This week the environmental movement suffered its biggest defeat since Climategate. And at the hands of its most hated enemy: Big Oil.
Here are the reasons why the court ruling by a US federal judge that Chevron should not have to pay $9.5 billion in damages to victims of oil pollution in Ecuador is a victory for common sense and justice which we should all be celebrating.
[NOTE: This is a condensed excerpt of the full article. To render due respect to the original source numerous, important and well-written parts were omitted. To read the full article go to Brietbart.com.]
1. It’s not about David v Goliath.
If anyone was being bullied here, it was Chevron. As New York lawyer Steven Donziger well knew, it is almost impossible for an oil company to get a fair hearing in a world brainwashed by environmentalist propaganda. Chevron knew this too. It could have settled for much less out of court – and most oil companies in its position probably would have done. However, Chevron’s chief executive John S Watson took the bold and principled decision to fight it all the way.
2. Chevron had done nothing wrong. No really.
The damage was done in the Sixties, Seventies and Eighties in the Oriente region of Ecuador by Texaco and the national oil company Petroecuador.
3. The case against Chevron was rigged.
In 2011, an Ecuadorian court ordered Chevron to pay $19 billion in damages to the native people allegedly poisoned by oil spills. This was subsequently reduced by the Ecuadorian National Court of Justice to $9.5 billion. Chevron appealed on the grounds that the case was fraudulent – extortion of “greenmail” masquerading as concern for the environment. This has now been confirmed by US District Judge Lewis Kaplan in a 500-page ruling.
4. Read the ruling: it’s great entertainment!
As Judge Kaplan says in his highly-readable summary “This case is extraordinary. The facts are many and sometimes complex. They include things that normally only come out of Hollywood…”
4. Donziger’s dodgy past.
“I feel like I have gone over to the dark side” wrote Donziger in one incriminating email. What possibly could have caused this? I make no comment whatsoever on this biographical detail from a profile in The New Yorker. It seems that he belonged to the same Harvard Law School year group as one Barack Obama. Apparently they played basketball together.
5. Green Greed
Donziger stood personally to make $600 million from the litigation should it prove successful.
6. Green parasites.
Among the other organizations shown in a deeply unflattering light by the court ruling is a Colorado-based environmental consultancy – regularly employed by various branches of government – called Stratus Consulting. However, on Donziger’s instructions, the “independent local expert’s” testimony was in fact written for him by Stratus.
7. The complicit media: if it’s green it must be good.
There have been several long articles about the Chevron/Ecuador story – one in The New Yorker, one in Vanity Fair, one in Bloomberg Business Week – each one more sympathetic to Donziger than to Chevron.
8. The usual rent-a-celeb suspects weigh in…
Among those who championed Donziger’s cause were Mia Farrow, Sting, Trudy Styler and Darryl Hannah. Pop stars and rich people who’ve been in movies: is there ANYTHING they don’t know about the environment?
9. Big Green sticks its oar in too.
No green campaign is complete without a few ad hoc, allegedly grassroots campaign groups there to give the illusion of diverse and committed support: Amazon Watch and Rainforest Action Network both supported the campaign against Chevron. So too, inevitably, did the Sierra Club.
10. Green hubris.
Almost none of this information would have come to light in court if Donziger had not made one fatal mistake. In a supreme act of arrogance, he decided to turn his legal adventures into a Michael-Moore-style documentary with himself as the crusading hero negotiating his way through a corrupt legal system, battling a powerful and heartless oil giant, on behalf of the ordinary people of Ecuador. The movie – inevitably – was premiered at the Sundance Festival.
The reason this case is so important is because it very nearly didn’t happen. Though environmental activists like Michael Mann, James Hansen and Al Gore often like to claim that their enemies are in the pay of Big Oil, the truth is the exact opposite.