Dog Ownership Benefits, Exxon Lawsuit

Grind for October 28th
“How many people here have telekinetic powers? Raise my hand.”
– Emo Philips

Man’s Best Friend

The Headline

New study links dog ownership with longevity

The Grind

A new study from the American Heart Association claims dog owners tend to live longer than people without dogs, especially if those people live alone and have survived a cardiac event.

The study supports previous research suggesting dog ownership can alleviate social isolation, improve physical activity, and lower blood pressure.

The Details

For individuals living alone after a heart attack, dog ownership was associated with a 33% lower risk of early death; for individuals living alone after a stroke, dog ownership was associated with a 27% lower risk of early death.

In general, dog ownership was associated with a 31% lower risk of death by heart attack or stroke and a 24% lower risk of all-cause mortality.

The study provides “good, quality data indicating dog ownership is associated with reduced cardiac and all-cause mortality,” notes Glenn N. Levine, MD, a writer for the American Heart Association. “While these non-randomized studies cannot ‘prove’ that adopting or owning a dog directly leads to reduced mortality, these robust findings are certainly at least suggestive of this.”

The study was conducted using medical information from Swedish residents between the ages of 40 and 85.

Bad Move

The Headline

ExxonMobil sued for misleading investors about the risks of climate change

The Grind

In the second-ever climate change trial in the United States, ExxonMobil will face accusations that it misled shareholders and the public about the effects of carbon relegation on the oil and gas industry.

The case stems from a 2015 investigation that revealed Exxon’s scientists were using climate change research to plan future operations while the company publicly downplayed the threat of global warming.

The Details

The case, which goes before the New York State Supreme Court this month, will likely include testimony from former Exxon CEO and former Secretary of State Rex Tillerson.

“Exxon provided false and misleading assurances that it is effectively managing the economic risks posed to its business by the increasingly stringent policies and regulations that it expects governments to adopt to address climate change,” wrote New York AG Letitia James, who will prosecute the case.

“Instead of managing those risks in the manner it represented to investors…Exxon employed internal practices that were inconsistent with its representations, were undisclosed to investors, and exposed the company to greater risk from climate change regulation than investors were led to believe.”

In other words, ExxonMobil lied to shareholders about the security of its assets (a violation of New York’s Martin Act).

“This is the first case on alleged securities fraud about climate change ever to go to trial,” notes Columbia Law Professor Michael Gerrard. “Many others have tried to bring such cases, but this is the first one that has gotten this far.”

ExxonMobil insists it was honest with shareholders and claims the suit is politically motivated, but has spent years trying to block the case from reaching trial.

Did you know… Disney’s first choice to play Jack Sparrow was Jim Carrey.