Twenty-one kids, some as young as 9, are suing the Obama administration for failing to do enough to prevent climate change. Leading the case is 45-year-old attorney Julia Olson, a mother of two who said she was inspired to do more to prevent climate change while eight months pregnant with her youngest child. Seeking shelter from the late August heat, she took refuge in an Oregon movie theater that happened to be playing An Inconvenient Truth — the famed documentary that first forced climate change into the public eye after years of attempted cover-ups by fossil fuel companies such as Exxon Mobil.
“I cried through most of the film,” said Olson. “It was very powerful to be carrying new life within me … and to see what I was bringing my child into, and to have it so visually in my face.” In 2010, four years after that fateful day, Olson founded Our Children’s Trust, a nonprofit intended to help children bring environmental lawsuits to court. Children, she argues, are discriminated against when it comes to climate change — despite not having caused the problem, they are the ones who will be subjected to climate change’s most dire consequences.
After overcoming arguments made by the federal government and attorney’s representing fossil fuel interests that her lawsuit was frivolous, on Tuesday Olson will seek a final decision to her claim that the government must institute a national plan to limit greenhouse gas emissions to levels that scientists consider safe.
Displacement of people living in Arctic regions, an increase in the severity and frequency of wildfires in North America, and recent extreme flooding events in Louisiana have already been linked to climate change. Even if the world managed to meet the terms of the Paris Agreement, scientists say that the planet would warm 2.7 degrees Celsius by 2,100 — far short of the agreement’s intended limit of 1.5 to 2 degrees Celsius. Scientists have warned that any increase greater than 2 degrees Celsius could be “catastrophic.”
Read the full story at CNN.