Global Warming News - June 2009
Real News Stories To Share With Global-Warming Skeptics
According to NOAA's National Climatic Data Center in Asheville, NC, June temperatures were nearly average for the contiguous United States, based on records going back to 1895. The average June temperature of 69.5ºF (20.8ºC), was only 0.2ºF (0.1ºC) above the 20th century mean. However, it was cooler in some areas than others...
June was not very summer-like in the Northeast. Eleven of the twelve states in the region posted below-normal temperatures and above-normal precipitation in June. Overall, the Northeast's average temperature of 63.8ºF (17.7ºC) was 1.2ºF (0.7ºC) below the normal June value and 3.4°F (1.9°C) cooler than June 2008. The New England states had the greatest negative temperature departures; in fact, it was the 10th coolest June in 115 years in Massachusetts and Rhode Island. These two states were also the coolest in the Northeast. Departures were 2.7ºF (1.5ºC) below normal in Massachusetts and 3.2ºF (1.8ºC) cooler than normal in Rhode Island.
Most of the region saw above normal rainfall in June. Delaware's 6.51 inches (16.54 cm) was 184 percent of normal. It was the 5th wettest June since 1895 in Delaware, the 6th wettest in New Jersey and the 7th wettest in Maine. Overall, the Northeast total of 5.15 inches made June 2009 the 10th wettest in 115 years. The wet conditions were not a result of a few extraordinary rain events, but lots of rainy days. In New Jersey, for instance, measurable rain fell somewhere in the state every day of the month except the 1st.
In the Midwest, average daily temperatures during June ranged from 4ºF to 5ºF (2.2ºC to 2.8ºC) below normal in northern Minnesota to 2ºF to 3ºF (1.1ºC to 1.7ºC) above normal across southern Missouri eastward into Kentucky. The cool weather regime in May continued through the first half of June. Temperatures during the first two weeks of June were below normal across much of the region, ranging from 8ºF to 9ºF (4.4ºC to 5.0ºC) below normal in western Minnesota to near normal along and south of the Ohio River. There was a marked change the last two weeks of the month as an upper level ridge centered over the Gulf Coast states pushed northward into the Midwest.
On June 1st, the forecast for the Central California coastal areas was cloudy and cool. A heavy marine layer produced sporadic drizzle for the last several days of May, and was expected to stick around at least through the first week of June. The coast was expected to see very little sun, with highs only in the mid to upper 60s. The inland valleys were expected to reach the low to mid 70s. National Weather Service forecaster Stan Wasowski said, "This is good for people who like mild weather.”
On June 6th, Green Bay Wisconsin set a record for June 6th with a high temp of only 52ºF, which it reached at 9:50 AM. That set a record for the lowest high temperature for June 6th, according to the National Weather Service office in Ashwaubenon. The old mark was 53F, set in 1943. Similar records were set across Wisconsin. Manitowoc's high was 54ºF, breaking the record of 56ºF set in 1935. In central Wisconsin, records were set in Stevens Point, Wisconsin Rapids, Marshfield and Merrill, all breaking marks set in 1935.
Also on June 6th, snow fell in Dickinson, North Dakota. It was the first time snow had fallen there past May in nearly 60 years. National Weather Service meteorologist Janine Vining in Bismarck said there were unofficial reports of a couple of inches of snow in Dickinson. Vining said snow in North Dakota in June is uncommon, though not unheard of.
On June 12th, WGN-TV in Chicago was reporting that June's chills were setting records. As of that date, June was running more than 12 degrees cooler than last year, and the clouds, rain and chilly lake winds had been persistent. The average temperature at O'Hare International Airport was only 59.5ºF: nearly 7 degrees below normal and the coldest since records there began 50 years ago.
On June 19th, 'The Arizona Republic' was talking about what a "nice June" they were having in Phoenix. "It's probably the best June since I've been here, and I've been here most of my life," said the National Weather Service's Valerie Meyers, who is in her late 40s. "It's been really nice." Possibly the nicest June ever.
It's that type of thing that is fun to say but hard to quantify. Thursday June 18th, however, was the 14th consecutive day to stay below 100ºF. That's the longest stretch of its kind in any June since 1913. The lower temperatures allowed people to sleep with windows open and drive with their arms out vehicle windows. Evenings, could be spent chatting with neighbors while children or grandchildren played. Those events are not life-changing, but they are, well, "nice".
Typically in June, high-pressure systems begin to form above the Valley. High pressure means clear skies and little wind. And, in June, clear skies let in the sunshine, sending the temperatures soaring. This June, though, remained cool because of what Meyers called "a persistent area of low pressure off the West Coast." The low pressure prevented the high-pressure systems from getting into place.
On June 16th, Anthony Watts posted a story at his Watts Up With That? blog about the first "Ice Wine" ever produced in Brazil. Due to the unusually cold June in Southern Brazil, the Vinicolo Vineyard was able to produce the highly prized wine. According to the vineyard's website, the temperatures had fallen well below-freezing to -7.5ºC. This is more anecdotal evidence that the globe is cooling rather than heating.
Frozen grapes used for Icewine - Brazil, 2009
Icewine is a natural licoroso wine, with a raised amount of residual sugar. Making Icewine requires that mature grapes be exposed to extreme cold at -6ºC. The water in the interior of the grapes freezes and separates from the juice which congeals and is rich in sugar. When the grapes are just right, they’re carefully picked by hand. Grapes in this condition have a very low yield - often an entire vine only makes a single bottle. That’s why icewine can be so expensive and is often sold in half-bottles only. After the long harvest process, the grapes go through weeks of fermentation, followed by a few months of barrel aging. The Vinicolo Vineyard uses new barrels of French oak, from the Allier forest. The wine ends up a golden color, or a deep, rich amber. It has, as you might expect, a very sweet taste.
Crops Under Stress As Temps Fall: On June 13th, columnist Christopher Booker wrote an article for the Telegraph (UK), in which he says that "Our politicians haven't noticed that the problem may be that the world is not warming but cooling."
For the second time in little over a year, it looks as though the world may be heading for a serious food crisis, thanks to our old friend "climate change". In many parts of the world recently the weather has not been too brilliant for farmers. After a fearsomely cold winter, June brought heavy snowfall across large parts of western Canada and the northern states of the American Midwest. In Manitoba last week, it was -4ºC. North Dakota had its first June snow for 60 years.
There was midsummer snow not just in Norway and the Cairngorms, but even in Saudi Arabia. At least in the southern hemisphere it is winter, but snowfalls in New Zealand and Australia have been abnormal. There have been frosts in Brazil, elsewhere in South America they have had prolonged droughts, while in China they have had to cope with abnormal rain and freak hailstorms, which in one province killed 20 people...
In Canada and northern America summer planting of corn and soybeans has been way behind schedule, with the prospect of reduced yields and lower quality. Grain stocks are predicted to be down 15 per cent next year. US reserves of soya – used in animal feed and in many processed foods – are expected to fall to a 32-year low...
In Europe, the weather has been a factor in well-below average predicted crop yields in eastern Europe and Ukraine. In Britain this year's oilseed rape crop is likely to be 30 per cent below its 2008 level. And although it may be too early to predict a repeat of last year's food shortage, which provoked riots from west Africa to Egypt and Yemen, it seems possible that world food stocks may next year again be under severe strain...
There are obviously various reasons for this concern as to whether the world can continue to feed itself, but one of them is undoubtedly the downturn in world temperatures, which has brought more cold and snow since 2007 than we have known for decades... In the past two years, sunspot activity has dropped to its lowest point for a century. One of our biggest worries is that our politicians are so fixated on the idea that CO2 is causing global warming that most of them haven't noticed that the problem may be that the world is not warming but cooling, with all the implications that has for whether we get enough to eat.
--Christopher Booker, Crops Under Stress As Temperatures Fall, 13 June 2009
Global Temp 'Average' in June: Dr. Roy W. Spencer -- climatologist, author and former NASA scientist -- announced on his Global Warming blog, that the UAH (University of Alabama at Huntsville) satellite data shows that the global temperature anomaly (departure from the average) was 0.0ºF for June. In other words, the global temperature for June was exactly at the average temperature for the period 1979-2009 -- the entire period in which satellite data records have been kept.
Global temps 1979-2009. (Click to enlarge)
Climate Change Reconsidered: On June 2nd, the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) released an 880-page book that challenges "the scientific basis of concerns that global warming is either man-made or would have harmful effects." From their own web site...
In "Climate Change Reconsidered: The 2009 Report of the Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC)", coauthors Dr. S. Fred Singer and Dr. Craig Idso and 35 contributors and reviewers present an authoritative and detailed rebuttal of the findings of the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), on which the Obama Administration and Democrats in Congress rely for their regulatory proposals.
The scholarship in this book demonstrates overwhelming scientific support for the position that the warming of the twentieth century was moderate and not unprecedented, that its impact on human health and wildlife was positive, and that carbon dioxide probably is not the driving factor behind climate change.
The authors cite thousands of peer-reviewed research papers and books that were ignored by the IPCC, plus additional scientific research that became available after the IPCC’s self-imposed deadline of May 2006.
The Nongovernmental International Panel on Climate Change (NIPCC) is an international panel of nongovernment scientists and scholars who have come together to understand the causes and consequences of climate change. Because it is not a government agency, and because its members are not predisposed to believe climate change is caused by human greenhouse gas emissions, NIPCC is able to offer an independent "second opinion" of the evidence reviewed by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). NIPCC traces its roots to a meeting in Milan in 2003 organized by the Science and Environmental Policy Project (SEPP), a nonprofit research and education organization based in Arlington, Virginia. SEPP, in turn, was founded in 1990 by Dr. S. Fred Singer, an atmospheric physicist, and incorporated in 1992 following Dr. Singer’s retirement from the University of Virginia.
You can download the full text of the book in PDF format HERE.
The Thermostat Hypothesis: On June 14th, Anthony Watts posted a guest article with the same title by Willis Eschenbach, at his Watts Up With That? blog. Eschenbach points out that the temperature of the earth has been amazingly stable for millions of years...
The globe has maintained a temperature of ± ~ 3% (including ice ages) for at least the last half a billion years during which we can estimate the temperature. During the Holocene, temperatures have not varied by ± 1%. And during the ice ages, the temperature was generally similarly stable as well.
--Willis Eschenbach, The Thermostat Hypothesis, 14 June 2009
Eschenbach posits that the reason for this temperature stability lies in the self-regulating characteristics of the earth's oceans and atmosphere. In short...
The Thermostat Hypothesis is that tropical clouds and thunderstorms actively regulate the temperature of the earth. This keeps the earth at a equilibrium temperature. Several kinds of evidence are presented to establish and elucidate the Thermostat Hypothesis – historical temperature stability of the Earth, theoretical considerations, satellite photos, and a description of the equilibrium mechanism.
--Willis Eschenbach, The Thermostat Hypothesis, 14 June 2009
Eschenbach points to work done by Bejan (Bejan 2005) which has shown that "the climate can be robustly modeled as a heat engine, with the ocean and the atmosphere being the working fluids. The tropics are the hot end of the heat engine."
Earth as a heat engine.
The work that this heat engine does effectively prevents the earth from being burned to a crisp, by transporting heat from the tropics towards the poles, thus regulating temperatures. Evaporation and cloud formation play an important role in this process. As the day heats up in the tropics, evaporation causes formation of first cumulus and then cumulo-nimbus clouds. These clouds not only reflect heat back into space, but eventually result in thunderstorms which in turn act to cool the earth's surface...
Now, some scientists have claimed that clouds have a positive feedback. Because of this, the areas where there are more clouds will end up warmer than areas with less clouds. This positive feedback is seen as the reason that clouds and warmth are correlated. I and others take the opposite view of that correlation. I hold that the clouds are caused by the warmth, not that the warmth is caused by the clouds.
--Willis Eschenbach, The Thermostat Hypothesis, 14 June 2009
Eschenbach then demonstrates that cloud formation is caused by warmth and not the other way around. He does this very graphically with the use of an image that shows monthly average albedo six months apart - in August and in February. Earth's albedo -- or reflectivity (primarily caused by clouds) -- changes with the position of the sun. August is the middle of summer in the northern hemisphere, and February is the middle of summer in the southern hemisphere. Albedo, represented by the lighter blue color in the following image, is more prevalent in the northern hemisphere during August and in the southern hemisphere during February. [Editor's Note: The Sahara desert and Saudi Arabia are still reflective in February due to the lack of vegetation in these areas.]
Albedo moves with sun-generated clouds.
Eschenbach then goes on to describe various other factors which contribute to earth's temperature self-regulation, and finally he concludes...
1. The sun puts out more than enough energy to totally roast the earth. It is kept from doing so by the clouds reflecting about a third of the sun’s energy back to space. As near as we can tell, this system of cloud formation to limit temperature rises has never failed.
2. This reflective shield of clouds forms in the tropics in response to increasing temperature.
3. As tropical temperatures continue to rise, the reflective shield is assisted by the formation of independent heat engines called thunderstorms. These cool the surface in a host of ways, move heat aloft, and convert heat to work.
4. Like cumulus clouds, thunderstorms also form in response to increasing temperature.
5. Because they are temperature driven, as tropical temperatures rise, tropical thunderstorms and cumulus production increase. These combine to regulate and limit the temperature rise. When tropical temperatures are cool, tropical skies clear and the earth rapidly warms. But when the tropics heat up, cumulus and cumulo-nimbus put a limit on the warming. This system keeps the earth within a fairly narrow band of temperatures.
6. The earth’s temperature regulation system is based on the unchanging physics of wind, water, and cloud.
7. This is a reasonable explanation for how the temperature of the earth has stayed so stable (or more recently, bi-stable as glacial and interglacial) for hundreds of millions of years.
--Willis Eschenbach, The Thermostat Hypothesis, 14 June 2009
NASA Rewrites U.S. Climate History: On June 28th, Anthony Watts posted another guest article, this one by Bob Tisdale. Tisdale generated a blink comparator which shows how NASA has been fiddling with the U.S. climate data. Not surprisingly, the "new and improved" version of U.S. climate data makes the temperature increase slightly steeper...
NASA adjusts U.S. temp record. (Click to enlarge)
Capitalism Kills the Earth: If you want a good laugh, read the following article from Alby Dallas at Green Left Online. Since the article was short, I have reproduced it here in its entirety. You just can't make this stuff up...
The threat of climate change means that for the first time humanity is faced with the very real possibility of extinction [emphasis added]. The root cause of the ecological crisis is capitalism’s drive to maximise immediate profits above all else.
The UN has estimated that the total cost of conserving tropical forests, reforesting the Earth to an environmentally healthy level, reversing desertification, developing renewable energy and implementing energy efficient practices is about the same as just a few months of global military spending.
This is only one example of why this system is profoundly at odds with a sustainable planet. The exploitation of nature is as fundamental to the profit system as the exploitation of workers.
Capitalist economics treats the air, rivers, seas and soil as a “free gift of nature” to business.
Right-wing economist Milton Friedman said the only social responsibility of business was to make as much money for its shareholders as possible. Most major companies aren’t quite so honest. The big polluters spend millions advertising themselves as “green”, while they continue to plunder the Earth to keep the shareholders happy.
The market system can’t help preserve the environment for future generations because it cannot take into account the long-term needs of people and planet. The competition between individual companies to make a profitable return on their investment excludes rational and sustainable planning.
This thirst for profit prevents pro-capitalist governments from responding rationally to the climate crisis — despite the immense scale of the threat.
Stopping climate change is impossible unless the profit motive is removed from the equation. The crisis poses a big choice. We can continue in the ways of capitalism and an unhabitable planet, or we can start down the democratic socialist path — a path of harmony with nature, grassroots democracy and respect for life.
Please note (if you haven't already), that this article is filled with unsubstantiated claims, left-wing talking points, over-simplifications, broad generalizations, slanderous attacks, and wild accusations. No references are given for the quotes. No proofs are provided for the accusations. No analysis is provided for the claims. Frankly, it is all emotional BS. Unfortunately, this is the kind of mind-set we skeptics face.
The Costs of Carbon Legislation: Robert P. Murphy wrote an interesting article for the Ludwig von Mises Institute discussing how the costs of the Waxman-Markey bill will be much higher than economists like Paul Krugman of the NY Times suggest. The Ludwig von Mises Institute describes itself as "the world center of the Austrian School of economics and libertarian political and social theory". Here are some brief excerpts...
The latest IPCC report (AR4 (PDF)) says that aggressive action against GHG [greenhouse gas] emissions - and the schedule of cutbacks contained in Waxman-Markey is very aggressive in the range of models studied by the IPCC - could cost up to 5.5 percent of global GDP by the year 2050, relative to the baseline trajectory of GDP if no carbon caps are imposed. Don't take my word - or the Heritage Foundation's - for it, either; big-time activist Joe Romm quotes their figure HERE...
It gets worse. These MIT and IPCC estimates assume an optimal enforcement of the climate policies, for all major governments and for a century straight. If you move beyond the "Summary for Policymakers" and turn to the actual meat of the IPCC report, you will find the following major caveat:It is important to note that for the following reported cost estimates, the vast majority of the models assume transparent markets, no transaction costs, and thus perfect implementation of policy measures throughout the 21st century, leading to the universal adoption of cost-effective mitigations measures, such as carbon taxes or universal cap and trade programmes... Relaxation of these modelling assumptions, alone or in combination (e.g. mitigation-only in Annex I countries, no emissions trading, or CO2-only mitigation), will lead to an appreciable increase in all cost categories. (Working Group III, p. 204, emphasis added)
It gets even worse. Most, and perhaps all, of these studies assume that the government uses the proceeds of the cap and trade (or carbon tax) in an efficient manner... what these typical studies call the "cost" - which can rise up to 5.5 percent of GDP by 2050, remember - refers to the forfeited goods and services due to the constraints on production possibilities, since the economy must emit a smaller amount of carbon dioxide. Yet the government in practice will certainly spend more money than it otherwise would... [and] will end up squandering far more than 5.5 percent of total output in the year 2050...
We have seen that the economic harms of legislation such as Waxman-Markey could be quite high. So what will it do to avert climate damage? According to this estimate by climate scientist Chip Knappenberger, Waxman-Markey would lead to a planet that warmed 9/100ths of a degree Fahrenheit less than would otherwise be the case, by the year 2050. In case you think Knappenberger's figure is bogus, look at the reaction by NASA scientists and others at a leading pro-intervention blog. They don't dispute the figure; they instead say that the United States must show leadership by capping its own emissions...
The global-warming debate has now been completely politicized, and partisans on both sides have often injected hidden values masquerading as scientific facts... Even so, I think that the real threat to humanity comes from governments growing ever more powerful in the name of fighting climate change... Whether you are a "denier" or whether you think carbon dioxide emissions need to be sharply reduced very quickly, you should be extremely skeptical of the process now unfolding in Washington. This isn't about saving the planet; it's about money and power.
--Robert P. Murphy, The Costs of Carbon Legislation, 1 June 2009
Global Warming Is Baloney: A Burger King franchise owner in Tennessee decided to weigh in on the global warming debate. The franchisee, a Memphis-based company called the Mirabile Investment Corporation (MIC) that owns more than 40 Burger Kings across Tennessee, Arkansas and Mississippi, started putting up signs saying: "Global Warming Is Baloney".
A local newspaper reporter in Memphis Tennessee, noticed the signs outside two Burger King restaurants in the city and contacted the corporation to establish if the message represented its official viewpoint. Burger King's headquarters in Miami said it did not, adding that it had ordered MIC to take the signs down. A few days later readers of the Memphis paper said they had seen about a dozen Burger King restaurants across the state displaying the signs and that some had yet to be taken down. MIC said it did not believe Burger King had the authority to make them take the signs down.
The Guardian (UK) was able to contact John McNelis, MIC's marketing president, who said, "I would think [Burger King] would run from any form of controversy kinda like cockroaches when the lights get turned on. I'm not aware of any direction that they gave the franchisee and I don't think they have the authority to do it." McNelis added: "The [restaurant] management team can put the message up there if they want to. It is private property and here in the US we do have some rights. Notwithstanding a franchise agreement, I could load a Brinks vehicle with [rights] I've got so many of them. By the time the Burger King lawyers work out how to make that stick we'd be in the year 2020." He continued: "Burger King can bluster all they want about what they can tell the franchisee to do, but we have free-speech rights in this country so I don't think there's any concerns."
ICCC Three: Marc Sheppard wrote a rather lengthy piece at American Thinker about the third major meeting of the International Conference on Climate Change that was held in Washington, DC...
A mere twelve weeks had passed since he gaveled the close of the second International Conference on Climate Change in NYC. Yet last Tuesday found Joseph Bast already delivering the opening speech to its follow-up event, again featuring an elite group of scientists, economists and politicians gathered to discuss climate science and policy. But this time he stood in DC’s Washington Court Hotel, just blocks away from the chamber in which Democrats will soon attempt to pass the very legislation compelling this urgent session – the Waxman-Markey Cap-and-Trade bill.
--Marc Sheppard, ICCC Three Brings Climate Reality To Washington DC, 7 June 2007
Sheppard provides us with a good run-down on the events of the meeting which was hastily arranged but nevertheless drew over 250 attendees. Here are few excerpts...
Bast wasted no time attacking the consensus canard and cited the mainstream media’s (MSM) success in keeping the existence of tens of thousands of scientists that dispute the notion of manmade global warming mostly secret as its foundation. He likened anthropogenic global warming (AGW) hysteria to the type of crowd madness that 19th century writer Charles MacKay coined as “an Extraordinary Popular Delusion,” in which even highly intelligent people can get swept up in a fad or idea which in retrospect was obviously false...
[MIT’s Richard] Lindzen explained why the process behind the U.N’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment Report (AR4) claim of man’s responsibility for the warming since 1954 is “an embarrassment.” First they created a number of models which could not “reasonably simulate known patterns of natural behavior (such as El Niño (ENSO), the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO), the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO)), claiming that such models nonetheless accurately depicted natural internal climate variability.” Then, when those models failed to replicate the warming episode from the mid seventies through the mid nineties, they proclaimed it proof that “forcing was necessary and that the forcing must have been due to man.” And they relied upon those same “existing poorly performing models” which are fraught with “errors in the feedback factors” to make their argument that “sensitivity to a doubling of CO2 could be anything from 1.5 to 5°C based on the claimed range of results from different models.” What we see, then, concludes Lindzen, is that the very foundation of the issue of global warming is wrong [emphasis in original]...
S. Fred Singer added that once you recognize that we’re dealing with natural and not human forces all the to-do about this is nonsense. Attempts to mitigate CO2 -- which is not a pollutant – are pointless, very expensive and completely ineffective. They’ll have no effect on the climate and in fact will have little effect on the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Singer challenged the IPCC for proof of its claim that AWG was 90-99% certain, and to respond to the many “disputed and unsolved problems”...
When Solar expert Willie Soon took the stage, he insisted that CO2 is not an “air pollutant,” but rather food for plants and marine life. And that its atmospheric levels are controlled by temperature and other biological/chemical variables -- not the other way around (quipped the astrophysicist: Lung Cancer does not cause smoking). But most of all, a magical CO2 knob for controlling weather and climate simply does not exist... Soon also questioned CO2’s GW involvement based upon the absence of winter warming in places like Salt Lake City where a phenomenon called the CO2 Urban Dome is caused by an “ineffective CO2 sink during nighttime and during winter” when the biosphere is less active. As a result, a chart of SLC [Salt Lake City] CO2 levels from 2002-to-present show winter swings as high as 600 ppmv (current average is around 380). Yet there’s never been any rise in winter temperatures there. Hmmm.
On the other hand, graphs Soon displayed plotting Solar Total Irradiance against Arctic, Greenland and even Sun-Royal Oak, MD surface temperatures in the past century are remarkably well aligned. As was Willie’s final graph plotting Sunshine Duration against Japanese and Northern Hemisphere Temperatures over the same period. Hmmm again...
Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis), who insists that [Cap-and-Trade] be called what it really is – cap-and-tax - believes this administration is bent on signing a treaty in Copenhagen in December and he fears they’ll do so simply for the sake of signing a treaty rather than insisting that the treaty be a good one... And [Sensenbrenner] as the lone Republican to accompany Pelosi’s delegation to China a few days before, what he heard from all China interlocutors, from top on down, is that the Chinese will never go along with an international treaty that mandates the reduction of GHG [greenhouse gasses], but will instead reduce GHG their own way. They demand that the developed world contribute 1% of GDP (that’s $140B from US) to a U.N controlled fund to help with their GHG reduction. So then -- We’d borrow $140B a year from the Chinese to give the Chinese $140B a year. Readers can imagine the laughter this one induced [emphasis in original]...
When Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) took the podium, he opened with one of the event’s funniest lines: “I know a little bit about science. I know there are protons, electrons, neutrons - and MORONS”... But on a more serious note, Rohrabacher posed a few questions he feels must be answered before taxes are raised and lives are controlled. For instance, why do AGW charts tend to use an 1850’s baseline? Could it be because that’s when the LIA [Little Ice Age] ended? And what’s the big deal about a few degrees temperature rise from such historic lows? Good question, indeed.
Senator James Inhofe (R-OK) all but assured us that Waxman-Markey would never pass the Senate. Sure, Pelosi will pass anything, so it’s likely to get through the House. And Reid has promised to bypass the Senate committee process and take the bill straight to floor. But it won’t pass the Senate, where the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, the 2003 Lieberman-McCain, the 2005 McCain-Lieberman and the 2007 Lieberman-Warner were all defeated. They simply will not pass a bill that doesn’t include developing nations. Let’s hope that the congressman from Wisconsin and the Senator from Oklahoma are both correct in their assessments.
--Marc Sheppard, ICCC Three Brings Climate Reality To Washington DC, 7 June 2007
EPA Prejudges GHG Endangerment Issue: On April 2, 2007, in Massachusetts v. EPA, 549 U.S. 497 (2007), the Supreme Court found that greenhouse gases (GHG) are air pollutants covered by the Clean Air Act. The Court held that the [EPA] Administrator must determine whether or not emissions of greenhouse gases from new motor vehicles cause or contribute to air pollution which may reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare, or whether the science is too uncertain to make a reasoned decision. In making these decisions, the Administrator is required to follow the language of section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act. The Supreme Court decision resulted from a petition for rulemaking under section 202(a) filed by more than a dozen environmental, renewable energy, and other organizations. [See HERE and HERE.]
The EPA Administrator signed a proposal with two distinct findings regarding greenhouse gases under section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act:
- The Administrator is proposing to find that the current and projected concentrations of the mix of six key greenhouse gases -- carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), perfluorocarbons (PFCs), and sulfur hexafluoride (SF6) -- in the atmosphere threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations. This is referred to as the endangerment finding.
- The Administrator is further proposing to find that the combined emissions of CO2, CH4, N2O, and HFCs from new motor vehicles and motor vehicle engines contribute to the atmospheric concentrations of these key greenhouse gases and hence to the threat of climate change. This is referred to as the cause or contribute finding.
The Technical Support Document (PDF Document) which the EPA used to justify this finding, relied heavily upon the assessment reports of the UN IPCC and the CCSP (US Climate Change Science Program).
The Proposed Endangerment and Cause or Contribute Findings for Greenhouse Gases under the Clean Air Act was signed on April 17th, 2009. On April 24th, 2009, the proposed rule was published in the Federal Register (www.regulations.gov) under Docket ID No. EPA-HQ-OAR-2009-0171: PDF Document. The public comment period ended on June 23rd, 2009. The comment period was open for 60 days, following the publication of the proposed rule in the Federal Register on April 24th, 2009.
On the final day of the public comment period, the Competitive Enterprise Institute (CEI) submitted a comment (PDF Document), which included (4) internal EPA e-mails which show that the EPA was unwilling to allow one of its own employees to publish a report that was contradictory to the EPA Administrator's Endangerment finding...
CEI is submitting a set of four EPA emails, dated March 12-17, 2009, which indicate that a significant internal critique of EPA’s position on Endangerment was essentially put under wraps and concealed. The study was barred from being circulated within EPA, it was never disclosed to the public, and it was not placed in the docket of this proceeding. The emails further show that the study was treated in this manner not because of any problem with its quality, but for political reasons.
CEI hereby requests that EPA make this study public, place it into the docket, and either extend or reopen the comment period to allow public response to this new study. We also request that EPA publicly declare that it will engage in no reprisals against the author of the study, who has worked at EPA for over 35 years.
The study that is the subject of these e-mails was prepared by a Mr. Alan Carlin, Senior Operations Research Analyst
at EPA’s National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE). The e-mails can be summarized as follows:
1) a March 12th email from Al McGartland, Office Director of EPA’s NCEE, to Alan Carlin, forbidding him from speaking to anyone outside NCEE on endangerment issues;
2) a March 16th email from Mr. Carlin to another NCEE economist, with a cc to Mr. McGartland and two other NCEE staffers, requesting that his study be forwarded to EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation, which directs EPA’s climate change program. The email makes note of the peer-reviewed references in the study, and cites new research subsequent to the IPCC and CCSP assessment reports. He says that this new information "explain much of the observational data that have been collected which cannot be explained by the IPCC models."
3) a March 17th email from Mr. McGartland to Mr. Carlin, stating that he will not forward Mr. Carlin’s study. According to McGartland, "The time for such discussion of fundamental issues has passed for this round. The [EPA] administrator [Lisa Jackson] and the [Obama] administration has decided to move forward on endangerment, and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision... I can only see one impact of your comments given where we are in the process, and that would be a very negative impact on our office.” [Emphasis added]
4) a second March 17th email from Mr. McGartland to Mr. Carlin, dated eight minutes later, stating "I don’t want you to spend any additional EPA time on climate change."
The CEI comment goes on to say...
Mr. McGartland’s emails demonstrate that he was rejecting Mr. Carlin’s study because its conclusions ran counter to EPA’s proposed position. This raises several major issues.
A. Incompleteness of the Rulemaking Record: The end result of withholding Mr. Carlin’s study was to taint the Endangerment Proceeding by denying the public access to important agency information. Court rulings have made it abundantly clear that a rulemaking record should include both "the evidence relied upon [by the agency] and the evidence discarded." Ethyl Corp. v. EPA, 541 F.2d 1, 36 (D.C. Cir. 1976), cert. denied, 426 U.S. 941 (1976).
B. Prejudgment of the Outcome of the Endangerment Proceeding: The emails also suggest that EPA has prejudged the outcome of this proceeding, to the point where it arguably cannot be trusted to fairly evaluate the record before it. Courts have recognized “the danger that an agency, having reached a particular result, may become so committed to that result as to resist engaging in any genuine reconsideration of the issues.” Food Marketing Institute v. ICC, 587 F.2d 1285, 1290 (D.C. Cir. 1978).
C. Violations of EPA’s Commitment to Transparency and Scientific Honesty: Finally, the emails suggest that EPA’s extensive pronouncements about transparency and scientific honesty may just be rhetoric. Shortly before assuming office, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson declared: "As Administrator, I will ensure EPA’s efforts to address the environmental crises of today are rooted in three fundamental values: sciencebased policies and programs, adherence to the rule of law, and overwhelming transparency. Jan. 23, 2009, Link. See also Administrator Jackson’s April 23 Memo to EPA Employees, "Transparency in EPA’s Operations". These follow the President’s own January 21 memo to agency heads on "Transparency and Open Government". And in an April 27 speech to the National Academy of Sciences, the President declared that, "under my administration, the days of science taking a back seat to ideology are over."
On June 26th, the CEI then published Mr. Carlin's draft report at its own website (PDF Document).