The Telegraph is reporting that some of the victims of Hurricane Katrina are suing companies including Shell, Exxon Mobile, BP, American Electric Power and Chevron because of their role in promoting climate change. The class action suit states;
"The plaintiffs allege that defendants' operation of energy, fossil fuels, and chemical industries in the United States caused the emission of greenhouse gasses that contributed to global warming [when they had a duty to] avoid unreasonably endangering the environment, public health, public and private property."It has taken four years for judges to rule that this case can be heard.
Although I wont be holding my breath that this goes anywhere it does raise an interesting point. This may be a slightly controversial point but I don't blame the oil companies specifically for climate change, when it is in the nature of our economy as a whole.
I worry about the idea of "bad capitalists" who can be brought under control in order to make our economy fair again. Oil companies, banks, arms companies are obviously stuffed to the rafters with people who do bad things for a living - but the solution to the problem of climate change does not lie in punishing miscreants but changing the way we go forward.