By Robert A. Vella
It’s a legal contest pitting David versus Goliath; or, it may be the other way around. If the plaintiffs hadn’t challenged a powerful enough force in the U.S. government, that certainly is the case now after the fossil fuel industry has moved to join the defense in a potentially consequential lawsuit over climate change. Yes, you read that correctly – Big Oil and Big Coal plan to team-up with their arch-nemesis (the Obama Administration) to crush 21 young Americans (aged 8 to 19) who are demanding their collective future be protected against the human-produced greenhouse gas emissions which are causing global warming.
This defense, like all other close associations between state and corporate authority, is called corporatism; and, it is inherently corrupt. The might of absolute power cannot be wielded in a nation which proclaims itself to be fair, just, democratic, and governed by the rule of law.
From Yahoo – US kids’ lawsuit over climate change gathers steam:
The plaintiffs want the government to commit to significantly reduce carbon dioxide emissions and implement “a science-based climate recovery plan” that protects the Earth for future generations, according to the Oregon-based group, Our Children’s Trust.
“This case will put indisputable science about climate change squarely in front of the federal judiciary,” said the group, which filed its lawsuit against President Barack Obama’s administration in August, and has filed multiple state lawsuits over the past several years.
They are calling on the US District Court of Oregon — the state where most of the plaintiffs live — to order the government to “swiftly phase down carbon dioxide emissions” so that atmospheric CO2 concentrations “are no more than 350 parts per million by 2100.”
In a sign that the kids’ lawsuit is causing some concern to industry interests, powerful oil and coal companies filed earlier this month for permission to join the US government in opposing it.
They include the American Fuel and Petrochemical Manufacturers — which represents ExxonMobil, BP, Shell, Koch Industries and more — the American Petroleum Institute and the National Association of Manufacturers.
After this corporatist Goliath presumably wins in court, I wonder what they’ll do next. Will they pursue legal action against these children to recover their legal costs and other compensatory damages? Will they seek criminal charges under the guise of national security or other such legal trickery? Yes, I suppose that they would.