Out of all the things teenagers are known to do, suing the U.S. government isn't one of them.

Go ahead and add it to the list.

15-year-old Xiuhtezcatl Roske-Martinez and 20 other young people ages 8 to 20 have sued the government for its inaction on climate change — and so far they've been successful. This is, needless to say, unprecedented.


Two of the plaintiffs, Xiuhtezcatl and Victoria, react to the judge's decision.

"Judge Coffin decided our Complaint will move forward and put climate science squarely in front of the federal courts," said the plaintiffs' attorney, Philip Gregory.

The 21 young plaintiffs argue that this case is about their constitutional right to life, liberty, and property and that the government hasknown for decades that carbon dioxide pollution has been causing catastrophic climate change. Even with that knowledge, the government has failed to take action and do something about it to help future generations. In fact, the youths' complaint alleges the government has taken definite actions to make climate change worse.

They are having none of that.

When you hear Xiuhtezcatl talk, you realize it was only a matter of time.

All photos used with permission.

Xiuhtezcatl (pronounced "shu-TEZ-cuht") has been leading a youth movement to save the planet since he was ordering from the kids menu at the age of 6. He has assembled a global army of young people over the years with his organization Earth Guardians (which just keeps growing bigger!) to demand sustainable policy from world leaders. The Colorado-based organization has over 1,800 crews on six continents — and counting, partially thanks to social media.

In 2014, Xiuhtezcatl founded Rising Youth for Sustainable Environment (RYSE), a youth council that helps to plan, train, and execute an agenda to help combat climate change. Between the council's role in this federal lawsuit, which was filed on behalf of them by Our Children’s Trust, and the lawsuits they have on the way in other sates, it's clear they are onto something.

Not only does the lawsuit put pressure on world leaders, but the fossil fuel industry must also take it — and young people — seriously. Boom.

"When those in power stand alongside thevery industries that threaten the future of my generation instead of standing with the people, it is areminder that they are not our leaders," said Xiuhtezcatl. "The real leaders are the twenty youth standing with me in court todemand justice for my generation and justice for all youth."

Earth Guardians at Pittsburgh Power Shift in 2015.

For now, the plaintiffs have only been granted permission to argue the case in federal court. But hey, you have to start somewhere.

"Never before in the history of our laws have we seen a coordinated set of legal actions on this scale," said University of Oregon law professor Mary Wood.

It's inspiring to see these young people stand up for their generation and those that will follow. But when you talk to Xiuhtezcatl, you're reminded that they've been forced into this situation. Leaders have failed to act on climate change, so it's up to them to do something about it.

As he puts it, "We are the ones we've been waiting for."

So they'll do it themselves.

Joy

Man uses TikTok to offer 'dinner with dad' to any kid that needs one, even adult ones

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud.

Come for the food, stay for the wholesomeness.

Summer Clayton is the father of 2.4 million kids and he couldn’t be more proud. His TikTok channel is dedicated to giving people intimate conversations they might long to have with their own father, but can’t. The most popular is his “Dinner With Dad” segment.

The concept is simple: Clayton, aka Dad, always sets down two plates of food. He always tells you what’s for dinner. He always blesses the food. He always checks in with how you’re doing.

I stress the stability here, because as someone who grew up with a less-than-stable relationship with their parents, it stood out immediately. I found myself breathing a sigh of relief at Clayton’s consistency. I also noticed the immediate emotional connection created just by being asked, “How was your day?” According to relationship coach and couples counselor Don Olund, these two elements—stability and connection—are fundamental cravings that children have of their parents. Perhaps we never really stop needing it from them.


Keep Reading Show less

Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani wows audiences with his amazing musical talents.

Mozart was known for his musical talent at a young age, playing the harpsichord at age 4 and writing original compositions at age 5. So perhaps it's fitting that a video of 5-year-old piano prodigy Alberto Cartuccia Cingolani playing Mozart has gone viral as people marvel at his musical abilities.

Alberto's legs can't even reach the pedals, but that doesn't stop his little hands from flying expertly over the keys as incredible music pours out of the piano at the 10th International Musical Competition "Città di Penne" in Italy. Even if you've seen young musicians play impressively, it's hard not to have your jaw drop at this one. Sometimes a kid comes along who just clearly has a gift.

Of course, that gift has been helped along by two professional musician parents. But no amount of teaching can create an ability like this.

Keep Reading Show less

TikTok about '80s childhood is a total Gen X flashback.

As a Gen X parent, it's weird to try to describe my childhood to my kids. We're the generation that didn't grow up with the internet or cell phones, yet are raising kids who have never known a world without them. That difference alone is enough to make our 1980s childhoods feel like a completely different planet, but there are other differences too that often get overlooked.

How do you explain the transition from the brown and orange aesthetic of the '70s to the dusty rose and forest green carpeting of the '80s if you didn't experience it? When I tell my kids there were smoking sections in restaurants and airplanes and ashtrays everywhere, they look horrified (and rightfully so—what were we thinking?!). The fact that we went places with our friends with no quick way to get ahold of our parents? Unbelievable.

One day I described the process of listening to the radio, waiting for my favorite song to come on so I could record it on my tape recorder, and how mad I would get when the deejay talked through the intro of the song until the lyrics started. My Spotify-spoiled kids didn't even understand half of the words I said.

And '80s hair? With the feathered bangs and the terrible perms and the crunchy hair spray? What, why and how?

Keep Reading Show less