Guest cross examination by David Middleton
THE PEOPLE V. CLIMATE CHANGE
‘Biggest case on the planet’ pits kids vs. climate change
A pioneering lawsuit against the U.S. government won the right to a trial. But the Trump administration is still asking the courts to cancel it.
BY LAURA PARKER
PUBLISHED OCTOBER 19, 2018
LEVI DRAHEIM IS a nine-year-old science geek. He founded an environmental club as a fourth grader and gives talks about climate change to audiences of grown-ups. His home is on a slender barrier island on Florida’s Atlantic coast, 21 miles south of Cape Canaveral and a five-minute walk from the beach. By mid-century, his sandy childhood playground could be submerged by rising seas. He will be just 42.
Nathan Baring is 17 and a high school junior in Fairbanks, Alaska—120 miles south of the Arctic Circle. He loves cold weather and skis. The Arctic is warming twice as fast as the rest of the planet. Now winter snows that Baring once celebrated as early as August in Fairbanks can hold off until November.
By 2050, Arctic sea ice will have virtually disappeared, and temperatures in the interior, surrounding Fairbanks, will have risen by an additional 2 to 4 degrees Fahrenheit, altering the boreal forest ecosystem. Nathan will be 50.
“I can deal with a few days of rain in February when it’s supposed to be 40 below,” he says. “But I can’t deal with the idea that what my parents experienced and what I have experienced will not exist for my children. I am a winter person. I won’t sit idly by and watch winter vanish.”
Baring and Draheim so lack confidence that they will inherit a healthy planet that they are suing the United States government for failing to adequately protect the Earth from the effects of climate change.
The kids’ lawsuit was joined by acclaimed NASA climate scientist James Hansen, who began studying climate change in the 1970s and whose granddaughter, Sophie, is among the 21 young plaintiffs.
Last fall, U.S. District Court Judge Anne Aiken agreed with the youths’ claim.
“I have no doubt that the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society,” Aiken wrote. “Just as marriage is the foundation of the family, a stable climate system is quite literally the foundation of society, without which there would be neither civilization nor progress.”
“I can deal with a few days of rain in February when it’s supposed to be 40 below”
–Nathan Baring, 17
That’s refreshing… A teenager who can handle a few days of rain in February.
“I have no doubt that the right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life is fundamental to a free and ordered society.”
–U.S. District Court Judge Anne Aiken
How in the HELL can anyone have a “right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life”? What’s next? The right to friendly plate tectonics? The right to non-lethal bolides?
Somebody better sue Milankovitch to prevent this from happening again…
Why not sue the Federal government for failing to protect us from That 70’s Climate Science Show…
Maybe Jimbo Hansen can sue the climate for defying his model…
Same goes for the folks at Remote Sensing Systems…
They should have very solid cases against the climate.
While they’re at it, the climate kiddies sue everyone who benefited from consuming all of these fossil fuels instead of freezing and starving in the dark…
Then we can counter-sue them for trying to deprive us of our right to not freeze and starve in the dark.
Better yet, sue these people for failed predictions…
- In 1865, Stanley Jevons (one of the most recognized 19th century economists) predicted that England would run out of coal by 1900, and that England’s factories would grind to a standstill.
- In 1885, the US Geological Survey announced that there was “little or no chance” of oil being discovered in California.
- In 1891, it said the same thing about Kansas and Texas. (See Osterfeld, David. Prosperity Versus Planning : How Government Stifles Economic Growth. New York : Oxford University Press, 1992.)
- In 1939 the US Department of the Interior said that American oil supplies would last only another 13 years.
- 1944 federal government review predicted that by now the US would have exhausted its reserves of 21 of 41 commodities it examined. Among them were tin, nickel, zinc, lead and manganese.
- In 1949 the Secretary of the Interior announced that the end of US oil was in sight.
If we’d run out of fossil fuels back then, the climate kiddies and Judge Aiken wouldn’t be worried about being deprived of their right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life.