With the two seats that were essentially stolen by the republican party in the USA (the first which was kept open for over a year – because it was in an election year (never a reason before), the other of which was filled after voting had begun – completely destroying Mitch McConnell’s and his ridiculous rule), the Supreme court has now made a judgement that is so clearly political it suggests that the democrats will have to push through something big.
The idea that the EPA – The Environmental Protection Agency , no less, is not entitled to control and curtail the amount of carbon dioxide that is being emitted by the USA is laughable.
The suggestion is that when a president is not interested in engaging in fighting climate change, he has the power to decide. However, when you have a president which is not sticking his head in the sand- and is keen to stop the USA being a vanguard or indeed fighting for sensible climate change adaption, then suddenly the president must have the power stolen.
I have written in the past about how the USA is likely to be third hardest hit by global warming (only after India, and Brazil), and the idea that the supreme court might decide that the president cannot fight climate change seems absurd.
What now must happen? Surely, we must either have a constitutional crisis in the USA – possibly bought about by the democrats appointing a further 4 democratic judges, or the rest of the world must make climate damaging behaviour have such an economic burden for the USA, that they are forced to behave as a reliable partner.
Climate change denial seems to be over (at least in sensible quarters) yet in the USA, we have a supreme court that is saying the leader of their country (and the free world) cannot act to protect the American people from themselves.
There is still a very narrow path for Biden to walk. The EPA still has powers under the clean air act, and still has the ability to make states come up with a plan to deal with the mess they are creating. The EPA can also compel steep reductions in climate emissions from cars and trucks, as well as airplanes, ships, and trains. Only power plant emissions were addressed in the ruling – an oddity of its own. Thankfully, while the change might happen slower, the pressure on coal plants is extreme – in almost all the world, it is already cheaper to build clean power such as wind and solar, than it is to continue to make power with coal. That is incredible, and the idea that in the land of the free, the supreme court is going to stop all these companies from doing what will make money seems insane.
Will this be reversed? Or is this the moment that future generations of young Americans, and the rest of the world recognize as when the USA became a global pariah, forcing runaway climate change on all of us? How will Joe Manchin be remembered? Will his intransigence be remembered for its self serving financial motives, or his own states coal income – even though they are likely to be hit harder than most others by the coming changes