A group is suing the federal government, including President Obama, over an issue on which they believe the government hasn’t done enough. What makes this suit interesting is that it’s a group of children—ages 8 to 19— are bringing this suit, and the suit itself is over climate change. The other interesting thing is that it puts the president in the same camp as Big Oil.
They’re suing on the basis that, by refusing to act sufficiently on climate change, the federal government isn’t giving future generations an equal shot at life, liberty and property. It threatens racial, economic and social stability, in addition to all the physical problems it causes, like rising sea levels and extreme weather.
A huge part of the problem is the anti-science GOP, like Senator James “Snowball” Inhofe of Oklahoma, and Senator John Cornyn of Texas. Some of these anti-science nuts run committees having to do with energy, science, and the environment, and exert major influence over climate policy (or lack thereof). Members of the GOP clown car, like Marco Rubio, Rand Paul, and Ted Cruz also oppose climate science, and together, all these idiots work to block environmental regulations under the guise of harm to business and the economy.
As even the Pentagon has said, climate change can make existing threats worse…including terrorism. While we shouldn’t pit the threat of terrorism against the threat of climate change, the fact that climate change is considered a threat multiplier should be a wake-up call to the anti-science crowd in Congress. Yet, it’s not, because they’re too busy shoving their heads up the a**es of big business (while at the same time, complaining up one side and down the other that Obama doesn’t care about national security. Right.).
Since none of that is a wake-up call for them, and it represents a clear and present threat to future generations, the children are suing. As expected, Big Oil has responded, along with other major polluters including Koch Industries, in an attempt to convince courts that the children’s group has no standing to sue and that such a suit directly threatens their businesses.
Some of these groups, like the Koch brothers’ groups, have been funneling money into think tanks and other entities to specifically turn climate science into a polarized, politicized issue with which Congress can play. This is as opposed to something on which science can continue to work, because scientists have been cast as having their own biased agendas, specifically, monetary agendas. The bias lies with the profiteering polluters who want to keep polluting at everyone else’s expense.
Obama has been at odds with the fossil fuel industry because he’s pushed for things like more stringent emissions rules, which many have seen as an attack on the coal industry. Congress has worked to block his efforts many times. Since this lawsuit is against the federal government, instead of against major polluters, it puts Obama on the same side as those he’s been fighting. That could be quite awkward as the government prepares its own response.
This particular lawsuit may well be a game changer in climate change policy, depending on where it goes. No doubt the fossil fuel industry will work their tails off to make sure it doesn’t go anywhere, and that’s why this needs to go forward. The days of inaction on climate change have to end, and if it’s a group of children that has to end it, then so much the better. The most devastating effects of climate change will fall squarely on their heads if we continue to do nothing.