EPA ruling far from ‘pro-life’

Letters to the editor 

Jul 9, 2022

Aaron Dunbar


On June 24, America’s far right Supreme Court voted to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark decision establishing the constitutionality of abortion in the United States.

But what I want to talk about is a second ruling made just under a week later. June 30, this same court ruled to limit the EPA’s ability to regulate greenhouse gas emissions by the energy sector. To quote NASA scientist and environmental activist Peter Kalmus, this decision “effectively shut[s] down the last best avenue for climate action by the US,” with “ramifications [that] could last thousands of years,” and will lead to “the deaths of millions.”

To put our present climate trajectory in perspective, it was announced last year that the world was on track to hit 2.7 degrees Celsius of human-made warming this century if current trends continue. While Chief Justice John Roberts scornfully dismissed climate change as “the crisis of the day” in the Court’s disastrous opinion, we’ve so far only reached 1.1 degrees Celsius of warming as of 2021 and have already experienced catastrophic events. Things are only going to get worse.

Around 5 million human deaths per year have already been attributed to anthropogenic changes in temperature, with estimates tying some 83 million cumulative deaths to warming by the end of the century. This is to say nothing of the estimated 1-2 billion refugees likely to be displaced by sea level rise or the inevitable wars and geopolitical chaos that will ensue. Nor does it include the nonhuman toll, namely the ongoing sixth mass extinction of Earth’s biodiversity, with species dying out at a rate of 100 to 1000 times the natural background rate and roughly a million species of plants and animals projected to die out within the coming decades.

To quote Noam Chomsky, “I don’t know what word in the English language — I can’t find one — that applies to people who are willing to sacrifice the literal existence of organized human life so they can put a few more dollars into highly overstuffed pockets. The word evil doesn’t begin to approach it.”

And now, for the same sociopathic criminals willing to plunge the world into the fires of a literal hell (notable among them, the Dishonorable Amy Coney Barrett, whose father worked as an attorney for Shell Oil for twenty-nine years), to go around labeling themselves as “pro-life?” Laughable beyond the point of parody.

We have an indisputable responsibility to slash emissions in order to prevent the collapse of global civilization and the untold levels of death and human misery that will result. And yet now, as it’s done for decades by this point, the bloodthirsty American right has decided to favor the short term profits of the fossil fuel industry over human survival itself.

However you personally view the issue of abortion, there is no honest way that the character of the American right can be so thoroughly misconstrued as anything remotely resembling protectors of life on this planet.