Alexis de Tocqueville famously observed that “there is hardly any political question in the United States that sooner or later does not turn into a judicial question.” That certainly seems to be the case with climate change. This month the city of Boulder, Colorado, along with Boulder County and San Miguel County, filed suit against two major oil companies, seeking to recover their costs related to global warming.
The Boulder case is the latest in a series of cases where plaintiffs have sought relief from climate change in the courts. Several coastal cities have pending litigation that seeks to recover damages for sea level rise caused by global warming. The Boulder case, however, is the first time a non-coastal locality has brought this type of action. And the case is just the tip of the (melting) iceberg when it comes to climate damage litigation. In Oregon, a lawsuit brought on behalf of children — based on the effect climate change will have on them — is also headed for trial after a federal appellate court rejected attempts by the Trump administration to block the suit.
[Read the full op-ed over at The Hill.]
Image credit: Nikolay Gyngazov