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Background

Many industries like the oil, gas, coal and chemical industries rely on fossil fuels for electricity, heat and raw materials.  When these industries burn these fuels, they release carbon dioxide and other gasses into the air.  The buildup of these gasses causes the Earth’s atmosphere to trap more of the sun’s heat, causing the earth to get warmer.  This increase in global temperatures is called “global climate change” or “global warming."

Global warming produces not only warmer air, but also warmer oceans.  One of the side-effects of warmer ocean temperatures is more frequent and more intense hurricane activity in the Atlantic Ocean, and consequently more hurricane damage in America.  Hurricane Katrina in 2005 is a good example of how warmer sea surface temperatures can produce much more intense and destructive hurricanes in the United States.

Scientists have been studying global warming for many years (Swedish chemist Svante Arrhenius first described the global warming effect in 1897), and the vast majority of scientists agree that global warming poses a real threat to mankind.  Yet much of the public believes that global warming science is unproven or even a myth. 

Why the confusion? One reason is that the oil, gas, coal and chemical industries (the largest emitters of greenhouse gases that cause global warming) started a public relations campaign more than twenty years ago to confuse the public about global warming. They have spent millions of dollars on confusing television and print ads promoting the work of fringe scientists, all in an effort to convince the public that global warming does not exist.  This campaign was very successful, and even today, when virtually all scientists agree that global warming poses a threat to our safety, our economy and our environment, many of these industries still campaign against taking any action to stop global warming.

Some of our clients, whose homes were destroyed by Hurricane Katrina, are taking a stance to battle these industries and hold them accountable for the harm they cause.