Wednesday, June 25, 2008

What liability do oil companies have for climate change?

James Hansen's testimony on climate change has made him a celebrity, but it sadly hasn't done much to influence Congress

It was a sweltering June 23 in Washington, DC, when climatologist James Hansen, head of Nasa's Goddard Institute for Space Studies, appeared before the Energy and Natural Resources Committee of the United States Senate to testify about his certainty that the record high temperatures were the result of human activity. That was 20 years ago.

"The earth is warmer in 1988 than at any time in the history of instrumental measurements," Hansen told senators. "The global warming now is large enough that we can ascribe with a high degree of confidence a cause-and-effect relationship to the greenhouse effect ... Our computer climate simulations indicate that the greenhouse effect is already large enough to begin to effect the probability of extreme events such as summer heat waves."

Do oil companies bear responsabilitiy for misleading the public on the damage to the climate done by carbon output in the same way that the tobacco companies were found liable for denying the dangers of tobacco? Editor. Read More >>>