Oil industry asked to pony up dough to offset climate change expenses in filthy rich Canadian town

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/12/14/oil-industry-asked-to-pony-up.html


Agree that it’s convoluted to ask Big Oil for money to deal with climate change rather than attack the problem at its core, but I see this as nonetheless a step in a positive direction. If the Oil industries bite, then it will embolden other towns. Soon there will be class actions and that’s the way Shit Gets Done in the corporate world. Enough class actions and pretty soon — well eventually — an industry is forced to go out of business or change their business model (and we’ve already seen some oil companies try to reinvent themselves as renewable energy providers).


If it’s a rich town they can afford good lawyers. If they win it will be easier for other towns to sue the oil industry.


Before you know it, the price of oil will go up, and, we may have to switch to renewables!


I realize this will take a bite out of the click-baityness of this piece, but you should probably add that this is a movement started by West Coast Environmental Law and has been acted upon by a number of municipalities in BC.


Unfortunately, the speed of policy change by class action lawsuit doesn’t match the need. I don’t doubt for a minute that any major oil company can drag a meaningfully large class action suit out past the timelines laid out in the most recent IPCC report.


Excellent idea and one entire states should jump on board with. If the Fed won’t do enough to slow climate change, it’s left to us to do it. Hitting energy companies and bad actors in the pocket book seems a great way to do it.


Agreed that class actions drag on forever. I’m not saying that they would be the best way forward, but given the lack of will of the current Capatialists/Oligarchs in power I don’t see another path in the current US / Canadian political climate.

Fixing climate change will need to occur on multiple fronts: regulation, lawsuits, new tech, etc. This is just one part and I prefer to think it’s a step forward.

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Only Seamus can make a city suing the oil companies for Climate Change damages sound like a bad thing. Oh, those poor little oil companies, it’s so wrong for them to have to pay for the damages that their product has caused!

I know blaming rich people for all of life’s problems is a fun and rewarding activity, but occasionally they do something right…


“Insidiously expensive” hotels. Insidiously.

At least they aren’t sinisterly so.


I have no problem with Whistler using its wealth and influence to ask CNRL or any other fossil fuel company to pay up. It sets a good precedent.

The problematic bit comes in if Whistler keeps the money instead of spreading it around to poorer BC communities where the impacts of climate change amount to somewhat more than a shorter ski season.

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I wonder how many air miles these Whistler folks log each year.

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Whistler is a resort town, and like all resort towns has its share of rich while still being mainly made up of regular working class people. This is a really harsh treatment of a great place, damn.

Canada has a long tradition of holding companies accountable and making them pay reparations for damages caused. Trail BC has a fantastic indoor pool, hospital, high tech fabrication lab open to public use, and so much more because of the smelting company paying for past damages. The money is also used to clean up contamination, watersheds and water supplies, soil, etc. and keep towns healthy and communities alive. This might seem strange to someone from the US who would view this as “corporate handouts”, but that is BS, they only pay back a fraction of the damage they’ve profited off of, it is called accountability.

I think that charging coal and oil companies for global warming is a bit of a long line that crosses many other companies and will be tricky at best. but i think it is also an indicator that these companies won’t be off the hook here forever if they continue as they have in the past.

charging an oil company for damage from a spill or a gas company for groundwater contamination and making them provide clean water is much more typical scenario. usually these are good cases that end well and fairly, the government isn’t looking to crush the companies and will work with them over a long term while holding them accountable for the collateral damage they cause. not sure why this is being painted in such a negative light? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Oy. Another doozy…

A fundamental problem with our current situation is that there are no or very low costs to producers for the waste they produce. Who pays to recycle a plastic bottle? Not the manufacturer and not the beverage or whatever company. It’s the municipalities who pay, basically giving a subsidy to polluters.

So good on Whistler! This kind of change has to start somewhere, and it will never begin as a centralized, top-down mandate-big pols will never fight that fight, unless it’s been won already, elsewhere. If Whistler has the money to fight in court, fantastic… set the precedent so other municipalities can benefit.

I wish the author would do his homework before posting.

I’m sure this news is going over real smooth in the rest of Alberta.

EDIT: Yeah, I know. And yes, I do feel foolish.

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Did Whistler get annexed when I wasn’t looking?


Trail also has the Colander restaurant. Legendary, despite being in the shadow of the smelter.

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My bad, it must have been that darned Mercator projection again.

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I’m relatively new here. This is the first piece where I had domain knowledge on an article and you are literally reposting something from Fox Canada.

That makes me sad.

Is this a one-off? Or is Boing-Boing something else than what I thought it was?

The wingnuts like to claim that environmentalists and scientists are in it for the money and making it up.

Well, okay. Then let’s get the profit-driven law firms on the task, and start raking in the cash.