Press | Op-ed

Opinion: What Opioid Lawsuits Can Teach Us About Climate Courtroom Battles

Undark | Rachael Lyle-Thompson | November 17, 2022

Opioids and fossil fuels might seem like vastly different products. But both were marketed as panaceas for a more comfortable existence. Both have some legitimate uses, though we now know that safer alternatives exist for treating chronic pain and powering our economy. And in both instances, we could have known about the harms caused by these products decades sooner, had they not been deliberately concealed from the public for corporate profits….

Like the major opioid manufacturers, distributors, and pharmacies, fossil fuel companies continue to spread disinformation and deceive the public, evidently in an effort to delay climate action. This deception increasingly happens via the legal system itself. In my current work as a lawyer for the Climate Science Legal Defense Fund, my colleagues and I have seen fossil fuel companies — and fossil fuel-funded groups and individuals — target climate scientists and researchers with invasive open records requests, defamation lawsuits, political harassment, and more. The apparent goal: intimidating, silencing, and sidelining scientists in order to forestall government action on climate change.

Read the full op-ed at Undark.

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