Landmark climate change ruling in U.S. should be repeated here

American youth won a lawsuit against the government saying climate change puts their future livelihoods at risk.

Dear Sir:

Climate change is the greatest national security threat to every country on this choking planet. The problems we have created today will be inherited by our youth. Along with these truths, let me describe what is considered to be “the most important lawsuit on the planet right now”.

Plaintiffs are Dr. James Hansen, retired from NASA and now a professor at Columbia University in the U.S. and best known for his research in climatology, along with 21 youths, aged 8-19 years of age, are suing the American government for violating their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property and their right to essential public trust resources, by permitting, encouraging and otherwise enabling continued exploitation, production, and combustion of fossil fuels.

The youth assert that the government and fossil fuel industry’s actions and inactions with respect to their obligations regarding regulating environmental pollutants has violated their rights to due process and has done this in favour of older generations.

The plaintiffs (youth)  allege that the government and its agencies have taken action or failed to take action that has resulted in increased carbon pollution through fossil fuel extraction, production, consumption, transportation and exportation.

The youth allege that the government’s and fossil fuel industry’s actions in this case has created a life-threatening situation.

They have wilfully ignored long standing and overwhelming scientific evidence of that impending harm to the young and future generations.  The government has taken action through subsidies, regulations, etc. that creates massive CO2 emissions and has failed to limit such emissions despite its duty to do so.

The government’s duty is to regulate CO2 emissions for the benefit of the public health and a deliberate indifference to the purported catastrophic risk to their health and well-being “shocks the conscience”.

Judge Coffin of the U.S. federal court in Eugene, Oregon decided in favour of the youth and Dr. James Hansen’s lawsuit on behalf of future generations. The plaintiffs attorney said “this decision is one of the most significant in U.S. history.” Judge Coffin decided that their Complaint will move forward and put climate science front and center of the federal courts.

This is a landmark constitutional climate change case against the government and fossil fuel industry in the U.S.

Our time for climate action is long past due. It seems to me that this court case could be just as pertinent to the Canadian Constitution and Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

What future are we leaving our youth due to our actions or inactions?

Mary Ann Shannon, Terrace, B.C.

Just Posted

Former resident wins filmmaking award

Veronika Kurz will be able to make her film with $15,000 cash and in-kind services, up to $100,000

Terrace River Kings win CIHL regular season

The boys held a strong enough lead in points to claim the banner after a 15-2 win Saturday

Terrace residents discuss poverty at provincial engagement meeting

80 people were there as well as the Minister of Social Development and Poverty Reduction

Shames Mountain named one of the world’s Top 10 ski resorts

The UK magazine listed Shames alongside Whistler and hills in Italy, Japan and Austria

Who wants to live here?

Northwest governments partner on marketing plan to attract workforce, residents

Diplomacy on agenda at North Korea summit in Vancouver

Foreign ministers from 20 countries are meeting Tuesday to discuss security and stability on the Korean Peninsula.

Kids chained in Calif. house of horrors; parents arrested

Authorities say an emaciated teenager led deputies to home where her 12 brothers and sisters were locked up in filthy conditions

‘Reprehensible’: Trudeau abortion policy raises ire of U.S. right

“This man is reprehensible,” tweeted former White House staffer Sebastian Gorka

‘I shouldn’t have to have a husband:’ Winnipeg woman criticizes men-only club

Jodi Moskal discovered the Winnipeg Squash Racquet Club continues to ban women as members, as it has done since opening in 1909.

Japan public TV sends mistaken North Korean missile alert

The false alarm came two days after Hawaii’s emergency management department sent a mistaken warning

Toronto girl dies after being pinned between vehicles while picked up from school

Police say an SUV with no driver in it rolled forward and pinned the girl against her father’s car

Freezing rain warning in effect for B.C. Southern Interior

Environment Canada issued the freezing rain warning for most of the Southern Interior Tuesday morning

Senior randomly stabbed in B.C. mall food court

Woman arrested after victim, 71, suffers serious injuries

Most Read