How does the administration that pledged to change the way Washington works handle internal disagreements? Apparently, they make lawyers rich and tie up the courts. James Hansen,who runs NASA’s Goddard Institute, is currently backing a lawsuit against the administration for failing to address global warming — and is using teenagers to do it:
By failing to take action against global warming, the federal government has violated its legal obligation to protect the atmosphere as a resource that belongs to everyone, according to a lawsuit filed in federal court last week.
Five of the plaintiffs are teenagers, who have a “profound interest in ensuring our climate remains stable enough to ensure their right to a livable future,” according to the suit filed May 4, which names a number of federal officials — from Lisa Jackson, head of the Environmental Protection Agency, to Robert Gates of the Defense Department — as defendants.
The suit cites climate calculations, and is supported by NASA climate scientist James Hansen, who has a history of speaking out forcefully on the hazards of human-caused global warming. Hansen told LiveScience he had been interested in going to court over the topic in recent years.
It’s for the children! Honestly, what nonsense. It might make sense if, say, Hansen didn’t already have the President’s ear on policy matters. Why not just go over to the Oval Office and press Obama for more direct action? The actual reason is, of course, that Obama can’t deliver on it with a Republican House. In fact, he couldn’t deliver it with a fully Democratic Congress, mainly because those positions are too extreme for even some in Obama’s own party.
Instead, the radicals want to use the courts to deliver what representative government can’t. That’s also why some of them want courts to grant nature “human rights.” That would allow activists to flood courts with actions demanding that judges impose policies that legislators refuse to pass, an anti-democratic impulse that would put public policy in the hands of star chambers rather than elected representatives of the people. And that way, they wouldn’t have to borrow teenagers as plaintiffs, but instead adopt rocks, plants, and rivers.
Perhaps we should take a page from their book and start filing lawsuits on behalf of infants who are going to be saddled with massive debt based on the policies of this administration — or the future unborn against the violence of abortion. I mean, as long as we’re going to have star chambers …
Update: Hansen doesn’t run NASA; Charles Bolden does. He runs the Goddard Institute for NASA. I apologize for the error.