But amidst the carbon-choked clouds gathering over our future, there is one small bright ray of sunshine: a group of school children has just won the right to sue the government over its failure to curb climate change.The group, called Our Children’s Trust, consists of 21 young people between the ages of 9 and 20. In several states they’ve been arguing that “In causing climate change, the federal government has violated the youngest generation’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, property, as well as failed to protect essential public trust resources.”
As our country continues to rely on fossil fuels to power our homes and our cars, we’re already starting to feel the impacts of a warmer world. But it’s the next generation that will bear the brunt of the melting ice caps, drying farmlands, wildfires, and more severe storms. And it turns out they’re kind of mad about that.
This is just the beginning of what will likely be a long and arduous legal battle for these kids, but it’s an important step in the right direction. The same tactic worked in the Netherlands last year, when a court ruled that the government “has to ensure that the Dutch emissions in the year 2020 will be at least 25 percent lower than those in 1990.” Here’s hoping we can repeat that in America.
Our Children’s Trust has organized several efforts to get youths across the country involved with combating climate change.-KS