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Caroline Birdrow

In my post about the cyclical vs. structural nature of the rise in unemployment, I wrote that “it is interesting that there might be so much ambiguity in what seems very cut and dry.” The same seems to apply to this article and the regulation of carbon dioxide. Of course carbon dioxide emissions are harmful to our environment so it would seem that the Environmental Protection Agency should have the right to limit those emissions. However, before reading this article, I had not considered, in this context, the difference between “environmental” and “atmospheric.” I also had not given much thought to the stratosphere vs. troposphere debate (or at least the one between Justice Scalia and James Milkey). In spite of Scalia’s mistake in thinking the stratosphere contains carbon dioxide emissions, I still think he raised an important issue. Justice Scalia seemed to have a keen sense of words’ definitions and connotations, one that lends new meanings to political situations. It became clear, after reading the article, that the EPA’s responsibilities and rights are not actually that cut and dry and are open to some interpretation, as demonstrated by Justice Scalia.

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