compassion, collaboration & cooperation iN transistion
Serge Dedina is a surfer, environmentalist and mayor of
Imperial Beach, a small working-class city on the
California coast. He is also, if the fossil fuel industry is
to be believed, at the heart of a conspiracy to shake
down big oil for hundreds of millions of dollars.
The problem is, Dedina had never heard of a Santa Cruz
conspiracy. Few people had. “The only thing from Santa
Cruz on my phone was videos of my kids surfing there,”
Dedina said. “I love the fact that some lawyer in a really
expensive suit, sitting in some horrible office trying to
find evidence that we were in some kind of conspiracy
with Santa Cruz, had to look at videos of my kids surfing.”
But that did not stop the industry from continuing to use
its legal muscle to try to intimidate Dedina, who leads one
of the poorest small cities in the region.
The mayor became a target after Imperial Beach filed a
lawsuit against ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP and more than
30 other fossil-fuel companies demanding they pay the
huge costs of defending the city from rising seas caused
by the climate crisis.
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