“To be fair, I don’t have any views on climate change, either,” Thunberg said Thursday on Twitter, mocking Barrett’s answers in her Senate confirmation hearing. “Just like I don’t have any views on gravity, the fact that the earth is round, photosynthesis nor evolution. But understanding and knowing their existence really makes life in the 21st century so much easier.”
To be fair, I don't have any "views on climate change" either. Just like I don't have any "views" on gravity, the fact that the earth is round, photosynthesis nor evolution…
But understanding and knowing their existence really makes life in the 21st century so much easier. https://t.co/R7oOIyBsHC
— Greta Thunberg (@GretaThunberg) October 15, 2020
The Swedish teenager’s snarky attack came after Barrett dodged questions from Democrats this week regarding her views on climate change. For instance, Barrett told Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) that she didn’t think her views on climate would be “relevant to the job I would do as a judge,” and that she hadn’t studied scientific data enough to offer an “informed opinion.”
She's back at it again: "I don't think that my views on global warming or climate change are relevant to the job I will do as a judge…I'm not really in a position to offer any informed opinion on what I think causes global warming" pic.twitter.com/0gAsk5XCcg
— Brian Kahn (@blkahn) October 14, 2020
And when Senator Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) asked Barrett whether she agreed with a series of obvious facts to set up a falsely analogous question on climate change, the judge said, “I will not express a view on a matter of public policy, especially one that is politically controversial, because that’s inconsistent with the judicial role, as I have explained.”
Amy Coney Barrett:
-Coronavirus being infectious is an "obvious fact"
-"Yes, every package of cigarettes warns that smoking causes cancer"
-Climate change is a "contentious matter of public debate" pic.twitter.com/smHr21lRDZ
— Brian Kahn (@blkahn) October 14, 2020
Thunberg wasn’t alone in trying to make an issue of Barrett’s refusal to pre-judge climate issues. Lobbying group Climate Power 2020 said Barrett “denied climate change three times in three days” and argued that “her repeated climate denial is disqualifying but not surprising.”
Amy Coney Barrett denied climate change 3 TIMES in 3 days of #SCOTUShearings.
First, she said that she has “no firm views” on the established scientific consensus that climate change is, in fact, real. pic.twitter.com/pabinEaTBm
— Climate Power (@ClimatePower) October 15, 2020
Left-wing media outlets, such as Mother Jones, the Daily Beast and Salon chimed in with articles suggesting that Barrett is a “climate denier,” and Gizmodo said her “soft climate denial should be wildly disqualifying.” Climate writer Eric Holthaus said, “Quite simply, if you’re neutral on climate change, you’re complicit in the collapse of the planetary ecosystem upon which the survival of every living thing depends.” He called Barrett “scary” and suggested that she “isn’t qualified to evaluate factual evidence.”
But Holthaus stumbled over the issue that might have made Barrett’s responses so alarming to him: neutrality. Twitter users pointed out that Thudberg and other activists seem to be missing the point that high court judges evaluate cases on how they stack up against constitutional law, not their own views.
“Dear Greta,” one commenter wrote, “attending school might help understanding the role of a judge in society and the rule of law.” Another tweeted, “As a Supreme Court judge, the role will not be to offer an opinion on scientific issues. It will be to decide if matters coming before her are constitutional.”
Thunberg has been remarkably political in the past week for someone who said she never engages in “party politics.” She called on Oct. 10 to “get organized and get everyone to vote (Joe) Biden” in the Nov. 3 US presidential election. Democrats in Congress declined to call for an investigation of foreign election meddling by the Swedish citizen.
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