New Lawsuit By Students Targets Legislators Who Do Nothing About Climate Change

There are a lot of talking points regarding climate change. You’ve probably heard one more than any other: “97 percent of scientists agree that humans are causing climate change.” But opponents of this idea will say it’s not true. That’s because, technically, it isn’t. The real quote should read that “97 percent of climate scientists agree that humans are causing climate change.” But because people forget to include that one crucial word, the argument rages on and on.

But the facts are facts whether people believe in them or not. Neil deGrasse Tyson said as much.

Now, a handful of Florida students have brought the fight directly to the governor and several state lawmakers who they believe aren’t doing much of anything to fight man-made climate change. They’re suing.

This is a big deal for Floridians, whose state high point is barely 400 feet — and the lowest high point out of any of the states. Much of Florida lies much lower, of course, which means rising sea levels will almost certainly render much of the state uninhabitable over the next century.

Dozens of children recently tried to sue as well, but a federal appeals court dismissed their case.

Delaney Reynolds, one of the students who organized the new lawsuit said, “The lawsuit has been filed because we basically believe that the Florida government, the governor, Commissioner of Agriculture and the Cabinet are not upholding their duties that are outlined in the Florida Constitution and the Public Trust Doctrine. Within these documents, it says that the Florida government has the legal obligation to protect our environment and our public trust resources. That’s land, that’s water, and we believe it also includes the atmosphere.”

He continues, “We don’t want any money. None of the lawyers are getting paid. It’s all pro bono. All we want is action on climate change and reducing fossil fuels.”

The group is all between the ages of 12 and 21, and all of them believe in the fight they’re bringing directly to Florida state government.

When approached about the fact that Governor Ron DeSantis seems to be more invested in environmental conservation and climate change, Reynolds said it wasn’t enough.

“It’s definitely better,” he acknowledged. “And they’re great first steps. But the keyword is first step. The only way that we’re ever going to address and solve the climate change crisis is by completely eliminating the use of fossil fuels. We have to transition from an economy based on fossil fuels to one based on sustainable energy. And while all of these mitigation and resiliency efforts are important and necessary for South Florida and Florida as a whole, our long-term survival, we need to eliminate the use of fossil fuels.”