EPA's Evasive Action
Carbon dioxide is plant food, hence the essential basis of all life. Flora of
every kind flourish in richer concentrations of it, send root systems deeper to
mine nutrients, and use water more efficiently. Crop yields increase 30 to 40
percent. Epochs in the past, such as the Cambrian, that saw the greatest
increases in diversity and proliferation of the biosphere experienced up to 20
times the amount we have at present. One could almost believe that life on this
planet was naturally suited to higher levels, and the partly frozen, largely
desert conditions of the today's world reflect a deficiency significantly short
of optimum. Apparently blind to such observations or indifferent to them, the
Environmental Protection Agency on, December 7--transparently anticipating the
Copenhagen climate conference--formalized an
"Endangerment Finding" that certain
atmospheric gases, most importantly carbon dioxide, “threaten the public health
and welfare of current and future generations.” In short, the provision is now
in place to regulate, restrict, or destroy any industry or activity that becomes
a political target.
In 1902, Gottlob Frege, a German mathematics professor at the University of
Jena, believed, after many years of work, that he had achieved the long-sought
goal of being able to derive all of mathematics from a single set of logical
axioms, and was about to publish what would have been a memorable
accomplishment. Then Bertrand Russell, the English philosopher and
mathematician, wrote to him, showing that one of the axioms led to the
contradictory result that if a set were a member of itself, then it was not a
member of itself. Frege acknowledged that he was wrong and withdrew the proposed
work. That's how science works. When a theory fails to be borne out by reality,
the theory is modified or abandoned. But it evidently isn't how the EPA works.
Preparations for the Endangerment ruling went back to much earlier in the year.
In March, 2009, Alan Carlin, an EPA employee engaged in economic and scientific
research since 1971, produced a 100-page
report as his contribution to the
period open for internal comments. In it, he faulted the EPA, which employs
thousands of scientists of its own, for uncritically accepting the assertions of
outside groups, particularly the IPCC and the CCSP, and restricting its input to
these two sources, rather than conducting its own independent evaluation. He pointed out that the EPA could be making life difficult for itself in future if
the policies that resulted turned out to be scientifically untenable. Carlin then
went on to cite extensive findings and data outdating the material upon which
the Endangerment decision was being based, showing that it was indeed
unsupported by what the real world was doing. In other words, it was as tactful a way
as could be found in the circumstances of saying this is rubbish and we
shouldn't be associating ourselves with it. The response was to withhold the
report from the groups concerned on the grounds that the decision had already
been taken to move forward (so what was the point of inviting comments in the
first place?), and Carlin's points would have negative impact on the legal and
policy aspects of the situation. He was taken off further work connected with
climate matters and has described himself as being under a "gag order". So the
authority of organizations such as the UN, with clearly political and
ideological motivations, would be used as the sources of data presented as
scientific, and apparently solid evidence to the effect that the conclusions
being derived as a consequence simply weren't happening wouldn't come into it.
Carlin's report makes interesting reading.
To quote from the Preface:
"What is actually noteworthy about this effort is not the relative apparent
scientific shine of the two sides but rather the relative ease with which
major holes have been found in the GHG/CO2/AGW argument. In many cases the
most important arguments are based not on multi-million dollar research
efforts but by simple observation of available data which has surprisingly
received so little scrutiny. The best example of this is the MSU satellite
data on global temperatures. Simple scrutiny of this data yields what to me
are stunning observations. Yet this has received surprisingly little study or
at least publicity. In the end it must be emphasized that the issue is not
which side has spent the most money or published the most peer-reviewed
papers, or been supported by more scientific organizations. The issue is
rather whether the GHG/CO2/AGW hypothesis meets the ultimate scientific
test--conformance with real world data."
And from the Executive Summary:
"As of the best information I currently have, the GHG/CO2 hypothesis as to the
cause of global warming, which this Draft TSD [Technical Support Document] supports, is currently an invalid hypothesis from a scientific viewpoint because it fails a number of critical comparisons with available observable data. Any one of these failings should be enough to invalidate the hypothesis; the breadth of these failings leaves no other possible conclusion based on current data."
The report lists the following areas in which real-world data do not match the alarmists’ climate models.
- Global temperatures have declined for more than a decade despite atmospheric
CO2 levels increasing. Prior to that, the warming derived from surface
measurements was contradicted by those from satellites, which are considered
- New research shows the IPCC was wrong in predicting more frequent and
intense hurricanes due to AGW (man-made global warming).
- There is no evidence that Greenland is melting despite IPCC predictions.
- New research shows that the strongly positive feedback effect of water vapor
that the IPCC models assume is actually negative. Since water vapor is the
dominant greenhouse gas, this completely negates the alarmis position.
- IPCC models do not take into account or show the most important ocean
oscillations which clearly do affect global temperatures.
- The models ignore the effects of solar variability as indicated by sunspot
and cosmic ray measurements, which along with ocean oscillations correlate
the most strongly with temperature variations. CO2 levels, by contrast, do
Among the comments offered by Carlin:
- “Changes in greenhouse gas concentrations appear to have so little effect
that it is difficult to find any effect in the satellite temperature record,
which started in 1978.”
- Surface temperature measurements are suspect because they are so different
from the satellite record, so “[I]t appears even more unlikely that GHGs
have as much of an effect on measured surface temperatures as claimed”
- “Hence it is not reasonable to conclude that there is any endangerment from
changes in GHG levels based on the satellite record, since almost all the
fluctuations appear to be due to natural causes and not human-caused
pollution as defined by the Clean Air Act.”
And, coming to the point of the whole exercise:
"Finally, there is an obvious logical problem posed by steadily increasing US
health and welfare measures and the alleged endangerment of health and welfare
discussed in this draft TSD during a period of
rapid rise in at least CO2 ambient levels. This discontinuity either needs to
be carefully explained in the draft TSD or the conclusions changed."
Alan Carlin's Home Page is at http://www.carlineconomics.com/