“Heavy Rains Linked to Humans”- New York Times Headline

Talk of climate change was in the news this week as the Supreme Court made what has been called the most important decision about environmental law in years.

The Court ruled against a lawsuit brought by six states against five power companies as a way to force them to regulate their greenhouse gas emissions.

James Vicini of Reuters reported, “In a defeat for environmentalists, the Supreme Court agreed with the companies that regulating greenhouse gases should be left to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under the clean air laws.”

The EPA has not yet made rules on gas emissions from power plants.

Why does it matter how much greenhouse gases are emitted? According to Don Nardo, author of Morgan Reynolds’s Extreme Threats: Climate Change, these gases are what is causing the Earth to warm, the polar ice caps to melt, and could eventually cause devastation among our species. And we are mostly to blame for their being so abundant.

“Scientists now recognize that an unnatural forcing–human activities–is the chief culprit [of recent climate change]. It started in a small way when people began to farm and build cities, but its effects were insignificant until the height of the Industrial Revolution, in the 1800s and 1900s. As factories multiplied… huge amounts of smoke and various gases poured from smokestacks into the atmosphere.”

Nardo explains that these gases are helping to heat up the Earth’s surface, which is good, until it becomes too hot.

“Sunlight passes through the structure’s glass ceiling and walls and heats up the air inside… the glass traps the warmth, keeping it from leaving the greenhouse. This causes the temperature inside to steadily increase….Besides water vapor, the chief greenhouse gases are carbon dioxide, methane, and ozone. On the positive side…this process keeps Earth’s surface warm and mild enough to support life. On the negative side… if the volume of greenhouse gases in the air increases too much, the planet could become uncomfortably warm.”


In another Supreme Court ruling this week, the Court dismissed the largest sex discrimination suit in history.

The suit was brought against Wal-Mart on behalf of 1.5 million of its female employees.

According to the New York Times, “The suit claimed that Wal-Mart’s policies and practices had led to countless discriminatory decisions over pay and promotions.”

The Court was divided 5-4 in the ruling, with all three of the court’s women justices against the majority, ruling they would have sent the case back to the lower courts to be reviewed under a stricter standard of class certification.


Adrianne Loggins
Associate Editor


To learn more about Climate Change, check out Extreme Threats: Climate Change by Don Nardo. (ISBN 9781599351193)

For more information on the Supreme Court and its justices– including Sonia Sotomayor, one of the justices who ruled in favor of the plaintiffs in the Wal-Mart case–see the Morgan Reynolds series Supreme Court Justices:

Sonia Sotomayor by Sandra Shichtman (ISBN 9781599351568)

Thurgood Marshall by Nancy Whitelaw (ISBN 9781599351579)

Earl Warren by Leslie Wolf Branscomb (ISBN 9781599351582)

John Marshall by Jim Corrigan (ISBN 9781599351599)

Published in: on June 23, 2011 at 12:54 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: ,

The URI to TrackBack this entry is: https://morganreynoldspublishing.wordpress.com/2011/06/23/heavy-rains-linked-to-humans-new-york-times-headline/trackback/

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: