Discover more from Surviving Tomorrow
The Supreme Court Just Sentenced the Environment to Death
American corporations are permanently destroying the planet for short-term profit
Most adults seem to forget the point of WALL-E, the 2008 Pixar movie about a robot tasked to clean up garbage on an Earth made uninhabitable by human greed.
There is no biological or human life in WALL-E’s world, just piles and piles of metal and plastic, chemicals and poison, toys and electronics.
It is a world of death.
By the director’s own admission, it is a story about the corporatocracy.
And now it appears that WALL-E is turning out to be less of a kid’s movie and more of a prophecy.
See you later, regulator
Last week, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the federal government’s Environmental Protection Agency — the supposed governing body chosen by the American people to protect their environment — does not have the right to limit pollution without an Act of Congress.
Until they do, nineteen mostly-Republican states will continue to burn coal, poison our air with toxins like sulfur dioxide, and spike global temperatures thanks to greenhouse gases.
The Supreme Court is, of course, correct. Only democracy can decide to regulate planet-poisoners.
But wasn’t that why democracy created the EPA in the first place?
Wasn’t the EPA our institution tasked with regulating polluters?
We can absolutely appreciate the Supreme Court’s worry about undemocratic overreach by any government agency, but surely phasing out coal was exactly what the Clean Air Act was originally intended to eventually do. But the nit-picky corporatist court wants the government to burn precious political capital on trying to ram a laser-specific planet-protecting bill past pro-polluter Joe Manchin and anti-human Mitch McConnell.
Good luck with that.
And would it even work?
Even if Congress decided to give the EPA more teeth than ever, what’s to stop SCOTUS from simply laying the smack-down again, declaring once and for all that corporations simply cannot be regulated in any way because any regulation would be a violation of their free speech as “human beings?”
It’s coming, dear readers.
How did this happen?
Well, it actually starts with the founding fathers.
They were terrified of two things: Monarchy and democracy.
So they started a Roman-style republic, where rich land-monopolizing elites could milk the masses with impunity.
Because America is a dictionary-definition corporate oligarchy and not even remotely an actual democracy, it should come as no surprise to long-time Surviving Tomorrow readers that the corporate-weaponized Supreme Court has sided with the true owners of America.
Destroying the power of the Environmental Protection Agency was actually quite simple:
Corporate-captured politicians from West Virginia joined with some of the nation’s largest coal corporations and simply filed a lawsuit against the EPA.
Saving the environment would have “economic consequences” for the corporations bringing the lawsuit.
Remember when we said that America is technically already a failed state because it is unable to tax its rich?
If a nation’s biggest corporations can now successfully overturn democratic laws, then who is really in charge here?
The domino effect
The new SCOTUS ruling has essentially signaled to other polluting corporations that they, too, can scream “overreach!” and the court will smack down any democratic attempt at limiting their poisoning of our atmosphere.
Every major corporation will now begin campaigns to eliminate any laws that stand in the way of greater profits.
Coal stocks have been soaring this year, with shares in planet-destroying companies like Peabody up 20X since November 2020.
Massive multi-trillion-dollar predator monopolies like Blackrock have scaled back their climate-change ambitions.
The environmental investing movement has imploded.
In other words, Wall Street is glorying in another era of deregulation — the removal of democratic protections for real people and their planet.
The Supreme Corporation
At this point, it is fairly obvious to most people that SCOTUS is now jam-packed with corporatists — greedy anti-human men who work not towards justice for the people, but to protect the private profits of the richest corporations in human history.
Call me crazy, but private interests shouldn’t be allowed to use the public’s land to destroy the public’s environment for private profits.
What’s truly crazy is how small the coal industry is, relative to the damage it causes. America’s largest coal company netted a measly $360 million last year.
Is poisoning our air, heating up our world, and destroying the ecosystem really worth private profits amounting to just one dollar per citizen?
The entire domestic coal market is only worth $19 billion, and America could buy out and shut down all top ten coal polluters for ninety bucks a citizen. Instead, elites let corporations lobby-bribe politicians for pennies to get whatever they want.
When you look at it that way, you realize that corporations are anti-human and their greedy owners are sad, pathetic, and hateful.
By gutting the EPA, and setting a precedent that now allows them to strike down other environmental protections, the Supreme Court has all but guaranteed America’s future:
As a real-life WALL-E.
So, my friends, let’s enjoy this garbage-heap of a country while we can.
Money owns this country now.
Jared A. Brock is an award-winning biographer, PBS documentarian, and the cell-free founder of the popular futurist blog Surviving Tomorrow, where he provides thoughtful people with contrarian perspectives on the corporatist anti-culture. His writing has appeared in Esquire, The Guardian, Smithsonian, and TIME Magazine, and he has traveled to more than forty countries including North Korea. Join 20,000+ people who follow him on Medium, Twitter, and Substack.
Surviving Tomorrow is a reader-supported publication. To receive new posts and support my work, consider becoming a free or paid subscriber.