Tue. Apr 23rd, 2019

US students take to the streets their leadership in the youth struggle against climate change | Society

US students take to the streets their leadership in the youth struggle against climate change | Society



American youth are ready to make a massive debut on the street against climate change. Five teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 are the founders of Youth Climate Strike, a movement that has organized for this Friday about 400 marches throughout the country. The impulse of the students comes dragged by the case Juliana against the United States of America. This is the lawsuit filed by 21 young people against the US government for not protecting them from the damages that the use of fossil fuels represents, even though they knew the catastrophic consequences. A legislative milestone in American history. In June a hearing will be held so that the parties can present their allegations after a series of delays caused by the Donald Trump Administration.

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In 1988, in a prophetic appearance, the scientist James Hansen warned before the US Congress that an increase in carbon dioxide emissions could change the climate of the planet to a point of no return. The Administration did not then take the necessary measures to stop the damage. Three decades later, the 50 states of the country have higher temperatures, hurricanes and storms are more intense, numerous species are in danger of extinction and sea ice melts. Sophie Kivlehan, Hansen's granddaughter, hopes that this time the government action will be meaningful. The inherited struggle has led Kivlehan to be part of the students (between 11 and 19 years old) who sue the Government.

Juliana against the United States of America (by the last name of one of the young women) "is not an ordinary lawsuit," Judge Ann Aiken of the Oregon Court acknowledged a year ago when she rejected a motion by the Trump Administration to dismiss the injunction. Julia Olson, the lawyer who represents the plaintiffs, is working on the construction of the case eight years ago. He wants to prove that for half a century that all the presidents who have passed through the White House have been warned about the catapheric consequences that the burning of fossil fuels can generate in the climate. It has 36,000 pages of evidence. In 2015, 20 young people took the case to court, alleging - through personal experiences - that the Government contributes to climate change, endangering their future and violating their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property.

What at first was seen as a cause without sustenance has been strengthened over time, avoiding in the Supreme the two motions interposed to dismiss it. In the judicial hearings held so far, the Justice Department has described the claim as erroneous, unconstitutional and unprecedented. The only thing that is known at the moment is that in the last point they are right. This is the most important legal battle against climate change in the history of the United States. The Administration alleges that energy policy is the legal responsibility of Congress and the White House, not a single judge in Oregon. And although they now recognize the existence of climate change, they maintain that "it's a complicated global problem"That was not caused and can not be solved only by the US Government.

Attorney Olson does not blame Washington for everything. Only 25% of the atmospheric carbon dioxide, which has accumulated, as explained in a recent interview in the program 60 Minutes, due to the decisions they have taken to subsidize the fossil fuel based energy system. "Now we are the largest producer of oil and gas in the world due to the decisions that our federal government has taken," he says. One of the pillars of his argument is that public lands have been used for the extraction of this type of fuel. "The Government must manage these resources as a trustee for the citizens present and future generations. If it is proven that the government has substantially altered the atmosphere and the climate system with its actions, it would have violated that public trust that it owes to the citizens, "explained Mary Wood, a professor at the University of Oregon and a renowned environmental law expert. .

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