TRUST Campaign

Protect our TRUST. Restore our ATMOSPHERE.

Youth Activists

We are rapidly approaching a “tipping point” beyond which it will become virtually impossible to reverse climate change, yet our government leaders continue to ignore the existing, scientifically-proven solutions for reversing climate change. The human rights challenge is most succinctly summarized by Mary Robinson, “Climate change will, in short, have immense human consequences.” But there is hope, and it lies in the voice and power of our youth.

 

To help convey this message to our government, WITNESS is partnering with Our Children’s Trust, the iMatter Campaign and students from Montana State University’s MFA in Science and Natural History Filmmaking to co-produce a series of videos highlighting how climate change and government inaction is affecting the everyday lives of our youth.
 

 

November 13, 2013 - By Witness Administrator
WITNESS joined other organizations and advocates in filing an amicus curiae (“friend of the court”) brief in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit to support young people suing the federal...

WITNESS Video Leads to Fracking Debate

Source: Huffington Post | May 13, 2013

After a school teacher saw WITNESS' video about Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, she invited him to present to her classroom. His presentation on fracking was well-received by students, but created an uproar among some parents. 

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Colorado Film Festival features TRUST youth Xiuhtezcatl Martinez

Source: Huffington Post | February 19, 2013

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is the star of TRUST: Colorado, one of a series of environmental short films co-produced by WITNESS and Our Children's Trust. He's also one of the stars of the Colorado Environmental Film Festival (CEFF, February 21-24, 2013). 

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Denver Post Highlights Xiuhtezcatl Martinez and the TRUST Campaign

Source: Denver Post | February 12, 2013

Joshua Berman attended the Colorado Environmental Film Festival, and wrote an article about Xuih, his environmental passions, and the TRUST video about him.

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Glori Dei Filippone at the Des Moines Farmer's MarketGlori  Dei Filippone at the Des Moines Farmer's MarketGlori Dei Filippone and the SkyGlori Dei Filippone at the Des Moines Farmer's Market with her Friend ElliGlori Dei Filippone acting in Anne of Green Gables at the Des Moines PlayhouseGlori Dei Filippone at Grays Lake in Des Moines, IowaGlori Dei Filippone Cooking with her Mom at Home in Des Moines, IowaGlori Dei Filippone at the Iowa Department of Natural ResourcesGlori Dei Filippone at the Iowa Department of Natural ResourcesGlori Dei Filippone at LEED certified Des Moines Public LibraryGlori Dei Filippone Reading with her Sisters at the LEED Certified Des Moines Public LibraryGlori Dei Filippone at LEED certified Des Moines Public LibraryGlori Dei Filippone Singing at her Church in Des Moines, IowaGlori Dei Filippone with her FriendsAttorney Channing Dutton in Des Moines, Iowa
Jaime Lynn ButlerJaime Lynn ButlerJaime Lynn Butler filming with Sean Solowiej and iMatterJaime Lynn Butler filming with Sean Solowiej and iMatterJaime Lynn Butler filming with Sean Solowiej and iMatterJaime Lynn Butler filming with Sean Solowiej and iMatterJaime Lynn Butler fishing and filming with Sean Solowiej and iMatterJaime Lynn Butler fishing at Lee's FerryJaime Lynn Butler fishing at Lee's FerryJaime Lynn Butler filming in Flagstaff, ArizonaSean Solowiej filming with the iMatter CampaignJaime Lynn Butler, Cameron, ArizonaJaime Lynn Butler performing the Hoop DanceJaime Lynn Butler filming with Sean Solowiej and iMatterJaime Lynn Butler with her mom, JamescitaSean Solowiej filming witih the iMatter CampaignJaime Lynn Butler with her Letter to President ObamaJaime Lynn Butler's Letter to President ObamaJaime Lynn Butler at the U.S. Post Office in Flagstaff, ArizonaJaime Lynn Butler at the U.S. Post Office in Flagstaff, ArizonaJaime Lynn Butler Asks the Court to Hear her CaseJaime Lynn Butler Speaking Out in Tuba City, ArizonaJaime Lynn Butler & TRUST win at My Hero International Film Festival

  • The youth are asking our courts to declare:

    • The atmosphere is a resource we all share;
    • Since the atmosphere is a shared resource, it must be protected, in trust, by our governments; and That protection means adopting and implementing Climate Recovery Plans.
    • These plans, based on the best available science, would establish peak global carbon dioxide emissions by 2012, reduce annual carbon dioxide emissions by at least 6 percent every year, and commit to widespread reforestation.

     

    Here’s Why

    The science is undeniable. Earth’s climate is changing due to the excessive amount of carbon humans have been adding to the atmosphere during the past two centuries. Nature’s cycle is thrown out of balance and resulting in more frequent and longer droughts, floods, heat waves storms, wildfires and species extinction.

     

    This change is not only affecting our environment, but human existence is also in danger. According to a study published on September 2009 in Nature, “A Safe Operating Space for Humanity,” human activities have already reached irreversible tipping points in 3 out of 10 separate natural systems considered crucial for human existence. Scientists warn that exceeding these tipping points further will threaten the ecological life-support systems and severely devastate the viability of contemporary human societies.

     

    According to a 2009 report from the United Nation’s Human Rights Council, here are just a few statistics of climate change impacts to human existence so far:

    • From 2000 to 2004, an estimated 262 million people worldwide were affected by climate disasters annually.
    • Vulnerabilities to violent conflicts, especially for women and children, related to critical economic, social and political problems will be on the rise for 46 countries, which is home to 2.7 billion people.
    • As a result of unstable food production cycles related to sensitivities to global temperature shifts, it is estimated that 600 million people will face malnutrition.
    • Currently an estimated 1.1 billion people globally do not have access to safe drinking water, which is a major cause of morbidity and disease.
    • It is estimated that by 2050, 150 million people could be displaced by climate-related phenomena, such as desertification, increasing water scarcity, and floods and storms. Human migration is assessed to be the greatest single impact of climate change, especially within poorer regions and countries.

     

    Hard to believe, but the good news is we still have a chance to restore the balance to climate change. The bad news is time is running out and governments around the world are not addressing the issue with the urgency it deserves.

     

    The most basic role of a government is to protect its citizens from dangers too large and complex for individuals to deal with on their own. Global warming is just such a danger. Any legitimate government has a duty to protect the air, the water, and all the other natural systems that sustain its people. Everyone has a right to a livable environment and a livable future -- the young and the old, the powerful and the voiceless, present generations and those not yet born.

     

    Runaway climate change is one of the biggest human rights challenges of our time and threatens us all.

     

    More About Atmopsheric Trust Litigation (ATL)

    Atmospheric Trust Litigation (ATL) uses the Public Trust Doctrine, a legal doctrine enshrined in every civilized government to hold governments responsible for protecting the resources we all share in common and depend upon for our very survival, such as air, water, forests and wildlife. The Public Trust Doctrine embodies the human rights principle of intergenerational justice which, simply put, means that current generations cannot continue on their current, destructive path and leave the planet damaged for future generations. 

     

    When you combine the Public Trust Doctrine with the passionate youth who are fighting for a livable future, the result is ATL, an advocacy movement that can provide the legal mandate needed to compel governments to address the climate crisis. ATL provides young people from across the country a way to hold their government accountable for failing to safeguard the atmosphere they will inherit.

     

    More Information

    iMatter campaign | Our Children’s Trust | WITNESS Point of Contact: Kelly Matheson

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