Good Grief: Paper Calls To Charge Fossil Fuels Companies With Homicide

I have to wonder, as always, if all the people at Harvard who were involved with this paper have given up their own personal use of fossil fuels. If they’ve advocated that the school ban all private fossil fueled vehicles at the school, ban fossil fueled flights for sports teams and researchers

New climate paper calls for charging big US oil firms with homicide

Oil companies have come under increasing legal scrutiny and face allegations of defrauding investorsracketeering, and a wave of other lawsuits. But a new paper argues there’s another way to hold big oil accountable for climate damage: trying companies for homicide.

The striking and seemingly radical legal theory is laid out in a paper accepted for publication in the Harvard Environmental Law Review. In it, the authors argue fossil fuel companies “have not simply been lying to the public, they have been killing members of the public at an accelerating rate, and prosecutors should bring that crime to the public’s attention”.

“What’s on their ledger in terms of harm, there’s nothing like it in human history,” said David Arkush, the director of the climate program at consumer advocacy group Public Citizen and one of the paper’s authors.

The paper is rooted in part in the growing body of evidence fossil fuel companies knew of the harm their products caused and misled the public about them.

Attorneys general and cities have used that information to sue oil companies for financial damages caused by rising seas, wildfires and heat. But the new paper argues that oil companies’ climate research and continued fight to delay climate regulations amount to a “culpable mental state” that has inflicted harm on people, including death.

“Once you start using those terms, you come to realize that’s criminal law,” said Donald Braman, a law professor at George Washington University and Arkush’s co-author. “Culpable mental state causing harm is criminal conduct, and if they kill anybody, that’s homicide.”

The rest of the article doesn’t get any saner as it goes on. But, hey, don’t laugh. Somebody throws that kind of crazy idea, it gets traction, and is repeated by news outlets. People will demand it. Look at the gas stove craziness.

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4 Responses to “Good Grief: Paper Calls To Charge Fossil Fuels Companies With Homicide”

  1. H says:

    Good Grief !!! They are comparing fossil fuel companies to the tobacco companies that killed millions of Americans.

  2. Elwood P. Dowd says:

    Tobacco company executives killed/kill 100s of thousands of Americans each year. We still sell tobacco and no execs have been convicted.

    Execs of Purdue Pharma have not been convicted of crimes, even though legal oxycontin has killed thousands. (Purdue lied about the addictive nature of oxycontin).

    Stewart Parnell, former owner of the Peanut Corporation of America, was convicted in 2014 of knowingly shipping Salmonella-tainted products, killing nine Americans in 2008-2009. He is serving 28 years. His brother received 20 years.

    Anyway, the idea of holding fossil fuel companies, their owners or execs directly responsible for homicides is a waste of bandwidth.

    Killing nine is a tragedy, killing millions a statistic. h/t to J Stalin.

  3. STW says:

    By all means, let’s step back and put agriculture on a pre-industrial basis. Then we can start talking about the “ledger in terms of harm.” Mass starvation like the world has never seen. Invest in mule futures now and hope you can find 40 acres and a plow to match. Idiots.

  4. drowningpuppies says:

    Maybe they can get Alvin Bragg to prosecute.

    Bwaha! Lolgf

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