Robert W. Endlich provides the back story on the flimsy complaints from kids suing the US government for the right to a stable climate. He writes at Master Resource Sixty Minutes on the Kiddie Climate Lawsuit: Hypocrisy Squared. Some excerpts in italics wth my bolds to encourage you to go read the whole article.
Plaintiff #1: Kelsey Cascadia Rose Juliana, Oregon
Her activist parents stopped government from managing the forests. Now she blames wildfires on “climate change.”
Now a college student, Kelsey Cascadia Rose Juliana tells us that the often-severe forest fires that plague the Pacific Northwest are a result of “Climate Change,” because, “that’s what the scientists tell us.” That this might have been a result of the fuel buildups when logging was stopped in the Spotted Owl case has not entered her head; nor the thought processes of Sixty Minutes’ producers; nor the thinking of scientists, teachers, professors and politicians who “taught” her and Sixty Minutes about fires and climate change.
Although many other scientists could have explained the clear link between fuel buildups and massive conflagrations in forests where timber thinning and cutting are prohibited, they were not consulted.
Juliana says, “We have everything to lose if we don’t act on climate change.”
Evidently, no one ever told Juliana it is just as impossible to “stop climate change” as it is to “stop continental drift,” stop the progression of tides, or stop sea level changes and land subsidence. All of these are a result of natural environmental processes that are (or once were) taught in basic Earth Science courses – processes that were carelessly or deliberately left out of the reporting by CBS reporter Steve Croft and CBS Producer Dragon Mihaljevic.
Figure 2. Temperature time series from the GISP2 ice core, showing the past 5,000 years of temperatures with Minoan, Roman, Medieval and Late 20th Century warm periods highlighted [Source]. The likelihood that humans can “stop climate change” that is a natural aspect of Earth’s environment should be obvious.
Plaintiff #2: Levi Draheim, Florida
He lives on a barrier island off the hurricane-prone Atlantic coast. The government is supposed to protect him from storms and rising sea level that have always eroded coastal islands.
Figure 4. Graphic showing the features of Barrier Island Systems from the University of Texas showing they are characteristic of flat coastal plains. That Sixty Minutes should not recognize the peril of exposing permanent resident children to life on barrier islands seems studied ignorance of obvious environmental hazards.
Plaintiff #3: Jayden Foytlin, Louisiana
Her home was flooded in Rayne, LA, about 20 miles from the Gulf Coast and a mere 20 feet above sea level. She claims a right against rainstorms, even though her home is called the “Frog Capital of the World,” with numerous houses elevated on blocks.
Climate Kid 15-year-old Jayden Foytlin, from southern Louisiana, found her home flooded in August 2016. Mr. Mihaljevic speaks of flooding rains in southern Louisiana as somehow an unexpected new phenomenon that young Jayden suddenly experienced when she woke up and “put her foot into climate change.” Not into a frequent weather event on the Louisiana Coast, but into “climate change.” It’s not very subtle propaganda, but most viewers must be prepared, or they will miss it.
She lives in Rayne, LA, about 20 miles from the Gulf Coast and a mere 20 feet above sea level. This is very flat outer coastal plain with poor drainage. That she has no clue that flat-lying land adjacent to the Gulf Coast would be subject to flooding when a hurricane strikes and some 16 inches of rain can occur within two days – is an artifact of inadequate education, and lack of self-awareness that might be attributable to her tender years.
That a fifteen-year old student would have no knowledge of even the possibility of flooding during a hurricane (or spring melts after heavy snows in the Upper Mississippi Basin) strains credulity. But perhaps her expectations were shaped by the 12-year absence of any Category 3-5 hurricane making US landfall between Wilma (2005) and Harvey (2017) – virtually her entire perceptive lifetime.
That the Sixty Minutes report makes it seem as if sixteen inches of rain within two days is somehow related to climate change, rather than a result of the climate and weather we have today, and have had for decades and centuries, is yet another willful study in ignorance by the talking heads seen on MSM and CBS.
Just a few minutes of internet searching will uncover substantial data on extreme rainfall events in the USA. Some are displayed below in Figure 5.
Ironies of History, Concerns for America’s Future
The irony here is too rich not to discuss. Juliana’s parents and environmentalists, along with politicians and courts teamed up a few decades ago to file lawsuits that blocked timber sales and cutting, thereby causing a gradually enormous buildup of diseased, dying and dead trees, brush and other highly inflammable materials.
Huge, deadly conflagrations inevitably ensued – and now the same parties blame climate change for the infernos, enlist their (indoctrinated) children as sympathetic plaintiffs, focus on the kids’ deep fears, and sue fossil fuel producers for damages. Is there such a thing as criminal hypocrisy?
I have no great hopes that lawyers and courts will come up with the right answer.
We need only look at the results of the Massachusetts vs. EPA lawsuit, which was filed by Massachusetts based on the notion that sea level rise is caused by or accelerated by our use of fossil fuels. For “authority,” the U.S. Supreme Court accepted a political document, the IPCC Working Group I report, which considers only human factors in climate change and now asserts that only humans are causing climate change, with natural factors relegated to the sidelines as essentially irrelevant.
That such ignorance, stupidity and anti-science are now central elements of our legal system is simply breathtaking.
Indeed, had EPA attorneys been competent, and had they presented appropriate sea level data and other real-world evidence during trial and on appeal, the Supreme Court could have examined data like that from National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s (NOAA’s) tide gage in Boston harbor. As Figure 8 illustrates, the rate of sea level rise is essentially unchanged over the past century and longer, even as CO2 levels climbed, then accelerated, in their rate of increase, especially since the 1960s.
Carbon dioxide from burning hydrocarbon fuels and human exhalations is the same colorless, odorless gas that plants use, in combination with energy from sunlight, to create carbohydrates. It is not a pollutant, but the elixir of life. Humans, animals and plant life are all carbon-based life forms.
The Supreme Court was just as wrong in its 2007 Massachusetts vs. EPA decision as it was in its infamous 1857 Dred Scott decision – which held that no “negro whose ancestors were imported into [the United States] and sold as slaves” could be an American citizen, and therefore had no standing to sue in federal court. Dred Scott, it can be argued, eventually led to the Civil War.
I have no great hope that today’s Supreme Court or lower courts can be depended on to arrive at the right answer when it comes to science in this case. I just hope cases like the “climate kids” Juliana vs the USA will not cause such energy, economic, societal and political disruption that our nation becomes embroiled in another civil war over our energy, livelihoods, living standards, and whether courts and bureaucrats will have the right to dictate Americans’ rights and choices in these matters.
Robert W. Endlich served as Weather Officer in the USAF for 21 Years. From 1984 to 1993, he provided toxic corridor and laser propagation support to the High Energy Laser Systems Test Facility at White Sands Missile Range. He has published in the technical literature and worked as software test engineer at New Mexico State University. Endlich was elected to Chi Epsilon Pi, the national Meteorology Honor Society, while an Air Force Basic Meteorology student at Texas A&M University. He has a bachelor’s degree in Geology from Rutgers University and a master’s in Meteorology from the Pennsylvania State University.
Footnote: For more on Pacific Northwest forest fires see Why the Left Coast is Burning
For background on the Kids Lawsuit see Supremes Look at Kids Lawsuit