December 06, 2006

Attractive Nuisances

In a recent op ed piece in the SF Chron, Terry Tamminen gives a really pretty cogent argument for why California — with a bunch of other US states — is "suing auto manufacturers on behalf of the public, seeking compensation for global warming pollution that is known to aggravate heat waves, wildfires, and coastal flooding." ("Why we sue over soot", San Francisco Chronicle, 29 November, page B11).

So far, so good. But let's go global on this, and take this logic only a little bit further: why not have Tamminen help, say, several countries in UnAmerica sue California and its people(s) for the same thing? It's not as though the population of California is an innocent bystander in all this, naive dupes of the evil auto manufacturers and such. In my experience the majority of the population here has for years actively wanted, often even demanded, a lifestyle that's been a public nuisance (Tamminen's phrase) to the rest of the world.

So Go, Terry, Go! But don't forget the followup, the targeting of the great Californian (and US) publics and their insatiable desires — they're (we're!) the real public nuisance here.

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