Citizen Action Monitor

One amazing teen: Sued U.S. gov’t on Wed. Kicks off his “Million Kid March” this Sat.

No 169 Posted by fw, May 5, 2011

Alec Loorz delivers climate change address to students

Back on November 6, 2010, I posted this piece: 16-year-old Alec Loorz organizing “Million Kid March”. The march takes place over Mothers’ Day weekend.

In recognition of Loorz’s stunning achievement — he was just 12 when he began his campaign — the Ventura County Star ran this story in its May 4, edition: Teen activist plans ‘Million Kid March’ to fight global warming. Here are selected highlights from the Million Kid March feature:

Starting Saturday, Loorz is kicking off a series of iMatter Marches worldwide to draw even greater attention to climate change. Young people inspired by his message will take to the streets in more than 100 cities from Ojai [Calif] to Abuja, Nigeria.

Loorz credits media mogul Ted Turner with the idea. In 2009, when Loorz presented a Declaration of Independence from Fossil Fuels before the U.S. Senate, Turner was there.

“He said, ‘When you do a Million Kid March, I’ll march with you,’ ” the teenager recalled.

After a year and a half of planning and promoting the march through the Internet, the blogosphere, the news media and other environmental groups, that goal is in sight. A Denver march and rally are expected to draw at least 20,000. Crowds of more than 100,000 are expected in India, Loorz said.

Turner is making good on his promise. He’ll be right up front with Loorz as they lead thousands in a march in San Francisco on Sunday.

Over the last four years, Loorz has transformed from a bespectacled 12-year-old, giving slide show presentations on global warming to a highly sought-after global activist and speaker. He helms a nonprofit, engages a small, dedicated staff (including his mother, Victoria), rubs elbows with celebrities and politicians, and even employs a PR firm — all while completing his junior year of high school through home schooling.

All that might go to some teenagers’ heads, but Loorz remains surprisingly grounded and focused on his mission. He wants to launch a movement of young leaders working to save their planet.

“If we’re able to inspire one young person to become an activist and join the movement and one person of the ruling generation to think about the impact on our future with every decision they make, it’s a success,” he said.

As if this isn’t enough for this amazing wunderkind, as part of his fight for climate change action, Loorz is suing the U.S. government. Here’s how the Ventura County Star tells this part of the story:

[H]e’s suing the U.S. government in an effort to fight climate change.

“I think it’s awesome,” the 16-year-old environmental activist and founder of Kids vs. Global Warming said by phone from his home in Oak View. “We don’t have political power. We don’t have the money to compete with corporate lobbyists. We can’t vote. All we have is our voice.”

On Wednesday, Loorz filed a lawsuit with the U.S. District Court in San Francisco demanding the federal government act now to curb global warming. His lawsuit is part of a barrage of similar legal actions filed simultaneously in all 50 states and around the world by young plaintiffs who are directly affected by climate change.

With the help of some top-flight trial attorneys and an environmental nonprofit called Our Children’s Trust, they’re hoping to force their governments to enact climate recovery plans that reduce global carbon dioxide emissions and promote reforestation.

It’s the first time anyone has sued the government on behalf of the atmosphere using the public trust doctrine, which requires that governments preserve and maintain public resources such as water and air.

“It’s historic and really exciting,” Loorz said. “Who knows if it seems impossible and ambitious? Our planet needs to be protected for future generations, and our governments are not living up to it. All we need is one friendly judge to put it through. I’m hopeful that they’ll listen to what we’re going to say and commit to a plan.”

To see the 42-page complaint filed on May 4, 2011 in the “UNTIED [sic] STATES DISTRICT COURT NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA” just click on this title:Complaint for Declaratory and Injunctive Relief.

For more information on the iMatter Marches and lawsuit, visit http://www.imattermarch.org.

I hesitated to add this final bit, but my admiration for Alec’s courage and commitment went up several notches when I read the nasty comments posted on his website by climate change deniers. What is the matter with these people? Here’s a sample of just 3 of their vacuous viewpoints:

  • Hidethedecline: Brainwashed children in a lemming march for the new green world order, unknowingly working for world wide poverty and famine in the third world, fighting a threat that only exist in computer models.. Yeah, convince the kids that the world can be run on wind farms, solar power, bio-fuel (food) and peanut butter. Where will the march end? Off from a cliff?
  • Jimmy: How do I join this religous group? I want to make a few bucks fleecing these brainwashed kids?
  • Charles Higley: So, they are showing that they can misinform and alarm little kids. Bravo for them! They should be ashamed.

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