Climate Science on Trial? Let’s Hope So

by William Yeatman on August 25, 2009

in Blog

Hear, Hear! The U.S. Chamber of Commerce wants to cross examine climate science. Last April, the Environmental Protection Agency proposed a rulemaking that carbon dioxide-the same stuff humans exhale-“endangers” human health and welfare because it causes so-called “global warming.” Now the Chamber demands that the EPA publically defend the science upon which it based the “endangerment” rulemaking, in what the Chamber says would be the “scopes monkey trial of the 21st century,” according to today’s LA Times.

Under the EPA’s rules, a public airing of the information that leads to a regulatory rule-making is allowed, but rarely performed.

A little background: An “endangerment” finding is more than mere bureaucratese. In fact, it would tripwire provisions of the Clean Air Act would send the American economy back to the Stone Age. I’m not exaggerating. If carbon dioxide “endangers” human health and welfare, than it is subject to the National Ambient Air Quality Standards of the Clean Air Act, which would require draconian regulations.

Despite the far-reaching economic consequences of an “endangerment” finding, there was little transparency in the EPA decision-making process. Earlier this summer, the Competitive Enterprise Institute revealed evidence that the EPA actually suppressed a dissenting voice from a career official.

Big decisions behind closed doors and bullying 70 year olds into silence….is this the change that Obama promised? I think not. Perhaps the President thinks it’s ok to engage in these shenanigans, because there is a scientific “consensus” on global warming.

The President is of course wrong; there is no consensus. Many smart people (we’re talking visionaries, such as Freeman Dyson) are also humble enough to admit that humans don’t know nearly as much about the climate as they think.

For example, global temperatures haven’t increased statistically since 1995, even though atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased 5% during that time. The global climate models, however, predicted that temperatures increase with emissions. That is, the models were wrong.  These are the same models that predict dire global warming. And it is these alarmist predictions that animate the global warming hysteria.

The Chamber simply wants the EPA to demonstrate why it thinks that carbon dioxide “endangers” human health and welfare. That doesn’t strike me as being terribly burdensome. If Obama is serious about “change,” then he should allow the global warming scopes monkey trial.

M. Kjonaas August 25, 2009 at 3:37 pm

Carbon dioxide has been taking a bad rap by the press in spite of the fact that it is a friend of man. CO2 appears in the atmosphere in only a trace amount (less than 0.04%) but is still essential for life on Earth. Plant life needs CO2.

Climate Change has always been around and will continue to be as long as the wind keeps blowing. Man has not been able to control the economy and certainly cannot control the weather.

Bob R Geologist, Tucson, AZ August 26, 2009 at 2:26 am

Carbon dioxide was picked to demonize as the bad boy causing global warming most likely by someone of Green persuasion and little knowledge of the science of carbon (the carbon cycle). Even the EPA came close to falling into this trap. And the general public is shamefully deficient in science and apparently believe what they read in the newspapers. The worst example I have encountered was an op ed piece in the Tucson Daily Star several months ago extolling the virtues of CO2 by a very astute geologist on my list of correspondents. The following day there was a letter from a woman geology professor at the U. of AZ, saying to disregard this well written and informative piece as there was “nothing to it.” I was shocked, and e-mailed the woman prof that if she really believed her letter she was unfit to teach geology at the university level. If she was defending AGW because of monetary obligation, she was prostituting her science.

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