As the COP 26 meeting approaches and real action on climate change is demanded world-wide, the fossil fuel industry's power – in this case Chevron Oil – is on display in New York City where a Chevron-backed judge Loretta Preska is persecuting the lawyer Steven Donziger who won a $9.5 billion settlement against Chevron for killing, poisoning and contaminating 30,000 indigenous people in Ecuador's Amazon jungle. The harms are appalling.
Also appalling is treatment of lawyer Donziger who won a settlement in an Ecuadorean court after a fifteen-year long Kafkaesque legal battle. With leadership by Ecuadorean lawyer Pablo Fajardo, Donziger won the historic settlement. But Chevron, having accepted Ecuadorean jurisdiction, has since decided it won't pay. In fact, Donziger is being held under house arrest on contempt charges in his Manhattan apartment and faces a six month prison sentence before his appeal of the charges is heard. This jailing of a citizen before his/her appeal is even heard is a display of corporate power unprecedented in legal history.
“Crude” - a 2009 documentary of Chevron victims' contamination struggle (with Chevron's counter-testimony) – is easily found on YouTube. Searches of Steven Donziger's name easily unveil more information. As public outrage grows, the fossil fuel industry realizes its time is up. Saving the planet demands shutting down the entire petroleum industry before it kills us all. Indigenous Ecuadoreans dying of cancer from contamination was enough. The industry's continued killing for profit, then covering it up, is being called to account. Chevron is part of a thanatocracy – rule of elites who tolerate death for profits – aimed at all humans. But extracting profit at the cost of humans, animals, plants and the entire eco-system that makes planet Earth our habitat is no longer morally acceptable.