Those meddling kids are at it again—this time, in Florida.
A group of eight young people—ages 10 to 20—announced a lawsuit Monday against their sunshine state of Florida, so that Gov. Rick Scott takes action on climate change, according to The Miami Herald. Mind you, Scott is the same dude who pulled the “I’m not a scientist” argument to avoid talking about climate change while, at the same time, banning state officials from using the term. This is going to be fun.
The youth are alleging that the governor and his administration have failed to take appropriate action on the threat of rising sea levels in Florida, and that they’ve made “unconstitutional contributions to climate change and creation and operation of a fossil fuel-based energy system.” The plaintiffs want to see state officials whip up a “Climate Recovery Plan” that uses science to “stabilize the climate system and protect the vital resources” plaintiffs rely on. Really, they want Florida to figure out how the hell it’s going to survive climate change.
The state is especially at risk as far as climate impacts go, experiencing annoying flooding events on the regular and sea level rise that threatens to put the entire southern tip underwater. That includes the acclaimed Everglades, the metropolitan area of Miami, and all the people and wildlife who call these places home. The economic damage will be real, and it’ll hit the poorest the hardest.
That hasn’t encouraged our boy Scott to do anything about the problem—well, until recently. The governor is running for the Senate, and he’s trying to use “the environment” as a way to rack up votes. As POLITICO uncovered, that was the real motivation for his call to ban offshore drilling in Florida.
The governor fools no one, though.
He’s no environmental champion, and these seven young people recognize that. So they’re taking action, with the help of Our Children’s Trust. This is the same organization that’s succeeded in securing a trial date for a federal climate lawsuit led by 21 kids. Our Children’s Trust has already won a kids’ climate court case in Massachusetts.
In the age where old, bald white dudes in high chairs are making the decisions that could have impacts for centuries, kids seem to be the only ones with some common sense. Youth helped the Colombian Amazon gain legal personhood so that it would be protected for future generations. They’re leading the next big climate march. Scott better get ready.
Update 4/16/18 2:20 p.m.: This story has been updated to clarify that the oldest youth plaintiff is 20, not 19, as the complaint states. The homie, Oscar, had a birthday recently. Happy belated, Oscar.