WEATHER IN LINCOLN COUNTY

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Eugene teens in federal court: What good is air if you can’t safely breathe it?

Kelsey Juliana, 19 Asking Federal Court to uphold law dealing with "environmental public trusts"

Kelsey Juliana, 19
Asking Federal Court to uphold law dealing with “environmental public trusts”
Oregonian/OregonLive photo

Kelsey Juliana, 19 of Eugene, and other teens including their parents and grandparents, were in Eugene federal court this week asking the judge to acknowledge that the natural environment should be kept healthy as “a public trust.” It’s the ancient notion that each human generation inherits the Earth from their ancestors and in turn is actually borrowing it from their grandchildren – and that being good caretakers of the environment is fulfilling that “public trust.” Without it says Juliana, we’ll soon have no Earth, or at least one that’ll put up with humans.

This most basic argument for continued human existence played out before what appeared to be a less than an enthusiastic judge. But the case was made rather convincingly, at least in the eyes of those who believe science is clearly documenting climate disruption throughout the world.

The idea that the natural environment has always been held “in trust” for current and future generations, says Juliana, is being violated on a massive scale across the globe – but she’s only able to sue in her own state of residence. And so she, and others, are taking on the state of Oregon on allegations that Oregon is contributing to the problem.

Here’s the story in The Oregonian. Click here.

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