I heard her described as a “pint-sized powerhouse” and I kind of like that.
She was a fighter. She fought tirelessly for gender equality and battled sexism in her own life and career. She was challenged with caring for her cancer-stricken husband while a mother and student in law school. And as a judge in the highest court in the land, Supreme Court Justice RBG was a role model for every young girl or women as she showed what you can accomplish with hard work, determination, perseverance and “chutz-pah.”
The influences Ruth Bader Ginsburg had on the lives of American citizens will be felt for generations to come. And while RBG left a more pronounced impact in other areas, she did have a significant and lasting impact on the area of climate change.
Ginsburg was well aware of the threats posed by climate change. At an event this past December, she spoke of how Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg gave her hope for the future. “The young people that I see are fired up! They want our country to be what it should be. One of the things that makes me an optimist are the young people.”
Regarding young people, these books n RBG will give all readers insight into her remarkable life, and possibly provide inspiration to those budding Supreme Court justices our there…
In a landmark, first ever ruling on climate change, she joined the 5 justice majority in 2007 that affirmed the Environmental Protection Agency’s power to set up the Obama administration to issue regulations that limit carbon pollution from cars, power plants and other sources.
In 2014, RBG wrote the majority opinion on an important ruling under President Obama regarding the regulation of coal fired power plants. As with most pollution, it isn’t confined to the immediate area of release and has significant impact on surrounding areas. The decision allows the EPA to regulate coal fired power plants where their air pollution blows downwind and impacts other states.
Air pollution from coal plants is linked with asthma, cancer, heart and lung ailments, neurological issues, acid rain, global warming and other health impacts.
One of the most basic principles of our world, our environment and natural surroundings, is that everything is connected. The impacts of pollution are not soley witnessed in the immediate, local areas of the emissions, they are spread far and wide.
Coal plants are responsible for 42% of all. mercury emissions that is really bad stuff and can damage our nervous, digestive and immune systems. Just 1/70th of a teaspoon of mercury deposited in a 25-acre lake can make the fish unsafe to eat. US coal power plants emitted approximately 49,676 pounds of mercury in 2019, along with sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides, arsenic, particulate matter, lead, cadmium and other very, very bad stuff.
But their impact on global warming and climate change is huge: 628,000 tons of CO2 emitted, along with volatile organic compounds which form ozone.
RBG was a very reliable vote over the decades in favor of environmental protections. Her vote on the court, likely replaced by a justice who doesn’t feel the same ethical and moral obligation to preserve and protect our natural environment, will be sorely missed.
Ruth Bader Ginsburg was a person with a profound and widespread influence on many areas of our life. Her decisions and influence is felt by each one of us on a daily basis. It shows how a Supreme Court judge can have a direct impact on each of the citizens of our United States. Not all judges are created in the same mold, as we are witnessing today.
We owe a debt of great gratitude to Ruth Bader Ginsburg. Her own words speak volumes in today’s world: “Real and enduring change happens one step at a time.”