Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett’s lack of firm views on climate change has left many environmentalists worried and appalled.
“Quite simply, if you’re neutral on climate change, you’re complicit in the collapse of the planetary ecosystem upon which the survival of every living thing depends,” says meteorologist Eric Holthaus.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett was nominated by President Donald Trump to replace Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on the Supreme Court and is currently going through confirmation hearings.
On Tuesday evening she was asked about climate change and her response was: “I’m certainly not a scientist. I have read things about climate change. I would not say I have firm views on it.”
Amy Coney Barrett tells Sen. Kennedy: “I have read things about climate change. I would not say I have firm views on it.” pic.twitter.com/kG3cv8XN5Q— Johnny Verhovek (@JTHVerhovek) October 13, 2020
With this comment came a lot of backlash from environmentalists, experts, and activists. According to EcoWatch, this is a deeply worrying sign. Many climate fights in the U.S. right now, focused on trying to hold the government and companies accountable, could end up in the Supreme Court.
Not being an astronomer, I can’t really offer an opinion on whether a giant asteroid crashing into the planet would be desirable https://t.co/9oc8RcXpnX— Bill McKibben (@billmckibben) October 14, 2020
“I have read things about gravity. I would not say I have firm views on it.”— Sunrise Movement 🌅 (@sunrisemvmt) October 13, 2020
This was already a sham process, but this answer is disqualifying. https://t.co/GcYEGqfz5Z
Is the Earth flat or round? I’ve read things, I would not say I have firm views on it. https://t.co/t8zqGk69kB— Chris Andrea Robert (@chrisandrea) October 14, 2020
“It’s the line ‘I’m certainly not a scientist’ that is perhaps so surreal. This has been the standard, canned answer that climate deniers have given for years. But now it’s 2020. We’re in a pandemic. You don’t need to be a scientist to be able to listen to scientists. For someone whose ENTIRE JOB depends on carefully evaluating evidence, not having any ‘firm views’ on climate change is an unrecoverable fatal flaw,” writes Holthaus.
Since Republicans control the U.S. Senate, Barrett is all but certain to be confirmed – likely in the next three weeks before the presidential election – and would give conservatives a 6-3 majority on the Supreme Court and broad authority to overturn judicial precedent on everything from health care to women’s rights to climate change. Since Barrett is only 48 years old and the court seat is a lifetime appointment, her thoughts could almost single-handedly shape the next three decades of US climate policy during a time when radical change “in all aspects of society” is required in order to preserve a stable climate system, reports The Phoenix.