They knew The federal government's fifty-year role in causing the climate crisis

James Gustave Speth

Book - 2021

"In 2015, a group of 21 young people came together to sue the federal government for violating their constitutional rights by promoting the climate catastrophe that has already begun to deprive them of life, liberty and property without due process of law. Juliana versus United States, has had more success in the courts than many expected, but the federal government has repeatedly delayed the case from getting to trial. The case is now pending before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. What...ever its judicial outcome, the litigation has received a great deal of media attention and public acclaim. Youth activists now central to climate advocacy say that they were influenced by this early example of young people stepping up. Our Children's Trust (OCT), the group that has brought the children's climate lawsuit, has now authorized the author, Gus Speth, to proceed with publication of an updated, 2020 version of the expert report he prepared for the litigation in 2018. The original Speth report was prepared in his capacity as an expert in the subject"--

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Subjects
Published
Cambridge, Massachusetts ; London, England : The MIT Press [2021]
Language
English
Item Description
"An Our Children's Trust book."
Physical Description
xxviii, 274 pages : charts ; 24 cm
Bibliography
Includes bibliographical references and index.
ISBN
9780262542982
0262542986
Main Author
James Gustave Speth (author)
  • Introduction / Julia Olson and Philip Gregory
  • The Speth expert report for Juliana v. United States
  • Climate science knowledge the Carter administration inherited
  • The Jimmy Carter administration (1977-1981)
  • The Ronald Reagan administration (1981-1989)
  • The George H. W. Bush administration (1989-1993)
  • The William J. Clinton administration (1993-2001)
  • The George W. Bush administration (2001-2009)
  • The Barack Obama administration (2009-2017)
  • The Donald J. Trump administration (2017-2020)
  • Appendix. The procedural history of Juliana / Julia Olson and Philip Gregory.
Review by Publisher Summary 1

"In 2015, a group of 21 young people came together to sue the federal government for violating their constitutional rights by promoting the climate catastrophe that has already begun to deprive them of life, liberty and property without due process of law. The path breaking litigation, Juliana v United States, has had more success in the courts than many expected, but the federal government has repeatedly delayed the case from getting to trial. The case is now pending before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Whatever its judicial outcome, the litigation has received a great deal of media attention and public acclaim. Youth activists now central to climate advocacy say that they were influenced by this early example of young people stepping up. Our Children's Trust (OCT), the group that has brought the children's climate lawsuit, has now authorized the author, Gus Speth, to proceed with publication of an updated, 2020 version of the Expert Report he prepared for the litigation in 2018. The original Speth report was prepared in his capacity as an expert in the subject. In the view of many who have seen it, the report is the most compelling indictment of federal climate action and inaction yet written"--

Review by Publisher Summary 2

A devastating, play-by-play account of the federal government's leading role in bringing about today's climate crisis.

In 2015, a group of twenty-one young people sued the federal government for violating their constitutional rights by promoting the climate catastrophe, depriving them of life, liberty, and property without due process of law. They Knew offers evidence for their claims, presenting a devastating, play-by-play account of the federal government's role in bringing about today's climate crisis. James Speth, tapped by the plaintiffs as an expert on climate, documents how administrations from Carter to Trump--despite having information about climate change and the connection to fossil fuels--continued aggressive support of a fossil fuel based energy system.
 
What did the federal government know and when did it know it? Speth asks, echoing another famous cover up. What did the federal government do and what did it not do? They Knew (an updated version of the Expert Report Speth prepared for the lawsuit) presents the most compelling indictment yet of the government's role in the climate crisis, showing a forty-year failure to take action.

Since Juliana v. United States was filed, the federal government has repeatedly delayed the case. Yet even in legal limbo, it has helped inspire a generation of youthful climate activists.
 
An Our Children’s Trust Book