The Kids Are Alright: 16 Montana Kids Suing the State Over Climate Change


In a first-of-its-kind lawsuit, 16 kids from Montana are suing the state over its contribution to climate change. The 16 plaintiffs, with the youngest being 5-years-old, are arguing that Montana’s allegiance to fossil fuel development endangers their health and livelihoods and those of future generations.

According to this AP article, a favorable decision could be used to bolster climate change efforts in other states. Though it would likely not make immediate changes to policy in the fossil fuel-friendly state, according to legal experts.

But one can hope and cheer on today’s youth!

In other fossil-fuel-related news, a new report found that most fossil fuel companies net zero targets are “largely meaningless.” Many companies do not fully cover or lack transparency on Scope 3 emissions, which are other indirect emissions that occur in the upstream and downstream activities of an organization.

In April, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that lawsuits against fossil fuel companies by states and municipalities are allowed to move forward in state courts. According to climate experts, this is a win because large fossil fuel companies have less of a chance standing up to climate change-related lawsuits on the state level.

Perhaps the fossil fuel industry will be held more accountable for its impact on our climate? If anything, the industry is good at diverting attention from its role in polluting our planet and driving up global temperatures.

In a recent Salon article, a logic professor explains how fossil fuel companies are good at diverting attention away from the real issues. For example, when the rail cars filled with vinyl chloride derailed and caught fire in East Palestine, Ohio, earlier this year, the attention quickly went to rail safety – not that the US petrochemical industry annually produces 7.2 million metric tons of carcinogenic substances.

In the end, it may be the children who ultimately do the right thing. It is clear that we need to move away from using fossil fuels, and eventually clean energy will prevail.

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