Photo by Markus Spiske, via Pexels.

Do we have a fundamental human right to a healthy climate? If so, how do we know when our rights have been violated? 

Global climate agreements are structured to keep warming below 1.5C (or 2.7F, for our American friends). But this number reflects a political compromise — what global leaders believe is politically achievable, not a scientific understanding of climatic risks. Below this threshold, science predicts dire consequences. (Think Biblical: floods, fires, pestilence, and the like.) Yet, in informal and legal discussions of climate change, 1.5C is treated as some kind of legal litmus test. 

Professors Jen Marlow (CalPoly Humboldt), Lauren Sanckin (U. of Washington School of Law) and attorney Andrea Rodgers join Gang Green to talk about their most recent scholarship and break down the state of national and international litigation to recognize the right to a healthy climate.