Children File Suit in Court for a Safe Environment

From article on Bill Moyers & Company: http://billmoyers.com/story/should-kids-be-able-to-sue-for-a-safe-climate-this-federal-court-is-about-to-decide/
From article on Bill Moyers & Company: http://billmoyers.com/story/should-kids-be-able-to-sue-for-a-safe-climate-this-federal-court-is-about-to-decide/

Bill Moyer’s & Company featured this article. Children and youths ages 8-19 filed a complaint in Eugene, Oregon’s U.S. District Court that their rights to a safe environment have been violated.

The nonprofit, Our Children’s Trust, filed on behalf of the children. The Justice Department filed a motion to dismiss the case; a federal court judge is considering the request.

By favoring the current generations over their generation, and not acting to reduce the impacts of climate change, the children contend the U.S. government – the President and the federal, state, and local agencies charged to protect the environment – has denied their generation the rights that emanate from a safe environment.

This is a violation of the public trust.

On the NOAA Vital Signs of the Planet website today, the current concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is 402.26 parts per million (ppt). 350 ppt or lower is considered a safe concentration for earth’s ecosystems and life within the biosphere. Concomitant rise in temperature from rising CO2 atmospheric concentration (a greenhouse gas) is unevenly applied on Earth. However, to date the average rise in temperature is  1 degree Centigrade or 3.4 degrees Fahrenheit across the whole planet. Small changes in average temperatures on Earth are associated with massive changes in climate such as the beginning or end of an ice age.

Question for Readers:

Are the children within in their rights to sue our generation, our government, for violating their rights?

Please comment to spark a discussion. See 2 video interviews on the link above.

Nature’s Trust

4 thoughts on “Children File Suit in Court for a Safe Environment

    1. In one of the videos on the site, there is a discussion of the public trust doctrine, going back to Roman law holding a government responsible for protecting the natural resources that support their citizens quality of life. I think this is so important that citizens must now stand up for the proper functioning of agencies at the federal and state and local levels to support the public trust.

  1. Tres English

    We need to use every tool we can create, not just the ones we have.

    It will be interesting to see what the Court says. One important question is whether the Court has jurisdiction. Another is whether the Government is protected by sovereign immunity. And there is question about whether the plaintiffs have standing to sue. Finally, there is the issue of enforceability and remedy.

    I would love a Court to rule that the US Government has an obligation to do something about Climate stabalization. But the Court has no enforcement powers.

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