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On May 5, youth in Oregon sued Governor Kitzhaber for failing to adequately protect our atmosphere from climate change. At the same time, members of the next generation also sued the federal government, several other states, and launched lawsuits in other countries in an effort to halt our current climate crisis.
How climate change will alter life as we know it is almost incomprehensible. But to hear a young person explain why they worry about climate change and why they are willing to fight to stop it is not only comprehensible but virtually impossible to ignore. Listening to a tween tell you that she wants to go to college, have a dog, buy a house, and grow a garden and that if we stay on our current climate trajectory she may not be able to do those things is heart breaking. (Especially for those of us in the ruling generation who have been lucky enough to accomplish some of these goals.)
Of course, lawsuits are not always the best vehicles for capturing these sentiments. Luckily, the iMatter campaign partnered with Witness – a kick-butt NGO that creates amazing documentaries – to tell the stories of some of the youth who decided to hold the ruling generation accountable for our on-going climate disaster. As a result of this partnership, several short documentaries will be released throughout the next year providing a snap shot of the youth behind the climate change lawsuits.
The first film was just released and tells the story of Alec Loorz who at the age of 12 watched An Inconvenient Truth with his mother and radically altered his life to become a climate change activist. Alec’s story is an amazing inspiration and you absolutely should watch it! And when you’re done, check out Alec’s recommendations for how you can make a difference for our climate.