- Politics and Social Issues
Pollution: Legal Strategy & Tactics
Pollution: Legal Strategies & Tactics
in response to the case made elsewhere that the CEO's of corporate polluters are mass murderers and that the politicians that they buy and the bureaucrats who go along with calling environmentalists terrorists are indictable criminals and co-conspirators; this hub is devoted to answering the question; "What next?"
- polluters should be arrested
The CEO's of polluting companies should be arrested. Their criminal activity is holding back the economy.
- The True Costs of Pollution
There are many types of pollution. Because we let polluters write the laws, they do not pay the true costs of pollution. You pay that price.
- Reasons to Ban Fission
News: new, now updated with each new nuclear incident. This site lists why nuclear power (fission) is a not a good choice. The industry has a history of understating the dangers. Fusion may be safer but fusion may not be available for decades.
Restoration of the Good Name of Environmentalist
To restore your good name and the good name of the environmental movement and to "Guard with jealous attention the public liberty" -- in the words of the Founding Fathers; it is imperative that each of us sues, for the maximum amount of money possible, any politician and any government agency that labels us as environmental terrorists and eco-terrorists. Likewise, if a corporate executive or corporation so labels us, then you should also sue for the maximum amount of money possible. The maximum amount is the highest dollar amount that your imagination can imagine but realistically you want to know the annual budget of the organization to which the smearer belongs and use that number. If there are deep pockets behind that organization (parent company or agency), then use the larger budget amount. [This is a good reason to oppose so-called "tort reform".]
You want to pursue a civil lawsuit because it deals with the polluters in a language that they understand -- money. We are in a capitalist world. Capitalism is reality. Socialism is fantasy.
You should only pursue criminal charges against polluters and politicians if you have the financial resources to pay for the best lawyers. If the criminal happens to be the traitor in the DHS who put "eco-terrorist" and "environmental terrorist" on the watch list, then make sure that you retain one of the super-law firms in DC who will push Congressional oversight committees, The President, inspectors and federal prosecutors to find this traitor and send him or her to a super-maximum federal pen for life. The goal is to remove "eco" and "environmental" off watch lists at DHS and NSA. The means is finding anti-environmental bureaucrats. If it takes a McCarthy red scare type witch hunt to rid ourselves of corporate polluters and their apparatchik burrowed like moles in the government, then so be it. I didn't start the war against clean air and clean water. I am only supplying non-violent strategy and tactics so that people can read this and be inspired to win against the bad guys (The Brothers and the CEO's of oil companies -- you already know which ones).
One more word about the criminal law approach: Only call for independent prosecutors and special prosecutors as a last resort because they tend to go off on fishing expeditions that have nothing to do with their charter. The military calls it "mission creep".
If you are part of a group that wants to take a Constitutional case to the Supreme Court (God help you), then load for bear:
1. get several Congressmen and Senators behind you,
2. a voice in the White House lobbying the President for you (it helps if you gave to his campaign)
3. the best Constitutional law scholars in academia (the best law schools) and the best Constitutional law attorneys who have previously successfully argued cases before the Supreme Court
4. several major environmental groups (great if you can get the Environmental Defense Fund or a similar group) and several major privacy groups (Electronic Privacy Information Center or Privacy Rights Clearinghouse) and the ACLU
About that watch list: This is a list of keywords and phrases included in the department's 2011 'Analyst's Desktop Binder' used by workers at their National Operations Center which instructs workers to identify "media reports that reflect adversely on DHS and response activities". In other words, they are using your taxpayer dollars not only to spy on you but to suppress your right to question public servants. Remember, we the people are the masters and they are the servants -- public servants. I have seen this kind of arrogance in NASA where they twist public relations into using taxpayer money for politicking and lobbying instead of getting regular people (non-bureaucrats) into space. But NASA is non-lethal. DHS has guns, SWAT squads who can kick your door in the middle of the night without a warrant and other incursions on Constitutional protections that counters the belief of fools that "America is the most free country on Earth". It seems almost pathetic to point out that we the people did not ram planes into buildings but we have to lose our freedom because of the acts of nuts and the acts of the Karl Rove wilding which resulted in the Patriot Act's nullification of the Bill of Rights
I mention this because we law-abiding citizens didn't do anything wrong and yet we are being punished by having our freedom curtailed and our privacy invaded as if we were convicts in prison. The Founding Fathers expected us to be jealous (possessive) of our hard-won civil liberties. The soldiers at Valley Forge paid for our freedom. The Constitution requires that we the people be tried before that kind of treatment (loss of freedom and invasion of privacy) is meted out.
I also mention this because George W. Bush was the worst president on the environment since Secretary of the Interior James G. Watt (the Reagan administration). Because the Obama administration did not motion to rid the nation of the hated Patriot Act but instead extended it and because President-Elect Obama acted a bit too civil to out-going President Bush during the Inauguration, many have to wonder if nothing has changed. I mean what progress has the USA made on reversing climate change? None. The whole world is held hostage to Rex and The Brothers because even the president is terrified of them. I give the Attorney General credit for coming down hard on BP but BP is not funding deniers like ExxonMobil and Koch Industries are doing.
And meanwhile, those of us who want clean air, clean water and clean land have to read how even in 2012 we are still on watch lists precisely because we want clean air, clean water and clean land. So Brothers and Sisters sue. Sue for your good name. Sue for the good name of our movement. Sue to get rich. Sue to stop your tax dollars from being given to oil companies. Sue to protect your privacy. Sue to get even. Sue to get the rascals out of the bureaucracy. Sue the polluters. Sue until every last one of them is bankrupt. Use the money awarded you in damages to start a clean energy company (solar, wind, geothermal, tidal, wave).
Why sue in civil court instead of pursue the criminal or Constitutional route? Because I am assuming that you do not have a lot of money. There are law firms that will take your case on contingency. They win or you pay nothing. Motivation for them to win. That is how capitalism works. That is why communist countries like China have even worse pollution problems than us. So sue the polluters brothers and sisters. And with the money you win, you will be able to back the criminal and Constitutional approaches.
Okay. Some of you are interested. Now what?
Step One. Get your head screwed on correctly. You do not have to be a brain or from a rich family. These things help but are not necessary. Focus, determination and organization will run circles around brains and money and power. Have Erin Brockovich as your inspiration and patron saint.
Step Two. Gather documentation on corporate polluters, pollution in your area, your medical records before and after, copies of anti-pollution municipal and county ordinances, copies of anti-pollution state and federal laws, and any other documentation that could possibly be useful to your lawyer. You are trying to prove that you and your family was harmed by a specific polluter. Pollution in general is a non-starter. Factory A can always weasel out and say that Factory B emitted the toxin or released the toxin in its effluent. Think forensics. You have to trace it back to its source. Chemicals don't have fingerprints but they do have profiles and analytic "signatures" as Monsanto knows all too well. Forget nonsense like pseudo-science or conspiracy theories that will justifiably get you laughed out of court. Stick to hard science. The polluters know that science will nail them. That is why the climate change deniers are deliberately anti-science.
Step Three. Select the legal strategy with the most traction. For what the DHS has done to the environmental community the best complaints are slander, libel, defamation of character, denial of Constitutional protections for free speech, invasion of privacy, and denial of human rights. Human rights violations might have to argued at The Hague though. Against polluters the best complaints are poisoning, health code violations, pollution law violations, bodily harm, and wrongful death (if you lost a loved one).
Thank God for Attorney General Eric Holder and the Department of Justice attorneys because the BP executives got served with a manslaughter charge. This is a major victory because it sets a precedent. The USA is still a far way from murder one or treason for pollution but this is progress towards the Draconian environmental law enforcement we seek. The polluters are quite right when they say that this is about control -- whether the world will be controlled by killers or by people who don't want to be killed. Murder one and treason both come with capital punishment in certain states and jurisdictions. Make sure that if your attorneys are going for something big like pollution as treason or pollution as genocide that they get the case into a venue (place) where sentence will be carried out. For example, it is pointless to pursue a murder charge in a state that has abolished the death penalty. We are pretty much assuming decades of time in prison at a minimum for the CEO.
Teddy Roosevelt had the right idea. Speak softly but carry a big stick. These villains will keep killing us unless we electrify a few energy company CEO's, gas a few air polluters, put that DHS bureaucrat in front of a firing squad (I think Utah is the only state that still uses this method. Appropriate since DHS has SWAT squads who have been rumored to shoot citizens in the head.), and lethally inject pharma-polluters. Please note how I made each punishment befit the crime. If we cannot find a harsh enough punishment within our own borders, then we can have the culprit extradited to a nation that still has nastier punishments. I am not thinking of torture but something like caning in Singapore. It is not death and it is not torture but it is almost the two-by-four necessary to get the corporate polluter's attention. I have never used corporal punishment on my children but I do know of parents who testify that it turned around some kids who were hell-bound to prison or a life of drugs. And yes, I do know the counter-arguments. Besides, we are not talking about child abuse. We are talking about adults who are the CEO's of mass murdering corporations. At some point, compassion just is no longer cutting it as a solution. I mean do we all have to die as a species just because a few spoiled sociopaths might get their feelings hurt or their butts somewhat warmer? Boo hoo.
I personally have no opinion on the issue of capital punishment. In theory, it should go away since too many minority men are shown (after they are conveniently dead and buried) to be innocent by The Innocence Project and someone else may have even confessed. I have heard of men being still behind bars after DNA and other evidence has shown them to be innocent but since they were convicted and the police years before stopped looking for the real guilty party and they are black or poor white or some other excuse -- the parole board doesn't bother to act.
The Central Park Five were picked up at random and mob psychology ensued despite the fact that this was Yankee New York and not the Deep South where we expect black people to be abused by the law and the KKK alike. All this said, the death penalty is useful when the killing is on a mass murder level such as Bhopal in India. When you reach the level of genocide of the human race being perpetrated by the climate change deniers at the behest of ExxonMobil and Koch Industries, then no legal measure is too extreme to get their attention. I have no doubts that even after BP pays twenty billion ($20,000,000,000) or even thirty billion that it will continue to spill and kill. This is pocket change for the biggest companies on Earth. And let me remind you that oil companies get taxpayer money while they whine if clean energy companies and electric vehicle manufacturers get anything resembling a level playing field.
It should motivate you when you hear a politician criticize electric vehicles or wind mills or American solar companies.
Getting angry is fine but demonstrations and protests are useless. If they worked, then we would have clean air, clean water and clean land. Any one with eyes, ears, and nose knows that bad things are ahead for our grandchildren. And when we try to influence politics to clean it up, we are smeared. So we learn Sun-tzu, and get our heads screwed on correctly. Every battle is won before it is ever fought. Use their own money against them. Sue them. Drive an electric car. Put solar panels on your home.
Find a legal way to win against the polluters and their lap-dog bureaucrats who want to criminalize you. If you don't win, your children lose, your parents lose, and your friends lose.
As far as I know, based on talking to older people who were alive during the Sixties when the government was doing what it is doing now -- sticking its nose into politics and the right to assemble by sending in domestic agents to infiltrate and plant evidence, this kind of targeting seems primarily focused on those left of center. Tea Party types and the Wise Use astroturf (phony grass roots) movement get away with doing violence while Occupy types get beaten by police for exercising their right to assemble.
The environmental movement started as a broad spectrum movement that ran clear across the political spectrum. It still is broad spectrum with liberal, center moderate and conservative membership. There are Republicans and Democrats who consider themselves green. The polluters like to smear and call the movement radical and terrorists in an effort to divide and destroy. Ronald Reagan spoke strongly in support of environmentalism (but it was just talk since he had Watt as Interior Secretary) and Vice-President Gore, or rather his name, is still used as an epithet by the pro-pollution lobby. So in the White House, environmentalism is still accepted at the highest levels of power as a legitimate concern. And yet, the smear tactics have caused the US Department of Homeland Security to use taxpayer money to track mythical eco-terrorists and mythical environmental terrorists. Since they cannot find any, they attack the next best thing: average Americans who want clean air, water and land.
Meanwhile the real terrorists are given free rein to terrorize climate scientists and science in general and to take America back to the Dark Ages of the Inquisition. Average Americans like me have to fear that their own government might arrest them or kill them for being active to stop pollution and reverse climate change. Fighting pollution is hard enough without billions of dollars like the polluters and without having to worry that their own government is in league with the devil (the criminal polluters). It would help no end if we got some reassurance from the Department of Homeland Security that dissent is still legal for those who are not Tea Party extremists. I mean don't drive us crazy with paranoia. Let us trust our own government. You in government do not exactly inspire confidence because you lie to us so much. We expect the CIA to lie -- that is what spies do. But Homeland Security and the FBI should not lie to the taxpayers.
What we really want is this:
1. Remove the prefix eco- and the words environmental and environmentalist from the watch lists of DHS and NSA.
2. Congressional oversight committees to come in and make sure that this is enforced
3. Inspectors to make sure that this is enforced
4. General Accounting Office to make sure that this is enforced
5. We want the name of the bureaucrat who added this prefix and these words in the first place. And we will be straight with why we want this individual's name. We intend to see that the b*stard is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
6. Verification by investigative journalists and whistle-blowers since we go by Reagan's credo: Trust but verify.
7. Expungement of dossiers collected on innocent environmentalists. This means rigid enforcement of existing and new privacy laws.
8. Publishing in newspapers of the names of any US Representatives or Senators who call for this prefix and these words to remain on the watch lists so that we can work to have them recalled now or defeated in the next election.
9. For DHS and NSA to stay out of politics or we will have to ask our representatives in Congress to cut their budgets to zero.
10. For DHS to issue a public apology to the American people. We do not ask for any such apology from NSA -- only compliance with the law.