless of your ignorant assertions.

As an aside, does someone pay you to troll here, or is this just how you get your kicks?


They have no culpability for warming which is empirically indistinguishable from variations during an interglacial. Models are not evidence, after all.

CA’s suits are in a lot of trouble since it was discovered they’ve sued for damages related to claimed rising sea levels which they say will devastate their community…but their bond sales didn’t mention the certainty of devastation, which makes the bond sales fraudulent due to withholding knowledge which would impact their bond sales.


None of your source disprove my point, because none of them are even addressing the argument I’m talking about. I’m not saying that climate change doesn’t play a role in hurricanes. I’m saying that it is impossible to determine that x emissions cause x storm to occur during a very specific period of time.

  • Your first source talks about the increased probability over the last 100 years- I’m talking ONE STORM IN ONE YEAR.

  • “we suggest that it is more useful to regard the extreme circulation regime or weather event as being largely unaffected by climate change, and question whether known changes in the climate system’s thermodynamic state affected the impact of the particular event.” Again your second source recognizes that climate change can play a role in changes of weather patterns, but this is not talking about emissions from one or two companies causing a hurricane. That’s an incredibly different argument.

  • “In the future, there may not necessarily be more hurricanes, but there will likely be more intense hurricanes that carry higher wind speeds and more precipitation as a result of global warming.” Again this is not evidence that a company is responsible for a hurricane in a particular period of time. How is it that these companies are responsible for 1 storm in 40+ years that just happens to impact the city.

  • Why is that ExxonMobil is responsible for Hurricane Sandy, but not Hurricane Irene that hit the year before? Why are these companies magically responsible for extremely specific events, when there are a multitude of variables that create hurricanes and the path of hurricanes?

  • Why are these companies more responsible for the damage of the storm, when New York failed to act after Irene and improve the city? Why does New York share zero blame even though infrastructure plays a key role in hydrology during a natural disaster? Why is New York acting as if they were tricked into supporting oil and gas, when they literally signed the contracts that enabled these companies to do business in their state.

  • Oh and my favorite. If New York cares so much about climate change and emissions why the f@ck is the state replacing nuclear with natural gas, even though nuclear doesn’t emit CO2 during energy generation?!


You seem to continue to miss the most important point – each side will present its evidence to the court. Whichever one carries the preponderance of the evidence standard will carry the day.

In the meantime, we all face an extreme calamity that threatens our very existence.

Maybe you should buy some beach front property and watch the tide roll in. I’m sure you’ll enjoy it.

You never answered my question. Do you work for someone here or is this how you get your kicks?


A classic case of the logical fallacy of non sequitur. Whatever they did or did not include in their bond sale disclosures has nothing to do with whether petroleum companies are culpable for their actions or omissions.


Amazing how you keep “disproving” my arguments with evidence that can only be called evidence after it is proven in court to actually hold companies liable. In the meantime there isn’t a single attribution study that has been published, which states company emissions can create a specific hurricane or that company emissions are directly responsible for Hurricane Sandy’s impact.


At least tobacco companies only kill people. :scream:


I have to bookmark this to read later; I’m interested to see what, if any, ideas are floated as to how they intend to isolate, discern & quantify the alleged damage to earth’s climate being done by each particular defendant, so as to allocate responsibility & determine fines/restitution. Or, if there are no such ideas, or even an acknowledgement of the need for them, then let’s just call this what it is: a demand for political power to be used to arbitrarily punish large corporations for the sake of ideology, rather than anything like justice.


Amazing how you keep misstating the necessary proof to win the case.


That’s the beauty of a RICO case—the perps don’t even have to have met in person. And in this case, it has nothing to do with ideology, and everything to do with ecocide. Big Oil has known for a half-century what was happening, and chose to cover it up in the pursuit of profit—prosecution for which is hardly “arbitrary.”


“Big Oil has known for a half-century what was happening, and chose to cover it up in the pursuit of profit—prosecution for which is hardly “arbitrary.””

This is a completely different case than sueing a company for CO2 emissions responsible for hurricane Sandy.


Not different at all. It’s an element of the overarching crime.


So let me get this straight:

  • ExxonMobil lies to the public about the effect of emissions in 1980. Therefore ANY EVENT in the future they are responsible for? Seems a little unlawful and lacking of evidence.
  • ExxonMobil lies to the public about the effect of emissions in 1980, therefore they are now responsible for not only creating specific hurricanes in the future, but are also responsible for the path of these hurricanes and the impact of these hurricanes on cities? Seems a little strange given that temperature, nor atmospheric carbon content are the leading factors for creating a hurricane.

Its not an element of the same conversation. You cant charge someone for a future event based on evidence of a completely different action in the past. 1. They haven’t committed a crime today. 2. There isn’t any evidence that CO2 emissions from 1980 are responsible for events in 2011. 3. There isn’t any evidence that CO2 pollution can create specific hurricanes. 4. There isn’t any evidence that links ExxonMobil emissions to the creation of a hurricane.


Did mesothelioma victims have to identify which specific filament of asbestos caused their cancer, or prove which particular company manufactured it? No, because all manufacturers took part in covering up damning scientific data including medical reports.

And where did I suggest that Exxon-Mobil was the only corporation doing the same for their actions, or lack thereof, regarding anthropogenic climate disruption? They all knew, and covered up the evidence to avoid liability. If that’s not a criminal conspiracy, the words have no meaning.

I note with great interest that you only comment on articles which are critical of Big Oil. Whatever they’re paying you, it’s too much, when weak tea like “There isn’t any evidence that links ExxonMobil emissions to the creation of a hurricane” is the best you can serve up for them.


I understand that in our money-obsessed society money is how we express things, and I understand that in our impotence to do anything real we turn to whatever actions are open, including scapegoating. And fossil fuels corporations who lied (pretty much all of them in the US) deserve to pay.

we’re all complicit in this—every one of us who uses fossil fuels they don’t have to and who doesn’t do everything they could to stop climate catastrophe.

only when we recognize the part we all play in the systems of our society—physical, political, and above all psychological, will we start to be able to do anything that’s both effective and right. Corporations are the tools we use to hold our psychopathic impulses, our impulses to disconnect. When we blame them for doing what we designed them to do we commit yet another counterproductive action.

for knowingly lying, those corporations ”deserve” to pay by being dismantled, by being taken over by people who will make better decisions with the resources the fossil fuel corporations control. The people who run them deserve to have their fortunes taken away and given to people they’ve been stealing from, and who need it more, and who didn’t lie but were lied to. When we honestly and fearlessly recognize all our parts in what’s happening (beyond the GHG crisis to the larger psycho-social-political-ecological crisis) then we can replace the people making bad decisions (supposedly in our names) with people who are aware, empathetic, compassionate, and wise, and we can start to take the massive and immediate steps we need to take to avoid cataclysm.