Nation’s weather scientists “deeply concerned” about Supreme Court greenhouse gas ruling

July 15, 2022

The American Meteorological Society, the organization behind the professional certification of thousands of the nation’s meteorologists, said it is “deeply concerned” about the U.S. Supreme Court’s recent ruling limiting the nation’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions.

The Court decided the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency did not have the power to cap greenhouse gas emissions on an industry-wide level because the Clean Air Act, which empowered the agency to regulate air pollution, did not specifically state the agency had the power to do so.

The ruling was based on a case brought by the Republican attorneys general of 19 coal-dependent states, including Indiana, asking the Court to review the limits of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s power to regulate the electric generation industry.

“The AMS is deeply concerned by the United States' inadequate response to climate change and the dangers it poses to the nation and all life. This inadequacy is illustrated most recently–but by no means only–through the Supreme Court decision West Virginia v. EPA,” the AMS said in a press release.

“Climate change is a highly solvable problem and the available solutions offer tremendous opportunity for societal advancement and climate protection. We applaud the many people throughout the country who are working constructively to tackle climate change, including many government officials, politicians, members of the public, scientists, and members of the business community.”

More than 99% of scientific research on climate change points to humans being a leading driver of contemporary climate change through the release of greenhouse gases. Greenhouse gases trap heat in the atmosphere, which, over time, heats up the earth and changes the climate.

The AMS recommends the U.S. adopt regulations to address greenhouse gas emissions in order to speed up the adoption of “best practices,” increase climate security, national security, the well-being of biological systems and economic vitality.

“People are changing climate and it poses serious risks to humanity. There are a wide range of response options that are well understood, many of which would be broadly beneficial,” the society wrote. “We will need to work together to harness human ingenuity to address climate change. Therein lies an even greater opportunity for humanity. If we can address our climate problem, we will have a new template for the wide range of challenges and opportunities facing us at this point in the 21st century.”

Nation’s weather scientists “deeply concerned” about Supreme Court greenhouse gas ruling