On June 12 2023 District Court Judge Kathy Seeley opened the proceedings on the Held v. Montana case called “Climate Crisis”. Multiple lawyers lined up to take turns showing cause for action against the taxpayers of Montana. In this case the Constitution of Montana that was amended in 1972 included a new section on environment. The call for a clean and healthy environment is being used to claim that children are being irreparably harmed by the development and use of fossil fuels.
The case is expected to run a couple weeks with a whole gambit of testimony from legal professionals and purported experts on climate change. The claim of good science is settled in the debate over the use of fossil fuels and the emissions of C02 hazards to the environment. However, the use of natural resources like coal are a necessity of life in most all society world wide. The claim that Montana is in violation of the Constitution of Montana is the first case in the nation where a claim using the constitution is the foundation.
“The Youth Plaintiffs to this proceeding are children and youth in Montana, between the ages of two (2) and eighteen (18), who have been and will continue to be harmed by the dangerous impacts of fossil fuels and the climate crisis. Children are uniquely vulnerable to the consequences of the climate crisis, which harms Youth Plaintiffs’ physical and psychological health and safety, interferes with family and cultural foundations and integrity, and causes economic deprivations. The climate crisis is degrading and depleting Montana’s unique and precious environment and natural resources, which the Youth Plaintiffs depend on for their safety and survival. Because of their unique vulnerabilities and age, Youth Plaintiffs are disproportionately harmed by the climate crisis and face lifelong hardships. Instead of using governmental authority to exacerbate the existing dangers and risks of harm to these children, Defendants must use their existing authorities to take science-based actions to reduce their risk of harm”.Montanans for Affordable & Reliable Energy
The push from those supporting this legal challenge appeared to have their headquarters conveniently placed across the street from the courthouse at the Myrna Loy Center . A school bus was there from Missoula County that brought in support for the case from that area. Parking in the area of the courthouse was extremely limited. The First Judicial Court system was likely running on reserve by the end of the day.
Inside the courtroom the fire code limits were likely at the maximum capacity with the youth and their adult plaintiffs patiently awaiting prepared testimony. The first witness brought forward by the plaintiffs was a little old lady that purported to have a heavy hand in the development of the 1972 Constitution of Montana.
The Exploitation of youth under the claim that farmers are at fault and that the human life is not healthy to have Co2 leaves to wonder where the science is at in this highly politicized issue.
The proceedings are expected to last a couple weeks. It is unknown at this time what the defense has in store, but it is expected they will fight for common sense and respect for the legislative process and the separation of power.