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Archive for Friday, October 19, 2012

14-year-old Lecompton girl sues Brownback administration over CO2 emissions

October 19, 2012

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— A 14-year-old northeast Kansas girl has sued Gov. Sam Brownback's administration in hopes of forcing it to impose limits on carbon dioxide emissions.

Samantha Farb of Lecompton filed the lawsuit Thursday through her parents in Shawnee County District Court. It's part of campaign launched last year by environmentalists to file such lawsuits in all 50 states.

The effort is led by a nonprofit Oregon group called Our Children's Trust.

The Kansas girl's lawsuit argues there's a public trust for the state in protecting the atmosphere and fighting global warming from manmade greenhouse gases such as CO2.

Named as defendants are Brownback, the state Department of Health and Environment and the agency's secretary. A KDHE spokeswoman said the agency has not seen the lawsuit.

Comments

xyz 2 years ago

Go, Samantha!!

JWorld staff--Do a story and interview Samantha, please!

12

ksjayhawk74 2 years ago

You're right. The fact that this young girl cares about the future of her environment is very suspicious.

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Michael Rowland 2 years ago

Funny, I thought data is generated by scientists, many of whom are probably more conservative. People need to stop confusing science and politics.

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Mike1949 2 years ago

Certain Kansans do have that problem!

1

Babylon 2 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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paulveer 2 years ago

Of course it's lame, because you don't like it.

9

kernal 2 years ago

She should also sue China and India.

9

2 years ago

She should sue every individual who produces carbon dioxide.

0

2 years ago

Why should I get a break? Not only am I killing the planet by breathing out CO2 at the rate of 450 liters every single day, but I'm producing more than 100 kilocalories of heat to go with it.

Some judge needs to put a stop to planet-killing menaces like me.

0

Liberty275 2 years ago

Would you prefer the chair, the rope or lethal injection? I want a lethal injection of scotch and benzos if I have to be killed to stop listening to the global warming lie.

1

2 years ago

Captain and Coke if you don't mind. Though I suspect such a request would be denied lest those little bubbles destroy the planet.

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Chris Golledge 2 years ago

Bill is saying he doesn't understand the difference between stirring a pot and adding more spice to it.

I can guarantee that every animal is producing CO2 that was recently pulled from the atmosphere by a plant; that's a zero-gain cycle. In contrast, taking carbon that has been underground and combining it with oxygen is adding CO2 to the mix that was not in play before.

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paulveer 2 years ago

I can count the thumbs-up, my comment compared to yours (and mine isn't one of them).

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MarcoPogo 2 years ago

Whoa, Paul just got the "I Know You Are But What Am I?" treatment! That's harsh!

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paulveer 2 years ago

Well yes, Dist (blush) I guess I did.

My intention, though, was to invite a vote of other posters.

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2 years ago

It used to be that young people were taught how government works via a class project in which they asked their representative to introduce a bill designating the state rock or some such. However, today it's probably a better civics lesson to have the child bypass the cumbrous political channels known as "representative government" and just find a judge or 5 who will declare something a constitutional mandate. More and more, that's how the government actually operates.

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Clickker 2 years ago

Good Grief. Whoever her parents are, they should be flogged for using thier daughter this way.

Good luck with this Samantha, when you go apply for a job and they ask "have you ever been party to any lawsuit...." etc.

Of course, if you go to work for the Oregon Group that is behind this, you should have no problem.

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Laura Wilson 2 years ago

Being asked if you've ever been party to a lawsuit has to do with if you've been sued or had criminal charges against you. It has nothing to do with being a Plaintiff bringing suit. We have hundreds of clients who have to sue to collect debts or evict tenants for not paying rent, and for the other party breaking contracts. Do you really think if they apply for a job and get asked that question, they're not going to get the job because they exercised their legal right to use our court system for restitution and collection of debts?

7

Clickker 2 years ago

well, I have hired alot of people over the years, and when I see something like this I dont hire them. Just a huge red flag. Soooooooo, I disagree with you. If they "exercised their legal right to sue" in this case, they aint gettin hired.

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somedude20 2 years ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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paulveer 2 years ago

Sorry, somedude. I agree with you, but I flagged this for removal because of that last word, which it is commonly (even if not correctly) regarded as anti-semitic.

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paulveer 2 years ago

If you read my post, you will see that I acknowledge that the etymology of the word is often confused.

If you had researched farther, you would have found that many consider the word to be anti-semitic. whether correctly or not.

It's like flying the confederate flag. Since it is offensive to so many people, its use is offensive.

And since many people consider this word to be anti-semitic, it's use is offensive.

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MarcoPogo 2 years ago

We're now going to flag posts for words that other people don't know the meaning of? That could clear a bulk of the threads!

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somedude20 2 years ago

"Definition of SHYSTER : a person who is professionally unscrupulous especially in the practice of law or politics" http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/shyster

No need to feel sorry, at least you had the conjones to state it publicly and not flag and run.

1

paulveer 2 years ago

somedude20, Please read my follow-up (reply to KRichards) above. I stand by my well-researched statement.

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blindrabbit 2 years ago

Interesting to see all dittoheaded deniers drifting out of the carboniferous muck. This group has as their champion, the right-wing, religiously whacked-out U.S. Senator from our neighbor to the South (Oklahoma) in the person of James Mountain Inhofe.Dripping in oil and gas revenues and owned by the likes of the Koch-a-Kolas. This young lady has the foresight to try to protect her generation from the excesses of the greedy carbon gassifiers, and what does she get but a bunch of T-Baggers ranting and denying what is common knowledge.

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Flap Doodle 2 years ago

You get the prize today for most cliche-ridden post. Enjoy!

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UfoPilot 2 years ago

They should turn the electricity off to her house .

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Richard Heckler 2 years ago

Thank you Samantha for doing the right thing. You are a pacesetter go for it. Thank you Mom and Dad for bringing your brilliant children to our community.

We polluters do not own the environment or planet earth

We are borrowing from our children...

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Currahee 2 years ago

How about we all hold our breaths 10 minutes a day because we're all contributing to greenhouse gas emissions.

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Michael Rowland 2 years ago

Here's an idea, since everyone seems so up at arms about what the data says about the impact of humans on climate change (EVERYONE must have PhDs in climatology and their own labs and such), why not say "We don't know if we're causing any of it, we can't agree on it, but how about we err on the side of safety and go ahead and control our emissions, work on clean energy, etc. That way if we're not the cause, nothing happens, but if we are, then we're helping the environment."

2

2 years ago

@LOL. The US is actually reducing its emissions more than just about anyone, even signatories of a certain blowhard protocol:

"CO2 emissions in the United States in 2011 fell by 92 Mt, or 1.7%, primarily due to ongoing switching from coal to natural gas in power generation and an exceptionally mild winter, which reduced the demand for space heating. US emissions have now fallen by 430 Mt (7.7%) since 2006, the largest reduction of all countries or regions." http://www.iea.org/newsroomandevents/news/2012/may/name,27216,en.html

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years ago

The single largest reason for the drop in CO2 emissions has been the recession.

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2 years ago

That's important information. You'd better inform the International Energy Agency so they can update their reports. For some reason they think the reduction is primarily due to weather and switching away from coal.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years ago

From your link--

"This development has arisen from lower oil use in the transport sector (linked to efficiency improvements, higher oil prices and the economic downturn which has cut vehicle miles travelled)"

There has also been a decrease in manufacturing, which decreased the demand for electricity.

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GettinOlder 2 years ago

Wow bozo, Talk about cherry-picking one phrase out of that link to discredit Bill, but forgetting that basic notion of context.

For those that don't click on links (I usually don't except in cases like this where 2 people use the same link to make their point), here is the full text that includes both bozo's and Bill's takes. This is the first mention of the U.S. in the linked article, so I'm not conveniently leaving out information that hurts either's argument, just so you know. :-)

"CO2 emissions in the United States in 2011 fell by 92 Mt, or 1.7%, primarily due to ongoing switching from coal to natural gas in power generation and an exceptionally mild winter, which reduced the demand for space heating. US emissions have now fallen by 430 Mt (7.7%) since 2006, the largest reduction of all countries or regions. This development has arisen from lower oil use in the transport sector (linked to efficiency improvements, higher oil prices and the economic downturn which has cut vehicle miles travelled) and a substantial shift from coal to gas in the power sector."

So there you have it in context fellow readers. I'm not arguing one vs the other, but just don't like folks being misled. So after reading the whole thing from the link, is there even a mention of the "single largest reason for the drop"?

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Babylon 2 years ago

How could mankind pumping 5 billion tons of CO2 into the atmosphere every year POSSIBLY affect our atmosphere and health?

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roadwarrior 2 years ago

ya, great post - thanks for posting that. its great news. samatha will do her part to keep us from reverting to dirtier fuels when the prices are not so much in favor of reduced emissions. well done samatha...working for the future you want.

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Michael Rowland 2 years ago

I just want to know what's the issue with upgrading facilities to reduce CO2 emissions? Is it the lack of belief in the science? Is it the price tag? I'd think the price tag issue would be put at the wayside for right now. I would think making and installing the upgrades to reduce emissions would create jobs, put more money into the economy, especially if the upgrades were kept to materials made in America. Don't even have the gov't pay for it, have the companies do it. They pay for materials, they pay for new jobs.

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UfoPilot 2 years ago

They already have been.

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Michael Rowland 2 years ago

Then what's the problem?

Here's what I hear/see all the time:

"We need to protect the environment!" "BLARGLE! Tree-hugging, stupid hippy! It's not our fault, it's the leftist scientists with our their lies!"

If it's a non-issue, the 'stupid hippies' wanting something already being done, then it should go: "We need to protect the environment!" "We already do!"

Notice the lack of opinion in the response, it's based entirely upon something that could be easily proven while not being insulting, name calling, nor questioning the integrity of scientists (Please question the integrity of journalists reporting science though, they'll spin anything anywhere for their side).

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UltimateGrownup 2 years ago

Filing suit against the Brownback Administration for not following some hip liberal trend? Might as well sue Brownback for not putting a "coexistence" bumper sticker on his car or not getting a nose ring. The Brits say global warming ended 16 years ago: http://www.dailymail.com/Opinion/DonSurber/201210160177. The funny thing about global warming is that the movement's shamans avoid study of the only thing that really does affect global temperatures -- the sun. It's like a study of Babe Ruth that omits the baseball thing.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years ago

"Filing suit against the Brownback Administration for not following some hip liberal trend?"

No, for being callously stupid just because doing something to counter global warming would cause the Koch Bros. to be merely obscenely wealthy rather than disgustingly obscenely wealthy.

1

Liberty275 2 years ago

It's nice to see young people active in politics.

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Centerville 2 years ago

Nothing like dragging your child through this so you can get some publicity. This is so sad in so many ways.

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Armstrong 2 years ago

The eco-taliban is recruiting younger and younger I see

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years ago

Please provide a link for your "research." And please show us where this supposed new data has led to a re-evaluation by the vast majority of climate scientists.

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blindrabbit 2 years ago

She should sue the USEPA as well. They had a mandate to declare CO2 and regulate it's levels but backed off due to political pressure and the weak economy.

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2 years ago

"political pressure and the weak economy."

This is why grand international schemes like Kyoto will never result in anything but moral preening and political posturing. Everyone knows that CO2 reduction involves a decrease in economic activity. It demands less electricity production and less hauling stuff around. Some of that can be mitigated by clean energy and whatnot, but any nation that follows thru on promises to cut emissions by anything higher than 20% is promising a depression, especially in the short term.

However, there is no group of people with a lower tolerance for political/economic pain than politicians. If people are unhappy, they lose their fat cushy jobs. So no politician is going to act to cause a depression - they will always err on the side of more GDP which means more CO2. Given the choice between hitting the targets and keeping their jobs, well, goodbye targets. Why do you think they make promises that come due in 2050?

But that's fine - let the Europeans preen and scold. I notice that the European nation doing the best toward its Kyoto targets is Greece. Must be a very nice place to live today.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years ago

"Everyone knows that CO2 reduction involves a decrease in economic activity."

No, not everyone "knows" that. It will mean a dramatic difference in how we conduct our economic activities-- but nothing nearly as dramatic as what we'll get as a result of peak-oil and changes in climatic patterns that will make the planet uninhabitable for hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people.

Funny how conservative "pragmatism" always involves denial of the cliff we're about to drive off of.

1

2 years ago

"It will mean a dramatic difference in how we conduct our economic activities"

Yup, as soon as the first nation reduces its CO2 emissions by the promised 80-95% without half the population living in mud huts, I'll happily admit I was wrong.

Until then I'll be content to watch politicians promise the world and deliver the contents of the Johnny on the Spot. It's not conservative pragmatism, it's cynical realism.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years ago

"It's not conservative pragmatism, it's cynical realism."

So, in your opinion, our only option is just keep on keepin' on and just be glad that when the Titanic finally does sink, it'll be our grandkids who have to ride it to the bottom, not us.

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2 years ago

"our only option is just keep on keepin' on..."

That's like asking if the only option after jumping off a building is to hit the ground. When there are no other options, there are no options.

Politicians are not going to change course, because they can't take the pain that their promises would entail. So massive international efforts to get the whole world to use more expensive energy are not an option. I would rather have them not promise than promise and not deliver.

The best politicians could do in re peak oil is to let the oil price rise. I have no problem with that, and would welcome the technological and energy innovation that will come from people having to pay $6 or $10 for a gallon of gas.

But if politicians cannot live with $5 gas, why do you think they can give you an 80% reduction in CO2?

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years ago

I choose not to share you cynicism. That doesn't mean that you're not right that the human species is doomed to a massive die-off because we can't make the necessary changes in the way we produce and use energy. I don't share your cynicism for the simple reason that if we all believe as you do, then all we have to look forward to is the self-fulfillment of that very pessimistic philosophy.

"The best they could do in re peak oil is to let the oil price rise. I have no problem with that, and it would welcome the technological and energy innovation that will come from people having to pay $6 or $10 for a gallon of gas."

So would you support a carbon fee and dividend system? It would gradually increase the cost of carbon on at the source, with the money largely rebated to be fiscally neutral. This would level the playing field for other alternatives (and yes, I know, we'd need politicians to put this into effect.)

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2 years ago

" (and yes, I know, we'd need politicians to put this into effect.)"

Then you know my answer. Create a "carbon fee and dividend" system, and in a year you'll have all the second most connected companies excluded through congressional line items and the best-connected actually making money for creating more carbon.

Just let the price of oil rise, as the price of any ever-rarer commodity must. No more subsidies for domestic drilling and exploration. No more tax breaks on farm diesel fuel. Not a single tax credit, export credit, nothing, for any company, much less any company in the oil business. The price of oil will rise, and a gradual, continual, merciless rise will do more for innovation than all the cockamamie political schemes ever devised.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years ago

Those well-connected companies that you say will muck up the carbon fee program are the same ones that hire the politicians that get them all those subsidies you want politicians to eliminate.

So your prescription for fixing things is just as dependent on politicians as mine.

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2 years ago

"So your prescription for fixing things is just as dependent on politicians as mine."

Welcome to cynical realism.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years ago

Looks to me like just pure cynicism. No thanks.

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Kathy Getto 2 years ago

Unacceptable one-eye and you know it.

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blindrabbit 2 years ago

Forgot to add a comment about Oklahoma Senator James Mountain Inhofe in my prior about him, he the champion of refuting anything to due with Climate Change/Global Warming based on his well founded interpretation of the biblical passages and denial of science. Inhofe never met an oil spill that he did not like, kinda like the Beverly Hillbillys and Jeb Clampet (Texas tea), it's all dollars to him. Drove through Oklahoma last week and the State looks like it has been visited by the poxes of drought and elevated temperature over the last several years, things look dried-up , blown-away and vegetation dying, but Sooners and Cowboys doin' fine. Inhofe's time will eventually come when he is at the River Styx (oily) and Charon will float by with a gas mask and a Tyvek suit asking if his interfering of environmental regulations was in his best interest.

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2 years ago

Plus he hates kittens.

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Rich Noever 2 years ago

Go after those fartin' cows!

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jonas_opines 2 years ago

Samantha wouldn't hold your hand back in sixth grade would she, kiddo?

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jonas_opines 2 years ago

Gadhelyn asked: "I just want to know what's the issue with upgrading facilities to reduce CO2 emissions? Is it the lack of belief in the science? Is it the price tag? I'd think the price tag issue would be put at the wayside for right now. I would think making and installing the upgrades to reduce emissions would create jobs, put more money into the economy, especially if the upgrades were kept to materials made in America. Don't even have the gov't pay for it, have the companies do it. They pay for materials, they pay for new jobs."

This is the sector I currently work in, and I talk to these sorts of decision makers, and yes, it is absolutely the price tag. Depending on what compliance needs a facility might have (and it's NOT just CO2 emissions that they are legally mandated to worry about) the purchase and integration of control equipment can range from the $15,000 range to several million dollars. While a large corporation can eat this kind of expense, for smaller facilities (which are much more numerous in totality but get 0 press because they don't include names like Koch), they don't have the option to, as you put it, put this cost to the wayside.

Controlling the emission of pollutants, in some fashion, to create a livable and non-toxic environment is important, in my opinion, but at the same time, it should be understood that these regulations (potentially most regulations, period), create a playing field that makes it much more difficult for smaller organizations to compete against the monstercorps.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years ago

This underscores why solving our energy problems will require a very organized and systematic solution. And that means government, which is precisely why global warming has become an ideological issue rather than a technological/organizational one. A pure market solution isn't going to work in time to do any good, and that's why free-market ideologues are in such denial over the data and the facts.

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Water 2 years ago

I say we strive to impregnate every human female on earth to catapult the earth's population as fast as possible. Then, like bacteria in a petri dish, we will be forced to eat ourselves. Perhaps this will create vast numbers of serious mutations leading to vast numbers of new species and all will be right with the world. Ahhhh! Lots of sex! Continued complacency! Increased genetic diversity. Everyone wins!

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MasOuAn3 2 years ago

I type words on my pc computer ..... it uses 10-12 kWh a day ... YAY!!!!!!! I'm Helping

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lunacydetector 2 years ago

this girl's parents should buy her a carbon cookie credit

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verity 2 years ago

Oh, these young people today---they should all have to walk a 100 miles to school with only barbed wire for shoes, like I did. That'd learn'em.

One young woman trying to get involved in the world she inhabits sure has brought out a lot of viciousness. A 14-year-old can have thoughts of their own---I suspect any parent would agree with that.

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MasOuAn3 2 years ago

Should've went bare foot.....

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verity 2 years ago

No shoes, no education.

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2 years ago

"Looks to me like just pure cynicism. No thanks."

It's actually rather liberating. Once one comes emotionally to grips with the fact that no matter who is in office, they are not able to solve your problems, one can put political worries behind. Living in a nation and an age that is consumed by politics and the pursuit of power, it's a load off one's mind and very good for the digestion.

Consider what the average True Believer has to go through when problems don't get solved. If one starts with presumption that politicians have the power to solve problems, then the fact that they don't get solved involves one of two possibilities: Either the person not solving them is a bad person who does bad things with bad intentions, or the person is being hindered by those kinds of people. We hear this all the time. "Evil Obama is wrecking the country." "Obama would have fixed the country but for those evil Republicans." Most of our modern political rancor comes from the fact that True Believers have to believe their opponents evil, because who but an evil person would purposely get in the way of solving problems? It's not a matter of policy prescriptions; modern politics is a ubiquitous morality play, a replacement religion, a life-and-death struggle against wicked enemies who must be destroyed.

However, as soon as one accepts the fact that Obama cannot fix the country and can't fix the economy, that he can't make all the children above average nor make foreigners love us, then one is free to go about fixing the things that one can personally fix. I'm not at all kidding when I say, for example, that people who support public radio ought to simply step up and support it. I support it with my own money. But political people who think that everyone ought to support it have to fight with political people who disagree. And in the meantime, 90% percent of the people who listen don't support it - they apparently think being on the correct side of the battle politically is enough. It's a very poor way to go about business.

Once one accepts that the nation-state has probably fulfilled its potential and is in terminal decline, one can accept that Obama is a decent guy and that Bush is a decent guy and that even Bernanke is a decent guy (well, maybe) - they are, in fact, good guys who do bad things with good intentions - without having the deal with the cognitive dissonance of a Merrill or a SageonPage. I'd rather be honest about the limits of all politicians and their power than be forced by binary political morality to defend Mitt or Obama or Bush or Clinton just because my political opponents are attacking them.

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shotgun 2 years ago

Well aren't you special!

"The Church Lady"

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2 years ago

"your perspective fails is that individuals either have a moral compass or they do not"

If that is your conclusion, then you have missed the entire point. Let us take for the sake of argument - and staying firmly within the Judeo-Christian moral compass - that Jesus was perfectly correct that "The poor you have with you always, and whenever you want you may help them." Individuals can help alleviate poverty, but poverty will never, ever be abolished in any universal sense.

If that is the case, then it means that no matter a ruler's "moral compass," government is not going to solve the problem of poverty. No matter what a leader's moral compass, government cannot make the rest of the world love us. It cannot make all the children above average. It cannot make 2+2=5. We live in a time when people think that given enough money, government can do anything. It's bad math, not bad morals.

Your "beef," it seems to me, is simply liberals qua liberals, just as Merrill's schtick is simply to pound on Republicans. That's fine, it's great work if you can get it. However, please try not to be disappointed in 3 months when a new boss is sworn in, and he turns out to be the same as the old boss. If federal spending is higher at the end of Mitt's first term than it was at the beginning - and it will be, just like Bush's, with Republicans cheering it all the way - I respectfully suggest you re-examine your assumptions regarding the possibilities of politics.

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Water 2 years ago

Since my sarcasm wasn't clear, I hope Samantha's efforts result in policies and actions designed to reduce Carbon Dioxide emissions. I much prefer to take action where I can, to reduce my carbon footprint rather than being involved in political activism. Coincidentally, did you know wetlands are adept at absorbing oodles of carbon dioxide from the air? I know, I know, the plan is to develop another wetland area....good idea.

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Clark Coan 2 years ago

The organization is staffed by four young women in Eugene, Oregon. Wonder where they are getting their money. Maybe they have an anti-Koch donor. Since the Kansas Supreme Court issued a decision supporting the issuance of a license for Holcomb coal-fired plant, I suspect they will rule against this lawsuit.

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roadwarrior 2 years ago

They issued a permit on current law. samatha is working to have the law expanded giving the supreme court teeth to deny it. Very cool samantha. Best of luck.

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oldbaldguy 2 years ago

after having seconds on chili the other night, i should have sued myself. oregon might as well be sweden.

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