Bad Ancestors: Does The Climate Crisis Violate The Rights Of Those Yet To Be Born?

Our environmental vandalism has made urgent the question of ethical responsibilities across decades and centuries. Young people around the world recognize that the disastrous repercussions of the already present ecological crisis will fall disproportionately on their shoulders, and the shoulders of generations to come – in particular on those whose communities have emitted the smallest proportion of greenhouse gasses. Greta Thunberg and 15 other young people hailing from places such as Tunisia, the Marshall Islands and Brazil, have brought a legal complaint about the climate crisis to the UN.  A similar case filed in Oregon has been wending its way through the legal system with some success. In Juliana v United States, 21 plaintiffs take aim at the federal government for violation of the constitutional rights not just of their generation but also of future ones. Such efforts may seem quixotic, but these suits are part of a larger trend of climate litigation.

By Astra Taylor. October 1, 2019. The Guardian.

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