Kanuk is one of six young Alaskans suing the state, with help from the organization Our Children’s Trust. The Oregon-based nonprofit filed lawsuits on behalf of young plaintiffs against nine states and the federal government. The lawsuits ask the states to consider the atmosphere a public trust and to exercise their duty to protect it.
Part of the argument is that if the state of Alaska can manage other natural resources under its control — for example, by issuing hunting or fishing licenses — it should also be able to manage what’s released into the atmosphere.Nelson Kanuk, an 18-year old Yup’ik Eskimo, has seen the permafrost his home is built on melt, and in a year or two the house could be gone. Kanuk argues the state needs to take more action on climate change.
Interesting legal argument. Unfortunately, the case will fail. It is up to politicians, the people’s representatives, to pass clear laws that regulate emissions.
Update: I’m referring here to the legal doctrine called, rather benignly, the 'Political Question'. Hundreds of cases have been thrown out of courts because judges rule the question is not one for the courts to answer, but for politicians to figure out. It is fascinating to think that the courts are self-selectively too weak to make determination in a case brought before them on the presumption that politicians are better able to create a certain laws. The courts in some cases meekly punt to politicians (of all people) to respond to issues that affect nearly everyone in the U.S.
Saw Chris Rock filming a scene on 5th Ave today. The sidewalk was super crowded with people filming it on their phones. I acted like a New Yorker and said, “Excuse me, please move,” as I shoved small Italian tourist children out of the way. I am too busy to watch Chris Rock on the sidewalk.
It was kinda neat, though.