Jun 13, 2023
Thought Question: Describe a time when you stood up for something you believed in. How did it feel?
For the first time ever, a trial is asking if a healthy climate is a right protected by the constitution. 16 young people have sued the state of Montana. They say the state hasn't done enough about climate change.
The young people suing range from 5 to 22 years old. They say it's clear the climate is getting worse. They believe they will suffer the most from the government ignoring this issue. However, state lawyers say Montana doesn't contribute much to greenhouse gasses.
“It's hard to watch, like, the things that I love, like, get depleted slowly,” Badge Busse, 15, told NPR. He is one of the plaintiffs and an avid fisherman
The trial started Monday. This was after state lawmakers adopted pro-fossil-fuel-friendly measures. Among them was a bill that limits efforts by local governments to support renewable energy. Another made it more costly to file suits to stop coal, gas, and oil projects.
This case is called Held v. Montana. It is different from other similar cases that failed. The Montana constitution says the government must maintain a "clean and healthful environment." Other states have similar rules.
Supporters of Held think if they win in Montana, they can win elsewhere.
“It will change the future of the planet if courts will start declaring the conduct of government (for ignoring climate change) unconstitutional,” Julia Olson told The Associated Press. She is the founder of Our Children’s Trust.
This group represents the young people in Montana and in a federal lawsuit in Oregon. That case, Juliana v. US, was held up by the US Supreme Court. A federal judge recently ruled it can go to trial.
Photo by Tony Reid courtesy of Unsplash.
Importance of Conserving Water
In this lesson, students learn about the importance of water conservation as it relates to a changing climate, create a timeline of Native Hawaiian sustainability practices, and promote a law to address water conservation in their community.
How Does Renewable Energy Work? (Renewable Energy #4)
In this lesson, students learn the story of William Kamkwamba, build their own renewable-powered project, and share their project with the broader school community.
Write Your Member Of Congress
This is a training module for students to learn how to effectively write to Congress.