That Footnote in Yesterday’s Global Warming Ruling

by Sam Kazman on June 21, 2011

in Blog, Features

Post image for That Footnote in Yesterday’s Global Warming Ruling

Yesterday’s Supreme Court ruling on carbon dioxide provided some welcome relief to those concerned that the Court might say something, deliberately or otherwise, that would buttress the claims of global warming alarmists.  The Court said no such thing.  In fact, it seemed to step back from the suggestions in its 2007 Massachusetts v. EPA ruling that the scientific debate over anthropogenic warming had largely been settled.  Yesterday’s ruling does mention hurricanes and heat-related deaths and melting ice-caps, but only in characterizing EPA’s view of global warming, not the Court’s.  And the Court quickly distances itself from EPA’s views with an interesting footnote:

“For views opposing EPA’s, see, e.g., Dawidoff, The Civil Heretic, N. Y. Times Magazine 32 (March 29, 2009). The Court, we caution, endorses no particular view of the complicated issues related to carbon dioxide emissions and climate change.”

The second line of that footnote would have sufficed all by itself to make clear that this ruling was not about global warming science.  But the Court went beyond that to cite a 2009 N.Y. Times Magazine cover story about award-winning physicist Freeman Dyson and his skepticism about anthropogenic warming.  Alarmists had been up in arms when that story was published, arguing that it would give the skeptics unwarranted respectability.

Now bear in mind that the N.Y.Times article appeared before the Alan Carlin-EPA whistleblower scandal, before ClimateGate, and before the subsequent series of embarrassments regarding the IPCC report (which itself was repeatedly cited by the 5-4 majority in Massachusetts v. EPA).  One can speculate on why, of all the articles available to it, the Court chose to single out this one.  But regardless—I’m glad that all those angered by the Times story two years ago now have reason to get angry all over again.

[Correction: As several comments below point out, Freeman Dyson has won many awards but the Nobel Prize is not among them. The above post has been corrected accordingly.]

Harpo June 22, 2011 at 3:49 am

Dyson is a great physicist no doubt about it. But he has never won a Nobel Prize.

Grant June 25, 2011 at 12:50 pm

To counter Harpo’s comment, Al Gore and Pachauri did win a Nobel Prize. Says a lot about that process, doesn’t it.

Kevin June 25, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Actually, the PROOF that he’s a great physicist is that he’s never one a Nobel Prize.

Bob LaVelle June 22, 2011 at 5:53 am

So now we see Sam Kazman has become a henchman for the climate science deniers. What a disappointment! But, the facts remain:

-Earth is losing 100 billions tons of land ice in Greenland each year
-Global average temperature has risen a dangerous 1.5 degrees F since 1880
-Sea level is rising at 3.27 mm per year
-Carbon dioxide is at 391 parts per million, the highest concentration in 650,00 years
-Arctic sea ice minimum is decreasing 11.5% per decade
-Floods, fires and tornados are occurring at record-high frequencies and intensities globally

Freeman Dyson had a great career in particle physics, astronomy and nuclear physics, but no one knows everything. One hopes he doesn’t do irreparable damage to his reputation by treading on the thin ice of climate science denial in his old age.

NikFromNYC June 22, 2011 at 12:11 pm

You speak nothing of trend changes, since you can’t, since there aren’t any!

On tornadoes? The trend is way down for strong ones. It’s a record now (1000 days) of no landfall cyclones, too. Not even Revkin buys into that line any more:

Cold fusion featured in the LA Times in ’89 before it was debunked. Environmentalists were aghast at the possibility of cheap clean energy:

“It’s like giving a machine gun to an idiot child.” – Paul Ehrlich (mentor of John Cook of the SkepticalScience blog, author of “Climate Change Denial”)
“Clean-burning, non-polluting, hydrogen-using bulldozers still could knock down trees or build housing developments on farmland.” – Paul Ciotti (LA Times)
“It gives some people the false hope that there are no limits to growth and no environmental price to be paid by having unlimited sources of energy.” – Jeremy Rifkin (NY Times)
“Many people assume that cheaper, more abundant energy will mean that mankind is better off, but there is no evidence for that.” – Laura Nader (sister of Ralph)

CLIMATEGATE 101: “For your eyes only: Don’t leave stuff lying around on ftp sites – you never know who is trawling them. The two MMs have been after the CRU station data for years. If they ever hear there is a Freedom of Information Act now in the UK, I think I’ll delete the file rather than send to anyone….Tom Wigley has sent me a worried email when he heard about it – thought people could ask him for his model code. He has retired officially from UEA so he can hide behind that.” – Phil “Hide The Decline” Jones to Michael “Hockey Stick” Mann

Here I present The Quick Glance Guide to Global Warming:

-=NikFromNYC=- Ph.D. in Carbon Chemistry (Columbia/Harvard)

JCS June 22, 2011 at 2:20 pm

You’re right! Maybe we should all start living like the Amish. After all, they are the only “People” who live in an environmentally sustainable way!

Charles Higley June 23, 2011 at 9:32 am

Ah, but the Amish avail themselves of modern medicine when there is a problem. We would not have all of the technology and power of modern medicine without everything else. There is no way you could pursue improved medical methods and treatments, fostering high technology, and keep it from leaking out to the people. Medicine and the people MUST develop together.

JCS June 22, 2011 at 2:24 pm

You’re right. Maybe we should all start living like the Amish. After all, they are the only people who live in an environmentally sustainable way!

Charles Higley June 23, 2011 at 10:22 am

You tend to believe the news and not check the facts.
-Overall, glaciers are doing nothing unusual with most of the rapid melting occurring long before 1950. It helps if you do not cherry-pick the glaciers.
-The global average temperature has risen 1.5 deg F only on paper where the data has been altered and not properly treated. The warming-agenda’d data handlers, to show warming, have even gone back to older data and made them colder (for no defensible reason) to increase the apparent (false) changes.
-Sea level rise has been doing nothing unusual except for the rate to decrease in the last 10 years and to stop at present. Wait, maybe that is unusual!
-CO2 has been much higher than now during three periods of the last 200 years, most recently 440-550 ppm in the 1940s. This is from direct chemical bottle data (80,000 points collected together by Ernst Beck) which is infinitely better than the indirect ice core data preferred by the IPCC. And their assumed 268 ppm before 1950 is from cherry-picked low data by Callendar (he ignored all higher data as he KNEW CO2 had to be low then; there is no way to know this except by direct chemical data!).
-Arctic ice is doing nothing unusual. It is not going away. Multiyear ice has been growing rapidly since the prefect storm of melting (er, the winds blew the ice OUT of the area to lower latitudes where it melted, so this is not melting from a warm Arctic). As warming stopped over 12 years ago, we can expect the Arctic to rebound just as it is doing today. [With two ocean cycles flipping to cooling in 2006 and the Sun going night-night for a few decades, cooling is going to be real.]
– Floods are not more common by any means except for the mismanagement by humans. The huge Australian flood = water mismanagement. The huge flood in the US this Spring = mismanagement fostered by environmentalist bedwetters. The intense fires, mostly in the US and Australia are gifts from the, wait for it . . , the environmentalists. They pushed for laws to be passed which suppressed all natural fires and prevented homeowners from clearing brush and firebreaks around their homes. Without natural fires to clear the brush occasionally, dead material builds up, and when there is a fire, it is so intense that it burns even the upper canopy, which usually survives natural burns. Yup, whining, bedwetter warmist environmentalists brought us these terrible fires as we catch up with 40 years of underbrush accumulation.

So, sir, you are wrong on all counts. The average person is an environmentalist (we all like our world) with a bit more perspective than the radicals as we see that humans can coexist with nature. It is unrealistic, however, to demand absolutely no impact; the only way to do that is to exterminate humans, which is unacceptable to us but apparently acceptable to some radicals.

Back in the 1970s, they wanted to use horses to drag tree falls from the Seattle city watershed (the source of their drinking water) instead of tractors. Some idiot on the city council thought rotting trees would hurt the water supply. Then, another idiot mentioned that there would be horse droppings instead of tractor exhaust, so they need to diaper the horses (as they do for New York City carriages). That agreed upon, a third idiot mentioned that there were a lot of deer in the forest, oh no, and proposed diapering all of the deer. At that point, a slightly brighter bulb told the idiots how stupid they were and the proposal failed.

It’s fortunate that they did not get around to trying to diaper all of the bears, raccoons, rabbits, squirrels, chipmunks, owls, crows, etc. It would have created a ton of jobs while thoroughly traumatizing all of the animals, but I bet the environmentalists would have loved it, at least until they realized that having 50,000 employees chasing animals all over the watershed, even using, ohmigod, traps would have to involved many modes of transportation. Then, do we tag all of the animals? How often do we have to recatch and rediaper? Why don’t we just put them all in cages, it would make it much more efficient? Then we can simply exterminate all of the animals in the watershed. See how stupid simple intentions can get when you do not think?

Have we learned? NO!

Just last month they figured out that, after destroying the lumber industry in the Northwest, the spotted owl does not just live in old growth forests, oops! We bad! Sorry about killing your businesses and your livelihood, man!

Instead, they find that the spotted owl, which mainly eats flying squirrels, is being competed out by the striped owl which is a generalist predator. When generalist meets specialist, the generalist always wins.

So, now we are going to spend $9 million in the next 10 years to pay hunters to exterminate the striped owl from a large part of the forest, just to see is this will help. A vendetta, species-cide, against a forest animal. The environmentalists should be enraged, but it’s their idea! Those who truly understand nature realize that we should let nature take its course and even let the spotted owl go quietly into oblivion.

Brian H June 27, 2011 at 12:20 pm

Unmentioned by any warmistas or the MSM, the largest glacier in North America is rapidly advancing, and will create a huge glacial lake behind it:

So inconvenient!

BMan June 24, 2011 at 12:13 pm

Actually, I first saw Freeman Dyson talk about CO2 and climate in 1974, I think it was. He filed a minority report as a member of an NAS panel. So no, he is not new to this subject.

Mike Haseler June 22, 2011 at 6:05 am

One can speculate on why, of all the articles available to it, the Court chose to single out this one.

… could it be that they felt there was a strong possibility that anything post climategate would be material in a criminal prosecution of some of those involved and so chose not to prejudice any such criminal proceedings by making comment that could be construed to relate to those events?

Donna Laframboise June 22, 2011 at 8:46 am

Great point.

Also love the photo. Where’s it from?

Michael Snow June 23, 2011 at 12:46 pm

It looks like it is from the Charlie Rose interview.

Dalcio June 22, 2011 at 9:28 am

Good article. Just one minor correction Freeman Dyson has never won a Nobel prize nor does he have a PhD either! Yet he is one of the most accomplished physicists ever.

JCS June 22, 2011 at 2:26 pm

You’re right, Bob LaVelle. Maybe we should all start living like the Amish. After all, they are the only people who live in an environmentally sustainable way!

Michael Snow June 23, 2011 at 12:45 pm

Bob LaVelle apparently thinks we should have remained in the little ice age: ‘Global average temperature has risen a dangerous 1.5 degrees F since 1880’. Let’s hope he does not get a second chance to enjoy it.

Note to Donna: The picture looks like it is from the Charlie Rose interview.

Ray Smith June 24, 2011 at 8:39 pm

The following information provides the proof that, this was the very beginning of EPA’s attempts to control CO2 emissions from automobiles! (According to AL Gore, the Automobile is the leading cause, of CO2 in the environment today. Further these EPA faulty FTP test on automobiles, and those test results found by them, became the very foundation of Al Gores allegations and theory of Global Warming!!! Mr. Gore, if he wants to get it right, before he proceeds with his unfounded allegations!

Dear Mr. Romney:

California was never the place in North America (to use as a model) for developing Clean Air Standards as they relate to automobile emissions, or Global Warming! Let me give you some plain facts that the Union of Concerned Scientist, are not going to change, no matter how hard they try! California is unique in its location to the extent that, all air pollution produced there, blows back in your face from the known process of inversion i.e. the never ending wind, blowing back on shore, from the ocean. All forms of air born pollution, filtered or unfiltered, that goes up into the atmosphere comes right back into your cities, through this known process.

1 This above issue is very important to the cause of concern, or for any scientist seeking to reduce automobile emissions in California (or for that matter the entire east coast) of the alleged pollutants from automobile exhaust systems. The key here is the EPA picked the wrong place, to set rules on the auto industry, it should have been done in the mid west, or some where, that they don’t have reversed air “inversion”, or outside interference. EPA’s laboratory in Ann Arbor Michigan would have been the most ideal spot, to run the tests, and set the emission standards and leave California out of the loop. Here are some intervening facts one needs to consider in attempting to set the EPA auto emission standards! When the average internal combustion engine is running, under normal operating conditions, you simply cannot restrict exhaust flow from the engine accept in an idle mode. Doing so would cause serious damage to the engine and valve systems. Catalytic converters, just do not work under real driving conditions the do not filter the exhaust under normal driving conditions! There are two types of catalytic converters used by the Auto makers today. Identified letters, (a) and (b); (a) is brief description of the components of the monolith converter, typically consists of a ceramic or metal honeycombed monolith substrate that carries precious metal catalysts. The coated substrate is in an Intumescent mat that expands when heated, securing and insulating the substrate which is packaged in a stainless steel shell and fitted into the engine exhaust system. (b) The second type converter incorporated into the exhaust system of an automobile that reduces the amount of pollutants in the automobile’s exhaust gases. Represents a catalytic converter consisting of an insulated chamber containing a porous bed, or substrate, of glass beads coated with catalytic material through which hot exhaust gas must pass before being discharged into the air. The catalyst is one of a variety of metal oxides, usually platinum or palladium, which are heated by exhaust gas to about 500º C (900º F, 737 K). At this temperature unburned hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide are further oxidised, while oxides of nitrogen are chemically reduced in a second chamber with a different catalyst. Problems with catalysts involve their intolerance for leaded fuels (lead-free gasoline must be used otherwise the beads in the catalytic converter will become coated with lead and cease to function properly) and the need to prevent overheating. However because of the conversion of carbon monoxide to carbon dioxide it therefore causes an increase in greenhouse gases and in the process of removing toxic gases to less non-toxic gases it causes an increase in the greenhouse effect. Neither device is constructed in such a way that they cause back pressure to the exhaust system, to the point that they would filter any gases coming out of the tailpipe, period. (Another) interesting tidbit of information about the development of these (two) devices which occurred about the same time the regulations were set by EPA. GM, General Motors recognizing a profit could be made on the devices, that in turn the cost of the devices could be passed onto the consumer, GM made a very lucrative wise business decision, traveling to South Africa, and purchasing all the rare earth minerals, in palladium and rhodium mines, in the country! This was a good deal for GM.

2 EPA initially, after viewing California’s smoggy situation, in the major cities arrived at the conclusion, that, the smog in the over populated cities was coming from the automobiles. (If in the end it is concluded the auto is responsible, stop driving vehicles their with gasoline engines in California)They arrived at this opinion after viewing what we call, i.e. (fugitive emissions using no instruments) just by making eye observations of the conditions by actually seeing the alleged smoke. Further, once EPA arrived at their conclusion, that, California’s major metropolitan Cities, were, polluted with a serious case of Smog, fog, or fugitive emissions. All of the experts originally involved in the investigation decided, that this, was a good place for EPA to start developing Air Standards, first, in California. With EPA placing the direct blame onto the Automobile for the above conditions. Back at EPA’S, Ann Arbor Michigan testing facilities, their first step was to develop a test to measure all of the various particulates and noxious gasses coming out the exhaust pipe of an automobile powered by a gasoline engine. As mentioned before, there were some known pollutants coming out the exhaust of an automobile, that EPA did not have instruments to measure. In efforts to keep up with the new clean air act laws, and meet the deadlines placed on them by EPA and California Air Quality people. The EPA had to act very quickly, to come up with some emission standards and set those numbers so the Automotive industry could comply with the New requirements of the law, themselves!

3 To pursue this course of action, EPA had to develop a standard test naming it the (FTP) Federal Testing Procedure to be used for testing all vehicles for emissions output. This test consisted of a series of preprogrammed computerized test (driving cycles) that could be programmed into their computers. It was the intent of EPA to duplicate realistic driving cycles, so that, when an automobile was run on the dyno. The driving cycles used, were to represent the way the average driver drove his/her car on the street. When a vehicle is placed on a dynamometer for the FTP, test, is run, a flexible exhaust pipe is attached to the vehicle and the exhaust hose is attached to the instruments which takes readings of the emissions expelled from the test vehicle. These readings, measured the particulate matter and emissions (after the catalyst burn) that is coming out of the exhaust pipe. All of the automobiles being tested are all equipped with the newly developed catalytic converters. An EPA technician sets in the vehicle during a test, but is not involved in operation of the vehicle being tested; the operation of the vehicle on the dyno is all automated. The technician may at times if in an emergency situation, he/she may be required to apply the brakes if a safety cable broke?

4 Here is where the real EPA boondoggle begins at the EPA, which in my mind perpetrates the greatest case of fraud by a Government agency has committed against its people that I have ever seen. This case of fraud committed by authorities at EPA, and they condone these facts, and also convinced perhaps 35,000, plus or minus scientists, around the world who agree with them! That after spending all that money on emission devices, that the automobile is still responsible for most of the CO2 in the atmosphere? In my view, here’s what Detroit and EPA, and possibly California air quality experts took part in, to make it look like the emission systems were working after the vehicle went through a test! I mention Detroit meaning the auto manufacturing Industry, simply because they may have known the facts I have revealed here. When EPA had developed the faulty driving cycles used in the FTP, in the end, it benefited the auto industry. As the result of the faulty FTP test showed higher (MPG) miles per gallon, obtained on a vehicle and less pollutants put out the tailpipe? If the FTP driving cycles, were changed to reflect what goes on in the real world as far as driving is concerned, there would be a different set of circumstances if the driving cycles were more aggressive, so as to represent how the American consumer drives his/her automobile on the street. If EPA”S dyno’s were corrected to reflect real world driving conditions, no vehicle placed on the FTP test would pass the emission tests, and MPG would be reduced significantly. Beside this, certainly the auto industry did not complain or object to the faulty driving cycles developed by EPA. After all they stood to prosper and were set, to make billions of dollars on emission control devices that they were forced to use, by our government, in order to comply with the Clean Air Act, using the FTP. Everyone, up the chain of command knew that, if driving cycles were changed to represent the way the average person drove their car on the street. That the systems devised and put on every car in America, to reduce auto emissions, simply, in plain English, do not work in the real world like they are alleged to do! Under these conditions, some people in the chain have remained silent, in other words, why bite off your nose to spite your face, leave well enough alone? EPA set the Federal Air Emissions Standards for all Automobiles’ on the above proceeding basis. (As stated before, and of interest to some, the standards were set before EPA had instruments to measure some of the eminent). The testing procedures were developed by EPA to make it look like the emissions systems (specifically the catalytic converter was working) by using driving cycles that do not represent the way a person would drive their car on the street. These are very serious allegations I have made here, I have in my possession the EPA internal documentation, to prove the points I raise here.

4 Here is the bottom line, if Scientists really want to do something to help mankind and disprove the allegations I make, on the above subject, they should develop a “tracer” that can be mixed with gasoline, run through a vehicles engine! Then by some means, take a sample from the outer atmosphere and capture the specific CO2, that automobiles are emitting, and putting there, that is the easy part. Once you conclude from that samples brought back, is indeed CO2 with a “tracer” in it, you have proven the point. Sounds simple doesn’t it? It is not, and this is where the real work begins. Now you must determine what percentage of total CO2 in the upper, outer, atmosphere. Using the sample brought back, with the tracer in you can define the percentage that represents that attributed to being put there, by automobiles? Perhaps you could use some harmless radio isotope with a half life of 72 hours (such as sodium 24) could for this test. After such a test is conducted, if Scientist would conclude, that “xyz” proves to the world, that the automobile is responsible for contributing the most CO2 into the atmosphere, and not by some other source? I for one would then believe that, i.e. automobiles are responsible for most of the CO2 in our outer atmosphere. Until such time that a test of this magnitude is run, if I were a scientist, or a concerned environmentalist I would not make such assumptions or claims, i.e. that the automobile is responsible for most of the CO2 in the atmosphere!

Just imagine all the hundreds of billions of dollars this country, and others, have thrown away on worthless devices, mandated by our government to be placed on all automobiles, powered by internal combustion engines, just to sell a car in America $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$. Just think of all the money used that was not cost effective, that could have been spent for useful purposes, like feeding the hungry, or providing the funds to assure that every American could collect social security, when they retire, just to name a few! Take a deep breath, all of you that are out there, quit predicting and making assumptions, tell the truth, man is not causing Global Warming? Our own Environmental Protection Agency, (EPA) at the moment, under the direction of the President of the United States of America, Barack Obama, has just put EPA in total control. Of massive unnecessary new regulations, that will now regulate emission controls, and stop Global warming, what ever that means? What I am reading about EPA’S plans to fulfill the Presidents newest request with new EPA regulations regulating these specific subjects scares the hell out of me! America is on a course of the greatest financial disaster we have ever seen (brought on by ourselves) when it comes to our efforts to fix auto emissions and stop Global warming! To embark on such a goal would take us back to the Civil war, and before it is all over, there might be another one, just to gain our freedom back. For EPA to enforce controls beyond where they are today, and comply with the presidents wishes, the projected cost to the US taxpayer, will exceed hundreds of Trillions of dollars. Where will the money come from? Not us, the average consumer cannot afford to pay for this nightmare? Will the Government print the money, and try and sell the debt to another nation, to pay the bill? Even considering how stupid this sounds, this would be our only alterative! Here is the bottom line on stupidity, after we spend hundreds of trillions of dollars, carrying out the presidents plan, the earth will be no cleaner or better off, and we will still have Natural born Global warming! Wake up America!!! For the president to appoint EPA to do this job, he is admitting EPA has failed in their past endeavors to clean up the environment, just consider for example these facts I bring to you, a total failure on EPA part when it comes to them regulating Automobile emissions, for all these years, this proves this point I make. Such a move to put EPA in charge of these all important matters is like putting the fox in charge of guarding the hen house!

Turning now to the future car that will obtain 60 miles per gallon?

Let the automobile manufactures alone, they are under pressure to build new cars and trucks that will obtain maximum efficiency and hopefully it will be a safe one! I am not so sure how safe they will be, given the fact in order to obtain Obama’s goals cars will be built out of, mostly plastics, and have an engine that has one cylinder in it. Uncle Sam or Obama does not need to tell Detroit how to build an Automobile! If so it would create another disaster that brought us to where we are today i.e. that because of the forced failed federal regulations of the past, we are now are being blamed for being the sole cause of Global Warming! The Auto industry will need to improve MPG to stay alive, in the market place, and they now get this point. Alternative fuels are a long way off, and electric cars and trucks are not an immediate answer to our problems. Most of us could not afford a hybrid, or electric car! Let the politicians in Washington DC stick to running our government, most on one side of the isle, could not build a soap box derby, or balance the budget? Let the Scientists keep mixing their chemicals and not trying to build emission free automobiles that run on fossil fuels. AMERICA cannot wait on new technology that will never be reasonably priced. What we can do is CONSERVE ENERGY & SAVE AMERICA until technology catches up and we tap all of our known sources of Energy!

In closing, the world is changing, and I do not believe Global Warming is caused by man. No scientist, politician, or automobile engineer skilled in his/her field will convince an intelligent person of this false doctrine! Changes have been happening as far as our environment is concerned for hundreds or thousands, or millions of years. It gets warmer, then colder, glaciers melt, earth quakes happen, and we have volcanic eruptions, which cause fallouts of particulate matter which goes into the atmosphere, and falls on the earth for thousands of years, and so on! Man cannot stop this, no matter what he tries to do!

Sincerely, Ray P. Smith,
P.S get rid of the EPA!

Alvin Lowi June 25, 2011 at 12:13 am

“Sustainability” is another sly term that provides cover for hubris untouched by scientific skepticism. Who is the authority for sustainability? Every succeeding generation makes a fool out of the most venerable authorities of the prior generation with the irrepressible technological advances that mature only with time. How is it the world has had at least forty years of proven oil reserves for the past hundred years notwithstanding tremendous increases in consumption? Too bad Hubbert is not around to defend his audacious prognostigation.

Alvin Lowi June 25, 2011 at 1:02 am

“Many people assume that cheaper, more abundant energy will mean that mankind is better off, but there is no evidence for that.” – Laura Nader (sister of Ralph)
Ms. Nader is obvious blind, as is one who chooses not see. She might as well be cloistered with the long deceased Rev. Robert Malthus and the Luddites.

BobRGeologist June 27, 2011 at 9:07 pm

I believe our Supreme Court has finally based its opinion on the science involved in climate change instead of “Green Dreams” poliicy.

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