Oregon Court Declines To Dismiss Children’s Crusade Climate Lawsuit
Late last week, Judge Thomas Coffin, U.S. Magistrate for the District of Oregon, rejected motions by industry groups to dismiss a lawsuit by a group of youngsters (aged 8-19) to require the U.S. government to implement policies to reduce atmospheric CO2 concentrations to 350 parts per million by 2100.
One plaintiff, former NASA scientist Dr. James Hansen, serves as a “guardian” in the lawsuit for “future generations.”
As summarized by Judge Coffin, the kids allege that rising CO2 concentrations infringe their constitutionally protected rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; violate equal protection rights embedded in the Fifth Amendment by “denying them protections afforded to previous generations”; violate an implicit Ninth Amendment right to “a stable climate and an open ocean and atmosphere”; and violate the public trust doctrine, secured by the Ninth Amendment, “by denying future generations essential natural resources.”
The kids probably have no idea how easily their argument can be flipped to indict the climate agenda of which they are so proud. The 350 ppm agenda infringes humanity’s rights to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness by restricting access to the most affordable, reliable, scalable sources of energy, without which life for the mass of mankind would be nasty, poor, brutal, and short; violates equal protection by denying to future generations the economic opportunities and affordable energy enjoyed by previous generations; violates an implicit Ninth Amendment right to enjoy the great cycle of progress initiated and still sustained by fossil fuels; and violates the public trust doctrine, secured by the Ninth Amendment, by denying future generations access to essential natural resources, notably the coal, gas, and oil, which provide nearly 87 percent of global commercial energy.
It’s too late for Dr. Hansen to admit that putting an energy-starved world on an energy diet would be destructive to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Let’s hope the kids someday acquire the wisdom of the poet: “Good and bad I define these terms, quite clear, no doubt, somehow, Ah but I was so much older then, I’m younger than that now.”