Yes, EPA, Carbon is a Pollutant

April 2nd, 2007 by Doug Schnitzspahn

The Supreme Court ruled in favor of states and environmental groups suing the EPA for not recognizing carbon dioxide as a pollutant. This is very good news for the emergence of state and federal legislation that will start cutting back on the amount of carbon pumped into the atmosphere. And according to the New York Times, it will begin in the state that’s the poster child for smog:

The decision also is expected to boost California’s prospects for gaining EPA approval of its own program to limit tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases. Federal law considers the state a laboratory on environmental issues and gives California the right to seek approval of standards that are stricter than national norms.

The battle is by no means over, however. The decision is sure to rile global warming deniers, but it the court also said that the decision had no bearing on arguments for or against global warming. Chief Justice Roberts stressed that it “involves no judgment on whether global warming exists, what causes it, or the extent of the problem.” It should however be the start of the federal government taking the issue of climate change seriously.

It also may represent a shift in the place of environmentalism in the popular cultural consciousness. My good friend and enviro-hero Mike Medberry once told me that being an environmental advocate simply meant speaking for and defending places that had no voice. Finally, the mainstream media might be picking up on that paradigm. Enviros are now being perceived as the dedicated, thoughtful, unselfish, tireless workers they are, instead of constantly being marginalized as freaks. Even better, the mainstream is starting to realize that enviros just might be out to make the world a better place. Imagine that.

Read the full New York Times story here.

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