In 18-year-old Eshe's film, "TRUST Massachusetts," she explains why she is part of an unprecedented legal effort called Atmospheric Trust Litigation (ATL). ATL is rooted in what is perhaps the most fundamental duty of government. Through time, governments all over the world have been legally, and morally, bound to protect the essential resources we all share and depend upon for our very survival, in trust, for current and future generations.
Our failure to protect our air through legislative, executive or UN action, left youth like Eshe with only one option -- they took their cases to our judiciary hoping this third branch of government would protect their fundamental constitutional rights by ordering our government to come up with a comprehensive plan to address that climate crisis that is rooted on science. In her film, Eshe explains why she is part of the lawsuit against the U.S. government and legal action against her state of Massachusetts. She shares,
"Right now we're learning about the civil rights movement. We learned about how they use the legal route because the legislature wouldn't make the change and understand that discriminating against people wasn't okay anymore. I really saw a parallel with what we're trying to do now [with ATL]. The legislature doesn't see why protecting the climate is important. They don't understand why they need to make the change from thinking that we can use the resources of the Earth however we want, to understanding that they're limited. So now we're appealing to the judicial system the same way that civil rights leaders did."
Our youth feel a comprehensive plan is critical because they see our climate system reacting to unprecedented levels of carbon in the atmosphere in unprecedented ways. They understand that solving the climate crisis will require extraordinary action on our part and a plan is the logical place to start.
To find out how you can support Eshe and be what she calls an "upstander" instead of a bystander in our work to protect our climate and our children's futures, watch her film then go to Our Children's Trust http://ourchildrenstrust.org and the iMatter Campaign http://www.imattermarch.org .