24 February 2019

Touché! Two Can Play at the Government's Game

Well, last week got away from me and I completely forgot to post a blog. But today, as if to make up for it, I woke up to this exciting news!

Some of you will know that my beloved and I are huge supporters (in all ways possible) of Our Children's Trust (OCT) in the United States. (If you haven't added your name to their call for intergenerational climate justice, please do it now!) Those 21 beleaguered youth plaintiffs have discovered just how convoluted the American (and likely any) justice system can be — and how tight-fistedly the fossil fuel industry rules the world. 

Truly, it's like all the politicians (except for a small handful), at least in Canada and the US, are afraid that Big Oil is going to pull their Big Money from election campaigns (like that would be the end of the world or something ... snark alert). Or is it worse, and lives have been threatened? (I've watched enough American TV to have a few conspiracy theories of my own.)

President T****'s government has tied this case up in dozens of knots (imagine, an appeal before the case has even been heard! now that's desperate — and practically proof of their guilt), but I've got to hand it to the lawyers handling the OCT case. They have spoken truth to power with their latest Urgent Motion for Preliminary Injunction. The Table of Contents alone had me cheering this morning! (Check out section VI. B. below. The plaintiffs, by the way, are the young people, and the defendants are the departments of the US Government that deal out death, I mean, deal with fossil fuels.)

Here are a few choice quotes:
"The record shows that, for decades, Defendants have knowingly and affirmatively placed Plaintiffs in peril of present and worsening climate change-induced harms, with shocking, deliberate indifference to the known and obvious dangers in advancing a fossil fuel-based energy system."

"Defendants made every effort to prevent Plaintiffs' case from being decided, all while accelerating fossil fuel development [as President T**** promised he would do as part of his election platform] and increasing GHG emissions to the point where it will become impossible for Plaintiffs to protect themselves from the climate danger Defendants have had a role in causing. Defendants have deliberately chosen to prioritize use of fossil fuels in our national energy system, disregarding decades of knowledge that this path would destroy our Nation and the lives of children and future generations. This injunction will serve and protect the public's interest in national security and liberty and prevent further inequity to Plaintiffs."

"Dr. Stiglitz confirms that '[t]he current national energy system, in which approximately 80 percent of energy comes from fossil fuels, is a direct result of decisions and actions taken by Defendants.' In his expert opinion Dr. Stiglitz avers: 'The fact that the U.S. national energy system is so predominately fossil fuel-based is not an inevitable consequence of history. The current level of dependence of our national energy system on fossil fuels is a result of intentional actions taken by Defendants over many years. These actions, cumulatively, promote the use of fossil fuels, contribute to dangerous levels of CO2 emissions, and are causing climate change.'"
Folks, I see this as a watershed moment. If the US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit does not immediately grant this urgent motion, then we're going to know just what we're up against and how dumb it would be to remain peaceful and calm and good and kind and sweet in our protests to safeguard the future of life on this precious planet! 

Our Children's Trust, meet Extinction Rebellion. I, for one, rebel against the extinction of the children — of all species — that I love so dearly.

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I would appreciate hearing your thoughts or questions on this post or anything else you've read here. What is your take on courage and compassion being an important part of the solution to the climate change emergency?