The Native Alaskans who live in little Kivalina are suing two dozen corporations for damages. The picture above is nearly forty years old. It shows Kivalina in the 1960s. The native village is on a barrier island that is eroding. The red line on the old photo shows where the high tide line is now, encroaching on land that was once a comfortable cushion between the houses and the Chuckchi Sea off Alaska's northwestern coast.
If you think you've heard of Chuckchi before, you're right. Recently some expensive oil drilling leases were auctioned off by the U.S. to oil companies who wish to drill offshore. So Kivalina is now ground zero in the oncoming political storm over global warming, polar bear status as a species, and corporate responsibility. The lawsuit specifically claims that the corporations being sued deliberately used tactics to deny global warming. Specifically, the corporations are accusing of using tactics once used by tobacco companies to deny the connection between cigarette smoke and lung cancer.
You've heard of some of the companies named as plaintiffs: Exxon, Chevron, Shell, BP and numerous coal companies. Of course, realists know that this lawsuit would not last any longer than a snowball in Phoenix, if it went before the present U.S. Supreme Court. So maybe they're hoping this lawsuit lasts longer than some of the current justices?