First degree murder he cries, the former action star turned governor turned climate hero Arnold Schwarzenegger. To put his money where his mouth is he wants to file a lawsuit against petrochemical corporations in the style of past class action lawsuits against tobacco firms.
Gone are the days of the Hummer, Arnold Schwarzenegger has firmly set his sight on oil companies “for knowingly killing people all over the world.”
In an interview at the SWSX festival in Texas, he drew parallels to the smoking industry, which had hid information about the impact of smoking on public health, which he claims the oil companies have also been doing since 1959. Their fumes come from the exhaust pipes of countless cars though.
Schwarzenegger said he’s still working on a timeline for the filing but also that he has been talking with several private law firms and is preparing a public push around the effort, Politico reports.
“We’re going to go after them, and we’re going to be in there like an Alabama tick. Because to me it’s absolutely irresponsible to know that your product is killing people and not have a warning label on it, like tobacco,” he said and added “Every gas station on it, every car should have a warning label on it, every product that has fossil fuels should have a warning label on it.”
The last idea is not entirely new. In fact, Canada applies labels to petrol pumps to warn of global warming since 2016 reportedly. They bear messages such as “Get $5,000 toward a purchase of a new electric car” for example. We for one, are sure in to “stick it to them”.
On a more sober note, lawsuits are increasingly becoming an instrument for climate action. The Client Earth organisation for example, successfully sued the British Government for its failure to comply with both national and EU law to protect its citizens’ health (we reported). This resulted in the British Clean Air Act. And then there is the most prominent example of Volkswagen of course. American law enforcement took the opportunity of diesel-gate to get funding for charging infrastructure – Electrify America for real.
Back to Arnie. Should he go ahead in the States and even wins the case, his old title of Mr. Universe may take on a whole new meaning. Hasta la vista, Big Oil.