Few things in politics can feel more frustrating than watching policymakers fail or refuse to tackle the climate crisis or hold its perpetrators accountable. But maybe there’s another way.

This week in OtherWords, Farrah Hassen writes about the rise of the climate lawsuit as young plaintiffs take fossil-friendly state governments to court. Other states, she adds, are trying to hold Big Oil accountable for lying about climate science.

Lawsuits can’t take the place of grassroots pressure for bolder changes, Farrah concludes, but together they send “a powerful message to policymakers that, in the words of Montana plaintiff Rikki Held, ‘We can’t keep passing on the climate crisis to future generations.'” I think it’s an uplifting read and I hope you do, too.

Also this week, Paul Armentano lays out the emerging scientific consensus that marijuana smoke is a lot less dangerous than tobacco smoke. Jim Hightower shares a modern day outlaw tale about an NBA owner in Oklahoma City. And cartoonist Khalil Bendib captures the sad absurdity of the looming government shutdown.

New This Week…

Suing for a Livable Planet | Farrah Hassen
Can Big Oil be held accountable for damaging the climate? Can politicians who enable them? People are going to court to find out.

The Science Is Clear: Marijuana Is Safer Than Tobacco | Paul Armentano
A mounting body of evidence finds the risks associated with cannabis smoke and tobacco smoke are far from equal.

Outlaws in Oklahoma City | Jim Hightower
Oklahoma City Thunder owner Clayton Bennett is the kind of outlaw Woody Guthrie warned about — one who will “rob you with a fountain pen.”

Cartoon: Nice Country You’ve Got There | Khalil Bendib
Would be a shame if someone… shut it down!

In Case You Missed It…

Climate Is the Fight of Our Lifetime. Our Federal Budget Should Reflect That. | Lindsay Koshgarian and Alliyah Lusuegro
More than half of discretionary spending goes to the military. Only a tiny fraction addresses the most urgent threat to our security.

Meeting Union Demands Would Be a Win-Win for Automakers | Sonali Kolhatkar
But with corporations insistent on squeezing more profits no matter the cost, strikes are inevitable — and necessary.

Poverty Just Jumped — And It Was No Accident | Lakeisha McVey
I’ve lived and studied poverty most of my life. But you don’t have to be an expert to see why it’s spiking after lawmakers let antipoverty programs expire.

Bogus ‘Edutainment’ May Be Coming to a Classroom Near You | Svante Myrick
A far-right propaganda network is churning out subpar, silly, and inaccurate school curricula. Here’s how to fight back for our children’s future.

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Peter Certo

Peter Certo is the communications director of the Institute for Policy Studies and editor of OtherWords.org..

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