Suit Charges US Govt Failing to Protect Earth for Generations Unborn

"SAN FRANCISCO — Advocates of stringent curbs on greenhouse gas emissions sued the federal government on Wednesday, arguing that key agencies had failed in their duty to protect the earth's atmosphere as a public trust to be guarded for future generations.

Similar lawsuits are to be filed against states around the country, according to the plaintiffs, a coalition of groups concerned about climate change called Our Children's Trust.

Most of the individual plaintiffs in the suit, filed in United States District Court in San Francisco, are teenagers, a decision apparently made to underscore the intergenerational nature of the public trust that the earth's atmosphere represents. More novel, however, is the suit's reliance on the public trust doctrine, which dates to Roman times."

Felicity Barringer reports for the New York Times May 4, 2011.

Thursday, May 5, 2011