EPA action endangers good public policy

 

Advocates of climate change have become increasingly shrill in their alarmist claims of doom and gloom lately, arguing in recent weeks (as reported in CFACT’s Climate Depot) that global warming will kill millions through droughts and floods, bring humanity back to the Stone Age, and (perhaps even most troubling) is responsible for costing Tiger Woods a U.S. Open championship.

Incredibly, they are quick to ridicule any skeptic who would question their alarmist cries, and some even advocate putting such nay-sayers on trial for “crimes against humanity.”

Now comes word that EPA might have gone so far as to mute a dissenting opinion on its CO2 Endangerment review panel – an action that might have had an impact in last week’s cap and trade vote in the House.  According to CNS News, “The EPA did not publicly release a March report that raised questions about the validity of the agency’s conclusions that carbon emissions are a cause of global warming and a danger to human health–primary assumptions behind the cap-and-trade bill that passed the House on Friday.”  By not releasing the full report, and even going so far as to tell the dissenting scientist “not to share his findings,” it appears the Obama Administration might be engaged in the kind of closed government modus operandi they were fond of accusing their predecessors of practicing.

According to CNS News:

“The report was an evaluation of the EPA’s current Technical Support Document (TSD), analyzing the endangerment of human health caused by greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite the unpublished report’s argument that the TSD was not conclusive in its findings, the EPA told the White House that carbon emissions did indeed endanger the health and welfare of Americans.

The Competitive Enterprise Institute obtained and released a draft of the dissenting document last week, along with internal correspondence CEI says proves the report “was kept under wraps and its author silenced because of pressure to support the Administration’s agenda of regulating carbon dioxide.”

The authors of the report, which was conducted by the National Center for Environmental Economics (NCEE), a branch of the EPA, said: “We have become increasingly concerned that EPA and many other agencies and countries have paid too little attention to the science of global warming.”

“EPA and others have tended to accept the findings reached by outside groups,” the report said, “without a careful and critical examination of their conclusions and documentation.”

According to the document, these were some of the factual concerns the EPA had not addressed in the TSD:

–The TSD glosses over long-term cyclical variations in ocean temperature, similar to El Nino, which “are by far the best single explanation for global temperature fluctuations,” says the report.

The Pacific Decadal Oscillation and the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation are such variations, and occur in roughly 60-year cycles, as opposed to the 3-5 year El Nino cycle. Their role is “not really explained in the draft TSD,” the report says. “(A)t the very least, there needs to be an explanation as to why (EPA) believes that these evident cycles do not exist or why they are much more unimportant than we believe them to be.”

–The TSD neglects to explore the “strong association between solar sunspots/irradiance and global temperature fluctuations.” It dismissed solar variations based on data obtained by a U.N. climate panel, but the veracity of that data has since been called into question. New research “suggests that solar variability could account for up to 68 percent of the increase in Earth’s global temperatures.”

— The TSD’s assumption that greenhouse gases have triggered global warming is hard to verify, because “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.”

–Global temperatures have declined for 11 straight years, and at the same time, “atmospheric CO2 levels have continued to increase and CO2 emissions have accelerated.” The TSD does not reconcile these findings.

–The TSD finds that there is endangerment to Americans’ health and welfare due to greenhouse gas emissions, but the dissenting report says there is an “obvious logical problem posed by steadily increasing U.S. health and welfare measures.”

The report calls for a thorough internal review of the science used in the EPA’s guidance on global warming: “We believe that this review should start immediately and be a continuing effort as long as there is a serious possibility that EPA may be called upon to implement regulations designed to reduce global warming.”

The document, however, was never released by the EPA and the House of Representatives voted last Friday to approve the American Clean Energy and Security Act, which would curb greenhouse gas emissions if enacted.”

 

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About the Author: Craig Rucker

Craig Rucker is the executive director and co-founder of CFACT.