May 5, 2011
A group of attorneys representing children and young adults began to file legal actions Wednesday in every state and the District of Columbia in an effort to force government intervention on climate change.
The courtroom ploy was backed by activists looking for a legal soft spot to advance a cause that has stumbled in the face of stiff congressional opposition and a skeptical U.S. Supreme Court.
The goal is to have the atmosphere declared for the first time as a “public trust” deserving special protection. That’s a concept previously used to clean up polluted rivers and coastlines, although legal experts said they were uncertain it could be applied successfully to climate change.