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Climate change denial should be a crime

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Brad H, Sep 5, 2017.

  1. Brad H

    Brad H Admin

    I think we are going to be seeing a lot more of this kind of article - it is the same message that David Suzuki in my neck of the woods would say at the crescendo of a public speech after he's riled-up the crowd to get in the fighting mode. He would point to the executive suites at the top of buildings in the middle of a downtown city street and emoting evangelical terror fit for a secular priesthood, would personify and reduce the structural violence of a system to the heads of corporations, or fossil fuel corporations themselves. People would scatter after the speech satiated by the catharsis and go back to participation in business-as-usual, without any new tools to visualize the systemic threat, or the vision of a new order. Still, I like the cathartic rush of the proposal to make the punishment fit the crime, and see these corporate masters exposed.....

    Climate change denial should be a crime

    Climate change denial should be a crime

    In the wake of Harvey, it’s time to treat science denial as gross negligence—and hold those who do the denying accountable.

    "The enormity of that storm, the epic scale of its tragedy, the organic wrath of its winds, rains, and floods, and our penchant for carving heroic man vs nature narratives out of the rubble make the notion of assigning specific blame feel unthinkable. This storm was a force of nature, a capital T tragedy—who can you blame for something like that? Not only does it seem impossible, given its scale, but petty, even insensitive. Hurricanes happen."

    "And that’s one reason more and more people will keep dying in them. We refuse to hold the negligent accountable. We refuse to strike back with adequate force at the toxic climate denial that corrupts our public policies. There’s hope—a coalition of flooded homeowners sued Houston in 2016, alleging negligence. More should follow suit after Harvey."
     
    Last edited: Sep 5, 2017
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  2. Ted F

    Ted F Admin

    As an attorney, I'm delighted to see this kind of effort to expand the law. We have a long ways to go before we can lock 'em up, but I think it's important to start the process of defining some of the corporate actors as criminals.
     
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  3. Lisa Milos

    Lisa Milos New Member

    I'm wary of using the same system that puts a monetary value on the loss of property from these major climate events since the only ones that could end up winning from this kind of appraisal are the insurance companies since we are still viewing this in a species-centered way (human-centered). I think that we need to criminalize denial of climate change on the basis that it is a crime against nature itself that is ongoing (as in species extinction). The only time that we seem to worry about this is when it hits our pocket books or costs human lives and that is unfortunate because the way we approach this period in history will frame the solutions that we find.
     
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  4. Lisa Milos

    Lisa Milos New Member

    Maybe as one more tactic in our toolbox it might be useful in holding the fossil fuel industry accountable but I doubt that it would make much of a difference to them financially. Usually lawsuits such as this tend to come up with an amount of money that they can very well afford and given the shared boards of directors between financial institutions, insurance industries and fossil fuel company board rooms it would be like robbing Peter to pay Paul or the other way around. I do agree with making individual corporate actors responsible, with their names and pictures in the paper and I think we should look at the issue of corporate person-hood, corporate charters, and fight to eliminate their subsidies by calling it what it is "Welfare" and begin the process of reducing their net worth by refusing to allow that they count the amount of ff reserves in the ground as part of their wealth. That is akin to letting a blood bank count the 5 quarts of blood in one's body as part of their blood bank reserves.
     
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  5. Ted F

    Ted F Admin

    I agree with Lisa that pushing for private monetary compensation is not a great strategy. But I am reminded of The War Crimes Tribunal organized by Bertrand Russell in opposition to the Vietnam War. We can't put the criminals in jail, but we can conduct mock trials and gather testimony to build public consciousness that what they are doing is properly condemned as criminal. The Russell Tribunal got tremendous publicity and played a significant role in rallying intellectual opposition to the Vietnam War. Perhaps a trial (with some distinguished judges) could be staged at the People's Climate Summit in San Francisco in September 2018.
     
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