A Group of Kids Are Suing Obama Over Climate Change
A group of 21 children and teenagers are suing the Obama administration over climate change, which Slate calls “next important civil rights struggle of the 21st century.”
The kids aren’t going it alone, however. Their “guardian” is James Hansen, the former chief climate scientist for NASA. The lawsuit argues that the government’s inaction on climate change is a violation of their right to life, liberty and property. They are requesting the President to act immediately to protect the earth for the benefit of Americans, now and in the future.
Slate likens the case to a Disney movie, and it does have that feel to it. However, new developments in the case last week suggest the fossil fuel industry isn’t taking the law suit as child’s play. Three groups representing the Big Oil industry joined the federal case as intervenors, fearing “massive societal changes” and an “unprecedented restructuring of the economy” could result if the kids win.
In a statement, Julia Olson, the lead attorney from Our Children’s Trust said: “The biggest fossil fuel polluters on the planet, including Exxon and Koch Industries, just asked the court for permission to argue that young people don’t have a constitutional right to life if it means reducing fossil fuel use.”
Olson went onto tell Slate that she thinks Big Oil’s involvement with the case is “good news” because “they see this as a legitimate case,” she said.
“The science is clear,” Hansen said in a statement on Nov. 12. “I am not surprised that fossil fuel corporations seek to derail this case, but the fundamental rights of my granddaughter and future generations to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness must prevail.”
The case is seen more symbolic than anything, but a lawsuit that is seeking comprehensive, science-based legislation to return atmospheric carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million by the end of a century is something that we can all get behind of (well, except for climate deniers).
Though Obama might not be able to promise what the lawsuit demands, at least he’s gone on record to call climate change a threat to national security. That might have to be good enough for the kids for the moment.
At least the Pope thinks Obama is doing a good job.