Carbon Dioxide, and other poisons..

Posted: May 16, 2007 in Environmentalism, Global Warming, Politics, Rants

Bush orders rules meant to curb greenhouse gases

So, Pres. Bush rolls over for the greenies.  {{heavy sigh}}

But, more than the carefully calculated political capitulation, what really bothers me about the linked article is what inspired the move:  a Supreme Court ruling no less.

Last month, the Supreme Court rebuked the Bush administration for its inaction on global warming. In a 5-4 decision, it declared that carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases qualify as air pollutants under the Clean Air Act and thus can be regulated by the EPA.

The court also said that the “laundry list” of reasons the administration has given for declining to do so are insufficient, and that the EPA must regulate carbon dioxide, the leading gas linked to global warming, if it finds that it endangers public health.

Now, I’m no Rhodes Scholar, but neither am I Forrest Gump, and I must admit to a bit of confusion as to how exactly it has become the Supreme Court to makes such declarations!  I’m sure, if I took the time to look it up, that none of the Bio’s of the currently presiding Supremes includes degrees in atmospheric chemistry or environmental sciences.

Which, I think, is born out in the fact that under this “ruling,” the Supreme Court has just declared Carbon Dioxide a pollutant.  A toxin.  Something that might endanger public health.

So. Let’s all get on the bandwagon now to completely eliminate carbon dioxide, that toxic greenhouse gas bringing about the grim specter of global warming! 

‘Cept that, well, for this little thing called photosynthesis.  Perhaps you’ve heard of it.  It’s part of the process whereby plants convert CO2 into O-X-Y-G-E-N.   You know, that OTHER atmospheric gas on which all manner of life forms on this planet depend to remain “life” forms.

 Now please.  Some smart lawyer type like Patterico clue me in to how exactly it is that the Supreme Court can just up and arbitrarily declare this kind of stuff?  Strikes me as a bit imperious.  More of a “Hear Ye, Hear Ye” kind of thing.  Dare I say, a royal proclamation?  I believe we call it, “Legislating from the Bench.” 

In related news, the EPA has just announced that in light of the recent Supreme Court ruling, it will be levying taxes and/or fines on anything which creates Carbon Dioxide as a bi-product of something they call “respiration.”  Decomposition and ocean electrolysis are also being considered for extensive and burdensome regulation as well. 


  1. tamino says:

    Your claim is a total red herring. It’s not the supreme court that “ordered” regulation of CO2, it’s congress that passed the clean air act. The supreme court simply insisted that the president’s EPA must uphold the law.

  2. Steve B says:

    The way I read the article, the Court interpreted the Clean Air Act to now include Carbon Dioxide as a pollutant, a distinction not made previously, and “directed” the EPA to regulate CO2 if it (the EPA) determined it to be a hazard.

    Sadly, the article didn’t actually reference which case spawned the decision/legislative fiat, so I don’t have all the context. I’ll see if I can’t dig it up.

    I don’t have a problem with the Court “encouraging” the Executive Branch to follow the Court’s findings, but I think it’s pretty shaky when it starts making the kind of findings mentioned in this article.

    What needed to happen was for the Clean Air Act to be amended in Congress to include C02 as a pollutant, not merely a decree from the bench.

    My suspicion is that those behind the move knew they wouldn’t make it through congress with this weak push, and so chose the route of judicial activism instead.

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