Cheers for everyone but the bustard

Behold, the legerdemain of spinning bad news into good:

Setting aside the meaningless headline, we have a lede (and the rest of the article, for that matter) that claims the Supreme Court of India “struck” a fine balancing act between the transition to renewable energy and protecting the great Indian bustard by rolling back a complete ban on overhead cables in the birds’ habitat.

Accepting sustained arguments from attorney general R Venkataramani, solicitor general Tushar Mehta and additional SG Aishwarya Bhati, the bench said, “India’s commitment to promoting renewable energy sources, particularly in regions like Gujarat and Rajasthan, aligns with its broader sustainable development objectives.”

Pats on the back for everyone.

Except while the Supreme Court is switching between imposing and revoking a ban on overhead cables and the newspaper declaring this a pro-climate triumph, there is no indication in the report that the petition before the Supreme Court is to move the power cables underground, protecting both the endangered bustards and the region’s power-generation potential.

The apex court has now asked an expert committee to examine the feasibility of underground cables and their costs, which the promoters of solar- and wind-power projects in the region have contended are too high. As such, the court’s order has created a false balance between the birds and the profit margins of these promoters, as if to say they’re equally legitimate and equally valuable.

Such are the perils of government by Supreme Court.