I’m suing the U.S. government for causing the climate change crisis #YouthVGov


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/10/23/our-childrens-trust.html


A cynic simply can’t believe other people aren’t equally cynical.


“Caused” is a real stretch. “Enabled,” “supported,” “abetted” yes, absolutely. If you want to get at cause, that would be us. Cheap power, big cars, high profits leading to high investment returns. I am in my 50’s, and my generation will bear the blame for this.


That’s where you lost me. Don’t misunderstand, I am totally on your side as to objectives.

Unfortunately, citing – as the plaintiff in a lawsuit – a Constitutional right that only appears in the Declaration of Independence (which has no binding legal authority) undermines any attempt by you to be taken seriously. Publishing that mistake without running the whole piece past someone who can check it for this kind of error undermines your position as a writer, too.

Please – what you’re doing is important. It deserves serious advocacy.


You go girl!


Wasn’t there just a SCOTUS ruling about a similar case in the last couple days, and was it in fact this case?

Huge applause to you Kelsey Juliana for bringing this action. We have to do something about climate, and we have to do it now now now. We’re out of time.


There was. It is this impressively laconic order:


Maybe this too, involving a writ of mandamus. I’m still reading.


You’re right, my bad.

this is the recent one:

still impressively brief.

The application for a stay and the response are here:



Thanks for the linkage. It doesn’t get any more authoritative than the actual documents.


IAAL, though not working on this case, and this case is awesome! The [https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_trust_doctrine](http://Public Trust Doctrine) is ancient law. Really ancient.

“The Public Trust Doctrine dates back to the sixth century Institutes of Justinian and the accompanying Digest, which collectively formed Roman civil law.” Slade, David C., et al., Putting the Public Trust Doctrine to Work, Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection, Coastal Resources Management Division, 1990.

Emperor Justinian (535 A.D.) stated in the Institutes that “By the law of nature these things are common to mankind, the air, running water, the sea, and consequently the shores of the sea.”

While the PTD is commonly used to protect the public’s access to and use of waters and shorelines, there is a very strong argument that the atmosphere (in Justinian’s Institutes, “the air”) is a shared resource common to mankind and the sovereign has an obligation to protect the public’s rights in and to a livable climate. The Plaintiffs in Juliana are asking the judiciary to recognize a fundamental human right to a livable climate. That should be a given, but the US Gov’t just stated to the Supreme Court that there is no protectable right to any particular climate condition. That’s madness.

Good luck to these brave youths and their excellent public interest attorneys!


“The defense of necessity” is a legal doctrine I’d like to see more of. While I doubt the SCOTUS is going to be any help at all in this effort (especially now that Trump has shat in two of those chairs), it’s certainly worth showing our work.

One clear sign of how the problem is percolating through our brains, is theres less and less talk of “avoiding irreversible damage”. That window has closed. These kids are going to have to live with what’s been done, the debt is payed forward, never back.

When Cortez burned his boats in view of his men, he made a powerful, dramatic gesture that emphasized the stakes they were now fighting for. I believe the climate movement needs exactly that kind of gesture these days, where wishful thinking and turning back the clock are forcefully removed from the agenda.


I feel bad for the youth of today. The days of a world where African wildlife, grizzly bears, polar bears, wolves and a myriad of other innocent creatures will go extinct. Elephants… I truly want to see poachers shot onsite for the killing of these wondrous, beautiful and intelligent creatures. But, climate change will do so much more harm and to think the President of the US and virtually every GOP member of Congress and the Senate espouses the belief it is not happening. Lying about it more accurately. They know its happening, they just don’t care. Either they are the most cruel, unjust, immoral humans to ever live on this planet, or that is just how humans are. Maybe inherently, humans are bad news, for all other species and themselves. We need to fix this planet before we try to colonize other planets. If we can’t fix this one, we don’t deserve to destroy another one, because that is what we will do.


Not so fast! We are “indirectly” responsible via our consumption, but the corporations are directly responsible. Also don’t forget that in the 80s, 90s and early 2000s there was a bipartisan understanding that we’ve got to do something about this problem. Then corporations funded massive coverups and misinformation campaigns, and here we are, climate denialism has taken over.

When the climate feedback loops start churning and the food riots start and first world refugees start moving around due to catastrophic flooding, fossil fuel execs are gonna get the bullet.


I agree, except I think that learning to live in closed systems in space may help us learn to live in a sustainable way on the Earth.


I think I pretty much stand by my statement. At least in theory (a hole big enough to drive a truck through, I know) we, as consumers, could force this economy to a more climate friendly stance. The big companies are only big because we buy their shit. It would require us to move in something of a mass movement, but it could be done. We (old folks) have never been motivated to do so, too inconvenient to our lifestyles and bank accounts.


The Preamble is consistent with the DoI, in that it calls for promoting the general wellfare and ensuring liberty. If you take “life, liberty, property” as a statement of the spirit of the Constitution rather than a direct quote, it works.


Don’t forget the interaction between church and GOP. Both spread disinformation on many topics, including AGW.



And also ensuring these nice things for posterity (which is where the young people come into the picture).


What are we going to do? Not buy food, medicine, electricity? Not commute to work?

I was raised on “think global, act local” and “vote with your dollar”, but corporations have the tools and resources to easily crush those movements. I’ve come to see that only government action can create lasting change.

Our culpability comes not in the way we have spent, but in the way we have voted.

“Taking the blame” is going to be a joke. What keeps me up every night is that my son is going to take the consequences.