On Sunday, March 3, 60 Minutes aired a report about an attorney that filed a lawsuit in 2015 on behalf of a group of 21 children from across the country who want the courts to block the US government from continuing its support of fossil fuels. The case, Juliana vs. United States, alleges that fossil fuel use is causing climate change, and the government’s continued support of the fossil fuel industry endangers the plaintiffs’ future and violates their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property.
“Goodbye, New York. Goodbye Washington, for that matter.” That quote is from a September 17, 1969 White House memo written by Daniel Patrick Moynihan, an adviser to President Richard Nixon. The case reveals damning and revealing evidence that presidential administrations as far back as Lyndon Johnson have known about the potentially catastrophic effects of fossil fuel use.
In November 2016, US District Court Judge Ann Aiken denied the government’s motion to dismiss the case and ruled that it could proceed to trial. The Trump administration has appealed Judge Aiken’s ruling three times to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and twice to the US Supreme Court. All five appeals were rejected.
You can see the rest of 60 Minutes’ reporting on Juliana vs. United States here.