A brave group of twenty one youths in Eugene, Oregon take on a federal lawsuit against the U.S. government and groups representing some of the biggest energy companies in the world. The youths range in age from eight years old to nineteen have decided to take a stand and help the environment. They are seeking a court order to make the government to reduce emissions which are contributing to climate change. These brave young environmentalists hope to change the laws regarding releases of emissions and very well could.
These kids have the support of two large Catholic organizations and the have already advised the court. It is clear that this could be detrimental to these corporations like BP, Exxonmobil, and Chevron if indeed these kids win their case.
The trade groups representing the large fuel companies and the U.S. government have already asked the judge to dismiss this case. Wonder why, they must be scared by the fact that their companies could greatly be impacted by these kids. What’s interesting is that President Obama is all for standing up to climate change so why is the government trying to dismiss the case? They are concerned that since this case is being held by the U.S. District Court that it has “substantial separation of powers concerns”. The case would affect national laws and district court does not have that kind of power. However the youth believes that the government has violated their rights of life, liberty, and property when they have knowly let these companies are continually polluting the air with carbon dioxide and contributing greatly to climate change.
The hearing is scheduled for March 9. It will be interesting to see what will happen in this case. All these plaintiffs are trying to do is get the government to create a plan that will reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Something that they should have been doing a long time ago. These motivated kids are stopping at nothing to be able to create a better world you their generation and future generations. The plaintiffs want a judge to order the government to create a plan that works to significantly cut greenhouse gas emissions released in the burning of fossil fuels. Big changes are needed, they say, to protect the environment for today’s youth as well as future generations. With the help of the Leadership Council of Women’s Religious and The Global Catholic Climate Movement it might just be enough to give them the standing they need. One of the plaintiffs filing in this case is James Hansen who is a lead climate scientist aiming to make this planet a long lasting habitable one. These Catholic groups understand that legal reform has often been influenced by their moral and religious viewpoints. Pope Francis gave a speech at the White House that made remarks that we needed to take action against the pollution. This case may be the next largest case in the U.S. Hopefully these kids with the help they have will be able to make the change that our world needs to survive.