Justice Scalia pokes fun at 'predicted cataclysm' of global warming

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Mike Sheehan
Published: Thursday November 30, 2006

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Supreme Court justices expressed their doubts about the scientific expertise behind global warming during testimony on "a challenge to the Bush administration's refusal to regulate emissions of greenhouse gases in new vehicles," The Washington Post reports.

Justice Antonin Scalia, in particular, made his skepticism known as he made several revelatory remarks. "When is the predicted cataclysm?" he asked an attorney representing twelve states who object to the EPA's relaxation of emissions standards for new automobiles.

In another exchange with the attorney, James R. Milkey, Scalia admitted to not understanding Earth's atmospheric divisions:

"Respectfully, Your Honor, it is not the stratosphere. It's the troposphere," Milkey said.

"Troposphere, whatever. I told you before I'm not a scientist," Scalia said to laughter. "That's why I don't want to have to deal with global warming, to tell you the truth."

The Huffington Post has prominently featured Scalia's distate for tackling climate change, a topic of growing interest around the world despite battles in America over its scientific viability.

Robert Barnes, writing for the Post, reports that "the court's decision could affect other efforts by environmentalists to force action on emissions from power plants -- stalled in the courts -- and shed light on the appropriateness of individual states' actions."

But when facing a "sometimes skeptical" court, Barnes notes, it's unclear whether proponents of the effort "can even show they are facing the kind of imminent harm that is required before they can press their case."

The full article can be viewed here.