Teenage environmental activist Greta Thunberg had strong words for the noncommittal stance on climate change that Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett expressed during her Senate Judiciary Committee confirmation hearing earlier this week.
“To be fair, I don’t have any ‘views on climate change’ either,” Thunberg wrote on Twitter on Thursday, repeating Barrett’s words at the 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.”
During her hearing on Tuesday, Barrett said she did not have “firm views” on climate change when questioned by Senator John Kennedy and emphasised that she was “not a scientist” ― a phrase commonly used by climate-denying lawmakers that former president Barack Obama has criticized in the past.
The following day, Barrett added that she did not feel that her stance on global warming and climate change were relevant factors in her role as a potential high court justice.
Confronted directly on climate change by Senator Kamala Harris of California, the Democratic vice presidential candidate, Barrett balked.
“You have asked me a series of questions that are completely uncontroversial, like whether COVID-19 is infectious, whether smoking causes cancer, and then trying to analogise that to elicit an opinion from me that is on a very contentious matter of public debate,” Barrett said to Harris. “I will not do that...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.”