Alaska town sues over global warming

Portland Business Journal – February 27, 2008

I need to file this one under Ridiculous. How can a town in Alaska sue over global warming?  To make matters worse, they are suing oil companies and utilities! If they want to sue someone, they should sue you and me. Filing suit against the providers of a product that is bought by consumers, is like filing suit against the National Cattlemen’s Beef Association for the high rate of heart attacks.

For those that live in other countries than the USA, I must explain.  The US is a very litigious society.  I can’t find accurate statistics on the number of suits filed in a given year but it is shameful. We have crazy stories of lawsuits for hot coffee and lost laptops. Just to give you an example, there is even a site that is dedicated to tracking stupid lawsuits!


Will SEC make utilities like American Electric Power (AEP) disclose climate risks? – September 18, 2007 discusses the recent Washington Post article that cites efforts by some environmental groups and investors to force companies to disclose the impact of climate change to their company. This is an interesting discussion but it begs the broader discussion regarding how much a company should discuss on hypothetical or future issues that may affect its health.

The Washington Post reports that pension fund managers representing $1 trillion have petitioned the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to required public companies to disclose the impact of global warming on their business prospects. If the SEC agrees, the change could threaten investors in utility stocks — which are among the biggest private sources of carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming.