In a trial that is probably going to take proportions because of the problems it raises, the village of Kivalina in Alaska is suing 24 energy companies for large amounts of greenhouse gases that contributed to global warming and led to coastal erosion, which puts the lives of the 400 residents at risk. (ADN reported)
Kivalina is a community of Inupiat Eskimos, located in the Chukchi Sea on a shrinking barrier island is now facing heavy storms and because of the shrinking sea ice that formerly acted as a barrier the waves are coming closer and closer.
The complaint (pdf link) was filed by the San Francisco-based Center on Race, Poverty & the Environment and the Anchorage office of the Native American Rights Fund in the US District Court in San Francisco against one coal company, 14 power companies and nine oil companies of which Exxon Mobil, BP, Conoco Phillips, Chevron and Duke Energy and have asked them to pay the relocation cost (around $400 million) , of moving the village to safer grounds.
As expected none of the companies expressed their point of view.
I can only hope the court will make justice and will consider reports from the US Corps of Engineers and the US General Accountability Office on coastal erosion. Here are two images of Kivalina (photos by livesimply)
Kivalina, Alaska Aerial View