U.S. chamber wants Scopes trial on climate change
The biggest business lobby in the United States wants to hold a public hearing “to put the science of global warming on trial,” The Los Angeles Times reports.
“Chamber officials say it would be ‘the Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century’ — complete with witnesses, cross-examinations and a judge who would rule, essentially, on whether humans are warming the planet to dangerous effect,” the newspaper reported.
“It would be evolution versus creationism,” William Kovacs, the chamber’s senior vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs, told the LA Times. “It would be the science of climate change on trial.”
The EPA told the Times that a hearing would be “a waste of time” and called a lawsuit by the chamber “frivolous.”
“The chamber proposal ‘brings to mind for me the Salem witch trials, based on myth,’ said Brenda Ekwurzel, a climate scientist for the environmental group Union of Concerned Scientists. ‘In this case, it would be ignoring decades of publicly accessible evidence.’”
But if the EPA refuses to hold the hearing, the chamber is threatening to take the fight to federal court.
That would bring a modern replay of the famous 1925 Scopes trial. Then three-time presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan and attorney Clarence Darrow fought a courtroom battle over the case of a Tennessee teacher accused of teaching scientist illegally.
The teacher John Scopes, who purposefully tested the Tennessee law, was found guilty in the trial, a verdict that was upheld on appeal.
But, as the LA Times points out — and as many elementary students can attest — the scientists eventually won out in the end and evolution is taught in schools across the country.
(Writing by Laura Isensee)
Photo Credit: Reuters/Daniel Munoz (A woman holds a sign during a protest on climate change in central Sydney)