Honolulu, A City Which Can’t Survive Without Fossil Fuels, Sues Fossil Fuels Companies

The city of Honolulu, Hawaii, is much like the entire state: it could not survive as a modern city without fossil fuels. It depends on tourism and the military. Being that it is on an island way out in the Pacific Ocean, people are not getting to the city without fossil fueled flights. Those people then require FF vehicles to get around the city and island, as well as FF helicopter flights to sight-see. A goodly chunk of food is brought in on fossil fueled ships, be it fish being caught or everything other than pineapple from the mainland. Construction materials, TVs, glassware, you name it, it has to be brought in by fossil fueled planes or ships. Without fossil fuels, who is coming to Honolulu? So, naturally

Honolulu Sues Petroleum Companies For Climate Change Damages to City

Honolulu city officials, lashing out at the fossil fuel industry in a climate change lawsuit filed Monday, accused oil producers of concealing the dangers that greenhouse gas emissions from petroleum products would create, while reaping billions in profits.

The lawsuit, against eight oil companies, says climate change already is having damaging effects on the city’s coastline, and lays out a litany of catastrophic public nuisances—including sea level rise, heat waves, flooding and drought caused by the burning of fossil fuels—that are costing the city billions, and putting its residents and property at risk.

“We are seeing in real time coastal erosion and the consequences,” Josh Stanbro, chief resilience officer and executive director for the City and County of Honolulu Office of Climate Change, Sustainability and Resiliency, told InsideClimate News. “It’s an existential threat for what the future looks like for islanders.”

Can you guess what the actual sea level data for Honolulu shows? “The relative sea level trend is 1.51 millimeters/year with a 95% confidence interval of +/- 0.21 mm/yr based on monthly mean sea level data from 1905 to 2019 which is equivalent to a change of 0.50 feet in 100 years.” The expected sea rise during the Holocene is 6-8 per century, with much higher rate during a warm period. So, this is at the low end of average, and at least half of what one would expect during a warm period. A big part of the lawsuit is over sea rise, so, kinda hard to make that case.

The lawsuit seeks to hold fossil companies, including Exxon, Shell, Chevron and Phillips 66, accountable for the costs and damages caused by misleadingly promoting and selling products that their own scientists and experts warned could impose “severe” or even “catastrophic” consequences.

“This case is about accountability,” Stanbro said during a news conference announcing the lawsuit.

So, when does the city give up its own use of fossil fuels? These companies should refuse to sell their product to the city. Seriously, if someone was suing you, would you provide your service/product to them? The companies should definately refuse to sell to the airport. No planes will come in if they can’t be fueled to fly out.

“Rising seas, rain bombs, stronger hurricanes, and other consequences of climate change are already threatening Oahu and will impact our fiscal health,” said Honolulu City Council Budget Chair Joey Manahan. “Taxpayers should not have to pay for all the steps we will need to take to protect our roads, beaches, homes, and businesses. That should be on the fossil fuel companies who knowingly caused the damage, and as budget chair I believe we should go to court to make them pay their share.”

Nowhere in their suit does it demand that the companies stop selling their product, just that they give the city lots of money.

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17 Responses to “Honolulu, A City Which Can’t Survive Without Fossil Fuels, Sues Fossil Fuels Companies”

  1. “Taxpayers should not have to pay for all the steps we will need to take to protect our roads, beaches, homes, and businesses. That should be on the fossil fuel companies who knowingly caused the damage, and as budget chair I believe we should go to court to make them pay their share.”

    Demonstrates an incredible lack of knowledge about how taxes work. Fines to oil companies raise the cost of doing business, since there is no possibility for oil companies to invest enough to stop hurricanes and beach erosion. Those cost will get passed along to consumers as higher gasoline prices. A “tax” by any other name. Just like what happened with tobacco.

    • John says:

      The fines should come out of their profits and dividends
      Apparently you don’t know how corporations operate

      • Professor Hale says:

        Right. Just like with tobacco. When a company knows it will have to pay fines or even bribes to local officials, just to operate as normal in a certain place, it adds those fines into the cost of doing business. It’s never about “they just won’t make as much profit”.

        • Elwood P. Dowd says:

          It’s never quite that simple. An individual company has to compete with its rivals and if they add all their fine or penalty to the price of goods or services they are less competitive. Most are forced to find ways to “eat” it.

          • formwiz says:

            And they all add taxes as part of their operating expenses.

            And since they all do it, they lose competitiveness equally, so your idiot explanation goes nowhere.

      • formwiz says:

        Oil companies have a lousy margin of return.

        Apparently you don’t know how oil corporations operate.

        FIFY

      • Fred Z says:

        It’s called ‘Tax Incidence’. Google it up.

        All taxes are paid by buyers from, sellers to or owners the taxed entity. Buyers pay more if the tax can be passed on. Sellers get paid less if they can be ground down. Owners pay what’s left. These first stage buyers, sellers and owners pass these on in the same fashion to their buyers, sellers and owners, and so on, until the bill falls on individuals, human beings, consumers employees or business owners.

        one of the worst of socialist fantasies is that a tax will all be paid by the hated and evil owners. There is no documented case of this ever happening. John as an employee gets a pay cut. John as a householder also pays more for his groceries and home heating / cooling because increased petroleum costs get passed on to farmers, truckers, fertilizer companies and on and on. John as owner, but even so a dumbass socialist, has his projected pension income reduced by $25.00 a month because the major oil companies are largely “institutionally owned” i.e. Pension funds.

        “Pay and Pension reduced? All my costs up?” screams the agitated John. “I’m paying? Me?, Why me?” he rants on. Because you’re an idiot.

  2. John says:

    Hawaii has a plan to be largely fossil fuel free by 2045 not immediately
    Teach never fails to omit the important fact that the RATE of sea level rise is increasing
    This of course is deception by omission
    Stop it !!!

    • formwiz says:

      Hawaii has a plan to be largely fossil fuel free by 2045 not immediately

      In the immortal words of an esteemed educator and armored soldier, “Custer had a plan, too”.

      Teach never fails to omit the important fact that the RATE of sea level rise is increasing

      Not without real data, it’s not.

      This of course is deception by omission

      No, it’s deception by paid liar.

      • formwiz says:

        Korea announced its flu cases were declining.

        Which just goes to show you how crooked and incompetent WHO is.

    • Government bureaucrats always have plans with underestimated costs starting right away and overestimated benefits at some distant point in the future. Every time. Almost as if they are just making stuff up.

    • David D says:

      Right john all those cruise ships will become giant sail boats and those JETS that are all electric and can bring in a dozen tourists at a time will cost you about 30k for a ticket.

      Yeah Hawaii is going to be fossil fuel free alright, and they will be like Puerto Rico and The Dominican Republic….a large Island of poverty.

  3. John says:

    Honolulu currently gets 30% of its electricity from renewables
    If the current trend lines continue 100% by 2045 will definitely be possible and of course the cost of renewables is always dropping

    • Kye says:

      That 30% of “renewables”, does that permit the people to run their appliances 8 hours a day? We are talking about the fuel that powers ships to bring EVERYTHING to port. The planes that fly in all the tourists that spend money. The trucks that bring food and other necessities to the markets. The buses and taxis that move people and tourists around the island and take their kids to school. The cars they drive to get to the doctor, church, the shooting range or other necessities.

      The oil companies should refuse to sell product there until the suit is settled. The most disgusting thing about leftists is how ungrateful they are about the investments, labor and love of others and how they try their best to destroy all those they disagree with.

      Trump 2020 or the left will destroy our country.

    • formwiz says:

      Unsupported, of course.

  4. Dana says:

    Our esteemed host wrote:

    These companies should refuse to sell their product to the city. Seriously, if someone was suing you, would you provide your service/product to them? The companies should definately refuse to sell to the airport. No planes will come in if they can’t be fueled to fly out.

    Even flying in would result in emissions. I guess they could turn all of the islands in to Ni’ihau, the seventh largest Hawai’ian Island, which is privately owned and forbids almost all visitors.

    The 2010 census states that there were 170 people living on the island. However, witness accounts estimate that the population actually ranges between 35-50 people. Some support themselves largely by subsistence fishing and farming, while others depend on welfare. All residents live rent-free, and meat is free. Niʻihau has no telephone services and no paved roads. Horses are the main form of transportation; bicycles are also used. There are no power lines; solar power provides all electricity. There is no plumbing or running water on the island. Water comes from rainwater catchment. The Robinson family established most of these conditions. There is no hotel, and barges deliver groceries from Kauaʻi, often purchased by relatives, with free shipping.

    My paternal grandmother, who was from Maui, insisted that I learn the names of all of the major Hawai’ian islands. My paternal ancestors were Portuguese immigrants who settled on Maui in the 1870s.

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