Katrina & Climate: Case Dismissed?

That’s the clever headline for this NYT Green post, which recalls an interesting piece of litigation:

Back in 2005, a group of landowners on the gulf coast filed a federal lawsuit against energy and chemical companies, arguing that they were directly responsible for greenhouse gas emissions that exacerbated the effects of Hurricane Katrina. It named more than 30 companies, including oil giants like Chevron, BP and ExxonMobil.

Read the entire post to follow the intriguing turn of events that led to the case being dismissed. What interests me more is this effort to blame oil companies for climate change. That’s like someone with heart disease who lived off of Big Macs suing McDonald’s.

In contrast, here’s Andy Revkin over at Dot Earth, assigning responsibility for the Gulf of Mexico oil gusher, but he might as well be talking about man-made climate change, as well:

The oil disaster doesn’t belong to BP, or to President Obama or his predecessor; we all own it.

In his post, Andy takes stock of his “ownership.” More of us should do the same, but as I suggest in the comments over there, the menu of options should include the urban lifestyle, which is infinitely more sustainable than suburban sprawl and the car culture that so many Americans are now hostage to.

3 Responses to “Katrina & Climate: Case Dismissed?”

  1. Here’s my lede from a story in early May:
    The policies and deals that contributed to the massive oil spill under way in the Gulf of Mexico are also jeopardising the Earth’s vital biological infrastructure, according to the Global Biodiversity Outlook 3, published Monday.
    — story continues:

    However, concern about impacts on ecosystems seems to be last on the list in the decisions on extracting oil, minerals and timber, said Kierán Suckling, director of the non-governmental Centre for Biological Diversity, based in the southwestern U.S. state of Arizona.
    “If the ecologists who are consulted at the end are very aggressive, maybe they can scale down a project 5 percent,” Suckling said in a Tierramérica interview. “All the power resides with those are pushing for development.”


  2. Sashka says:

    That’s like someone with heart disease who lived off of Big Macs suing McDonald’s.
    Exactly. But why “in contrast”? I believe Andy meant it in exactly the same spirit as you.

  3. […] I took an expansive, meta perspective on who’s responsible for climate change and the U.S. addiction to fossil […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *