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Climate Activists Are Using Kids To Wage A Legal War Over Fossil Fuels

In Montana, climate activists are suing government officials to eliminate fossil fuels.

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Decades of catastrophic claims about climate change have terrorized generations into believing the planet will be uninhabitable by the time they have their own children. Today’s young people are no different.

In 1970, North Texas State University Professor Peter Gunter predicted that “by the year 2000 … the entire world, with the exception of Western Europe, North America, and Australia, will be in famine.” But 50 years later, that’s just not the case.

Also in 1970, Harvard Biologist George Wald prophesied that “civilization will end within 15 or 30 years unless immediate action is taken against problems facing mankind.” Obviously, it hasn’t. In fact, here are 29 charts showing the world has been better than ever.

In 2008, former Vice President Al Gore warned there was a “75 percent chance that the entire north polar ice cap” would be completely erased during the summer months “within the next five to seven years.” Except ice is covering more of the Arctic this year than it did in 2012, according to the National Snow and Ice Data Center.

The endless “catastrophizing,” as it has been described by Alex Epstein, who outlines the years of hysteria in his book “Fossil Future,” has left today’s young people crippled with “climate anxiety.”

In December, The Lancet published a study from a team of nine researchers including psychologists, environmental scientists, and psychiatrists who surveyed 10,000 people aged 16 to 25 about their anxiety related to climate change and their governments’ response. Seventy-five percent of those surveyed across 10 different countries reported feeling the “future is frightening.” Researchers reported nearly half of all participants said their “feelings about climate change negatively affected their daily life and functioning.”

The study also showed fewer and fewer young people willing to reproduce, reportedly out of fear of climate change. Nearly 40 percent reported that their anxiety about the climate made them “hesitant to have children.” According to a 2020 survey from the Morning Consult, 1 in 4 adults cited climate change as their reason to remain childless. While children are often depicted as environmental burdens, including by current Bureau of Land Management Director Tracy Stone-Manning in her graduate thesis, population decline itself is a major long-term problem facing future generations.

But now, today’s kids inundated with incessant catastrophizing by reporters who themselves grew up with prophetic warnings about the “climate crisis” are launching lawsuits.

In February, the first youth-led lawsuit over climate change will go to trial as 16 plaintiffs sue Montana over the government’s promotion of fossil fuels. The Oregon-based environmental legal group “Our Children’s Trust” co-opted Montana teens in Held v. State of Montana to strong-arm Helena into eliminating fossil fuels as a centerpiece of the state’s energy policy.

Coverage of the lawsuit has been predictable cheerleading with a spotlight on the anxieties young people face from weather. An April write-up from the Guardian headlined “Fossil fuels v. our future: young Montanans wage historic climate fight,” was published under the “Climate crimes” section of the British paper.

“The 16 young people, who were between the ages of two and 18 when they filed the lawsiut in March 2020, have already felt the impacts of climate change,” the Guardian reported. “As these environmental consequences mount, young people have emerged as a leading force in the climate activism movement.”

Their lawsuit seeks to undermine Montana’s lucrative fossil fuel industry, asserting that emissions violate the right to a clean environment guaranteed in the state constitution. According to the Energy Information Administration, Montana is home to the “largest estimated recoverable coal reserves among the states” and provides 30 percent of the nation’s coal. Even with six operating coal mines and four private coal plants, the state is also already a top 10 state when it comes to the use of renewables. Fifty-two percent of the electricity provided by Montana’s power grid was generated by renewable energy.

This summer, however, the Montana attorney general’s office lost a motion before the state Supreme Court to dismiss the case now headed to trial this winter.

“Our Children’s Trust is a special interest group that is exploiting well-intentioned kids — including a 4-year-old and an 8-year-old — to achieve its goal of shutting down responsible energy development in Montana,” said Kyler Nerison, a spokesman for the attorney general’s office, in a statement to The Federalist. “Unable to implement their policies through our normal processes of representative government, these out-of-state climate activists are trying to use Montana’s liberal courts to impose their authoritarian climate agenda on us.”

In its coverage of the suit, CBS News quoted an anxiety-stricken activist who worries about having children.

“At best, they will grow up in an environment different than mine and with the same guilt and fear that I have about this issue,” Grace Gibson-Snyder told CBS. “At worst, they will suffer directly from the fires and the floods and the famines. I think a lot of my peers are going through very similar things.”

Floods, fires and famines, however, are not new phenomena for the human race. In fact, nations today have adapted to handle environmental catastrophes far better than ever before in human history when people simply lived at the mercy of the elements. Climate-related deaths have dropped more than 98 percent since 1900 despite higher emissions. Weather disaster-related damage also dropped from 0.26 percent of global GDP to 0.18 percent from 1990 to 2020 as nations develop with cheap, reliable energy offered by fossil fuels, which enables us to deal with severe weather events.

Meanwhile, if the kids wanted to sue anybody for future emissions, they might begin with Big Green interest groups working to eliminate nuclear power as a viable emissions-free alternative such as the Sierra Club, the World Wildlife Fund, and Greenpeace. Unlike weather-dependent wind and solar technology, nuclear offers reliable, instantaneous, and environmentally sustainable energy for a fraction of the acreage required to install panel and turbine farms.


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