Help get 2 USA Ambassadors to the Plant For The Planet international conference in Germany!

Climate Change For Families (Plant-for-the-Planet in Seattle, USA), a 501(c)(3) organization, needs your financial help to defer the $4,000 cost of the airplane tickets for Climate Justice Ambassadors 14-year old Aji & 14-year old Wren, along with their adult advisor Michael Foster, for their upcoming trip to Germany to participate in the May 17 to 25th International P4tP conference to finalize the Youth Climate Plan prior to the Paris December 2015 G7 summit. Yes, it is unusual for P4tP Seattle to take such a trip. But we’re now in “crunch time” to save Mother Earth, and it is extremely important that these Climate Justice Ambassadors attend and have input towards shaping/controlling their future. They are the only 2 Ambassadors representing North America at this conference. As Michael Foster says: “We’re only doing this to save the world!” Thank you for your generosity.
Climate Change For Families is a tax-exempt, nonprofit organization under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. Our tax ID number: 46-5636361
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Young People’s Day In Court

TRUST 350 from Our Children’s Trust on Vimeo.

 by James Hansen, 14 April 2014, cross-posted from Dr. Hansen’s blog

May 2 could be an historic day, as young people have their day in court, at 9:30 AM in the United States Court of Appeals in Washington, DC. This concerns the legal case that young people have filed against the United States federal government, the case for which the paper “Assessing ‘Dangerous Climate Change’: Required Reductions of Carbon Emissions to Protect Young People, Future Generations and Nature” provides the scientific basis.

A U.S. District Court earlier ruled against young people, in essence saying that the young people had not shown a Constitutional basis by which the Court could require the U.S. government to deliver a plan defining how it would reduce emissions consistent with what science shows is necessary to stabilize climate. Young people had filed their case based on the “trust” concept, the argument that the present generation has a fiducial responsibility to deliver a safe atmosphere and climate to the next generation.

The “trust” concept is well established in law and American history, as Thomas Jefferson, a farmer, argued that his generation must not deplete the soil, but rather must leave it in equally fertile condition for the next generation. However, our current Administration argued against the young people, saying that it had established the Environmental Protection Agency, and thus had sufficiently carried out its duties. Industrial polluters joined the federal government in court, arguing against the case filed by the young people.

In my opinion, the Court’s initial ruling was for the best, because it forces attention upon our most fundamental rights. Our Constitution’s purpose to “provide the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity…” implies obligations to the young and the unborn. Our nation was founded on the “self-evident” concept that all people have equal rights. The Constitution assures that all people, including young people, will receive “equal protection of the laws” and that no one can be deprived of property without “due process” of law. Furthermore, this focus on fundamental rights has global relevance because of substantial commonality of our Constitution with The Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

In an amicus brief that I filed with 10 of my colleagues we point out that the claim by the United States government that climate change presents “the possibility of some remote future injury” evinces a fundamental misunderstanding of the nature of the climate threat. Our brief makes clear that atmospheric CO2 today is already in the dangerous zone, and the government should present a plan to reduce fossil fuel emissions and increase carbon uptake by the land and biosphere at rates required to reduce atmospheric CO2 this century to at most 350 ppm.

The situation is crystal clear. The climate threat is undeniable. Yet the executive and legislative branches of government, concerned with short-term politics, are failing to protect young people.

We must be sure that the judges ponder the full implications of their ruling. It would be very helpful if the court room were packed with young people, so that the judges can look in the eyes of the youth who will feel the benefit or brunt of their decision.

This court, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit, is widely viewed as our most important court save only the Supreme Court, and it frequently has had a central role in affecting our national policies and law. Its judges are frequently tapped as Supreme Court Nominees.

The three judges who will hear the young people’s case are Chief Judge Garland (Clinton appointee), Senior Circuit Judge Ginsburg (Reagan appointee once nominated for the Supreme Court), and Circuit Judge Srinivasan (Obama appointee).

The Court will hear three cases on Friday morning May 2, with the case for young people (Alec L. et al. vs. Gina McCarthy, et al.) scheduled first, thus expected to be 9:30 AM. The lawyer for the young people will have 30 minutes to present their case and the government and industry will have 30 minutes to respond. The judges frequently interrupt, so much of the 30 minutes for each side may be used by the judges, but the two sides will have equal time.

After the case is argued, i.e., at about 10:30 AM the youth plan to have a rally outside the courthouse, and we will probably make plans to have lunch together, perhaps outside, depending on weather. I believe that witnessing this historic day in court for youth is worth missing a day of school, and indeed would be educational. The presence of sufficient youth could make a difference. The courtroom will hold about 120 people and there is an overflow room where the arguments can be live-streamed. If we should end up with more people than can fit in the courtrooms, their attendance outside and at the rally will make the proceedings all the more effective.

Some information on the hearing is at and a short film on the overall matter is at

Those people planning to attend, or organize attendance by a class or individual youth, should send an e-mail to both my program coordinator Nicole <> and Meg <>. We will send further details and updates as plans progress.

Jim Hansen


VIDEO – Ambassadors Share Plan with Governor Inslee’s Climate Workgroup

Zoe and Wren TVW CLEW Olympia
Zoe and Wren speak to the Gov’s hearing. CLICK BELOW to watch!


Thanks a billion Zoe and Wren! Stay tuned when they finish to hear from a surprised grownup!

Zoe and Wren speak to Governor Inslee’s Climate Workgroup

Two 7th graders from Seattle announced the Washington Billion Tree Campaign as part of Plant-For-The-Planet’s global reforestation effort. With clear moral authority the 2 ambassadors set the new goal of 6% emission cuts to hold earth to 1-degree warming for this generation. Is the Workgroup listening?

From Zoe’s point of view “While I was giving my speech, I looked up at the governor and saw him taking a picture of me. It kind of freaked me out because, well, the governor was taking a picture of me, and shouldn’t it be the other way around? So I tried to keep giving my speech,  and not burst out laughing, but I got a little tripped up.”

“It was kind of freaky, but exciting.” She would definitely recommend the experience for ambassadors everywhere. “Speaking with Wren was really nice, but I probably wasn’t as scared as she was because it was her first speech, but she did great!”

Wren had the important task of announcing Washington’s Billion Tree Campaign to the Governor at the hearing. Her energy and enthusiasm certainly made tree-planting sound like fun. When Wren concluded, “So who’s ready to plant some trees?” the entire room erupted in applause and cheers!

According to Zoe there’s no time to waste. “We really need to get started because we keep talking about it, but how many trees have we actually planted? The Governor can help get people to plant trees, and he could create jobs by paying people to plant trees in our forests.”

Like the Plant-For-The-Planet campaign says, “STOP TALKING. START PLANTING.”

SIGN and SHARE their petition. The public comment period ended, but with the Workgroup split along party lines, your input is still welcome. You can also share comments directly by email:

 Ambassadors Wren and Zoe from Plant-For-The-Planet share a moment with Washington Governor Jay Inslee in Olympia.
Ambassadors Wren and Zoe from Plant-For-The-Planet share a moment with Washington Governor Jay Inslee in Olympia.

From Olympia’s newspaper The News Tribune:

Majority at Olympia climate hearing make case for less fossil fuel


Staff writer December 13, 2013

“Climate scientists may have reached a consensus about the danger of human contributions to climate change, but getting a political consensus for how to respond will take some time at the Washington state Capitol.

Friday’s third and final hearing before Gov. Jay Inslee’s climate workgroup elicited an array of messages from the environmental movement, business groups, the oil industries and a slew of individuals — including two school kids from Seattle who are part of a project planting trees and said they can’t afford to wait for action.

 Most of the roughly 50 people who spoke at the three-hour hearing at the Capitol urged the bipartisan workgroup — which has two legislators from each major party and Inslee as its non-voting chairman — to recommend that the Legislature take immediate steps to reduce carbon pollution from fossil fuels, which is implicated in global warming.”

More news and links from Olympia soon!

Check back for ambassador activity every week. Or better yet,  click to “Follow” us here on climatechangeforfamilies, so you’ll get a notice when we post news!

Seattle Climate Justice Ambassadors Brief City Council on Plant-For-The-Planet 3-Point Plan

On July 9th, in Seattle City Hall, our team of young Climate Justice Ambassadors will present their 3-Point Plan to Councilmembers on the Energy & Environment Committee. The Ambassadors were invited to brief the committee after the Plant-For-The-Planet Academy in May. Coming on the heels of the unanimous passage of the Seattle Climate Action Plan, we expect our Ambassadors to receive a warm welcome. It’s exciting to think that these children will help shape sustainable policies and make Seattle a model for other cities around the world. Stay tuned!

This story on Climate Progress lists some of the features of the Seattle Climate Action Plan.

Seattle Adopts Climate Action Plan