All 21 youth plaintiffs in the landmark federal climate lawsuit will attend the hearing before Judge Coffin in federal district court in Oregon on Wednesday, March 9, as their attorneys argue against the effort by the U.S. government and fossil fuel industry to dismiss their constitutional case.
On this momentous day, the claims of the youth plaintiffs, as well as Dr. James Hansen representing the interests of future generations, will be challenged. The issues are crucial: When it comes to our climate, do we have fundamental constitutional rights? Does our federal government have public trust responsibilities? As with the Civil Rights Cases, this March 9 hearing presents the best opportunity for the federal judiciary to take the first step to preserve our climate-oriented constitutional rights and to safeguard youth and future generations from the severe harms caused by the government’s role in effecting climate change.
Based on the best available science, there is no question youth and our Posterity will shoulder the severe consequences of continued increases in carbon dioxide concentrations in our atmosphere. Yet the federal government has no effective plan to protect our future, such as no governing scientific standard to determine which projects will be permitted, how much pollution will be allowed, or why fossil fuel development will continue to be tolerated. Rather, our government continues its fossil fuel-dominated strategy to power our nation, even when that strategy inflicts irreversible damage and feasible, economical alternatives exist.
These brave youth simply ask the court to let the factual record speak for itself. They want a court order that is reasonable and realistic, while protecting their fundamental rights. Our young plaintiffs hope the court requires the federal government to promptly develop and implement a national climate recovery plan, rooted in science, to preserve our atmosphere, to stabilize our climate system for present and future generations, and to cease new fossil fuel projects (such as those geared to infrastructure and extraction) that will inflict irreversible damage. These youth ask that their fundamental constitutional rights and their futures not be subordinated to corporate dollars. They ask that our government do what is legally and morally right and scientifically sound.
Please fight with these youth plaintiffs. Tell your friends about this historic day in court, a day that will impact the futures of all of our children and grandchildren. If you haven’t already, please make a donation today to back these young leaders as they use the courts to confront the federal government and the fossil fuel industry and secure a scientifically sustainable future for all.
Thank you for your incredible support!