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The Courts Earth Science

Young Climate Activists Sue Obama Over Climate Change Inaction (cnn.com) 475

EmagGeek writes A recent lawsuit against Obama alleges he has a legal duty to act against climate change, and young climate activists, including 15-year-old Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh, are taking him to task on it. CNN reports: "Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh became a climate change activist at age 6 when he saw an environmental documentary. He asked his mom to find a way for him to speak at a rally. Now 15, the long-haired, hip-hop-savvy Coloradan is one of 21 young activists joining climate scientist James Hansen in suing the Obama administration for failing to ditch fossil fuels. 'It's basically a bunch of kids saying you're not doing your job,' he told me here at the U.N. COP21 climate change summit in Paris. 'You're failing, you know. F-minus. We're holding you accountable for your lack of action.'"
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Young Climate Activists Sue Obama Over Climate Change Inaction

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  • 15 years old? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward
    If he's 15 years old there hasn't been any statistically significant temperature increase in his lifetime. What is he complaining about?
    • they see all these kids in college acting like fools, taking over, yelling at teachers, having no respect for any one or any thing, and they think they can join in on the "fun"

      this kid should be laughed at, and nothing more
      • Ha ha, man, if a comment like this comes from ganjadude, I'm inclined to believe that something ain't right with them college kids
        • have you seen the demands? they dont even make sense

          one of them was along the lines of. "have a group for black sudents... and if there already is one give it more money"

          now... i dont know about you, but if you dont know if there is a group or not... how can you even make demands when you have no clue what you are talking about?
    • Re:15 years old? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by NotDrWho ( 3543773 ) on Monday November 30, 2015 @05:25PM (#51029583)

      Because he's an ACTIVIST!!!

      Or more accurately, he's like 99.99% of activists out there--in that he wants someone else to fix the problem while he pats himself on the back for making no real sacrifice whatsoever.

    • Four out of the last 11 (YTD) months have been the hottest on record (in the US). The ocean's temperature is rising. The ocean's acidity is rising.

    • Re:15 years old? (Score:5, Insightful)

      by GameboyRMH ( 1153867 ) <gameboyrmh.gmail@com> on Monday November 30, 2015 @05:43PM (#51029735) Journal

      At 15 years old he'll have to live most of his life with the effects of climate change, unlike the mostly old-fart climate conspiracy theorists who don't care what happens after they die.

      • At 15 years old he'll have to live most of his life with the effects of climate change, unlike the mostly old-fart climate conspiracy theorists who don't care what happens after they die.

        My children are younger than he is, I care very much about the world they will grow up in.

        I just know that you can't make the changes required, in the time left to do them in. The changes needed to start 30 years ago, we are far, far, far past the point of no return, time to prepare for the new world that is coming.

        I've looked at the CO2 numbers, the pages NASA has published. The idea of stopping before 2 degrees C is a fantasy, I don't think we'll stop before 3 degrees. It'll be interesting to see if we

    • by SeaFox ( 739806 )

      If he's 15 years old there hasn't been any statistically significant temperature increase in his lifetime. What is he complaining about?

      Maybe the mess he will have to deal with over the next 50-60 years of his life?

    • by Nyder ( 754090 )

      If he's 15 years old there hasn't been any statistically significant temperature increase in his lifetime. What is he complaining about?

      Maybe he doesn't want the environment to be even more fucked up when he's 50. Maybe he wants his kids to be able to enjoy a better earth. Maybe the kid is concerned about the future.

    • Re:15 years old? (Score:5, Informative)

      by riverat1 ( 1048260 ) on Monday November 30, 2015 @07:27PM (#51030349)

      If he's 15 years old there hasn't been any statistically significant temperature increase in his lifetime. What is he complaining about?

      Maybe if you only look at the atmosphere. But if you look at the oceans they have continued to warm without pause and over 90% of the climate warming is going into the oceans anyway. But you're going to have to retire that "no significant warming" meme after the end of this year because 2015 is going to blow the old records out of the water.

    • More important (legally), is the question of whether a 15 year old has standing (stake in or harm from a law or action), or if there is a case/controversy and that it can be remedied by some action from the courts and the courts have jurisdiction to do so.

      Here, there is no real controversy as the Administration agrees with the plaintiff and wants to do more. Nor is this an issue in which the court can involve itself: The Administration does not have the authority to do any more than it already is (and

  • Not doing his job? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Monday November 30, 2015 @04:49PM (#51029289)

    Hmm... I checked The Constitution and it doesn't say anything about it being the President's job to "ditch fossil fuels". Heck, it doesn't even mention "climate change". Perhaps this kid should take a Civics / Government class and learn that it's Congress that passes these things called "laws"...

    • Not to mention that I'm sure we can find over a dozen activities this kid takes part in that negatively impact the climate.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        Not to mention that I'm sure we can find over a dozen activities this kid takes part in that negatively impact the climate.

        Let me help you:

        "Xiuhtezcatl Tonatiuh... hip-hop-savvy Coloradan...,' he told me here at the U.N. COP21 climate change summit in Paris.

        I'm guessing he didn't row a boat to Europe.

        • by Matheus ( 586080 )

          Even if he did he'd probably be breathing pretty hard spewing CO the whole damn time... hypocrite!

    • by Ichijo ( 607641 )

      You are correct that somebody needs a civics lesson, to learn whose job the U.S. Constitution says is to "recommend to [Congress'] Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient".

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 )

        You are correct that somebody needs a civics lesson, to learn whose job the U.S. Constitution says is to "recommend to [Congress'] Consideration such Measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient".

        Ya, I know that and Obama has "recommended" many things to Congress during his term. How'd that work out for him with this Congress filled with people that don't want to say anything but "no" and, apparently, do little else? In any case, as I said, it's the job of Congress to actually pass laws. Perhaps, *someone* needs a lesson in "reading".

        • by LynnwoodRooster ( 966895 ) on Monday November 30, 2015 @05:30PM (#51029639) Journal
          I would proffer it's even more important for Congress to know when it should NOT pass laws... Often the proper answer is "no", especially when it comes to political winds and short term trends.
          • I would proffer it's even more important for Congress to know when it should NOT pass laws... Often the proper answer is "no", especially when it comes to political winds and short term trends.

            Agreed and good point, but I'm pretty sure this Congress has other agendas with their liberal (no pun intended) reliance on "no" as their governing mantra. At least one Republican has been quoted as say they should deny Obama any achievements during his tenure.

  • by timholman ( 71886 ) on Monday November 30, 2015 @04:50PM (#51029293)

    Now that the precedent has been set, I'm looking forward to suing all of these students twenty years from now for their terrible career choices which have made them unemployable, thus depriving me of the tax revenue needed to support my Social Security and Medicare.

  • Idiot (Score:3, Insightful)

    by MBGMorden ( 803437 ) on Monday November 30, 2015 @04:50PM (#51029297)

    I guess he hasn't gotten to the class in school yet explaining that the Executive branch can't enact laws . . .

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rmdingler ( 1955220 )
      He doesn't care. This is attention-seeking behavior.

      He's fifteen. The long hair, the hip hop activism, and the impossible suit are means to an end for him.

      He's probably getting laid for this shit.

      • Re:Idiot (Score:5, Funny)

        by CaptainLard ( 1902452 ) on Monday November 30, 2015 @05:38PM (#51029693)

        He's probably getting laid for this shit.

        Perhaps we can all learn something from him after all....

      • Re:Idiot (Score:5, Interesting)

        by Anonymous Coward on Monday November 30, 2015 @05:58PM (#51029837)
        This kid started giving speeches and organizing rallies at 6. He's the creation of an adult. It took a while to figure out who, because they changed his name from Roske-Martinez to something Aztec. His mother is executive director of Earth Guardians and her name is Tamara Roske. If you Google her, you can see she's the activist behind all of this [zoominfo.com]. Oh, and she wants you to pay for his high technology [gofundme.com]. Maybe they should get him some more vegetable scraps for his compost pile instead.
  • No standing (Score:4, Insightful)

    by selectspec ( 74651 ) on Monday November 30, 2015 @04:50PM (#51029303)

    In order to prove standing, he will have to prove that he's sustained damages. He will find that hard to do. The kid might as well sue for having his financial future mortgaged to a hilt while he is at it. At least in that case, he could document how he is being royally screwed.

     

  • James Hanson (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward

    Is this the same James Hanson who warned us [theguardian.com] in Jan 2009 that there were "only four years left for Obama to set an example to the rest of the world"? That if we fail, all will be lost? Because we busted that deadline in Jan 2014. And the world hasn't exactly ended yet.

    • by KGIII ( 973947 )

      It's funny how we criticize terrorists for hiding behind a wall of children and using them as shields. I wonder how much manipulation has been done here. :/ Ah well...

      I do have a few reports to read - I'm trying to learn more about this global science thing so I can more accurately opine on the mathematics in use but there's a lot to digest and, frankly, I'm a bit disappointed in the maths involved. There is not only not one standard, they appear fond of not publishing what they tried before reaching their

  • Climate Cultism (Score:2, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward

    James Hansen should be immediately separated from these children.

    The man is an absolute climate lunatic.

  • ... Just as soon as he shows us all HIS plan to ditch all fossil fuel use, without a negative energy balance at any time, will all the math shown, and the most pessimistic assumptions you can make about renewable availability and construction/maintenance energy costs baked in. After that, I want him to figure out how to PAY for it. Then I want him to take a good look at what goes into all those 'Green' technologies. A solar panel is energy intensive to make, and requires some toxic materials.

    • He already has the payment portion nailed. He is suing Obama so that he will pay for solar panels for the kid's house.

  • So what has he done? (Score:5, Informative)

    by sbaker ( 47485 ) on Monday November 30, 2015 @05:19PM (#51029515) Homepage

    According to https://www.whitehouse.gov/ene... [whitehouse.gov], since Obama took office:

    * The EPA released the Clean Power Plan — the first-ever carbon pollution standards for existing power plants,
    * The U.S. increased solar electricity generation by more than ten-fold, and tripled electricity production from wind power.
    * The DOI has approved over 50 wind, solar, and geothermal utility-scale projects on public or tribal lands.
    * Obama put forth initiatives to help develop principles for establishing energy corridors; encourage the use of designated energy corridors in western states; expedite the review of transmission projects in non-western states; and improve the overall transmission siting
    * Created the Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (ARPA-E)
    * Proposed the toughest fuel economy standards for passenger vehicles in U.S. history
    * Finalized the first-ever fuel economy standards for commercial trucks, vans, and buses for model years 2014-2018.
    * The EPA proposed two new rules in 2014 under the Significant New Alternatives Policy (SNAP) program to curb HFC's.
    * Released a Strategy to Reduce Methane Emissions that builds on progress to date and takes steps to further cut methane emissions from landfills, coal mining, agriculture, and oil and gas systems.
    * Committed to deploying 3 gigawatts of renewable energy on military installations, including solar, wind, biomass, and geothermal, by 2025.
    * Directed federal agencies to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions from sources such as building energy use and fuel consumption by 28 percent by 2020 and increase deployment of renewable energy. ...and on and on.

    What's the common thread here? Well, things Obama *can* do (EPA regulations, federal programs) he did - what required House & Senate to write laws, he made proposals - largely in agreement of the relevant industry groups...but if no laws are written as a result of all this work - is that Obama's fault?

    • by cdrudge ( 68377 )

      if no laws are written as a result of all this work - is that Obama's fault?

      Yes. Obviously he should have been more cooperative in working with Congress. Instead he enacts his own agenda, bypassing all the good work Congress has tried to accomplish. /s

  • It's not Obama (Score:2, Insightful)

    It's clear President Obama had and has the will to act significantly on reducing CO2 emissions.

    He is fighting the fossils in an obstructionist, denialist, bought-and-paid-for Republican-controlled senate and congress for every inch of progress on this issue.

    The targeting of this lawsuit is misplaced.

  • by BCGlorfindel ( 256775 ) <(ac.unodnarb) (ta) (knessalk)> on Monday November 30, 2015 @05:36PM (#51029679) Journal

    I get how as a scientist watching things you want to push people to action. That being said, James Hansen has gone a little overboard [theguardian.com] IMHO and into the realm of damaging the credibility of scientists in general be politicizing things himself. He's written things like:
    Mountain glaciers, providing fresh water for rivers that supply hundreds of millions of people, will disappear - practically all of the glaciers could be gone within 50 years
    This despite the IPCC estimates that gain/loss in glaciers will be regionally dependant on precipitation changes(and this based on admittedly poorly modelled precipitation).

    The trains carrying coal to power plants are death trains. Coal-fired power plants are factories of death.
    This isn't precisely a statement backed by peer reviewed evidence either...

    When people are angry about the science being politicized, it does NOT help for the scientists to go over board politicizing things themselves in the hope of being a counter-balance. It doesn't work between FOX and MSNBC counter balancing each other from Rep-Dem sides of things, and it doesn't work for educating people on the science either. You just get more and more grandiose hyperbole, half truths and flat out propaganda from both sides.

  • Well, that does it! Climate fixed, we're saved! Thanks Quetzalcoatl!

  • This case has no chance. (IANAL, but I can google) The president can not be sued or prosecuted criminally for any act he does (or does not do) in the execution of his duties as president.

    (from http://definitions.uslegal.com... [uslegal.com])

    Executive immunity is an immunity granted to officers of the executive branch of government from personal liability for tortious acts or omissions done in the course of carrying out their duties. The U.S. president's executive immunity is absolute; however, the immunity of other fed

  • A lawsuit demanding that the government usurp even more power that the people never granted to it? Fuck that kid, and the asshole tree-huggers who put him up to this.

    -jcr

  • Someone apparently hasn't bothered to read Dune yet. Or take a civics course.

    Could we theoretically get off fossil fuels? Yes. Could we do it overnight? No. The spice must flow. To unilaterally end the usage of fossil fuels in transportation would be to "End all commerce among the Great Houses". There simply is no replacement for fossil fuels when it comes to transportation. Especially once you consider the infrastructure.

    This doesn't even begin to cover the power of fossil fuels, specifically oil, when it

  • Obama to (Republican-controlled Congress): Quit hogging the ball, it's everybody's ball, we want to play with it, too!
    Congressional Republicans: Haha, we don't like you, so we're not going to let you play, and there's more of us than there are of you, so get lost, loser!
    Congressional Democrats: Hey, we want him and his buddies to play, and he's right, and you're all just being mean!
    Congressional Republicans: STFU or we'll beat you up again -- and you can't stop us from doing that, either!
    Obama: ...
    Cong

"But what we need to know is, do people want nasally-insertable computers?"

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