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Powell's Books Presents Lee van der Voo in Conversation With Isaac Vergun
Do children have a right to inherit a livable planet, and if so, is the government obliged to protect it? That’s the question posed by Juliana v. United States, one of the most critical lawsuits of our time. In her new book, AS THE WORLD BURNS (Timber Press), award-winning investigative journalist Lee van der Voo reports on Juliana v. the United States. Combining unparalleled access to the plaintiffs and reporting on the natural disasters that form an urgent backdrop to the story, Van der Voo shares a timely and important story about the environment, the law, and the new generation of activists. Twenty-one young people from across America sued the federal government over climate change, charging that U.S. actions to promote a fossil fuel economy violate their constitutional rights to life, liberty, and property. Their trial could be the civil rights trial of the century. But it hasn’t happened yet. While rare legal tactics attempt to stymie the case, AS THE WORLD BURNS follows the plight of the young plaintiffs, chronicling their legal battle through a year of drought and wildfire, floods and hurricanes, and the most tumultuous political season in modern history. Van der Voo will be joined in conversation by Isaac Vergun, federal plaintiff in Juliana v. U.S.​ and cofounder and youth climate leader with Youth Acting for our Earth.

Oct 2, 2020 06:00 PM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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Lee van der Voo
Lee van der Voo is an award-winning investigative and environmental journalist whose work has appeared in the New York Times, The Atlantic, and The Guardian, among others. Her 2016 book The Fish Market, which chronicles the gentrification of the sea in the name of sustainable seafood, won an Oregon Book Award for General Nonfiction.
Isaac Vergun
Isaac Vergun is a 18-year old sprinter, cross country runner, and climate activist and federal plaintiff in the case Juliana et al. vs. U.S. At 11-years old, Isaac got the attention of Bill McKibben by stepping onto the stage to ask about starting a divestment campaign for his hometown of Beaverton, Oregon. Isaac co-founded Youth Acting for our Earth (YAE!), bringing the program to four states and counting. He trained to become a Climate Reality Leader and was twice elected to the Global Boards of Plant-for-the-Planet, as well as being elected president. He participated in Youth Summits in Germany and Italy and inspired adults from around the world in Monaco at PlantAhead. Honored as a Youth in Action by the Marshallese Community, Isaac is a leader of his high school’s Black Student Union, part of Oregon Youth Legislative Initiative, and a teen board member of the Oregon Jewish Community Youth Foundation.