SCOTUS Shackles EPA On Climate Change — Justice Kagan Calls Bullshit: ‘I Cannot Think Of Many Things More Frightening’

June 30, 2022

Exciting life nowadays.

In the midst of shit, a glimmer of positive news — via SciTechDaily: ‘Just in time for worldwide Asteroid Day: a threatening space rock lingered at the top of risk lists around the globe for months, with a real chance of striking Earth on April 2, 2052. Now, ESA’s asteroid team working with experts at the European Southern Observatory (ESO) has officially removed ‘2021 QM1’ from their asteroid risk list, a result of skilled observations and analysis of the faintest asteroid ever observed with one of the most sensitive telescopes ever constructed.

Worldwide collective sigh. Deep dive into details at Space.com.

And, too, another announcement just in time for Asteroid Day, but way-way-closer to home:

Skim-details via The Washington Post this afternoon:

The Supreme Court on Thursday sharply cut back the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to reduce the carbon output of existing power plants, a blow to the Biden administration’s plans for combating climate change.

The vote was 6 to 3, with Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. writing for the court’s conservatives.

“Capping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that will force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal to generate electricity may be a sensible ‘solution to the crisis of the day,’ ” Roberts wrote, referring to a court precedent. “But it is not plausible that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt on its own such a regulatory scheme.”

Justice Elena Kagan, writing for the dissenters, countered: “The Court appoints itself — instead of Congress or the expert agency — the decisionmaker on climate policy. I cannot think of many things more frightening.”

Added Kagan dissent (Bloomberg):

This is not the Attorney General regulating medical care, or even the CDC regulating landlord-tenant relations. It is EPA (that’s the Environmental Protection Agency, in case the majority forgot) acting to address the greatest environmental challenge of our time.

The subject matter of the regulation here makes the Court’s intervention all the more troubling. Whatever else this Court may know about, it does not have a clue about how to address climate change. And let’s say the obvious: The stakes here are high. Yet the Court today prevents congressionally authorized agency action to curb power plants’ carbon dioxide emissions. The Court appoints itself—instead of Congress or the expert agency—the decisionmaker on climate policy. I cannot think of many things more frightening.

Yeah, except if Republicans win the midterms, and climate change accelerates as experts say it will, we be fucked. In the listings of bad shit here and coming, climate change is by far the asshole event above them all, set to take down all of humanity, even eventually the rich. And reports continue to indicate it’s going to be sooner, than later.
And SCOTUS deliberately dumps more fuel on the fire:

McKibben nails it (today’s New Yorker):

Given the record flooding in Asia, the record heat in the Mideast, the record fires in the Southwest, and the record rainfall in Yellowstone, there’s a nihilist strain to this ruling. Be careful what you wish for: the biggest threat to corporate futures today is not a paperback about “erotic free love”; it’s an out-of-control climate that will undercut financial stability. But the conservative drive to roll back federal power has long since become more ideological than practical; the right-wing luminary Grover Norquist updated Powell’s plan for a feistier age, when he said that he wanted to shrink the federal government to a size that he could then “drown in a bathtub.” But drowning whole communities as the sea level inexorably rises?

In an ironic context — don’t sweat the thundershowers:

Even with all that, here we are once again…

(Illustration out front: Salvador Dali’s ‘Hell Canto 2: Giants,’ found here.)

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