Watch: The Young Turks Praise Kids Suing Govt for Climate Negligence

A federal judge ruled that a lawsuit having to do with the lack of action in addressing climate change, can proceed. But—surprise—the case was actually won by kids.


Oregon-based nonprofit Our Children’s Trust has "filed lawsuits and petitions in every state in the country ... alleg[ing] that the U.S. government has known for half a century that greenhouse gases from fossil fuels cause global warming and climate change,” confirmed Think Progress’ Samantha Page.

The lawsuit is partly anchored by concept of the public trust—that governments have a legal duty to safeguard lands and waterways for common use. The plaintiffs—who include 21 young Americans and climate scientist James Hansen—argue that the atmosphere and climate must receive similar protections.

“If the allegations in the complaint are to be believed, the failure to regulate the emissions has resulted in a danger of constitutional proportions to the public health,” wrote Federal District Court Magistrate Judge Thomas Coffi, calling the lawsuit "unprecedented."

“Three fossil fuel industry trade associations, which called the case ‘extraordinary’ and ‘a direct, substantial threat to [their] businesses’ were granted defendant status in January,” Page added. 

“Are the millionaires and billionaires really sad that we don’t want them to destroy the environment and it might hurt their businesses?” mocked Young Turks co-host Ana Kasparian.

“You know what will also hurt their business?" asked John Iadarola of ThinkTank. "The end of human civilization." 

“No, you switch over from fossil fuels to body bags, you still make as much money,” Young Turks host Jimmy Dore joked. “That’s called capitalism. You find a market and fill it.” 

“I think this is a really interesting idea because in a democracy you have to limit the vote in some way, because you can’t have one year olds vote, since they wouldn’t actually be voting; Their parents would be voting for them, “ explained Iadarola.

But, he said, "you have all these 16-, 17-year-olds who have no say in politics in terms of voting, but they can already see [the problems] because they’re much more likely to accept the truth of climate change than, say, a 60-year-old Republican senator apparently is.”

Watch the full segment below:

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