“We should be getting youths in front of the courts, not polar bears”

Focusing on the children who stand to lose in this debate changes the debate altogether

Right off the bat, let me credit this wise, thought-provoking title to the fabulous and inspirational Mary Wood, an esteemed professor at the University of Oregon School of Law. The quote is not my own, although I think the reason I am so drawn to her words is because they mirror my own sentiment in one very important way- people care about climate change because deep down, we care about people. And deep down, we care about little people a lot.

And we should. Little people are cute, they provide a deeper sense of meaning and purpose to many of us on the planet, and they will inherit this world from their predecessors- us.

You have probably read about it already, but quite a few attorneys filed lawsuits today in every state and DC on behalf of certain youthful plaintiffs, using a common law public trust theory as the basis for their lawsuit. If you’ve come in contact with Professor Wood, even for a few moments, you are familiar with this theory. Just wikipedia the public trust doctrine and you will see it for all of its simplistic beauty. At its core, the doctrine requires the government to protect certain resources for the public. Usually the doctrine protects waters and certain natural resources. In this instance, environmental attorneys are attempting to apply it to the atmosphere. If successful, this would  force increased protection against climate change by the government. If not for us, for the kids.

Here is the full text of the Associated Press Article- Climate activists target states with lawsuits


Kids vs. Global Warming can be found here: http://kids-vs-global-warming.com/Home.html

And Our Children’s Trust website: http://www.ourchildrenstrust.org/


5 responses

  1. vbaccommunity

    Brilliant. Thank you for taking on this huge issue Brook. I’m looking foward to reading your interviews and finding out if I can help in some way.

    May 5, 2011 at 6:54 am

    • Thank you Kristine! As the blogs continue, I’d love to hear more of your thoughts!

      May 7, 2011 at 8:48 pm

  2. Pingback: Mary C. Wood, creator of road map for citizens to bring suit against government « Citizen Action Monitor

  3. Thanks again Brook. I cited your post in my own tribute to Mary C Wood at http://citizenactionmonitor.wordpress.com/2011/05/08/mary-c-wood-creator-of-road-map-for-citizens-to-bring-suit-against-government/

    All the best. f

    May 8, 2011 at 4:33 pm

    • I’ve read it already- great piece of work! Keep it up!

      May 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm

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