Feeds

Climate change heads for the Supreme Court

Politics, science and the law

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

The US Supreme Court has agreed to hear the arguments in the case of Massachusetts vs the Environmental Protection Agency.

The suit, brought by Massachusetts and eleven other states, along with a few cities and environmental lobby groups, accuses the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) of failing to regulate CO2 emissions from motor vehicles.

The legal action was brought after the EPA denied a petition asking it to intervene and set limits on vehicle emissions in 2002. It argued that it had no obligation to regulate CO2 emissions. It must oversee gases that represent an "endangerment to public health and the environment", but said that CO2 did not necessarily fall into this category.

Eighteen scientists filed a "friend of the court" brief arguing that the court had "misrepresented the findings in Climate Change Science", a 2001 report. The brief says the court used selective quotes from the report to suggest that the science on climate change is uncertain.

Professor John Dernbach of Widener University Law School's Harrisburg campus, one of the four lawyers who worked on the brief, told Patriot News: "EPA really blew the science" because it ignored the findings of the main scientific source it quoted.

"This is not about differences in emphasis, choice of details, or nuance," he told the paper.

This isn't the first case of its kind. Almost a year ago a New York judge ruled the question of pollution regulation too political to be decided by the judiciary. This case, known as New York vs the EPA, was asking the court to force the EPA to regulate emissions from power plants in five states.

The judge in the case wrote: "Were judges to resolve political questions, there would be no check on their resolutions because the Judiciary is not accountable to any other branch or to the people."

New York immediately said it would appeal. But because of the similarities between the two lawsuits, the New York case is now on hold, pending the Supreme Court's ruling on the Massachusetts vs the EPA case. ®

Nature.com has posted a Q&A style discussion of the case that makes for interesting reading. You can find it here.

Next gen security for virtualised datacentres

More from The Register

next story
Vulture 2 takes a battering in 100km/h test run
Still in one piece, but we're going to need MORE POWER
TRIANGULAR orbits will help Rosetta to get up close with Comet 67P
Probe will be just 10km from Space Duck in October
Boffins ID freakish spine-smothered prehistoric critter: The CLAW gave it away
Bizarre-looking creature actually related to velvet worms
CRR-CRRRK, beep, beep: Mars space truck backs out of slippery sand trap
Curiosity finds new drilling target after course correction
What does a flashmob of 1,024 robots look like? Just like this
Sorry, Harvard, did you say kilobots or KILLER BOTS?
NASA's rock'n'roll shock: ROLLING STONE FOUND ON MARS
No sign of Ziggy Stardust and his band
Why your mum was WRONG about whiffy tattooed people
They're a future source of RENEWABLE ENERGY
Vulture 2 spaceplane autopilot brain surgery a total success
LOHAN slips into some sexy bespoke mission parameters
Another step forward for diamond-based quantum computers
Square cut or pear-shaped, these qubits don't lose their shape
prev story

Whitepapers

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup
IT departments are embracing cloud backup, but there’s a lot you need to know before choosing a service provider. Learn all the critical things you need to know.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Build a business case: developing custom apps
Learn how to maximize the value of custom applications by accelerating and simplifying their development.
Rethinking backup and recovery in the modern data center
Combining intelligence, operational analytics, and automation to enable efficient, data-driven IT organizations using the HP ABR approach.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.