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Eugene, Ore., teen sues state to save climate

Rachael McDonald
Kelsey Juliana is a sophomore at South Eugene High School.

A Lane County Circuit Court Judge heard from attorneys today (Monday) in a lawsuit against the state of Oregon calling for more action to fight climate change. A South Eugene High School sophomore is one of the plaintiffs in the case.

15-year old Kelsey Juliana started her environmental activism early. She's organized rallies to raise public awareness. Now she's in the courtroom. Juliana says it's a matter of survival.

Juliana: "Me and my generation now. Our lives and our futures are at stake if we do not protect our atmosphere so we can survive. Not only are we the younger generation and the future. But we are most importantly now generation. So it is our time."

Juliana is asking Circuit Court Judge Karsten Rasmussen to order the governor and the legislature to establish a trust for Oregon's atmosphere. The state has asked the judge to dismiss the case based on jurisdictional issues. Rasmussen says he'll make his decision in the coming days.

Similar lawsuits are being filed in 10 other states. An organization called Our Children's Trust is helping coordinate the efforts.

Photo caption: Kelsey Juliana is a sophomore at South Eugene High School. By Rachael McDonald.

Copyright 2012 KLCC.