Facebook Instagram Twitter YouTube

The Court is Trying To Kill You: SCOTUS Bolsters Climate Change

The Supreme Court just gutted the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s power to regulate emissions. It’s time for the climate movement to stand up and fight back against the capitalist institutions that are killing the planet.

Facebook Twitter Share
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

As report after report is issued signaling that we are on the brink of capitalism-induced climate collapse, the logical thing to do would be to take every possible step to protect the climate. But on Thursday, the Supreme Court showed once again that it serves only to protect ruling class interests by limiting the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)’s  ability to curb dangerous emissions.

In a 6-3 decision, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) ruled on the side of West Virginia — also backed by a number of other states such as Texas and Kentucky — after the state brought a case demanding that the EPA be limited in its ability to regulate gas emissions. The case was ironically based on former President Obama’s Clean Power Plan, which proposed to cut coal emissions that never actually came into effect. Regardless, states argued that the EPA should not have regulative authority to limit pollution, and as plaintiff states claim, “reshape economies.” 

Writing in the majority opinion, Chief Justice Roberts said 

Capping carbon dioxide emissions at a level that will force a nationwide transition away from the use of coal to generate electricity may be a sensible ‘solution to the crisis of the day’…But it is not plausible that Congress gave EPA the authority to adopt on its own such a regulatory scheme in Section 111(d). A decision of such magnitude and consequence rests with Congress itself, or an agency acting pursuant to a clear delegation from that representative body.

SCOTUS has made this ruling at the same time that we see the results of capitalism-induced climate collapse unfolding in front of our very eyes: rising temperatures, deadly heat waves, species and life system collapse, and “once in a lifetime” storms that are seeming more and more like “once a month” storms just to name a few. These conditions predominantly harm the poor and working class around the globe, especially those of color and in the Global South. These events only stand to get worse. As the most recent U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report explains, we only have a short window in which to prevent irreversible levels of global warming. SCOTUS recently showed they do not care about maintaining access to lifesaving healthcare with their recent decision to overturn Roe v. Wade, and now they are attacking the already deeply insufficient climate protections in place. 

This most recent ruling should make it abundantly clear that the state institutions of capital are enemies of the climate movement. From SCOTUS to the Pentagon, these institutions exist to maintain the system responsible for the climate crisis. The climate movement needs a strategy that acknowledges this, completely divests from capitalist institutions and unites the working class and oppressed communities in opposition to the corporations and state institutions that exploit and destroy the planet.

Facebook Twitter Share

Sam Carliner

Sam Carliner is a socialist with a background in journalism. He mainly writes for Left Voice about US imperialism. He also tweets about imperialism as @saminthecan.

Mike Pappas

Mike is an activist and medical doctor working in New York City.

United States

Biden, Congress, and the Squad Just Voted to Block a Rail Strike. Workers Should be the Ones Who Decide

The Biden administration called on Congress to undemocratically impose a contract on rail workers across the country and avert a nationwide rail strike. The deal has already passed the House with unanimous support from Democrats. This latest maneuver by a “proud pro-labor President” shows that there is no such thing: the state acts in favor of the bosses to protect their profits.

Madeleine Freeman

November 30, 2022
The U.S. Congress building

Senate Votes to Overturn Covid-19 National Emergency

Just over a week after the “election to save democracy,” Senate Democrats voted with Republicans to end the Covid-19 Emergency Declaration three years after it was invoked. Both parties show us time and time again that the working class needs its own party.

Mike Pappas

November 29, 2022
President Biden greets John Fetterman, Pennsylvania’s Democratic nominee for U.S. Senate, after arriving Thursday at Pittsburgh International Airport

Jacobin Is Wrong: The Midterms Were Not a Socialist Wave

The 2022 midterms were not a “red wave” of socialism — we don’t win by shoehorning capitalist politicians into a leftist mold.

Otto Fors

November 20, 2022

A Weakened Trump Poses as an Alternative for the Working Class in Third Bid for President

Speaking at Mar-a-Lago a week after the failed “red wave” of the midterms, Trump made an appeal to all those spurned by neoliberalism and feeling the effects of inflation to rally behind his xenophobic, transphobic, and pro-capitalist agenda.

Madeleine Freeman

November 16, 2022

MOST RECENT

The Roots of the Rebellion at Foxconn

Jenny Chan is a researcher and professor at the Polytechnic University of Hong Kong. She is co-author of the book Dying for an iPhone. She spoke with La Izquerda Diario about the causes of the rebellion by workers at the Foxconn plant in Zhengzhou, China.

Josefina L. Martínez

December 7, 2022
South African president Cyril Ramaphosa in a suit

“Farmgate” Threatens the Very Foundations of Capitalist Stability in South Africa

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa faces an impeachment vote Tuesday. More than a simple case of corruption, it’s a political crisis of the ruling party and of capitalist stability in the country.

Sam Carliner

December 5, 2022

Understanding the Carnage at Colorado Springs

The heinous violence displayed in Colorado Springs is a stark reminder of the menacing, lethal threat that today’s determined far right continues to pose to trans and queer people, and anyone living outside capitalism’s imposed sexual and gender boundaries.

Keegan O'Brien

December 4, 2022
Mapuche people standing with a flag

The Case of the Mapuche: What Can Trotsky Teach Us about the Fight against National Oppression?

Trotsky’s reflections on the social aspect of permanent revolution have deep implications for building working-class hegemony through solidarity with oppressed peoples.

Juan Valenzuela

December 4, 2022