I don’t have strong opinions on suing energy companies over global warming, but the notion does seem somewhat suspect. For starters, they don’t really have enough money to materially compensate the affected class of people — namely, everyone in the world. Legal liability taken with any seriousness at all would quickly bankrupt them. I’m all for imposing new costs on companies that have been socializing risk and privatizing profit for years now, but this kind of cost is uncertain and unpredictable — not the kind of thing that’s good at driving large-scale shifts in investment. Getting compensation for people whose lives are being destroyed is a worthy goal, but this doesn’t seem like the most straightforward way of getting there. I’d be open to hearing someone make the case though.