Can generations of the future sue over decisions made by the present?
Last summer, 21 adolescents between the ages of 8 and 19 filed a lawsuit which has since been considered “the most important case on the planet right now” by climate observers. Their reason for suing? Climate change. Who were they trying to sue? President Obama.
Now, months later, the federal lawsuit is moving forward to the courtroom as the youngsters, their lawyers, and their mentor, world-renowned climate change expert Dr. James E. Hansen, intend to hold the Government accountable for endangering future generations due to environmental negligence.
Said one of the young plaintiffs, “We’ve taken to the streets, and now we are taking to the courts. When you look at past movements, that’s how change has been made. By diversifying our tactics and targeting the system that’s stealing our constitutional rights to a healthy atmosphere, we’re directly creating this climate revolution.
“This is not against Obama. It’s to bring forth a solution.”
Read on to learn more about “the trial of the millennium”!
The lawsuit came to fruition when 21 young plaintiffs from the Oregon-based nonprofit Our Children’s Trust decided to take legal action against the Government on the grounds of climate negligence.
Our Children’s Trust describes its mission as “Securing the legal right to a healthy atmosphere and stable climate for all present and future generations.” Along with allies, the nonprofit has filed lawsuits in every state across the country, alleging that the Federal Government has known about climate change for over 50 years and not done enough to remedy it.
The initiative is gaining momentum thanks to famous climate scientist Dr. James E. Hansen, adjunct professor at Columbia University, who is also acting as a plaintiff in the case.
Hansen came to prominence in 1988 after addressing Congress on the issue of climate change and sparking the popular movement against global warming that many of us are familiar with today.
Aside from decades of research, Hansen is a dedicated climate activist who hopes to turn the federal suit into a trial based purely on science, numbers, and data that the Government cannot deny.