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Children win right to sue US government for climate change inaction

You may not have realized we have the right to a perfect climate. A bunch of kids age 8 to 19 have won the right to take the US government to trial for not protecting the atmosphere. It’s being called the “biggest case on the planet”.

Federal judge: The right to a stable climate is so fundamental, it predates the Constitution. Huge, huge victory

“Right to a stable climate predates Constitution?” If only the auth  ors of the Magna Carta could have prevented the Little Ice Age.

If only. In dismissing the dismissal the plaintiffs haven’t proven anything at all except that they have the right to waste a lot of time and money pursuing the idea that humans not only can control the climate, but they should’ve done so, at any cost, and that these children would be better off in a colder world with lower crop yields. I can see about twenty ways this case can die in a ditch. Bring on discovery.

How about the right to a stable economy?

Can our kids sue the government for flagrantly wasting funds borrowed from their future in a pointless quest to change the weather?

The Ruling

Plaintiffs allege defendants have known for more than fifty years that the carbon dioxide (“CO;’) produced by burning fossil fuels was destabilizing the climate system in a way that would “significantly endanger plaintiffs, with the damage persisting for millenia.”

Despite that knowledge, plaintiffs asse1t defendants, “[b ]ytheir exercise of sovereign authority over our counhy’ s atmosphere and fossil fuel resources, … permitted, encouraged, and otherwise enabled continued exploitation, production, and combustion of fossil fuels, … deliberately allow[ing] atmospheric C02 concentrations to escalate to levels unprecedented in human history[.]” Id ~ 5

Plaintiffs argue defendants’ actions violate their substantive due process rights to life, liberty, and property, and that defendants have violated their obligation to hold ce1tain natural resources in trust for the people and for future generations.

Treehugger notes that the Judge wasn’t looking at whether humans actually can change the climate:

In her ruling, US District Judge Ann Aiken wrote that the case is not about “not about proving that climate change is happening or that human activity is driving it”:

This action is of a different order than the typical environmental case. It alleges that defendants’ actions and inactions—whether or not they violate any specific statutory duty—have so profoundly damaged our home planet that they threaten plaintiffs’ fundamental constitutional rights to life and liberty. [..] Federal courts too often have been cautious and overly deferential in the arena of environmental law, and the world has suffered for it.

The Climate Law Blog notes that : “The Magistrate Judge emphasized that, on a motion to dismiss, he was accepting all the complaint’s allegations as true.”

How much money will this case waste?

Anyone know who funds “Our Children’s Trust”?


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