Video: The U.S. Supreme Court may be about to preemptively block the E.P.A. from regulating things like carbon emissions

It may surprise you to hear this, but some things about the way the U.S. government has handled environmental regulation over the past few decades have actually been fairly sensible. That’s not to say that they’ve done their job in protecting the environment or human health. They’re unquestionably better than nothing (as we may soon discover to our sorrow), but they don’t do nearly enough, compared to what needs to be done. They do, however, operate independently from Congress. If they see a pressing need to enact a regulation, Congress has given them the authority to take action based on their expertise. This is good, because not only are our politicians unlikely to know anything at all about science, they also don’t have the time to learn everything they’d need to pass every individual regulation through Congress.

And that’s assuming they wanted to. I think we all know that most of them don’t.

So, the responsibility for environmental protection has been delegated to those who can make it their full-time job. Obviously corruption is as much of a problem in the EPA as anywhere else in the US, but the way it’s set up is downright ideal compared to what we may be facing:

The TL:DW is that Justice Fratboy decided a while back that that delegation was a bad thing. It appears that in addition to its attack on reproductive rights, the Supreme Court is also poised to implement a blanket ban on all environmental regulations, unless they’re explicitly created by Congress. Do I need to explain whose interests this would serve?

Our systems have failed us. 


  1. Katydid says

    Ah, the real activist judges that the right were screaming about a few years back. It’s true; every accusation is a confession with these folks.

    You don’t need to explain anything to us living in this dystopian hell. These are the same folks who are so in love with life that they’ll happily withhold a morning-after pill from a gang-raped 9-year-old because if she gets pregnant from the rape and it kills her, to quote Martin Luther, “…so what, that’s what she’s there for”

  2. txpiper says

    If humans are actually causing climate trouble, the baseline issue has to be overpopulation. If 8 billion humans is bad, then 10 billion will be worse. And it won’t take long to get there.

    China, India and Africa alone total up to more than 4 billion people, and a lot of them want to have the cars, roads, housing, heat/air conditioning, abundant food and infrastructure that fossil fuels have enabled the west to have. If our problems really are anthropogenic, I don’t think they are solvable.

  3. txpiper says

    I don’t have any proposals. Like I said, if our problems really are anthropogenic, I don’t think they are solvable. Do you?

  4. says

    Here are a couple things to consider:

    First off, with fascism on the rise, responses to overpopulation are likely to take the form of genocide. I’m assuming that’s not something you want. Am I wrong?

    Second, the vast majority of emissions are driven by wealthy nations, and particularly wealthy people WITHIN wealthy nations.

    Nobody serious is suggesting that we provide a modern US lifestyle to the world. We shouldn’t even have it for people in the US.

    But it’s the profit motive that’s driving overproduction, not the population.

    Make sure people’s basic needs are met, and their bodily autonomy is guaranteed, and they’ll generally have fewer kids.

    But as far as I can tell there’s no viable path forward with population as the starting point, and if you focus on regions like China, India, and Africa as though they’re “the problem” when we know that they’re not the problem, you’re basically setting the wealthy nations of the world up to wave away the death caused by their greed, at best.

    At worse, you get deliberate efforts to depopulate, and I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but the record on shit like that is bad in terms of both the suffering caused, and in terms of actually achieving their goals.

    But yeah – how do you propose we enact a policy centered around population control?

  5. says

    And obviously I think they’re solvable, or I wouldn’t be doing this.

    They’re not solvable in the sense that we can make climate change just go away – it’s too late for that. But they’re solvable in the sense that I believe we have the technical capacity to solve them, and humanity has undergone huge revolutions in how we do things before.

    Success – by my definition – is by no means guaranteed, but it’s certainly attainable.

  6. txpiper says

    “First off, with fascism on the rise, responses to overpopulation are likely to take the form of genocide. I’m assuming that’s not something you want. Am I wrong?”

    Of course I do not want that, but I definitely think that there are, or will be, people who do, or will. And I don’t think that they are necessarily fascists.
    “Make sure people’s basic needs are met..”
    There is no treasure in the US treasury. We ran out of money $30,000,000,000,000 ago and the American dollar is quickly losing value. We cannot sensibly meet anyone else’s needs.
    “you focus on regions like China, India, and Africa as though they’re “the problem” when we know that they’re not the problem”
    Well, I don’t think we really do know that, and I mentioned them because they are developing, and development means monstrous appetites for energy. To illustrate:
    “In late 2021 China began construction on 33 gigawatts of coal-fired power plants—the most since 2016—that will emit as much carbon dioxide annually as Florida, according to data from Global Energy Monitor.”
    “But yeah – how do you propose we enact a policy centered around population control?”

    I don’t think there is a workable policy for that.

  7. txpiper says

    India bought an average $16.55 million of Russian coal a day in the three weeks through Wednesday, more than double the $7.71 million it bought in the three months after Russia’s Feb. 24 invasion, according to Reuters calculations.

    Oil purchases averaged $110.86 million a day in the 20-day period, more than triple the $31.16 million it spent in the three months ended May 26.”

  8. says

    And India will never reach the per-capita emissions of the US.

    And a HUGE portion of China’s emissions are in service to manufacturing for other countries. Do you seriously not know that? Have you been living under a rock?

    By your own admission you think population is a non-starter, so why is that your focus?

    What do you think happens when a lot of people stand around saying “boy, sure does seem like there are too many people, especially in THOSE countries over there”, or “why are you focusing on emissions when we all know the REAL problem is population?

    I’m sorry, but it really does seem like mass death IS the outcome you want, you just don’t want to say it. Why else would you keep trying to reframe the problem as one of population?

  9. txpiper says

    “I’m sorry, but it really does seem like mass death IS the outcome you want…”

    No, I do not. I’m not convinced that there are anthropocentric climate problems at all. Fossils tell us that the earth was once tropical from pole to pole, and carbon generating humans had nothing to do with it.

  10. says

    The same people who gave you that information are the ones saying that THIS climate shift is happening for different reasons.

    And as I’m pretty sure I’ve already told you, we knew this warming was coming decades before it was measurable. This is not a post-hoc explanation for something we’re seeing, its literally a scientific theory that resulted from over a century of research playing out in real time.

    It’s as well-evidenced as the theory of evolution at this point.

    Past warming events had causes. None of those causes are active now.

    And the simple physics is that if you increase greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere, the temperature rises. We’ve known that since the 1800s. Even fucking EXXON has accepted the reality on this since the 1970s, they just lied about it.

    At this point your denial is not meaningfully different from that of a young-earth creationist.

  11. txpiper says

    “the simple physics is that if you increase greenhouse gas levels in the atmosphere, the temperature rises.”

    Well, good luck with your efforts, but voters are not going to choose people who promise to make them uncomfortable, much less miserable.

  12. John Morales says

    But they will choose people who promise address the evident problems that are increasingly besetting them, and which will bring misery to future generations.

    (Of course, voters are also supposed to inform themselves about the facts at hand instead of blindly following some demagogue, and this is indeed a problem, but not the same problem)

    So I take this opportunity to note how this very blog is a source of information; up to readers whether or not to follow it up. This is a valuable resource, it can help people see what’s at hand.

    One thing is certain: ignoring the science is no longer affordable; we’ve (us humans) taken and taken and spoiled and spoiled and squandered and squandered our amazingly abundant and diverse natural resources, to the point that the kitty is almost empty. Vast dead areas in the oceans, vast spoiled areas in the land, the atmosphere ever-more polluted, global biodiversity being hammered, entire ecological systems devastated.

    The writing is on the wall, for those with eyes to see.

    And yet, here is another story about litigating the problem away, as if Gaia cared about that stuff.

    (end of rant)

  13. StevoR says

    @2. (& more) txpiper : So basically you want to blame and target for further harm the people who have done the least to cause the problem and are suffering the most from it already?

    How utterly unethical and disgusting of you.

    @14. txpiper : Yet people keep voting republican or “conservatiove” (regressive) eh? Go figure..

    @12. John Morales : hes also a science denialist too I gather.

  14. StevoR says

    I guess on the good side by coming and commenting on and reading (?) these various FTB blogs Txpiper is at least looking at a lot of better sources of info and superior arguments and ideas to his own. Not sure he has an open mind tho’..

    @ txpiper : “I don’t think there is a workable policy for that. ” & “I don’t think there is a workable policy for that.”

    Yet you claim it is the main issue and keep banging onabout it. Funny that. have you thought of possible solutions? No?

    Didn’t your God talk about ” people multiplying and filling the earth” and having “domininon” over it and if so do you think He only meant, well, folks like you and not folks like those living in African and Asian nations esp people of the global majority i.e. not white folks? How does that sit with yoru religious beliefs Txpiper?

    As for solutions?

    How about better education, access to healthcare esp reproductive healthcare incl abortions for more women (& others) more globe wide, better acceptance of LGBTQUIA+ people and most for all working on ending or reducing the poverty people in the Global South / 3rd World. The USA cracking down on religious and ideologically motivated anti-choice and anti-socialism and welfare propagandists and insetad encouraging more people in the rest of the world to accept science and Feminism and Queer rights and have a better social safety net so peopel don’t feel obliged to have lots of children in the hope that some live to support them in old age?

    Your thoughts on these non-genocidal solutions for overpopulation Txpiper?

    Oh and an hour long but also please watch and contemplate this :

    By Hans Rosling.

    PS. Might be an idea to bookmark this for future reference when Txpiper and others bring this up again..

    PPS. Sorry I’m late to this thread here.

  15. StevoR says

    @10. TxPiper : “Fossils tell us that the earth was once tropical from pole to pole, and carbon generating humans had nothing to do with it.”

    Funny how you acknowledge fossils when you think they suit you huh? Also fossils show the earth is exceedingly ancient at 4 billion plus years old not 6,000 and has changed greatly from a world that would have been uninhabitable for us early on to one that was covered with dinosuars and very different when we weren’t here. That our planetary climate has varied in prehistoric times withithour human action isn’t neither in doubt nor relevant here.

    The question isn’t what caused past climate change – usually atmospheric carbon dioxide levels as this clip discusses :

    The question is, what is causing it now and the answer based on the science and reality is us.

  16. txpiper says

    StevoR, the world is long on users/consumers, and short on financial resources. I don’t think there are a lot “possible solutions”. There are always conflicting interests. For instance, growing human populations means diminishing wild habitats.
    “How does that sit with yoru religious beliefs Txpiper?”

    Well, we have an area of study called eschatology that observes human history from start to finish. So, while I might lament calamity, I’m probably not quite as upset as you about unsolvable problems, especially those that humanity brings on itself. We do expect reckoning and restoration.

  17. says

    @txpiper – I always find it telling when you have to lie about what I want in order to say that nobody else wants it.

    It’s doubly amusing when it’s on a blog where I literally spell out what I want, and all of it will make 99% of the planet more comfortable and less miserable. Ensuring a basic minimum standard of living from which people can improve their lives is the opposite of what you’re saying.

    And no – the world is not “short on financial resources”, but I don’t expect you to be capable of accepting that, given your commitment to a destructive fantasy.

  18. says

    Oh, and txpiper? A lot of the BS you’re spouting is stuff I’ve covered in the past. You should read more regularly and thoroughly.

  19. txpiper says


    “I literally spell out what I want, and all of it will make 99% of the planet more comfortable and less miserable.”
    Well, nobody is going to argue with that.
    In regards to the things that you want, will they have to be imposed? Will there be enforcement involved?

  20. says

    Probably, because I don’t think the folks at the top will give up any of their wealth and power willingly, no matter how high the stakes. In terms of HOW I want to proceed, I want to empower the masses, so to speak. That’s why I advocate for people to organize locally, and practice taking action in coordination with groups in other parts of the country, or of the world.

    It’s simultaneously a way to build community as a survival strategy, in the face of both climate change and things like the current fascist movement in the United States. It’s also a way for people to start hashing out what they actually want society to look like, so that as we build the power to make change, we can also work towards consensus about how to USE that power, at least regionally.

    In terms of “enforcement”, I think communities should prepare for self defense, of course, but I’m not interested in violence against people – I just think nobody should be allowed to own homes they don’t live in when anyone is homeless. The terrible fate awaiting landlords, if I have my way, is that they’re guaranteed a decent place to live just like everyone else, and they own their home while they’re living in it, and can maintain and modify it as they see fit.

    It’s cruel, I know, but these are the terrible things which must be done.

  21. StevoR says

    @ 20. txpiper : I notice you ignored all of what I explained in #19 and most of what I wrote in #16.

    You really aren’t worth the attention given to you because yourefuse to listen and actually engage seriously and thougfhtfully.

    BTW. I gave you better solutions which you’ve typcially ignored and eschatology is NOT the same thing as history which is y’know, the field of styudying human history which also refutes your god and which along with archaeology disproves its literal creation mythology.

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