On Monday morning the Supreme Court ruled that the Environmental Protection Agency has the power to, well, protect the environment. In a 5-4 ruling the court said that, yes, the EPA does have the power to regulate the carbon emissions that contribute to global warming, something that the Bush administration said was out of the agency’s purview.

The court’s well-deserved rebuke of the administration comes not a minute too soon. A Los Angeles Times article printed in Sunday’s Press Democrat posits that Southern California may be facing a “perfect drought” — when all of the region’s three sources of water are suffering from record dry winters. Droughts in So Cal are nothing new. But historical meteorologists worry that in the near future droughts could mimic those that occurred between 900 and 1300, when the climate was getting hotter– as is expected to happen during global warming. During that 400-year period, the region suffered from droughts that lasted two decades or longer.

Tuesday’s editorials celebrate the Supreme Court ruling, and remind readers why they should care about droughts in L.A..

Unfortunately, the thugs in downtown Santa Rosa don’t seem to have any environmental sensibilities. Once again, a vandal or vandals have broken or sawed off the tops of several small trees on Mendocino Avenue in front of Exchange Bank. The latest destruction came after city workers installed elaborate cages to protect the bottom half of the trees. My co-worker Paul Gullixson noted that the day he started working for The Press Democrat eight years ago, vandals had destroyed trees on that same stretch of Mendocino. Sadly, every attempt at replanting has led to the same result.

— Ann DuBay