Often, kids these days are pessimistic; they don't think they have the power to change anything. But one plucky group of teens is standing up for themselves, by suing the U.S. government for not protecting the earth. Whoa, citizens!

A bunch of teenagers—in conjunction with, you know, a bunch of adults and their attorneys—have filed a lawsuit in San Francisco "arguing that key agencies had failed in their duty to protect the earth's atmosphere as a public trust to be guarded for future generations." The public trust doctrine, FYI, holds that certain public resources belong to the public, and that it's the government's job to protect those resources. And is the government protecting the earth, for you, the public? No!

Sure, skeptics might say "You're just a bunch of dumb idealistic kids. Your pie-in-the-sky ideas won't fly in the real world. Politics is a game of competing interests, and your interests come last, due to your lack of power. You think you can stop rich corporate polluters? Ha! Hahahaha! Ha!" But the U.S. Supreme Court is set to rule on a similar case soon, and a favorable ruling could give these kids a powerful legal leg to stand on. And you know what? "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."

Assuming they have unlimited access to high-powered attorneys.

[NYT. Photo via]