Night Owls, a themed open thread, appears at Daily Kos seven days a week
Dana Drugmand at DeSmog writes—Amy Coney Barrett’s Remarks on Climate Change Raise Alarm That a Climate Denier Is About to Join the Supreme Court:
During her Senate confirmation hearing on Tuesday, October 13, Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett trotted out a tired and dismissive refrain from climate deniers, saying, “I’m certainly not a scientist” when Senator John Kennedy (R-LA) asked specifically about her views on climate change.
After Barrett said she doesn’t have “firm views” on the subject, Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) pressed her on those views during the hearing Wednesday, where she continued to dodge the question. “I don’t think that my views on global warming or climate change are relevant to the job I would do as a judge,” Barrett said, adding, “I haven’t studied scientific data. I’m not really in a position to offer any informed opinion on what I think causes global warming.”
Her use of the “not a scientist” line, and her subsequent doubling down on the idea, drew swift criticism from activists, journalists, politicians, and other professionals engaged with the issue of climate change.
The backlash was strong.
"Not being an astronomer, I can't really offer an opinion on whether a giant asteroid crashing into the planet would be desirable," 350.org co-founder Bill McKibben quipped on Twitter.
In his newsletter Tuesday, climate journalist and meteorologist Eric Holthaus wrote that he is "pretty f'n pissed" that Barrett wouldn’t even concede that the climate crisis is the "most consequential issue of our time."
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.
“It’s a really big deal – and a sign of a complete failure of our democracy – to be confirming a climate denier to a lifetime appointment on the Supreme Court during a moment when urgent climate action is an existential priority.”
“The more the climate is forced to change, the more likely it is to hit some unforeseen threshold that can trigger quite fast, surprising and perhaps unpleasant changes.”
~~Richard Alley, Penn State University, January 2002.
TWEET OF THE DAY
BLAST FROM THE PAST
At Daily Kos on this date in 2009—Race-Mixing? Oh! Think of the Children!!
Since the Supreme Court unanimously ruled in 1967 in the case of Loving v. Virginia, it's been against the law to keep interracial couples from marrying the way Virginia did with its Racial Integrity Act of 1924. The ruling also knocked down the anti-miscegenation laws of 15 other states still on the books in the late '60s. But Justice of the Peace Keith Bardwell of Tangipahoa Parish, Louisiana, didn't get the memo, or rather, he did but won't obey the law. He recently refused to marry an interracial couple, just as he has done on at least three previous occasions.
Bardwell, whose elected term of office runs until 2014, told the Associated Press: "I'm not a racist. I just don't believe in mixing the races that way. I have piles and piles of black friends. They come to my home, I marry them, they use my bathroom. I treat them just like everyone else."
As long, apparently, as they don't try to marry his sister. […]
The American Civil Liberties Union and local NAACP are looking into the matter. But how long before certain denizens of the national pundithuggery start braying that stopping Bardwell's outlawry would violate his principles? We can hear Glenn now: "Denying him his right to deny other people their rights is denying his rights!"