US supreme court backs climate consensus

In: Uncategorized

3 Apr 2007

America’s supreme court ruled yesterday that carbon dioxide is a pollutant and the federal government has a right to regulate emissions. The New York Times welcomed the verdict saying:

“It is a victory for a world whose environment seems increasingly threatened by climate change. It is a vindication for states like California that chose not to wait for the federal government and acted to limit emissions that contribute to global warming. And it should feed the growing momentum on Capitol Hill for mandatory limits on carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas.”

In contrast the Wall Street Journal condemned what it called he “jolly green justices”:

“[I]sn’t this something for Congress to decide? Global warming was already a hot topic in 1990, when Congress last amended the Clean Air Act. Yet it declined to enact amendments that would have forced the EPA [Environmental Protection Agency] to set CO2 emissions standards. The Members have since been engaged in periodic brawls over whether and how to regulate CO2, but, voila, the High Court has now declared that it shall be so.”

In my view the Journal is closer to the truth. Political decisions on how to react to climate change should be a matter for political debate. Science is best left to the scientists. Leaving such decisions to judges is the worst possible outcome.

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