Ninth Circuit rules against youth climate change lawsuit that relied on air conditioning argument

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A lawsuit by several California youth against the Environmental Protection Agency, claiming their constitutional rights have been violated by carbon dioxide emissions, was dismissed in a federal appeals court judge last week.

District Court Judge Michael Fitzgerald of the Central District of California dismissed Genesis v. Environmental Protection Agency.

The lead plaintiff in the case, “Genesis B,” was a 17-year-old Long Beach, Calif. girl whose parents said they could not afford air conditioning.

“On many days, Genesis must wait until the evening to do schoolwork when temperatures cool down enough for her to be able to focus,” the lawsuit said.

According to FastCompany, Alaska leads the states in terms of homes without air conditioning, but 28% of California homes also don’t have AC:

  • Alaska (7%)
  • Washington (53%)
  • Hawaii (57%)
  • Montana (65%)
  • Vermont (67%)
  • Maine (70%)
  • Wyoming (71%)
  • California (72%)

The Genesis lawsuit was similar to Juliana v. EPA, dismissed a few days prior, in which the lawyers claimed the federal government is constitutionally required to curb greenhouse gas emissions. The plaintiffs cited the Constitution’s 14th Amendment, the Equal Protection Clause.

The Juliana case, with 21 young people that included Nathan Baring, a third-generation Alaskan, said the government “willfully ignored” dangers posed by fossil fuels, which violated the plaintiffs’ constitutional rights to life, liberty and property. That case was also dismissed on May 1, and the judge said Genesis was not materially different.

But in the Genesis case, Judge Fitzgerald granted the plaintiffs the ability to amend their complaint, and Our Children’s Trust immediately said it would do so without delay.

In Alaska in 2022, the Alaska Supreme Court upheld the Superior Court’s dismissal of a lawsuit brought by young Alaska Natives and their lawyers, which alleged the State of Alaskas development of its natural resources contributed to climate change and thus was a violation of the Alaska Constitution’s natural resources provisions and their own individual constitutional rights.

Another youth lawsuit in Montana went in favor of the environmentalists, but is being appealed.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Why can’t we turn off fossil fuels to those who are against fossil fuels?
    These uneducated extremists need a class in Reality and I think no fossil fuels for them would be a great class.
    I would like them to support their cause by stepping forward on this and if it works then talk to me about it.
    I would give this test 3 months.

    • Yep. Never go in a powered boat, a bus, a cab, a car, an airplane.
      Walk everywhere, paddle everywhere, raise horses & dog teams.
      No heat in your apts or houses, except candles.

      My son is doing this now in Sitka, it is a walkable town, but he has to carry things & it’s raining.
      He walks or bikes everywhere & bought an old sailboat to live on.
      He is finding out how much “not fun” that life is.
      (and hanging out a lot in the Pioneer Bar ….lol)

      He stayed a couple of weeks in a teacher’s house for free, but the heat was not on. Cold in there.
      He is doing this because he is starting out & we are not rich enough to get him a car or an apt.

      He is surrounded at the school by rich kids, from outside, many of whom think just like these spoiled kids filing these lawsuits.
      Hoping he will not become a liberal Dem like 2 of his siblings & I think the life of hard knocks he is experiencing will accomplish that.

      • I don’t think it is rich kids, or any other kids filing these lawsuits. I hold it to be a gaggle of communists using youthful ignorance/innocence in their attempt to destroy the good and great nation that we are.

  2. Climate change has been occurring since the dawn of time. Anyone alarmed by it is a climate change denier. The only relevant question is: how sensitive is climate to anthropogenic influence? Obviously, the mere act of striking a match has a warming effect on the atmosphere–however infinitesimal. However, credible experts in atmospheric science (Linzen, Happer, Soon, clintel.org) have shown the entire climate alarm agenda to totally politicized hoax. The lawsuits described in this article are nothing more than a few creative lawyers looking to create a winning lottery ticket from political hysteria dujour. The sad part of the story is that such nonsense is tolerated at cost to taxpayers.

  3. These drastic and draconian measure these “environmentalists” pursue will cause inconvenience and lack of comfort for the Liberal elite. That’s when it stops. Kind of like when they wanted to shut off gas to their gourmet restaurants. Or when the homeless invade their neighborhoods.

    • Good point Jim. However, think of the following analogy. Our republic is a leaky lifeboat sinking in a stormy sea. Patriots are bailing water out while these “environmentalists” bailing water into the boat. They are taking us down with them.

  4. What a second! Where’s the constant whining about judicial overreach, liberal judges and an out-of-control 9th Circuit Court of Appeals?

    • Hi Joe, it’s a different court — with many Trump appointees — 10 of them, four of whom replaced Democrat appointees. – sd

      • Right you are!
        President Trump’s judicial appointments have altered the composition of the federal courts.
        This is arguably former President Trump’s most significant impact while president.

  5. That girl should be suing her parents for not providing her with air conditioning.
    This entire upside down world is getting really crazy. Using kids as pawns to push the ridiculousness is almost laughable if it were not so sad.

    • Masked Dude: The case was dismissed. No need for laughter. That would not be judicious for anyone, regardless of their viewpoint.

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