When asked her views on climate change, prospective Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett replied it is a “very contentious matter of public debate” and she is “certainly not a scientist.”

Fortunately, it doesn’t take a scientist to understand the basics of global warming. Middle school students know that carbon dioxide, taken up by plants and stored over millions of years, has kept the Earth’s climate within tolerable temperature ranges for human civilization. Burning fossil fuels rereleases heat-trapping carbon dioxide, and the planet is warming to an extent that threatens our constitutional rights to life, liberty and property.

I hope that Maine’s Sens. Angus King and Susan Collins will vote against Mrs. Barrett’s nomination to the Supreme Court, in favor of a nominee who has a deeper understanding of basic scientific principles.

Jennifer Niese

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