21 Children Have Filed A Lawsuit Against The US Government In An Effort To Save The Planet And Their Future

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21 young plaintiffs have filed a landmark climate change lawsuit against the United States Government, claiming that the government’s decision to continue the development and use of fossil fuels violates their constitutional rights.

The young plaintiffs, who range in age from 8 to 19, have filed the lawsuit as a part of a global legal campaign led by the non-profit organization Our Children’s Trust. In addition to this lawsuit, the organization is also fighting for our future generation’s right to a clean and habitable planet across a number of other countries. As these efforts have shown reasonable success, the organization has much hope for this ambitious lawsuit.

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The federal government has known for decades that CO2 pollution from burning fossil fuels was causing global warming and dangerous climate change. It also knew that continuing to burn fossil fuels would destabilize our climate system, significantly harming my generation and generations to come. Despite knowing these dangers, the defendants did nothing to prevent this harm. In fact, my Government increased the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere to levels it knew were unsafe,said Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh Martinez, one of the young plaintiffs.

The basis of the lawsuit is centred around the fact that “despite knowing these dangers” the government has “continued to authorize and promote fossil fuel extraction, production, consumption, and all their associated emissions—to the grave detriment of future generations,added attorney Philip Gregory of the California firm Cotchett, Pitre & McCarthy, a counsel to the plaintiffs.

The purpose of this case is to obtain an order from a federal court requiring the United States government, including the president and specific federal agencies, to develop a national plan to protect our atmosphere and stable climate system,said Julia Olson, executive director and chief legal counsel for Our Children’s Trust, and lead counsel on the litigation.

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If successful, the court will recognise federal support for the continued development and use of fossil fuels as a violation of the Fifth and Ninth Amendments, and the public trust doctrine. This case will therefore become a monumental precedent for future climate change cases in the U.S.

The public trust doctrine ensures “the rights of present and future generations to those essential natural resources that are of public concern to the citizens of our nation,” reads the complaint. “These vital natural resources include at least the air (atmosphere), water, seas, the shores of the sea, and wildlife. The overarching public trust resource is our country’s life-sustaining climate system, which encompasses our atmosphere, waters, oceans, and biosphere. Defendants must take affirmative steps to protect those trust resources.”

Working in collaboration with the youths lawsuit is former NASA scientist and grandfather to one of the plaintiffs, James Hansen. To support the claims Hansen has provided an “expert declaration” in which he states, “In my opinion, this lawsuit is made necessary by the at-best schizophrenic, if not suicidal, nature of U.S. climate and energy policy.”

For the case, each of the 21 plaintiffs have provided a statement that details how climate change is effecting their lives, whether that be extreme weather conditions, rising sea levels, or its negative influence of medical conditions.


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6 COMMENTS

  1. I’m all for getting on a path to renewable and safe energy but that also requires taking into consideration the costs associated to it. I work at an electric coop and without using coal there is no way to offer affordable electricity to the member-owners. Using gas costs double what coal does which has to be paid by someone which means those living in the rural areas of the coop have to pay. We service a lot of poor families and honestly I don’t want to be considered part of the group responsible for them having to choose which necessities in life they can afford to use. There are a lot of options out there and more popping up but until we can find an electricity source that is completely reliable AND green we cannot just shut down our coal plants.

  2. The TPP ELECTION; Canada 2015;
    Conservatives, NDP, Liberals, Support Corporate Canada’s Punishing the harmless voters, both Native & non Native (& citizens of TPP) by way of SECRET TPP, et al, Tribunals’ Punitive Penalties, Fines, Costs & Awards.
    GREENs Against TPP & other Global Corporate Treaties/’Arrangements’ & Clauses Giving Power to Global Corporate Economy to Make Secret Changes and Any & All Discretionary $elf-Improvement$ without Notification, Discussion & Approval and at Any Time; ie. ’Oh, & by the Way…’ clauses.

    TRUE: X , or, False: ___.

    Corporate Canada’s Traditional, BIG 3 Parties, NDP, LIBs, CONs, Desperate for Superseding Global Corporate Treaties/’Arrangements’ to Wipe Out Native Canadian, et al, ‘Gains’; Only GREEN Party Standing Up Against Global Corporate Economy’s Insider Trading & SECRET ‘Death-Star-Chamber’ ISDS Tribunals, et al?

    Can the Voters make the DISTINCTION between; the bullying politicians, both; Native & non Native, who need to continue to Deprive their members of the Information (eg. The WAD Accord’s Compensation)& to Punish those who have been Deprived of the Info and those who need to Share the Info in order to protect the Human Rights of Unborn Native Canadians, et al?
    Corporate Canada’s Big 3 Parties do NOT want YOU to make the DISTINCTION.

    Corporate ‘U.S.’ is desperate to Legitimize & Globalize (TPP/TTIP/CETA) ‘Full Invasion’; HSBC’s money laundering, Enron’s insider trading, Chase Bank’s fraud, etc. after its 2008 ‘Tactical Probe’ into Deregulation & Buying Short on Designer Meltdown leads to Global Recession, but, Non-Guilty. Corporate Canada & its Traditional Big 3 Political Parties are Anxious to increase its play time under the ‘skirts’ of Corporate U.S. in the International Economic Glitter Game.

    The Traditional Big 3 Parties vs. GREENs & Quebec;ANTI-Globalists (GREENs) PROHIBITED from Debating TPP, et al, in Corporate Canada’s Election ‘Debates’. For ‘NO’ to Global Treaties/”Arrangements’ just VOTE for the GREEN Party’ Canada’s Big 3 Traditional Parties tell Voters.

    How long have Global Corporate Associates been ‘Passing’ Legislation in Anticipation of Suing Once Ratified? ‘Trickle’ Up & Out Economics.

    After New Zealand’s PM admitted that medicines will cost more due to the TPP, have the citizens of New Zealand & TPP, noticed PM Harper cuts funding for Canadian health care by $36 million & unchallenged by other parties, exacerbation leading to privatizing health care, etc. to pay TPP penalties to Global Corporate Assocs.

    TPP nations, et al, need ‘good corporate citizens’ that respect our legislation & need to ‘out’ bad corporate voters via shareholder meetings; ‘persona non grata’?

    Americans, Japanese, et al, look forward to working with Savvy Slave Trading Malaysians & Slick Cultural ‘Genociding’ Canadians. ‘But, we didn’t know’.
    Traditional Canadian Parties Demanding Supplicance to Corporate Canada & its Global Corporate Assocs. is an unholy sin?

    Will Pope Francis & other leaders Intercede with prayer against PM Harper, Corporate Canada, The Canadian Establishment, et al, for Continuing to Blame & Punish those who are continuing to be Deprived of the Due Diligence Info and Continuing its Cultural Genocide.
    by David E.H. Smith, ‘Qui tam…’ *** FULL Article, see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com *** Please consider sharing the enclosed information & questions with 10 friends who will share it with 10 others…

  3. You can’t rely on the Government on such things because these very Governments that they have filed a law suit against is controlled by the very corporations that rely on fuels for their income. Do you really think that they would just give it up like that? You know if their bases of income were to threatened they would try everything in their money to get rid of them no matter if they are children or adults. To save the planet for our future generations is to defeat them in their own game… Create your own clean energy that can generate a country e.g cold fusion (The most cursed word in the scientific community) and make it cheap like very cheap to make it alluring for the community to use. Destroy these oil industry.

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