The young people suing the federal government in Juliana vs. the United States should come to Salem and shame the Republican senators who have walked out of the state government.

That lawsuit, supported by 50,000 pages of hard evidence, will force the government to set a timeline to stop supporting the use of fossil fuels that are the major cause of global warming. Cap and trade, which will lower greenhouse gases, may temporarily disrupt the Oregon economy, but the alternative is much worse. Global warming is already raising sea levels, melting the glaciers at both poles and probably causing the horrific weather conditions that are becoming the norm.

Many advances such as the steam engine, the cotton gin and the internal combustion engine have required economic adjustment but our economy has always grown stronger. Think how much worse for humans and other animals it will be if the world is too hot for life as we know it.

Perhaps then those state senators will be wishing they took their heads out of the sand and passed legislation lowering carbon emissions.

On "60 Minutes" last Sunday, the lead attorney said that Juliana was the strongest case she has had in her 20 years of practice. But like the Republican state senators the Justice Department is fighting tooth and nail to keep this lawsuit from going to trial because, as the attorney said, they will lose on the facts.

Neither Oregon nor our country can do it alone, but the U.S. is still a leader in the world, and if we take the lead in stopping global warming, then other countries will follow. Oregon can start by passing the cap-and-trade legislation.

Werner A. Mukatis

Corvallis (June 27)

The author is professor emeritus of environmental and business law at Oregon State University.

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