The court had three questions before it. -- Do states have the right to sue the EPA to challenge its decision? -- Does the Clean Air Act give EPA the authority to regulate tailpipe emissions of greenhouse gases? -- Does EPA have the discretion not to regulate those emissions? The court said yes to the first two questions. On the third, it ordered EPA to re-evaluate its contention it has the discretion not to regulate tailpipe emissions. The court said the agency has so far provided a "laundry list" of reasons that include foreign policy considerations.
Global warming is a HUGE public health issue. What I don’t understand from those who say global warming is not a result of human activity is this. If “natural” activity is causing the temperature to rise, resulting in melting of glaciers and rising sea levels that may result in areas of Florida and Manhattan and Bangladesh (and elsewhere) to become inundated, and resulting in formerly cool areas on mountainsides to be warm enough now to bring malaria carrying mosquitoes to villages that were originally built above the supposed mosquito line…even if all this (and more) is being caused by “natural cycles”…if we have the ability (and we do) and the knowledge (and we do) to reverse the trend or slow it down…shouldn’t we? I mean, aren’t things climate wise pretty neat the way it is now? Why not try to keep it this way and prevent millions of people from having to be displaced? Why not work to improve our air in ways that would decrease emissions, and would also allow those of us with asthma to breathe a little easier. Don’t just deny anything is happening or ignore it so that oil companies and your Texas buddies and Saudi buddies can make a few billion more.
No, this ruling is great. Congress can work on this, the EPA can work on this, and the Bush administration can continue to ignore it because they are being reduced to a non-player anyway.
In a related note, Blues artist Tab Benoit who stars in the IMAX movie Hurricane on the Bayou (http://www.mcwane.org/subpages/IMAX_Movies.asp) will be at McWane Thursday from 4 to 6 to speak about making the movie, saving the wetlands, and sing a few songs. The movie will be shown at 6. All profits benefit Voice of the Wetlands, and you can learn about their efforts here: http://www.voiceofthewetlands.com/mainpage.html.
Bobby and I went to a Voice of the Wetlands event in Louisiana last year, held at Southdown Plantation in Houma, LA (http://www.southdownmuseum.org/). We ate authentic cajun food and listened to foot stomping music, and learned a little about the Louisiana wetlands and what is and isn’t being done to save them. Here’s a picture of the sugar plantation home on that day.
Here is one of the bands playing at the festival.
The 2007 hurricane prediction just came out the experts are predicting an active season, maybe 17 named storms. El nino caused Atlantic hurricane activity to be less than expected in 2006, but in 2007 la nina is developing, and la nina usually causes and increase in Atlantic storm activity. We will just have to wait and see. Read about la nina development here: http://www.noaanews.noaa.gov/stories2007/s2805.htm Will you be prepared? You know these storms affect us here in north central Alabama. Remember Ivan? More on preparations later in the week.