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Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against 'Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life'

Trial of the Century Pits Trump Climate Denialism Against 'Right to a Climate System Capable of Sustaining Human Life'

Jeremy Brecher

Two days after the election of Donald Trump, 21 plaintiffs aged 9-20 won a court ruling that may be just as important as that election in determining our future. As the world hurtles into climate catastrophe, the decision by Judge Ann Aiken in the federal district court in Oregon sets the stage for a momentous trial of our right to a stable climate – and the constitutional obligation of the United States government to protect that right.


Where is the Republican party on the rights of the unborn vis-a-vis climate change? Bueller?

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Well the government lawyers will stall of course but the ages of those involved here are a guarantee that that strategy of stalling simply won’t work. These kids are great.

If I am around some years down the road, I am pretty sure that I would vote for these kids to run the reins of government as adults. They’d be honest politicians I think.

Our best and brightest!


I thought that the title was hyperbolic, but as framed here, it is true. In a society that followed the course of justice this would succeed, but we’ve seen this is a society where law sanctifies privilege. In the ruling opinion of the LEAF vs Alabama case in 2005, Chaney’s Energy Task Force inserted “Energy development is too critical to be hampered by unnecessary environmental regulation,” which was a talking point and political lightning rod for the right at the time. Hence we are 1/2 to 3/4 along in building-out the current continuation of fossil fuel dominance - the shale gas boom.

Counsel for the CK’s should hammer the defense on every delaying tactic they try to employ. The scientific community is in virtual unanimity (well beyond the confines of the strictly climate studying/investigating scientific community) and the defense will have to refute a large body of peer-reviewed data and analysis and not stall while trying to manufacture unsupportable “alternative facts.”

Here is a legal refutation of Bannon’s “we are an economy” dehumanization mantra. My grandson is 11 yrs old and is - it’s in the genes - disturbed by everything that is going on. This weekend I’ll make sure he understands what is being done by these young upstarts not much older than he, and maybe he’ll carry the message to his peers. This is a tough place: we eat coal and breathe methane here. Thinking of him is all that sustains me sometimes.

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The seeds of the Standing Rock prayer resistance began with young people too.


The US government has done far more than permitted, perpetuated, and subsidized capitalist destruction of the environment and climate, it is the number one polluter in the country. And the US military is number one bad guy polluter in the US Government. Shame on all those Generals who sent the toxic smoke of burn piles over the children of America serving the United States. Those generals are worse parents than they are generals.

And lest people make haste to blame the republicans, do not forget that it was 56 years ago that president Lyndon received the first projection of impending climate collapse and chose war instead of being an adult human being elected to the most responsible job in the US.

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Yes indeed! Hopefully, they will grow to adulthood without being so corrupted by greedy, materialistic Capitalism that they cannot think and act rationally! Hopefully, they will not fall for the magical thinking of religion, or the propaganda of fear and xenophobia, as have so many of their elders.

Agreed! We need a national referendum on these 2 questions, yes or no, no middle ground: 1) Does the Constitution exist to protect citizens, or corporations? 2) Should the Economy exist to serve
the people, or do the people exist to serve the economy. We need to settle these matters once and for all!

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It’s good to see how this suit is progressing but the delaying tactics the plaintiffs will take can result in years before the case ends up in the courts. There has to be a faster way for more immediate action. All people have to be on board with this as life will be different than it is today. Energy is a resource and must be used diligently which I don’t think a lot of people want to face. However those with children really need to think about their welfare instead of their next gas using toy or big automobile. I think the oil embargo of 1973, 74 was a wake up call and all they did was reduce the speed limit and encouraged smaller autos. I got a motorcycle to save gas! The govt just made some deals and gas price increased and here we are 50 years later and not much has been done, yet. The time is now to act and I hope the country wakes up before it’s really too late. Let’s start by turning most of the lights off at night; pictures from the space station show how much of Earth is lit up at night.

If we are not born, they will kill to protect. Once born, they are free to poison or kill in any fashion other people. They believe it is a right to be able to do so, which is why they fight all regulations to protect people. We are suppose to be able to protect ourselves unlike the unborn. Of course how does one protect oneself from those who poison the world? They believe the invisible hand of the free market will protect us from abuses, that corporations’ competition will never allow them to do things to harm people and that the market would stop them from doing so.
And all of that has always proven to be complete nonsense during the history of the human race. Nothing has ever stopped greed or the desire of power. It’s a fairy tale world they live in.

That comment by Bannon was the worst I had heard him say of many terrible ones. You are right it dehumanizes us, makes us just commodities to help the economy. That’s all that matters to people like him, the economy, money. People don’t matter.

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Hello Nighthawk,

I am helping shepherd autonomousdemocracy,org The great programmer says we are about to unveil an actual voting widget that works, soon. Check in now and again. Keep those ideas ready for a second test ballot as soon as we are ready for you. I’ll put an email contact up after all systems are go.

Seriously, lets get a ballot going


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What did the court actually decide? there has been no trial - so it seems the decision was that a) the kids had standing and b) it was a judiciable case, not just a “political question” …

And to call this a battle between “Trumps climate denialism” and the “right to a climate system capable of sustaining human life” is rather conveniently overlooking the fact that the suit was mounted and “won” in terms of being able to advance it before Trump came along … hmmm, almost qualifies as “fake news” …

People like you love to mix clarity of purpose and intent so as to associate their causes with more successful ones. You meander around everything from religious belief to capitalism with no point to your exercise. These young people have a clarity of purpose and strength concerning their fight for their future environment. It is about the environment. They at least are keeping it real.

Looking forward to it, Garrett! Thank you. Stay in touch!

The environment is indeed the overarching issue. However, we won’t be able to do much about it without a vigorous campaign to remove regressive politicians from power, and strictly regulating
capitalism. It’s all part of the solution.

This “rights of the unborn” sounds more like a controlled cult.