To: The Federal Government and All State Governments of the United States of America
A Manifesto to Address Planetary Malpractice on Behalf of Present and Future Generations
“There can be no keener revelation of a society’s soul than the way in which it treats its children.” --Nelson Mandela
We, the youth of the world, speaking with one common voice, regardless of color and creed, respectfully express our support for the series of legal actions filed by the youth of the United States of America. These actions, based on the rule of the Law, are directed to compel their federal government to take serious, sustained, and effective action to address the challenge of rapid climate change and global heating.
The environmental and humanitarian planetary crisis caused by anthropogenic climate change presents the worst case of environmental injustice. Leading climate scientists today warn us that the Earth is in imminent peril, on the verge of runaway climate heating that will impose catastrophic conditions for generations to come. We are already bearing the consequences of a whirlwind of past misdeeds—floods, cyclones, droughts, crop failures, water insecurity, and extreme poverty made worse by degraded environments and economic losses. For island countries, the very existence of their people and their entire country is at threat.
This is the world that we – the youth of today – will inherit: a parched Earth incapable of sustaining life. No less than our right to self-preservation and self-perpetuation is at stake.
We have entrusted you, and other decision makers and leaders of today, to be the guardians of our inheritance. You have a window of opportunity to ensure that when our time comes, we will still have the necessary sources of life of Land, Air and Water. These are the assets entrusted to you to protect. A violation of this trust will expose us, and generations to come, to irreparable injury and irreversible damage.
Younger generations hereby state our intention to take positive action, and where necessary, legal action against malpractice of the trust reposed in our political leaders. The series of legal actions taken by the youth of the United States of America today, backed by an elite team of lawyers and grounded on the common and general principle of the Public Trust Doctrine, is only the beginning. Younger generations have a right to inherit an Earth that has sustained all of human civilization. It must continue to do so.
How old will you be in 2050? We will be between the ages of 51 and 64, living our lives in the legacy of your decisions today.
The time for talk is over. It is time for action.
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