My POV.

Mr President:

Please stop fighting us in court and stand up for us instead!

By Garrett and Grant Serrels, 17

Federal plaintiffs and iMatter Youth Council Leaders, Harrisonburg VA

 We can’t vote for another year, but we watched the Presidential campaigns with much interest. We stayed up until 1 a.m. the night of the election and heard President Obama acknowledge that he didn’t want the children of our generation “ threatened by the destructive power of a warming planet.” We are here to hold him to his word.

Our names are Garrett and Grant Serrels. We are 17 year old twins living in Virginia. We play drums and guitar in a rock band, play baseball, go to school every day, and we are suing the federal government to take climate change seriously and develop a plan to reduce carbon emissions. Along with several other youth plaintiffs, and two non-profits, we are standing up for the rights of our entire generation to inherit a sustainable planet. We went to the court hearings in D.C. about our lawsuit, where the judge first allowed the National Association of Manufacturer's to intervene as co-defendants with the government. So basically, the lawsuit has become a classic David & Goliath story: Young people against one of the most powerful industries (fossil fuel) and the most powerful governments on Earth. ​​​The lawyers from the Department of Justice and those representing manufacturers fought hard against us and the judge dismissed the lawsuit. Our attorneys filed a motion to reconsider on our behalf in July and we are still waiting to hear from the judge. We will continue to appeal until our case is heard.

We were happy to hear President Obama's words on election night and then at his first press conference, "I am a firm believer that climate change is real, that it is impacted by human behavior and carbon emissions. And as a consequence, I think we've got an obligation to future generations to do something about it."  ​So, we have a great idea. Mr. Obama, how about you stop fighting us in court and sit down with us, our attorneys, and our scientists to settle our case. By agreeing to implement a Climate Recovery Plan to reduce carbon emissions by 6%, and commit to massive reforestation, you will be ensuring an inhabitable planet for future generations. Stand up and lead our country forward with renewable energy and an economy based on honoring our national resources. Future generations will thank you and you will go down in history as the President who saved civilization.

 

We delivered thousands of letters to PBS to pressure the candidates to address the climate crisis....but nobody listened.
 

During the Presidential elections, we wanted to let the debate moderator, Jim Lehrer, know that we wanted him to include a question about climate change. So, together with many partners, including the League of Conservation Voters, in DC, we showed up on the doorstep of PBS News Hour to deliver over 160,000 signatures asking for climate change to be included in the national debates.

If you watched the debates, I'm sure you noticed there was NO discussion about the most critical issue of our time. Wake up America! We won't stop trying to jump-start a national conversation about climate change, and pressure our President for a climate recovery plan. Our voices must be heard.

Press from debate petition:

Huffington Post (Blog) | New Campaign Breaks GOP Silence on Environment (10/2/12)

Bloomberg News | Presidential Showdown Evokes Last Call for Climate Debate (10/1/12)

The Desert Sun (Blog) | Presidential debates: Is climate change on the agenda? (10/1/12)

Politico | Morning Energy: Opinions (10/2/12)

Denver Post (Op-Ed) | Candidates Should Address Climate Crisis (10/1/12)

Inside Climate News | Thousands Make Plea to Include Climate Change in Presidential Debates (10/1/12)

Politico | Morning Energy: Energy, Climate, and the Presidential Debates (10/1/12)

The Hill (Blog) | E2 Wire: Environmentalists get vocal on Obama, Romney silence on climate change (9/27/12)

Public News Service | Groups want Environment on the Debate Agenda (9/27/12)

Calgary Herald | Climate change a ghost issue in U.S. election (9/25/12)

Mother Jones | Will Jim Lehrer Ask Romney and obama About Climate Change? (9/21/12)

The Blaze | Experts Say Climate Change Discussions Low on Presidential Candidates Priorities List During Election Season (9/7/12)

The Hill (Blog) | Report: Climate change promises more tough summers (8/30/12)

New York Times (Blog) | What Will It Take? (8/30/12)

Patagonia (Blog) | What’s at Stake for the Places We Love this Election (8/29/12)

Responding to Climate Change | Obama tells crowd: “Denying climate change won’t make it stop” (8/29/12)

The delivery crew from League of Conservation Voters, Environmental Defense Fund, Sierra Club, Global Solutions, National Wildlife Federation, Moms Rising, and iMatter.

Press

Grant and Garrett Serrels accept the Atlas Award on behalf of Alec Loorz in D.C.

Survival of Us. Daily News Record front-page spread. April 14, 2012

EMHS Sophomores Suing Federal Government To Avert Climate Change Disaster. Old South High blog, May 1, 2012.

Grant and Garrett Serrels speak at a community peace forum in Charlottesville, Virginia with David Swanson.

Hburg Teens Sue EPA/Other Agencies. Occupy Harrisonburg blog. March 30, 2012.

Grant and Garrett Serrels speak at Occupy EPA protest in D.C.