Pending Youth Climate Case Inspires Nationwide Movement
In response, the 21 youth plaintiffs of Juliana v. United States, their attorneys and thousands of supporters rallied around the nation on Sunday and Monday to demand that the kids have their day in court.
I stand in solidarity with @youthvgov today as they coordinate rallies across the nation to keep our government acc… https://t.co/8Nzxwk1ypy— Leonardo DiCaprio (@Leonardo DiCaprio)1540826518.0
More than 90 scheduled events were organized across 41 states, with key rallies in San Francisco, New York City, Boston, Portland, Washington, DC, Seattle, Colorado Springs and St. Paul.
The central rally was held Monday on the steps of the Wayne Morse Federal Courthouse in Eugene, Oregon, where the trial was supposed to take place.
There are 100 people rallying with @youthvgov in DC right now demanding that young people be heard! The US governme… https://t.co/h1LXSGRxL2— Karina Gonzalez (@Karina Gonzalez)1540829692.0
A "huge spirited" crowd of 1,500 people—including 500 students who walked out of local high schools and the University of Oregon—braved occasional rains to attend the event, according to organizers.
350 Eugene director Patty Hine, Oregon State Senator James Manning, the youth plaintiffs and their attorneys gave speeches.
"The power of the people is more powerful than the people in power," 18-year-old plaintiff and hip-hop artist Xiuhtezcatl Martinez rapped in a stirring speech at the rally. "This is a movement founded in love."
Hundreds of students and community members attend #LetTheYouthBeHeard rally in Eugene, Ore. in support of the Julia… https://t.co/43P6K6NmzY— Sarah Northrop (@Sarah Northrop)1540832171.0
The historic lawsuit was initiated by a group of teenagers and young adults against the U.S. government. They claim the government violated their constitutional rights to life, liberty and property by enacting policies that encourage climate change. The lawsuit was filed during the Obama administration and has survived multiple attempts by both administrations to halt the case. That was until Brett Kavanaugh was appointed to the Supreme Court.
"Our constitutional democracy allows us to protect our liberty without declaring independence from our government, so long as those who govern assent to review by our courts and let the facts be told," Julia Olson, executive director and chief legal counsel of Our Children's Trust and co-counsel for the youth plaintiffs, said in a press release. "These young people deserve that chance to present their case against those who govern and let the light fall where it may."
Kiran Oommen, a 21-year-old plaintiff, added in the press release, "On Monday, we rally for our right as American citizens to a fair trial. No matter how much the federal government might try to deny us that right, we will have our day in court. "
Watch here for a Facebook Live of the Oregon rally.
Supreme Court Puts Historic Youth Climate Lawsuit on Hold @youthvgov #youthclimatecase #julianavus… https://t.co/FZgME1aEg8— EcoWatch (@EcoWatch)1540225764.0
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By Katherine Kornei
Clear-cutting a forest is relatively easy—just pick a tree and start chopping. But there are benefits to more sophisticated forest management. One technique—which involves repeatedly harvesting smaller trees every 30 or so years but leaving an upper story of larger trees for longer periods (60, 90, or 120 years)—ensures a steady supply of both firewood and construction timber.
A Pattern in the Rings<p>The <a href="https://www.encyclopedia.com/science/dictionaries-thesauruses-pictures-and-press-releases/coppice-standards-0" target="_blank">coppice-with-standards</a> management practice produces a two-story forest, said <a href="https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Bernhard_Muigg" target="_blank">Bernhard Muigg</a>, a dendrochronologist at the University of Freiburg in Germany. "You have an upper story of single trees that are allowed to grow for several understory generations."</p><p>That arrangement imprints a characteristic tree ring pattern in a forest's upper story trees (the "standards"): thick rings indicative of heavy growth, which show up at regular intervals as the surrounding smaller trees are cut down. "The trees are growing faster," said Muigg. "You can really see it with your naked eye."</p><p>Muigg and his collaborators characterized that <a href="https://ltrr.arizona.edu/about/treerings" target="_blank">dendrochronological pattern</a> in 161 oak trees growing in central Germany, one of the few remaining sites in Europe with actively managed coppice-with-standards forests. They found up to nine cycles of heavy growth in the trees, the oldest of which was planted in 1761. The researchers then turned to a historical data set — more than 2,000 oak <a href="https://eos.org/articles/podcast-discovering-europes-history-through-its-timbers" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">timbers from buildings and archaeological sites</a> in Germany and France dating from between 300 and 2015 — to look for a similar pattern.</p>
A Gap of 500 Years<p>The team found wood with the characteristic coppice-with-standards tree ring pattern dating to as early as the 6th century. That was a surprise, Muigg and his colleagues concluded, because the first mention of this forest management practice in historical documents occurred only roughly 500 years later, in the 13th century.</p><p>It's probable that forest management practices were not well documented prior to the High Middle Ages (1000–1250), the researchers suggested. "Forests are mainly mentioned in the context of royal hunting interests or donations," said Muigg. Dendrochronological studies are particularly important because they can reveal information not captured by a sparse historical record, he added.</p><p>These results were <a href="https://www.nature.com/articles/s41598-020-78933-8" target="_blank">published in December in <em>Scientific Reports</em></a>.</p><p>"It's nice to see the longevity and the history of coppice-with-standards," said <a href="https://www.teagasc.ie/contact/staff-directory/s/ian-short/" target="_blank">Ian Short</a>, a forestry researcher at Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority in Ireland, not involved in the research. This technique is valuable because it promotes conservation and habitat biodiversity, Short said. "In the next 10 or 20 years, I think we'll see more coppice-with-standards coming back into production."</p><p>In the future, Muigg and his collaborators hope to analyze a larger sample of historic timbers to trace how the coppice-with-standards practice spread throughout Europe. It will be interesting to understand where this technique originated and how it propagated, said Muigg, and there are plenty of old pieces of wood waiting to be analyzed. "There [are] tons of dendrochronological data."</p><p><em><a href="mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Katherine Kornei</a> is a freelance science journalist covering Earth and space science. Her bylines frequently appear in Eos, Science, and The New York Times. Katherine holds a Ph.D. in astronomy from the University of California, Los Angeles.</em></p><p><em>This story originally appeared in <a href="https://eos.org/articles/tree-rings-reveal-how-ancient-forests-were-managed" target="_blank">Eos</a></em> <em>and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story.</em></p>
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Noreen Nunez lives in a middle-class neighborhood that rises up a hillside in Trinidad's Tunapuna-Piarco region.