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Calif. sues car makers over global warming emissions

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posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 02:15 PM
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California has recently passed legislation to reduce carbon emission by 25%, and now, a lawsuit against major motor companies for damages caused, future damages, resources to fund research where and how bad things have been damaged. Multi-million possibly billion dollar lawsuit.
 



today.reuters.com
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - California on Wednesday sued six of the world's largest automakers, including General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp., over global warming, charging that greenhouse gases from their vehicles have caused billions of dollars in damages.

The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Northern California was the first of its kind to seek to hold manufacturers liable for the damages caused by their vehicles' emissions, state Attorney General Bill Lockyer said.

"(California) just passed a new law to cut global warming emissions by 25 percent and that's a good start, and this lawsuit is a good next step," said Dan Becker, director of the Sierra Club's Global Warming Program.



Please visit the link provided for the complete story.


All I can say is WOW... the auto industry is really only a subsidiary of the HUGE Oil companies who are the real culprits, but its a good start. While this may all be a political ploy by The Governator to stay in office, for the moment it happens to be good for the rest of us.

I do not expect Cali to when this, the lawsuit seems too vague and too much like grasping. However, it will send a strong message to automakers, maybe that will be enough to get them working on more efficient vehicles or even alternative fuel vehicles.

If the vehicles we use are not run on petrol then the oil industry will dry up naturally. At least in this country. And if we aren't affected by the need for oil, how much better do you think things will be for us here in the US.



apc

posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 10:47 PM
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Dumb. Dumb x 999.

I hope the judge falls out of his chair on this one.

Unlike cigarettes, to my knowledge auto makers have never tried to conceal the problems with burning fossil fuels.

If they want to sue, I suggest they first make cars illegal. Noone forces anyone to use them anyway. If anyone is at fault, it's the drivers of California. I assume they have bikes...

Afterall... "[insert any noun or verb here] is known to cause cancer to the State of California"

I hope the Big One hits... soon...



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 11:19 PM
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Very interesting.


Kinda like the tobacco thing. I like it.

BTW - the oil industry has been funding "research" to "prove" global warming is not happening - and now it's impossible to deny, they're saying "natural" cycles are the sole culprit.

The debate is a red herring - and begs the real question: What can we do now?




Climate change is inevitable, and policies to help societies adapt to a warmer future are badly needed.

That is the message from the President of the British Association for the Advancement of Science (BA), Frances Cairncross, at the BA annual festival.

She will tell delegates that even maximal deployment of the best technology cannot stop climate change.

Focus on climate adaptation urged




...Maybe a few good lawsuits against the oil industry will help fund some strategies to cope with climate change.

An excellent idea, IMO.


.



posted on Sep, 20 2006 @ 11:33 PM
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Originally posted by apc
I hope the judge falls out of his chair on this one.
this is Liberal California.

This is about the only state where this has a chance in hell of succeeding.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 05:57 AM
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Could these legal challenges be just the beggining though? what would the next target? Airlines, the military, nasa? all of these use vehicles that emit emissions and are surely possible future targets for claims such as these?


apc

posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 07:24 AM
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Originally posted by soficrow
Kinda like the tobacco thing. I like it.

BTW - the oil industry has been funding "research" to "prove" global warming is not happening - and now it's impossible to deny, they're saying "natural" cycles are the sole culprit.


Nothing like the tobacco thing. Tobacco companies actively suppressed research into the health consequences of smoking. I'm pretty sure that ever since people started offing themselves by parking indoors with the engine running, we knew auto exhaust was not fun stuff.

It's not impossible to deny. Seeing as the argument that humans are the sole cause of climate change is a pretty flakey one...

I think us monkeys have some effect. But I think the primary source of change are natural cycles. We could nuke the crap out of this rock and it really wouldn't care.

Besides, ever since the mandate of the catalytic converter, green house emissions have increased (nitrous oxide). That's what they do. So the only people who should get sued are the drivers for continuing to use the vehicles, and the government for requiring the use of catalytics.



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 02:10 PM
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Originally posted by apc

Originally posted by soficrow
Kinda like the tobacco thing. I like it.

BTW - the oil industry has been funding "research" to "prove" global warming is not happening - and now it's impossible to deny, they're saying "natural" cycles are the sole culprit.


Nothing like the tobacco thing. Tobacco companies actively suppressed research into the health consequences of smoking.

...So the only people who should get sued are the drivers for continuing to use the vehicles, and the government for requiring the use of catalytics.




And the oil companies just funded phony rebuttals. Which makes it okay cuz it's not actually suppression.




apc

posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 03:51 PM
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Of course. Bad data or good, it was all on the table. Your comparison to the tobacco issue is invalid because the bad data was being kept from public light.

People are able to make up their own minds, and most have decided to continue operating these greenhouse belching mechanized beasts, fully aware of the consequences.

You don't sue Smith and Wesson because guns kill people...



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 07:24 PM
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Originally posted by apc
Of course. Bad data or good, it was all on the table. Your comparison to the tobacco issue is invalid because the bad data was being kept from public light.

People are able to make up their own minds, and most have decided to continue operating these greenhouse belching mechanized beasts, fully aware of the consequences.

You don't sue Smith and Wesson because guns kill people...



Actually, unfortunately, some cities have tried to sue gun manufacturers for "creating" a problem. I'm not sure what California really hopes to accomplish here ... the auto industry has made impressive gains in cleaning up emissions over the last several decades ... to fine them would take away R&D dollars they use to continue to increase the efficiency of the internal combustion engine.

I did find some interesting links on the current levels of emissions in California. This graph below (produced by the State of California no less) shows that per capita California has less emissions than Canada and way less than the US average. The first graph shows California's per capito CO2 consumption from 1990 to 2002 as compared to the US. The second graph shows the 1995 levels of California, per capita, as compared to the US average and the world average. The website it came from is here ... www.climatechange.ca.gov...













I find it interesting that in the press release from the California Attorney General they mention the total metric tons of carbon dioxide output ... not the more relevant per capita ratings. From 1990 to 2005 California has grown from 29.7 million residents to 36.1 million (U S Census Report: Calif 1990-2005), our total output is bound to be up.

I don't think the issue is at fault with the 6 largest auto manufacturers ... it's about consumption. There are a few ways to change consumption ... one of the best is to provide a decent, reliable, usable mass transit system. California has horrible mass transit systems. Having moved here from the East Coast I was flabbergasted that in major cities most buses run only every 45 mins, every hour or worse every other hour. The other way, which I'm not advocating for by any means, is to increase local taxes on gas to discourage usage ... but if there is no alternative consumption will remain the same.

Where I live if I wanted to take the bus to work (20 min drive) it would take about 2 1/2 hours on public transportation. Granted I don't live in a major metropolitan area (but one is nearby) ... but even in the bigger cities in California mass transit is a joke. To me this puts some of the blame back on California ... we can't expect to have per capita ratings equal to European countries which have much better transportation available to their citizens.

Sorry for the long post but I'm pretty flabbergasted that my State has chosen to take this direction. I'm a fairly eco-friendly person but I believe the blame lays with the people and just because there is a large corporation making these products doesn't make them evil (the it's McDonalds fault I'm overwieght type thinking).



posted on Sep, 21 2006 @ 10:56 PM
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If the state of CA sues the automakers, can the citizens sue the state since the state collaberated by building thousands of miles of roads for the benefit of using fossil-fueled vehicles? They are just as liable as the automakers, but you won't hear any of that nor will the beneficiaries really see any money from it if they ever get a judgment. The state gets all the money and sees fit on how to use it.

It is just like the Tobacco settlement in this way. I have never heard of anyone who smoked before the tobacco lawsuit recieving any kind of compensation or help from that settlement. The state of CA could care less about its impact on people but just want to get a lot of money in a frivalous case in which they are complicit in.



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