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Using the “Public Trust” to Frame “Break Free From Fossil Fuels” Actions


Using the “Public Trust” to Frame “Break Free From Fossil Fuels” Actions

Jeremy Brecher, David Solnit

Thousands of us in the climate movement will engage in civil disobedience for “Break Free from Fossil Fuels” and other climate actions. We may be arrested and face legal consequences.

What if we defined ourselves – to the movement, the public, and the courts – not as law-breakers but as law-enforcers trying to halt governments and corporations from committing the greatest crime in human history?


Many fine points made by the authors.

This, among several, bears repeating:

"Governments have no more right to authorize the emission of greenhouse gases that destroy the climate than the trust officers of a bank have to loot the assets placed under their care. , The people of the world have a right to our common natural resources. And we have a right, if necessary, to protect our common assets against those who would destroy them."

This movement should be spearheaded by Tim De Christopher:

"Climate protesters can proudly proclaim that they are actually climate protectors, upholding the law embedded in the Public Trust."


The authors seem to lack the courage of their convictions. If what our government and the oil companies is illegal, why aren't they pushing their own lawsuit? We should be flooding the courts with them. Why is it just 21 individuals who are harmed? It's 330,000,000 Americans. It's 7,000,000,000 humans, and countless humans yet to be born. Not to mention all the rest of the planet's species.

Burning fossil fuels is turning Planet Earth into an unlivable hell. The criminals that push climate change denial and the continued use of fossilf fuels are way worse than tobacco company executives. The latter can at least claim that their victims had a choice. But with climate change, there will be no escape, unless it's into the fantasy world inhabited by Senators like Inhofe, most Republican presidential candidates, and oil company executives.


Thank you for the reminder on Public Trust as key element of the lexicon to break free from the ilk of scrambling privatization.
Just from the wiki on Public Trust Doctrine:
Public trust
Public good
Public space
Public property

In New England cited as an underused judicial tool


Unless embedded in all "free" "trade""agreements", this doctrine, and the laws and constitutional precedents upholding it, will go into the dustbin of history, like habeus corpus and free speech.


History is not a straight line. As an astrologer, I study cycles and there is MUCH evidence in support of them. My point being that any lapse in either Habeus Corpus or free speech is hardly permanent.


Tim is a good leader who was merely following his instincts and his heart; he has already had taken from him two precious years of his life, spent in a Federal prison system designed to create fear in those who would defy a corrupt system. As you surely know, it is not Tim who should have been in prison, but rather the lackey BLM officials who contrived an illegal sale of oil-gas leases on public land out of the Salt Lake City, UT, office and condoned by the Obama Administration. Tim has done his part on the front lines and continues to work on our behalf. I say, no more jail for citizens trying to save the health of our only life support system, Earth. Millions are obviously needed to stop the power illegally seized and held by a very few! Tim is our example. Readers should take the time to learn about this very courageous man.