Environmentalists use kids in “sue and settle” lawsuits

MSNBC reports that the attorneys for the green movement’s latest front group known as Our Children’s Trust (OCT) filed a class action lawsuit against the EPA and the White House in an Oregon federal court Wednesday in which the plaintiffs in the case are anywhere from 9 to 18 years old. The suit alleges that the federal government has knowingly contaminated the atmosphere, ignored over 100 years of evidence uncovered by its own investigation and failed to implement proposals to keep carbon emissions under control. As a result of the climate being negatively affected due to this, the group says, it is a violation of the Fifth and Ninth Amendments of the Constitution along with the public trust doctrine which violates their plaintiffs’ rights to due process and equal protection.

The rationale for the Our Children’s Trust’s lawsuit isn’t just based on climate hysteria but also that government protects nature as a public trust for future generations. The same principle, they allege, permits states to regulate fishing and hunting. The central theme of the talking points pitched in commercials for the lawsuit is that the children have a right to a clean environment. However, the basis of an individual right is in order to further and protect actual human rights. What the group filing this case is doing is making a right to be a claim on the lives of others, so they are resorting to using the courts to force their views on others.

Earlier this month, The US Chamber of Commerce issued a report as a result of research they did correlating EPA rules enacted after being sued by environmentalist groups some of which cost businesses billions of dollars. Rather than enact rules on carbon emissions, the agency conspires in a sue and settle context in which have those same groups initiate lawsuits against the agency itself in order to give it an excuse to mandate the regulations it wants but can’t due to a lack of Congressional action. Organizations, such as the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Greenpeace, collaborate with EPA officials on all sorts of strategies like this — and, worst of all, the taxpayers end up footing the bill.

The underlying purpose of the lawsuit filed by OCT is geared to force the EPA to enact even more stringent rules to combat global warming. It just so happens that NASA climate scientist Dr. James Hansen’s granddaughter is one of the plaintiffs and two of his manuscripts are the basis for the group’s court action, including a controversial study a non-peer reviewed study released last month. Hansen’s research states previous centuries suggesting increased average temperatures of 1 degree Celsius warmer than at now resulting from present carbon emissions will result in rising sea levels of up to 16 to 30 feet and contribute to extreme storms.

What it comes down to, is that Hansen is not satisfied with President Obama’s Climate Action Plan. So a group of environmentalists friendly to Dr. Hansen’s research have decided to enact his policies by suing the EPA. If Our Children’s Trust is successful, then the EPA will have to scrap the President’s climate agenda for Hansen’s, resulting in even more costly environmental rules and regulations. The laughable part is that the OCT is dressing up the rhetoric making the case for this suit in conservative hyperbole. Our Children’s Trust can try to mask their intentions but the intent behind this lawsuit is clear, it is to force what James Hansen thinks is the right environmental policy that in order to destroy the fossil fuel industry.