Amy Coney Barrett’s Alarming Stance on Climate Change

The Supreme Court nominee says she does not ‘have firm views on it’

Yasmin Tayag
Future Human
Published in
2 min readOct 15, 2020

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During the Supreme Court nomination hearings on Wednesday, nominee Amy Coney Barrett unintentionally exposed her troubling views on climate change by refusing to discuss it. Questioned by vice presidential candidate Senator Kamala Harris, she called climate change a “very contentious matter of public debate.”

Responding to further questioning about climate change from Senator John Kennedy, Republican of Louisiana, she said: “I’m certainly not a scientist. I have read things about climate change. I would not say I have firm views on it.”

It is the global scientific consensus that anthropogenic climate change is real and happening now. Barrett’s statements reveal a very concerning disregard for what scientists have to say.

In saying she does not have “firm views on it,” writes Jesse Harris at Climate Conscious, “she is actually making it very clear where she stands. If I heard that thousands of scientists were extremely worried about a potential disaster, I would learn about it! I would only not look it up if the concern was not credible. When Barrett says she does not have any ‘firm view,’ it strongly suggests she doesn’t think it is a relevant threat.”

Read more from Harris here.

Marine biologist and popular climate activist Ayana Elizabeth Johnson, PhD, summed up several important arguments against Barrett’s stance in a tweet thread Wednesday.

Then, there’s this especially interesting point, made by Sunrise Movement co-founder Evan Weber: Barrett’s statement is “completely inconsistent with her own purported legal views.”

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Yasmin Tayag
Future Human

Editor, Medium Coronavirus Blog. Senior editor at Future Human by OneZero. Previously: science at Inverse, genetics at NYU.