This post is an opinion piece republished, with permission, from the Watts Up With That? blog. The list of authors/signers is at the bottom
The Supreme Court, in Mass. v. EPA, stated that the EPA must treat CO2 and other Greenhouse Gases (GHGs), as “pollutants” and then carry out an analysis to determine whether the increasing concentrations in atmospheric CO2 may reasonably be anticipated to endanger human health and welfare. The Court did not mandate regulation; rather it mandated that EPA go through an Endangerment Finding process.
EPA did so and on December 15, 2009 issued its ruling that CO2 and other GHGs must be regulated. This EPA finding and associated rulings were immediately challenged in the DC Circuit Court. The DC Circuit ruled in favor of EPA, but given the two dissents from the December 20, 2012 decision denying rehearing en banc, the matter will very likely go to the Supreme Court.
If allowed to stand, the very existence of EPA’s Endangerment Finding requires regulation that significantly increases U.S. fossil fuel and electricity prices–negatively impacting job creation as well as energy, economic and national security.
To many scientists this situation seems incredible given the ample evidence that EPA’s finding is grossly flawed. In its finding, EPA claimed with 90-99% certainty that observed warming in the latter half of the twentieth century resulted from human activity. EPA bases its finding upon Three Lines of Evidence (LoE.)
Using the most credible empirical data available, it is relatively straightforward to soundly reject each of EPA’s Three LoE.
1.) EPA claims that the Global Average Surface Temperature (GAST) has been rising in a dangerous fashion over the last fifty years, in large part due to human- caused increases in atmospheric CO2 concentrations. But “Global Warming” has not been global and has not set records in the regions where warming has occurred. For example, over this time period, while the Arctic has warmed, the Tropical oceans had a flat trend, and the Antarctic was slightly cooling. The most significant warming during this period occurred in the Northern Hemisphere, north of the Tropics. But, as the figure shows, over the last 130 years, the decade of the 1930’s still has the most U.S. State High Temperatures records. And, over the past 50 years, there were more new State Record Lows set than Record Highs. In fact, roughly 70% of the current State Record Highs were set prior to 1940.
2.) EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Fingerprint Theory is that in the Tropics, the upper troposphere is warming faster than the lower troposphere, and the lower troposphere is warming faster than the surface, all due to rising CO2 concentrations. This is totally at odds with multiple robust, consistent, independently-derived empirical datasets, all showing no statistically significant positive (or negative) trend in temperature and thus, no difference in trend by altitude. Therefore, EPA’s theory as to how CO2 impacts GAST must be rejected.
3.) EPA relied upon Climate Models, all predicated on this Fingerprint Theory, that all fail standard model validation and forecast reliability tests. The models all forecast rising temperatures beyond 2000 although GAST has actually been flat. This is not surprising because EPA never carried out any published forecast reliability tests.
Bottom –Line: No scientist or team of scientists has come up with an empirically validated theory proving that higher Atmospheric CO2 Levels will lead to higher GAST–not EPA’s team and certainly not to the EPA’s 90-99% certainty. Moreover, if the causal link between higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations and higher GAST is broken by invalidating EPA’s Three LoE, then EPA’s claim that higher CO2 concentrations also cause sea level increases and more frequent and severe storms, floods and droughts is also disproved. Such causality claims require a validated theory that higher CO2 concentrations cause increases in GAST. Lacking such a validated theory, EPA’s entire house of cards collapses.
More generally, EPA violated both the scientific method and the Scientific Advisory Board statute intended to enforce the scientific method when it made its highly influential scientific assessment in the Endangerment Finding.
EPA’s own Inspector General stated as follows:
“EPA did not conduct a peer review of the TSD [Technical Support Document] that met all recommended steps in the Peer Review Handbook for peer reviews of influential scientific information or highly influential scientific assessments. The handbook provides examples of ‘independent experts from outside EPA,’ that include NAS, an established Federal Advisory Committee Act mechanism (e.g., Science Advisory Board), and an ad hoc panel of independent experts outside the Agency.”
EPA’s outsourcing of the science to international organizations beyond the reach of U.S. laws has also been challenged. Moreover, the ClimateGate saga is testimony to the dedication of some to subvert the science for their own agenda. And, a Hockey Stick is now famous as a symbol of temperature data manipulated to generate public alarm.
In summary, it is not incorrect to argue that further study of the role GHGs play in climate is in order. However, with what is known now, it certainly seems that a new Endangerment Finding analysis is required, using, for example, the far more rigorous Science Advisory Board process suggested by EPA’s Inspector General. A Remand of EPA’s Endangerment Finding by the U.S. Supreme Court would be appropriate.
Wryheat Note: That the endangerment finding is purely political is shown by the fact that the EPA is getting all worked up about carbon dioxide levels of around 400ppm. But submarine crews work efficiently in carbon dioxide levels over 10,000 ppm. See “Does carbon dioxide make you dumb?“
Opinion Piece Signer List (alphabetically)
Dr. Timothy Ball
Climatologist & Environmental Consultant
Ph.D. (Faculty of Science), University of London, England
Joseph S. D’Aleo
Dr. Donald Easterbrook (Emeritus)
Professor of Geology
Western Washington University
Dr. Gordon J. Fulks
La Center, WA
Dr. Laurence I. Gould
Professor of Physics
University of Hartford
Dr. William M. Gray (Emeritus)
Professor of Atmospheric Science
Colorado State University
Dr. Anthony R. Lupo
Professor of Soil, Environmental, and Atmospheric Sciences
University of Missouri
Dr. Thomas P. Sheahen
Western Technology Inc.
Deer Park Maryland
Dr. S. Fred Singer (Emeritus)
Professor of Environmental Sciences
University of Virginia
George H. Taylor,
Certified Consultant Meteorologist
President, Applied Climate Services
Dr. James P. Wallace III
President, & CEO, Jim Wallace & Associates LLC
Ph.D., Economics, Minor in Engineering, Brown University
M.S., Mechanical Engineering, Brown University
B.S., Aeronautical Engineering, Brown University
Former TV Meteorologist and founder of
SurfaceStations.org, Intelliweather, WattsUpWithThat