The Obama Administration may seem like forever ago, but it was in 2015, at the tail end of the 44th president's tenure that a group of Oregon students filed suit against the U.S. Government. At issue was whether feds were doing a good enough job to ensure constitutional rights to life, liberty and property, specifically by protecting the environment.
Their suit, Juliana v. U.S., was set to go to trial coming this Monday, Oct. 29, but in the latest of a long series of maneuvers, the Trump administration was granted a delay. But that didn't stop a group of Boise high school students, members of the Climate Justice League, from assembling at the Ada County Courthouse Monday, as a show of support for their peers and their long legal battle.
"I'm terrified," said Timberline High School senior Rose Thompson speaking through a bullhorn while flanked by other students. "Not just because I have three college applications due on Thursday or a math test on Friday, but because my future is in jeopardy."
Thompson was one of more than a dozen students participating in the Idaho chapter of the Sierra Club's push to shed light on Juliana v. U.S. The students crafted 21 works of art, one for each student involved in the Juliana case, each showcasing how climate change will impact Idaho, from decreased winter precipitation that threatens the ski industry with low snowfall to hotter summers and reduced water levels in Idaho's rivers and streams.
Timberline High School senior Ian Hadrick said he was "really frustrated" by government's unwillingness to take on the issue with the immediacy and seriousness he thinks climate change deserves. According to a recent report released by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the effects of climate change will come sooner and be more extreme than previously anticipated, and those effects will be most felt by people who are young today. The lack of action, Hadrick said, "feels like a kick in the face to all these youth voices."
"You shouldn't just be walking by this. There are people who are disconnected. ... I want them to know they should do something."