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Because the adults in charge are still not ready to say that modern life is causing the Earth to heat up and risk the health of every living thing on the planet, eight Washington state teens have decided to sue.
The group of young teens made their oral arguments earlier this week as plaintiffs in a suit against Washington's Department of Ecology, whom they claim isn't putting forth policies and action to limit carbon pollution, which science concludes again and again is causing global warming. The teens are part of a non-profit organization, Our Children's Trust, which has filed suits in every state and against the federal government.
KPLU's Bellamy Pailthorp reported that Julia Olsen, the group's executive director, said the state is constitutionally obligated to protect shared resources such as clean air.
King County Superior Court Judge Hollis Hill heard the students arguments for creating a policy to return the level of carbon in the atmosphere to 350 parts per million by the end of this century.
The state's attorney general said, sure, Washington needs to do better and it's working on it. But she argued that court is not where these policies should be created or enacted.
But Lara Fain is apparently tired of waiting. She's only 13, but she's thinking this isn't good enough.
"It just feels like there's not enough people who care about, like, animals and other things that can't talk for themselves – babies who haven't been born yet, people from the future, basically," Fain said.
"It is my future," Aji Piper, 15, said. "You know, there's these things that you just—you lose them and then it's really hard to get them back."
In August, a group of kids 8 to 19 sued the Obama administration for inaction on climate change, demanding that the president, seven federal departments and the Environmental Protection
Agency act immediately to preserve the climate for "future generations."