Skip to main content

Why are the billionaires always laughing?

Because they know the corporate media will never call bullshit on their bullshit.

Why are the billionaires laughing?

It’s easy to laugh when the corporate press treats you as a glorious success instead of the epitome of a broken social order. Billionaires laugh because they know the corporate media prefers to fawn over them rather than hold them to account.

Today, we ask you to support our nonprofit, independent journalism because we are not impressed by billionaires flying into space, their corporations despoiling our health and planet, or their vast fortunes safely concealed in tax havens across the globe. We are not laughing.

We are hard at work producing journalism for the common good. With our Fall Campaign underway, please support this mission today. We cannot do it without you.

Support Our Work -- Join the small group of generous readers who donate, keeping Common Dreams free for millions of people each year. Every donation—large or small—helps us bring you the news that matters.

science kids

A child holds a sign at the March for Science in Washington, D.C. in April 2017. (Photo: Molly Adams/Flickr/cc)

Children Sue Trump Admin for 'Reckless and Deliberate Indifference' to Climate Threat

"We must hold the federal government accountable for the long-term environmental harm that is propagating under its direction," said Clean Air Council's Joseph Minott. "It's time to fight back."

Andrea Germanos

Two Pennsylvania children and a Philadelphia-based environmental organization filed suit on Monday against the Trump administration for its gutting of climate regulations, laws, and policies—actions which show the government's "reckless and deliberate indifference to the established clear and present dangers of climate change."

"We must hold the federal government accountable for the long-term environmental harm that is propagating under its direction. It's time to fight back," said Clean Air Council executive director and chief counsel Joseph Minott.

The suit (pdf), filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, names as defendants President Donald Trump, the Energy Department, Energy Secretary Rick Perry, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), and EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, and argues that through the administration's rollbacks, which interfere "with a stable climate system," they violated the public trust doctrine and infringed upon the defendants' Fifth and Ninth Amendment rights.

Among the actions cited in the suit are ditching the Paris climate accord, stopping methane emissions reporting by oil and gas companies, approving the Keystone XL pipeline, proposing cuts to federal agencies dealing with climate change, proposing the repeal of the Clean Power Plan, and purging scientists from the EPA board of scientific counselors.

All such actions, the suit argues, "will cause irreversible and catastrophic harm to the natural systems critical to plaintiffs' rights to life, liberty, and property." They will also "cause human deaths, shorten human lifespans, result in widespread damage to property, threaten human food sources, and dramatically alter the planet's ecosystem, thereby violating plaintiffs' fundamental right to a life-sustaining climate system."

The suit adds that the administration has relied "on junk science to wage a war on facts, data, and reliable principles and methods arising out of scientific, technical, and specialized knowledge" in its threats to "a life-sustaining climate system and an atmosphere and oceans that are free from dangerous levels of anthropogenic CO2." That's despite the fact that "the United States government has known for decades that climate change presents a clear and present danger to the health and welfare of its citizens and an immediate threat to the planet."

The child plaintiffs are directly impacted by the administration's actions, the suit says.

The seven-year-old plaintiff is experiencing direct harm as a result of the worsening climate situation, not only because of his allergies but because of increasing temperatures and extreme weather that have interfered with his enjoyment of outdoor activities. For the 11-year-old plaintiff, climate change is worsening his asthma. On top of that, he's "experienc[ing] anxiety about the potentially irreversible impact of climate change on the planet and future generations, including his own children and grandchildren."

According to Carroll Muffett, president of the Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL), "While the U.S. government's actions on climate change prior to this administration fall far short of what is needed, they provide a baseline level of protection that cannot and must not be reversed"—yet "the Trump administration continues its campaign to eviscerate vital climate protections and destroy the scientific tools needed to assess, reduce, and respond to climate risks."

"From undermining the Paris agreement to dismantling vital climate satellites to jettisoning guidance on climate and infrastructure, the defendants have demonstrated a reckless disregard for the lives, livelihoods, and rights of U.S. residents and people around the world. In so doing," he continued, "they have created a clear violation of fundamental rights that can and should be urgently addressed by the courts."

Our work is licensed under Creative Commons (CC BY-NC-ND 3.0). Feel free to republish and share widely.

This is the world we live in. This is the world we cover.

Because of people like you, another world is possible. There are many battles to be won, but we will battle them together—all of us. Common Dreams is not your normal news site. We don't survive on clicks. We don't want advertising dollars. We want the world to be a better place. But we can't do it alone. It doesn't work that way. We need you. If you can help today—because every gift of every size matters—please do. Without Your Support We Simply Don't Exist.

'When We Organize, We Win': Ocasio-Cortez Joins India Walton at Rally in Buffalo

The two progressives joined striking hospital workers on the picket line at Mercy Hospital after the early voting rally.

Julia Conley ·

Fatal Film Set Shooting Followed Outcry by Union Crew Members Over Safety Protocols

"When union members walk off a set about safety concerns, maybe 'hiring scabs' isn’t the solution you think it is."

Julia Conley ·

New Whistleblower Sparks Calls to 'Crack Down on Facebook and All Big Tech Companies'

Hours after another ex-employee filed a formal complaint, reporting broke on internal documents that show the tech giant's failure to address concerns about content related to the 2020 U.S. election.

Jessica Corbett ·

'Catastrophic and Irreparable Harm' to Wolves Averted as Wisconsin Judge Cancels Hunt

"We are heartened by this rare instance of reason and democracy prevailing in state wolf policy," said one conservation expert.

Brett Wilkins ·

West Virginia Constituents Decry 'Immorality' of Joe Manchin

"West Virginia has been locked into an economy that forces workers into low-wage jobs with no hope for advancement, and after decades of this our hope is dwindling," said one West Virginian. "The cuts that Sen. Manchin has negotiated into the agenda hurt our state."

Julia Conley ·

Support our work.

We are independent, non-profit, advertising-free and 100% reader supported.

Subscribe to our newsletter.

Quality journalism. Progressive values.
Direct to your inbox.

Subscribe to our Newsletter.

Common Dreams, Inc. Founded 1997. Registered 501(c3) Non-Profit | Privacy Policy
Common Dreams Logo