Positive Future #45 (Feature photo – The Great Seal of New York City – copyright free)
Five years ago, Hurricane Sandy battered New York City. As the clean-up and economic damages were realized over the ensuing years, a big number resulted. The economic damage to New York and New Jersey from Hurricane Sandy came in at a whopping $71 billion.
Scientists in the background have said that the ocean waters on the East coast prior to the storm were abnormally high – encouraging a storm of accentuated force – i.e global warming.
New York City is taking the stance that oil companies knew that their products were causing global warming, but failed to tell the world. Now, after billions of dollars of cost and loss of life, New York City is suing five major oil companies – BP, Chevron, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobile and Royal Dutch Shell. New York City is not only seeking compensation for damages past, but for costs to finance infrastructure to protect the city in the future.
The New York City Lawsuit is the big gorilla among a flurry of global warming lawsuits against oil companies by other cities and organizations.
New York is also in the process of divesting its pension funds from any fossil-fuel company – some $5 billion worth of fossil-fuel stocks.
The problem that the oil companies face in terms of liability relative to global warming is not just from lawsuits – and other big cities may file lawsuits. The investment community, as a whole, is finding large sectors joining the divestiture movement – mega funds that total over $6.5 trillion that have pledged to abandon fossil-fuel investments.
What will the world look like when it’s 1.3 million cars on the road no longer use fossil fuels?