When Senator Richard Blumenthall asked U.S. Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett the simple question “Do you believe that human beings have caused global warming?”you might think this highly-educated woman would simply have answered yes. The simple truth. 

But no, her actual answer was, “I don’t think I’m qualified to opine on what causes global warming or not.”

What the hell? For heaven’s sake, judge, everyone is qualified to opine on facts. The answer is yes. The simple truth may be made politically controversial but it’s still the simple truth. If you made heliocentricity politically controversial, as indeed it once was, the Earth would still circle the sun. Regardless of what vested interests and politicians get up to, the science is solid.

What, one might ask, is Judge Barrett really doing with such drivel. She also fudged answers on questions about the right to contraception, the right to abortion, the right to gay marriage, and the legality of the Affordable Care Act. 

Slate magazine suggests she is marking out which subjects she thinks are fair game, those she intends to undermine or help overturn when she makes it to the supreme bench. If this is true, the U.S. could be facing a regressive future, with the loss of much of the progress made over the last half century. Environmentalists in particular have little doubt that a 6-3 conservative majority on the court will be disastrous for combating global warming. And there is almost certainly going to be a 6-3 conservative majority.

Perhaps Barrett’s opponents are being too pessimistic. Perhaps the good judge will accept the Court’s past progressive rulings in good faith. But this is a very right-wing lady, so I wouldn’t get my hopes up. If Biden wins, he may just have to change his mind about enlarging the Court. After the way the Republicans have blatantly manipulated the process to swing the court hard to the right, he would be justified.

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