Monday, April 11, 2016

Suing the Federal Government and Fossil Fuel Industry on Behalf of Future Generations

From Our Children's Trust:
April 8, 2016:  Today, U.S. Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffin of the federal District Court in Eugene, OR, decided in favor of 21 young Plaintiffs, and Dr. James Hansen on behalf of future generations, in their landmark constitutional climate change case brought against the federal government and the fossil fuel industry. The Court’s ruling is a major victory for the 21 youth Plaintiffs, ages 8-19, from across the U.S. in what Bill McKibben and Naomi Klein call the “most important lawsuit on the planet right now.”
OBIS record
The decision by Judge Coffin coincided, incidentally, with the final day of Oberlin's first Global Issues Symposium: Climate Change Consequences, possibly as we were in the midst of discussion on "Connecting the Global and Local: Assessing the Future of Climate Resilient Action."

It is an interesting coincidence, given our focus on climate change consequences for indigenous peoples and Judge Coffin's words regarding those consequences on young people: ..."the intractability of the debates before Congress and state legislatures and the alleged valuing of short term economic interest despite the cost to human life, necessitates a need for the courts to evaluate the constitutional parameters of the action or inaction taken by the government. This is especially true when such harms have an alleged disparate impact on a discrete class of society." [page 8 of the ruling]

Do you avoid serious consideration of climate change and what it  means for your future?  Find out why: Don't even think about it : why our brains are wired to ignore climate change.

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