In his closing arguments, McKibben said: “You have heard eminent scientists explain that because of the delay in [climate] action, because of Exxon’s failure to present the truth, we’re going to see increases in the level of the sea, and you’ve heard from people who will be driven from their homes.”
“It’s hard to imagine a set of corporate practices that could’ve done more damage and more damage needlessly. For that, we ask for a judgment against Exxon, and for the future of this planet.”
Klein added: “We have heard stories of people’s lives lost directly because of melting ice. We have heard stories of ancient cultures threatened because of climate change.”
“There is no price that can be put on the Marshall Islands, on Arctic cultures, on the lives of our loved ones.”
And the verdict is…
“Given that as a court we lack the ability to compel testimony from Exxon, we are unable to reach a conclusive finding of guilt or innocence. The majesty of the law demands that a defendant be able to offer exculpatory evidence. However, we can ask other courts in other jurisdictions that have the power to summon this company before the law do so and with haste,” said Leak.
Back in the real courtroom in the U.S., the New York attorney general subpoenaed the company’s records from the 1970s, which revealed the company had been conducting its own scientific research into global warming, and that senior executives simply ignored the findings.