Supreme Court: global warming exists

The US Supreme Court ruled 5-4 April 2 that global warming is real, and that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts lost valuable shoreline because of its effects. Writing for the majority in Massachusetts v. Environmental Protection Agency, Justice John Paul Stevens found: “A well-documented rise in global temperatures has coincided with a significant increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.”

Massachusetts argued that Congress ordered the EPA to protect Massachusetts when it enacted Clean Air Act regulations controlling emissions from new motor vehicle engines, and that the rise in sea levels associated with global warming has already harmed the state. The EPA—contrary to the opinion of its former general counsels—countered that “the Clean Air Act does not authorize EPA to address global climate change…and that even if the agency had the authority to set up greenhouse gas emission standards, it would be unwise to do so at this time.” The high court ruled for Massachusetts, finding, “At a minimum…EPA’s refusal to regulate such emissions contributes to Massachusetts’ injuries.”

In his dissenting opinion, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote sarcastically: “[D]o not worry that other countries will contribute far more to global warming than will US automobile emissions; someone is bound to invent something, and places like the People’s Republic of China or India will surely require use of the new technology, regardless of cost.” Fellow dissenter Anton Scalia wrote “that this Court has no jurisdiction to decide this case because petitioners lack standing.” (Mineweb, April 3)

See our last post on global climate destabilization.