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For Failing to Act on Climate Crisis, 13 Young Plaintiffs Just Sued the State of Washington

For Failing to Act on Climate Crisis, 13 Young Plaintiffs Just Sued the State of Washington

Andrea Germanos, staff writer

A group of 13 youths just filed a lawsuit against the State of Washington's for breaching its constitutional and Public Trust obligations.

Why? Failure to act on climate change.

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"What’s in our heart goes out to the world: that’s power."
Pearl Means


Why aren’t SENIOR citizens coming together to sue Trump and Congress
for theft of SS funds?


Because most seniors are Republican conservative, Trumpy backing, Fox News, religious church going , over weight do nothings.
PS: I am a 75 year old progressive, environmental supporting, Buddhist. I pray every day for Trump to be perk walked into a maximum security prison along with his crime family.


I live on the Olympic peninsula in Washington State and I totally support these brave, concerned young citizens. It’s their world and our fault. Time to wake up. We act like the bunch of out of control monkeys we are!


Congrats on reaching 75 and being a progressive and environmentalist. I’m 69 and live in a town in Washington State which has become more and more popular as a retirement haven for oldsters such as ourselves. I have already seen a rise in luxury cars and custom houses being built and, even more to my point, a change toward more conservative politics. This has resulted in some bond issues and proposed small increases in taxes to help provide low-income housing to people without million-dollar portfolios being defeated. I have little interest in being part of “senior lunches” and other such functions as I have little in common with them, politically or economically.
Such a shame as I am of the opinion that, as you grow older and gain more experience and, hopefully, more knowledge, that you should become more progressive, not less. The current version of conservatism is a sellout of the human mind and spirit.


For most of us oldsters, our future is behind us (I’m 80) but our children and grandchildren are the future. Our generations have bequeathed a disaster to them, but they are beginning to realize this, and fight it. I wish them victory, and time for victory. This could be a better, more beautiful world and it is up to all of us to pull together and try to make it so.
*The total burden should not be on the children, but perhaps their example will light the way. Bless them all.


100% clean energy is very doable.

So what is the plan? Where is the action? Who is the leadership? Good intentions and eloquent talk will not protect the future of humanity. This lawsuit has merit and the young have standing.

– I am a 66 year old Washingtonian and as mad as hell at the violation of public trust.

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How much time and money do you have for a tutor?

Chapters – Energy efficiency, district heating/cooling, bore hole seasonal heat storage, waste heat recovery, hydro power (WA is nearly 100% hydro), high voltage DC national grids, crop residue, public electric transport, solar power, wind power, geothermal power, solar heat, absorption chilling, hydrogen aircraft, zero energy buildings, solar steam industrial process heat, education/innovation, and so on. Average ROI 5% (about the same as housing) for $1tn/year capital investments. US fossil fuel use is about $1tn/year (6% of GNP).

Sweden retrofitted their entire country in about 15 years then held international conferences in Toronto, Seattle, (I attended both) and Stockholm. Most Americans have never heard of 100% heated cities using seasonal heat storage.

It is a do or die proposition.


Your assertion that no one on this site discusses fiscal sanity is both untrue and offensive. I, and many others, often comment on the net costs associated with the choices we make.

You’ve made lots of assumptions that the facts don’t support. As is often the case, you there “immense” costs, without identifying what those are and, more importantly you fail to account for the savings associated moving to a renewable energy-based system. Beyond, while you put the question of “what it costs” to us you fail to ask the most important part of the question – “as compared to what?” In the electricity system planning world, asking and answering this question is known as integrated resource planning (or IRP) and is the accepted standard for evaluating the costs and benefits associated with resource planning options and then comparing the net cost or benefit to the other options on the table.

A recent study for the Platte River Power Authority, concludes:

Based on the numbers reported in the study, the ZNC portfolio avoids the emission of 59.0
million tons of CO2, and has an additional cost (valued in the present) of roughly $220
million. This implies a mitigation cost of $3.73/ton of CO2. If we think of this mitigation cost
as analogous to a price on carbon, it would be roughly equivalent to adding a 3.7 cent/gallon
carbon tax on gasoline.

Spreading the same $220 million out over the 132 TWh of electricity generation PRPA
projects over the study period (roughly 4 TWh / year * 33 years = 132 TWh), would yield an
additional cost of 0.167 cents/kWh.

So the incremental cost of moving to a zero net carbon supply portfolio is $0.00167/kWh – this is less than the typical noise in utility fuel adjustments – i.e. less than the typical price volatility on your electric bill; hardly an “immense” cost as you assert.

I would add that this study does not account for health, environmental and climate costs avoided by moving to a zero net carbon system, so it grossly overstates the de minimis costs that it calculates.


See my reply to tvorandftc’s reply to your original comment above for an example of this type of analysis. You really ought to do some homework before you spread the misinformation contained in your comments.

I just went to a convenient and available report to demonstrate a point. I’m sure there are similar studies for Washington that have comparable results, especially given the high percentage of hydro available in Washington, although on quick review I haven’t found a zero net carbon study. There is a good IRP from E3 covering Washington and Oregon, that demonstrates significant CO2 reductions (80% by 2050), at increased electricity prices in the 6-12% range, depending on the strategy. Again these aren’t insurmountable cost increases and they don’t capture externality savings associated with avoided health care, environmental and climate costs, which could even turn those costs into savings. Also, note they are reducing 80% of carbon in a system that has a large share of near carbon-free resources already, primarily hydro, so they are wringing a large share of carbon out of the system.

If you have an IRP study showing a contrary result, please share it.

river – Not quite sure that most seniors are Repug right wing, Trump fans, etal.
But many Americans have been lied to for so long by right wing propaganda about Social Security
that many are confused about it. I’ve actually spoken to one or more staff of right wing members of
Congress who didn’t know that SS costs the government nothing.
I do think that a lot of Social Security/retired put a lot of trust in AARP for leadership on SS issues…!!

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The kids aren’t buying garbage feedback from corrupt government officials.
The reasons WHY are total corruption of government by right wing which continues to permit the burning of fossil fuels – and dangerous nuclear reactors.

While Congress and corrupt officials continue to lie to the public about energy for the benefit of monopoly control over our natural resources. All natural resources should be nationalized – and any use of those natural resources should be only by approval of citizens and any profits being returned to government/people.

It is highly unlikely any new large hydro will be installed. The carbon emitted installing the existing hydro is, if you’re pardon the pun, water under the bridge at this point. On an incremental basis going forward it will add little carbon to our problem and will certainly offset more than it could possibly emit.

The study I cited addresses this issue. Sorry if the link didn’t work. Here’s another try:


No, we just need to understand what those changes might need to be and what the benefits and costs of those changes are. It may be that we need to reduce timber operations because of the CO2 impacts of those operations. Fish are already mostly accounted for in the operation of the hydroelectric plants. Just because someone is engaged in an economic activity such as the timber industry, doesn’t mean that it represents an optimum or even acceptable activity in a climate solution. The survivability of our species and many others is a higher priority than protecting an existing economic activity.

I’m 70 and definitely NOT a right-wing conservative, but I sure do know a lot of them! I live in a rural area outside Seattle and have been struggling for the past 10 years trying to find like-minded older people. I’m surrounded by conservative elderly. If anyone knows any Progressive groups of older people, I’d sure like to know about it. BTW…I boycotted AARP early on when they sold out the elderly on prescription drug benefits with Medicare. I figured out that they were most definitely NOT advocates for the aged–they are just out for profit like every other insurance company. They’re turn coats!

As for this suit–it might be a good thing! It will give voice to these important energy issues and perhaps fast-track some good changes. If any state could be a leader in change, it would be Washington State!

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Don’t know anything about Seattle – and even less about rural areas there.
How about your library – anything liberal there in the way of books, periodicals.
Maybe starting a blog to inform seniors – I don’t know how people actually do those
things, but it would be one way to challenge the conservative ideas. When they are
challenged with truth they usually go down. Don’t know how people start those blogs
but maybe someone here does.
You could use Common Dreams as a jumping off point –
Wherever I go, I try to begin conversations with people – though I do live in a much
more liberal area there are sometimes opportunities to learn something or to pass on
some truth.

Agree re AARP, but many get involved with them because of their back up insurance
for Medicare.

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Hi Greenwich,
I agree–education is the key to changing peoples minds. I joined a book club at our local library and as discussion is integral to reviewing a book and its ideas, I thought that would be a good place to “open up” some ideas. Unfortunately, the person “heading” the book club was the head librarian–who, sadly, was a conservative, right-winger who shut down discussion very quickly. I quit the club. Waiting to see if a new one opens up. I even started one of my own, but alas, the people participating couldn’t seem to maintain a consistent schedule. It also deteriorated.

Another thing I tried–I wrote articles for a news blog: “The Mountain News.” Most were met with a couple of positive comments, some negative and critical comments, and one of my articles actually got picked up by a New York blog! It was about Dennis Kucinich…who I interviewed at a political rally he held in Tacoma. But the blog went down and I didn’t have the $$ to start-up my own…nor the know how. They’re not as easy as one would think.

I’ve been here in WA rural for 10 years now. I’ve tried numerous things, but have not seemed to hit on anything that stays viable for long. This area is conservative. Seattle itself is more liberal (possibly progressive), but I can’t afford to live in Seattle proper.

And, BTW, I send CommonDreams articles all the time to friends and post them to Facebook. Mostly, I get 1 or 2 likes and many cynical, critical comments. My family has already requested (strongly) that I stop sending them stuff!

I’m thinking of joining a progressive group like the Green Party here in WA. At least I could talk to like minded people. It’s a commitment tho, and I have to decide if I want to go that route, i.e., traveling expense, cost of outings and actions, being available for political action, etc.

Hi Paula –
Re libraries – as a long time user of our library here where the librarians (female) offered a very liberal selection of books – over the last ten years we’ve had a male head of the library and there is certainly a battle on here. Sadly, readers still seem to be more interested in FICTION. Don’t understand it.
For a time, they began putting a lot of religious books on the shelves. Recently - after a long absence because of limited selections – I found two interesting new books: One is “FREUD - The Making of an Illusion” by Frederick Crews. The other is “Nasty Women” … “Feminism, Resistance and Revolution in Trump’s America.” Long time feminist here and in getting thru the articles one by one – one astonishingly great – and, sadly, was depressed to read that more than one of them continue to talk about their disappointment about Hillary not being elected. Seems a lot they don’t know about Hillary.

Barnes & Noble these days also continues to be a wasteland as far as anything really liberal or feminist.
That’s going back a long time now. But from at least the days of Nixon, they were working on publishers and book outlets as any threat of revealing information to the public is enough to wipe out their lies and myths. They ultimately have to control ALL information. I’ve always used Wikipedia for basic information which they generally had to confirm … but I’m finding that since last June there’s a massive amount of editing going on with things like CIA operations – Mockingbird, for one – where (while they can’t really wipe out the program) they’ve made the changes so confusing – stretched out – and convoluted that it will be difficult for any reader to find any validity in the changed articles.

You must be very proud of what you accomplished with the Blog --!!

While the internet still exists, I think it still represents opportunity to pass along what you’ve learned and to continue to pick up info from liberal posters. They pretty much brought Yahoo posting to trash, but very happy to see liberals posters taking it back – and that’s been true over last 4 years or so. Anywhere you can help will have overall benefit.

Weird how family becomes a problem for so many of us!
One of the things about “us” I think is that in our curiosity we aren’t one issue people.
We tend to get into all of the issues and I think it’s probably overwhelming for some who find it too much.
A lot of them, imo, have never really empowered themselves to think for themselves or to act against authority.

You might find the Green Party very interesting …
I ran for office with them twice. You’re totally self-supporting. I did meet interesting people.
But it was also at a time when the Dem Party had been very active in penetrating the Green Party.
And I picked up on that right away and began hammering on it.
Fortunately,.Camejo came along and cleared them out.
Of course, the traveling and COSTS could take a lot of fund out of it for you.
But, if you contact them, you’ll also find that there’s usually a site where they all communicate.
Always found that interesting and you can do that from home and get to know members and what’s
going on that way. I’d encourage you to at least call and try to get on the websites.

Fascism is here and it will continue to try to limit information to the public any way they can.

But, this is a liberal nation – Bernie Sanders proved that out if there ever was any doubt about it!
Noam Chomsky told us that long, long ago. That they have to run polls so that they know what is needed.
Chomsky used to say: “If this wasn’t a liberal nation they wouldn’t have to try to control all information …
but they do have to.”


PS: Recall that Betty Friedan went after Freud … they said "she untied women’s apron strings from Freud."
And the very fact that she didn’t end up subjecting herself to the rubrics of psychiatry left her able and willing to challenge Freud.

Haven’t started the book yet, but there’s a lot involved here re a good number of issues.
We’ve known since at least the 70’s via studies … males are our sexual abusers of children and they are heterosexual males. Families don’t necessarily know or understand that. Freud, himself, is under suspicion as having been a generational pedophile. And he gave us the lies of the “Oedipus Complex.”

Can’t either get rid of the alleged “definition” – better to read it at the site.

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I appreciate and enjoyed your comment! Yes, I too am a long time feminist. I cut my feminist teeth back in the 70’s with the ERA movement. Boy, would we have a good time swapping book titles! I read a lot and sometimes it’s fiction. Just finished writing a fiction/fantasy book which is out to readers at the moment. There are so so many scholarly, well done books on the subject of feminism out there, and I was a big fan of Noam Chomsky too–but fiction gives me a chance to just go away somewhere and relax–without actually doing so. It’s kind of a break, and wishful thinking too. Have you read: “The Cultural Creatives?” It’s getting kind of old now, but it confirms your thoughts that the nation is pretty liberal. There are a lot of people out there who are NOT conservative, right-wingers. Our so called president would have us think otherwise. Also love Naomi Klein. I’d vote for her any day, but she won’t run for office. She’s too smart.

I believe the internet is a huge threat to the powers that be, which is why they are so adamant about this net neutrality issue. Once the corporations have total control over the internet, all it will be is one great big giant advertisement tool, and a propaganda tool for the elites. It’s truly scary. I guess we’ll have to get back to communicating by code and letter!

I’m a Karl Jung fan…Freud never had it right. Yes, I agree. There is a huge unspoken, ugly shadow thing going on with the males in our world. It’s like a cancer; a self-devouring, genocidal urge that moves closer and closer to total annihilation–Sort of a suicide wish if you will: The reason: Non-acceptance of the shadow self (just my theory).

Good on you for having the courage to run for office with the Green Party. Good people are needed in government, and should we ever have the good fortune of getting out from under this miasma of governmental corruption, the Green Party will be ready in the wings.

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