By Robin Loznak, courtesy of Our Children’s Trust

Children are making the case for a cleaner (and quieter) world. QC’s Legal Advisory Co-Chair, Rick Reibstein, wrote this wonderful article — Can Our Children Trust Us with Their Future? — for the American Bar Association’s Young Lawyers group on the Juliana Case — the lawsuit brought by a group of children against the Federal government’s position on climate change. At QC, our focus is on the negative impacts of outdoor power equipment on health, environment, and climate change. This elevates our work to a high level.

Thank you, Rick, for writing this. Thank you, Mary Wood, for leading the way. Thank you, children, for your courageous efforts to protect the future of our planet. You are heroes.

Can Our Children Trust Us with Their Future? Juliana Is a Reminder That the Government’s Purpose Is to Be a Guardian for Future Generations.

Right now, the U.S. is in the grip of an anti-regulation philosophy aimed at reducing government involvement in our lives. The current administration’s perception that regulations simply constrain and cost money is a tragically simplistic view.  Whether your focus is on the right to quiet enjoyment in your home or to breath clean air, these seemingly necessary protections may or may not be honored by law.  In these times, it is important for all of us to think critically about the role of government in protecting against potential abuses by vested interests of our health, environment, and future and what will happen if these protections are removed.

This piece I wrote for the ABA Journal is about the Juliana Case. It is about children who are thinking critically about their future and are acting on their beliefs. Their determination to seek justice in our court system and one judge’s response thus far, holds important lessons for us all. The Juliana Case reminds us that the government’s purpose is to be a guardian for future generations. Here’s an excerpt from the introduction to the article. Please go to the ABA site to read more.

Can Our Children Trust Us with Their Future?

The 2016 ruling in Kelsey Cascadia Rose Juliana v. USA is one of the greatest recent events in our system of law. (See Opinion and Order, Case No. 6:15-cv-01517-TC, US District Court for Oregon, Eugene Division. Anne Aiken, Judge, filed 11/10/16.) A group of children between the ages of eight and nineteen filed suit against the federal government, asking the court to order the government to act on climate change, asserting harm from carbon emissions. The federal government’s motion to dismiss was denied. Although I am not involved in the case, I am a lifelong environmentalist, and I teach environmental law (to non-law students). This case is a shining example of what law can be. This case gives me hope that we will not continue to cooperate in our own destruction, and future generations will be able to rely on us to uphold the spirit of the law and purpose behind government. Read more.

Rick Reibstein is an environmental lawyer.  He teaches at Boston University and Harvard Extension School and serves as co-chair of the Legal Advisory Council for Quiet Communities, Inc.

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