Posted by: ericgrimsrud | January 30, 2018

Youngsters in court, our best hope?

In one of my previous posts of Nov. 11, 2017, I provided a “heads up” concerning the most recent efforts of Dr. James Hansen to get urgently needed action against the man-caused warming of our planet. Since about 1980, Dr. Hansen has done his very best to get that action from our government and the private sector. Despite the overwhelming scientific evidence that has been provided by climate scientists on this problem, pathetically little action has been taken, to date, almost 40 years after Dr. Hansen’s initial efforts. Because both the Executive and Legislative Branches of the USA have failed to do what needs to be done, Dr. Hansen and a group of youngsters are trying to get that needed action though our Judicial Branch. This is a novel approach that might, at last, bear fruit. For an update on how they are doing, see

The video shown concerns a recent court proceeding in San Francisco where President Trump’s lawyer was attempting prevent further consideration of the plaintiff’s case. A great deal of other information concerning this program (called “Our Children’s Trust”) is also provided at the website referred to above. This includes a summary of all previous legal actions undertaken, to date.

I can easily understand Dr. Hansen’s change of tactics – moving on to the Judicial branch and giving up on the Executive and Legislative. Both of the latter branches of our government are solidly in the grips of the Business-as-Usual, fossil-fuel-driven forces of the USA. In addition, it has been one of the greatest disappointments of my life to see that even our centers of intellectual excellence – that is, our colleges and universities – are also firmly in those BaU grips and typically hide behind a few solar panels and windmills on their campuses whenever asked to provide more substantial action and leadership on this issue. Hopefully, the adults that serve in our Judicial branches are less beholding to the fossil fuel industries and will have the courage to behave like responsible grownups when confronted by Dr. Hansen’s small band of kids.

In addition, there is always the possibility that the example set by these kids will shame the leaders of our government and institutions of higher education into finally becoming fully invested in the solutions to, rather than the causes of, global warming.

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