The supremes recommend the supreme skeptic

What better endorsement could skeptics ask for? – Anthony

by Lawrence Solomon in the Financial Post

The justices of the United States Supreme Court this week became the world’s most august global warming sceptics. Not by virtue of their legal reasoning – the global warming case they decided turned on a technical legal issue — but in their surprising commentary. Global warming is by no means a settled issue, they made clear, suggesting it would be foolhardy to assume it was.

“The court, we caution, endorses no particular view of the complicated issues related to carbon-dioxide emissions and climate change,” reads the 8-0 decision, delivered by the court’s acclaimed liberal, Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg.

The court decision noted that the Environmental Protection Agency itself had “Acknowledg[ed] that not all scientists agreed on the causes and consequences of the rise in global temperatures,” before suggesting readers consult “views opposing” the conventional wisdom. Specifically, the justices’ recommended reading was a superb profile of Princeton’s Freeman Dyson, perhaps America’s most respected scientist, written in the New York Times Magazine, March 29, 2009.

Freeman, an unabashed skeptic, believes that carbon dioxide, rather than being harmful, is both necessary and desirable, arguing that “increases in atmospheric carbon dioxide produce many beneficial effects upon the natural plant and animal environments of the Earth.”

Somewhat in the same vein, Justice Ginsburg notes carbon dioxide is necessary and ubiquitous, and thus shouldn’t be the target of indiscriminate attacks. “After all, we each emit carbon dioxide merely by breathing,” she notes, repeating a point that Dyson couldn’t have said better himself.

To see exactly what the Supreme Court said in its remarkable American Electric Power v. Connecticut decision, click here.

Lawrence Solomon is executive director of Energy Probe and author of The Deniers.

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See also:

Freeman Dyson: speaking out on “global warming”

Freeman Dyson on Heretical Thoughts and Climate Change

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189 thoughts on “The supremes recommend the supreme skeptic

  1. What the court said is that the EPA has jurisdiction here – not that they don’t believe this isn’t an issue.

  2. Well then, we cannot have the Courts so “politicized” and arbitrarily deciding what is Good for Gaia! Clearly we just need to get the President to sign an Executive Order and make it happen. For the Good of Gaia, after all!

    /s

  3. lol, I love the logic!! That oughta get some blood boiling in the alarmist camp!!

    THE SCOTUS HAS STATED THAT THE SCIENCE ISN’T SETTLED!!! And penned no less by Ruth Bader Ginsburg!

    AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHH!!!!

  4. Another nail in the AGW/Climate Change coffin…
    56F. Expecting a week of colder than normal here in
    NE Oregon-green tomato chow-chow anyone…?

  5. The conclusion is clear. The Supreme Court is full of evil deniers in the pay of big oil.

  6. They’ve either been poisoned or paid off by the Koch brothers.
    Romm will set them straight.

  7. I was surprised and encouraged somewhat by Justice Ginsberg’s footnote. Seems that Ginsberg might be more of a critical thinker rather than most modern liberals.

  8. The first and last bastion of CAGW is still the “Court” of public opinion. Hopefully this ruling will convince he public to look closely at the “science”.

  9. What an amazing reversal. Just a few short years ago, in the case of Mass vs. EPA, the court commented on how AGW was “well recognized”.

    Climategate, the gift that keeps on giving!

  10. When I urinate it’s harmful for the enviroment, when I exhale it’s harmful for the enviroment, when I look at that girl in the red dress it’s harmful to my enviroment. Aren’t there more important issues to concentrate on like recycling, planting tree’s, nuclear power and corrupt speculation.

  11. I heard an interview on the San Francisco NPR station, KALW, on the
    Marty Nemko show about a mouth ago, which was priceless. Doctor
    Dyson doesn’t mince words when talks about the people behind AGW.

  12. Diana Ross and the Supremes performed some of the greatest songs of the classic soul era, Keep Me Hangin On and Where did our love go being among my favorites. Much respect there, but I must say that Ronnie Spector and the Ronnettes are my favorite girl band of that style; Ronnie’s raw earnest vocal style seems to create a stronger emotional connection with me. Oh what, Supreme Court? Forget them. . .

  13. At what point do the fanatical AGW believers who say it is unequivocal and settled science start to become the subject of jokes? It has to be soon considering all the vocalization of moderate thinking coming out.

  14. Amazing. The mainstream press will ignore this, however since it doesn’t fit their agenda. So typical. So depressing.

  15. That’s not the way the wider world sees it:

    Supreme Court Upholds EPA’s Authority to Regulate Carbon Dioxide

    “WASHINGTON, DC, June 20, 2011 (ENS) – The U.S. Supreme Court today reaffirmed its finding that carbon dioxide is an air pollutant subject to control under the Clean Air Act and upheld the authority of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to regulate the greenhouse gas.

    “The unanimous court, in an opinion written by Justice Ruth Ginsburg, held that the Clean Air Act displaces federal common law claims seeking reduction of greenhouse gas emissions responsible for climate change.

    “In the case of American Electric Power Co. v. Connecticut, the high court reversed the ruling of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. Justice Sonia Sotamayor recused herself, having sat on the Second Circuit panel that heard oral arguments in the case.

    “The appeals court had held that federal common law provides a basis for the plaintiffs – eight states, New York City, and three nonprofit land trusts – to seek reductions in greenhouse gas emissions from large coal-fired power plants.

    “The Supreme Court ruled against the plaintiffs right to file public nuisance litigation under common law against utilities for their greenhouse gas emissions.

    “‘It is altogether fitting that Congress designated an expert agency, here, EPA, as best suited to serve as primary regulator of greenhouse gas emissions,’ Justice Ginsburg wrote. ‘The expert agency is surely better equipped to do the job than individual district judges issuing ad hoc, case-by-case injunctions.’

    “The Supreme Court pointed to its 2007 decision in Massachusetts v. EPA, in which it held that the Clean Air Act authorizes federal regulation of greenhouse gases from motor vehicles provided that certain prerequisites are met.

    “The court observed that the Clean Air Act and EPA actions under the act displace any federal common law right to seek abatement of greenhouse gases from power plants.

    “In particular, the court pointed to EPA’s regulatory actions in commencing rulemaking to establish New Source Performance Standards for greenhouse gases from fossil-fueled power plants.”

    “Environmentalists of every stripe were pleased with the decision.”

    The Supreme Court can be no better than the “consensus” — they obviously are not questioning it seriously, or they wouldn’t have affirmed the EPA’s authority to regulate a natural gas — so of course they are incompetent.

  16. Technicalities, guess they are technically important. Its not often the Supreme court issues an unanimous verdict. I know the verdict isn’t that important with respect to the case itself but the knowledge the court showed by not just mentioning but quoting a meaningful scientist might actually swing some folks who are sitting on the fence.
    Very impressive indeed!

  17. The decision came down on June 20. While it cedes emissions-control authority to the EPA (vs state powers to sue corporations that are culprits in major ‘nuisance emissions’) there are some interesting tidbits in the ruling, including saying it’s not the job of the court system to set emissions limits.

    “Federal judges lack the scientific, economic, and technological resources an agency can utilize in coping with issues of this order…. Judges may not commission scientific studies or convene groups of experts for advice, or issue rules under notice-and-comment procedures inviting input by any interested person, or seek the counsel of regulators in the States where the defendants are located. Rather, judges are confined by a record comprising the evidence the parties present. Moreover, federal district judges, sitting as sole adjudicators, lack authority to render precedential decisions binding other judges,even members of the same court….

    The Second Circuit erred, we hold, in ruling that federal judges may set limits on greenhouse gas emissions in face of a law empowering EPA to set the same limits, subject to judicial review only to ensure against action “arbitrary, capricious, . . . or otherwise not in accordance with law.”

    Also, the judgment cautioned for a need for common sense and economic wisdom:

    “The appropriate amount of regulation in any particular greenhouse gas-producing sector cannot be prescribed in a vacuum: as with other questions of national or international policy, informed assessment of competing interests is required. Along with the environmental benefit potentially achievable, our Nation’s energy needs and the possibility of economic disruption must weigh in the balance.”

    So the ball in in the EPA’s court. Does this judgment then open the door for lawsuits against its emissions rulings on the basis of economic disruption?

  18. People these days we be so prissy and sissy to not let to reslease the clear thoughts they harbor, but for some of us freewheeling brainiacs or a shock jock or two. So they rebel symbolically, in a footnote, or a chorus of spontaneous laughter:

  19. As I understand the decision, the court said this was not within the competence of the federal courts and if you want to do something about it, go to Congress. Well, it’s up to you guys, tell your Congressman that you don’t like a scam, especially one that’s aimed at your tax dollars.

  20. Wow. Thanks for this, Anthony.

    The CAGW boys have had a hard time bulldozing Prof. Dyson. James Hansen huffs that Dyson “doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” and other AGW stalwarts say he doesn’t know jack about climate, but Dyson knows models and their limitations — and in fact worked for Alvin Weinberg’s pioneering multidisciplinary climate studies group at Oak Ridge, and also did climate studies for the JASON defense advisory group.

    Wikipedia has some of the details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freeman_Dyson#Career
    One of my scientific heros.

    Cheers — Pete Tillman
    Consulting Geologist, Arizona and New Mexico (USA)

  21. The justices did not recommend reading Dyson. After extensively quoting the EPA’s assessment of the dangers of CO2 emissions there is a footnote for contrasting views. The statement “After all, we each emit carbon dioxide merely by breathing,” was not made in the context of CO2’s greenhouse effect, if was merely pointing out that we cannot regulate all sources of CO2.

    You may recall the Supreme Court ordered the EPA under Bush to stop ignoring the science. Now this is finally happening.

  22. Who’d a thunk the Supremes had this much collective wisdom? Is this a leap year? Am I on Candid Camera? You’re dissing me, right? It’s April First, that’s it, it’s April First!

  23. The Supreme Court, recognizing the climate debate for the quagmire that it is, have completely absolved themselves from the issue. The Court unanimously declared that the climate issue is not judicial, but rather regulatory / legislative and placed the millstone of greenhouse gasses around the neck of the Environmental Protection Agency. The next time there is a confrontation about emissions affecting climate, the money quote from the Supreme Court will be “Not my problem.”

  24. Wow, what a revelation. There is some sanity after all given the mindless edicts of the EPA. Yay!

  25. What? Don’t tell me sanity has broken out on the SC. Has anyone fact checked this to see if it is real?

  26. You know, you really shouldn’t quote mine half a sentence to try and twist it. The entire sentence:

    “Acknowledging that not all scientists agreed on the causes and consequences of the rise in global temperatures, id., at 66506, 66518, 66523-66524, EPA concluded that “compelling” evidence supported the “attribution of observed climate change to anthropogenic” emissions of greenhouse gases, id., at 66515.”

    Oh. That.

  27. Do you suppose Jill Singer believes the U. S. Supreme Court justices and Freeman Dyson should all be gassed with carbon monoxide?

  28. It is sad day when the judiciary has to defend science by demanding that climate science is far from settled. This should have been done by the various academic science organizations, but as we all know they have become cowardly in their duty to preserve truth in science.

  29. Wow. So now the right to be a climate “denier” is protected by legal precedent in the US. Team AGW won’t like that.

  30. And a unanimous decision to boot! The US court system is the best hope of the developed world to stop the CAGW madness.

  31. alGore said the science is settled. The court is correct in relagating this to the EPA. The EPA has not been given authority to regulate interstate commerce and create taxes.

  32. My favorite part is that the EPA has DETERMINED the consequent dangers of greenhouse gas emissions to be:

    “increases inheat-related deaths; coastal inundation and erosion caused by melting icecaps and rising sea levels; more frequent and intense hurricanes, floods, and other “ex-treme weather events”

    I guess that means the EPA’s models are infallable.

  33. This really wasn’t a remarkable decision. It is a straight federalism decision, the EPA has the power to regulate the emission of carbon dioxide and so preempts any right under federal common law for the states to regulate CO2 emissions. Pretty straightforward decision. This is not a technical legal issue, rather it goes to the heart of the American Federal system.

    Solomon severely mischaracterizes the decision in his piece. Rather he hangs his whole interpretation on the contents of a single footnote and a sentence in made in passing about the absurdity of regulating every point source of CO2 through a permitting process.

  34. Mike said: “The justices did not recommend reading Dyson.”

    Rationalization: (mathematics) the simplification of an expression by eliminating radicals without changing the roots of the equation.

  35. What the justices _actually_ wrote was:
    “Acknowledging that not all scientists agreed on the causes and consequences of the rise in global temperatures, … EPA concluded that “compelling” evidence supported the “attribution of observed climate change to anthropogenic” emissions of greenhouse gases.”
    And to say they recommend reading the profile of Freeman Dyson is a stretch. In a tiny footnote, they note that article as an example of views opposing the EPA’s – and 98% of climate scientists, it’s worth noting.
    The Supreme Court has not cast doubt on climate science. That’s spin.

  36. Prof Freeman Dyson was a peer of Prof Richard Feynman, who said that Dyson should have shared the Nobel Prize for synthesizing and reducing to practice the Feynman/Schwinger/Tomonaga solutions to the renormalization problems of quantum electrodynamics, but the Nobel prize for Physics is limited to three recipients.

    Read some Freeman Dyson comments on computer climate models here.

  37. Moderate Republican says:
    June 24, 2011 at 8:04 am

    What the court said is that the EPA has jurisdiction here – not that they don’t believe this isn’t an issue.

    Translation: “Pay no attention to that opinion on scientific incompleteness!! Politically this was a win for our side! Repeat after me, it’s all about the science, except when it isn’t!”

  38. Other than reserving the right to review future EPA rulemaking to ensure that it is not “arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law”, SCOTUS decided there is no remedy available to plaintiffs as any (hypothetical) federal common law has already been displaced by Congress delegating the CO2 emissions rule-making power to EPA. This decision also effectively binds individual states.

    However, this is not all good news as SCOTUS is still clearly expecting EPA to take active steps to regulate CO2 emissions (as under Massachusetts v EPA) – albeit that questions such as the core science, the costs of mitigation and any consequent health and environmental impacts are to be determined by the EPA administrator (or by POTUS as her boss), subject to further review. However SCOTUS may take different line in future cases if Congress later votes (for example) to de-fund EPA, or to exclude CO2 emissions from the rule-making power.

    The real battle therefore still remains over the science: how much (more than purely minimal) warming is caused by increased atmospheric CO2, both initially and after delayed feedbacks. However, until the science issues become absolutely clear, SCOTUS may well again decline to get involved by accepting EPA arguments that the contingency principle should apply.

  39. As I stated before.
    From the Court
    Indeed, this prescribed order of decision making the first decider under the Act is the expert administrative agency, the second, federal judges is yet another reason to resist setting emissions standards by judicial decree under federal tort law. The appropriate amount of regulation in any particular greenhouse gas-producing sector cannot be prescribed in a vacuum: as with other questions of national or international policy, informed assessment if competing interests is required. Along with the environmental benefit potentially achievable, our Nation’s energy needs and the possibility of economic disruption must weigh in the balance.
    The Clean Air Act entrusts such complex balancing to EPA in the first instance, in combination with state regulators. Each “standard of performance” EPA sets must “take into account the cost of achieving [emissions] reduction and any non air quality health and environmental impact and energy requirements.”</b?

    Then see the Climate and Energy post & Assessment of the Obama Administration’s Cost-Benefit Analysis of Clean Air Act Regulations By David Montgomery and Anne Smith, NERA Economic Consulting, Jun 14, 2011

    http://www.ntu.org/news-and-issues/energy-env…

    Need to force the EPA to prove their cost analysis.

  40. They also noted that, should the EPA decide at the conclusion of their ruling that CO2 was not a danger, the plaintiffs still could not fall back on federal common law. That avenue no longer exists now that the EPA has been assigned responsibility for deciding the issue.

    Also, the Court didn’t sidestep the issue. They made it clear that there’s an established procedure in place: the EPA issues a ruling; someone won’t like it; it gets appealed and ends up before the court system … again. If, as seems likely, the EPA rules to tightly control CO2 and they ignore evidence submitted to it that the problem’s overblown, the EPA’s decision can be appealed on the basis that they ignored dissenting evidence. It is of such issues that teams of lawyers are kept employed.

  41. This is a bit of a walk back. Having given the EPA the authority to regulate CO2 , they have observed that the EPA now has the authority to destroy America. The EPA can not only prohibit exhausts, but can mandate results. Such as prohibiting forestry, planting certain crops, subdivisions, roads,, etc. Insanity.

  42. Of course, even if the EPA does, somehow, “regulate” our CO2 emissions, it will have a nearly zero impact on global warming and the meaningless “global mean temperature” metric, unless, of course, the EPA’s reach extends to China, India, Russia, …

    However, CO2 regulation will nevertheless have a significant impact… ON JOBS. Particularly, it will impact the jobs of people the CAGW extremists don’t like, such as oil workers, miners, farmers, truckers, power plant workers…meanwhile, government climate industry jobs will grow and thrive (just look who got the “stimulus” money).

  43. The argument that “After all, we each emit carbon dioxide merely by breathing,” has, I suggest, zero value for the purpose for which it is quoted. We also, all of us, emit small amounts of hydrogen sulfide which as is fairly well known is, molecule for molecule, rather more toxic than hydrogen cyanide. Of course carbon dioxide is a carbon source for plants and this (among others) is a solid rejoinder to those nuts who call CO2, a pollutant.

  44. Moderate Republican says:
    June 24, 2011 at 8:04 am

    What the court said is that the EPA has jurisdiction here – not that they don’t believe this isn’t an issue.

    “Belief” shouldn’t even come into play (that’s a matter for the faithful). Believe what you want – just don’t impose your beliefs on me.

  45. “EPA concluded that “compelling” evidence supported the “attribution of observed climate change to anthropogenic” emissions of greenhouse gases”

    Uh.. just because the court acknowledged something the EPA thought, doesn’t mean the court agreed. You’re clutching at straws.. that aren’t there.

  46. Dave N says @ June 24, 2011 at 10:53 am “You’re clutching at straws.. that aren’t there.”

    You mean like trying to paint this decision as somehow a rejection of climate science? Yeah, I’d agree that trying to do that is clutching as straws.

  47. vigilantfish says:
    June 24, 2011 at 9:00 am

    The humility expressed by the Supreme Court in the remarks you quoted is extremely clear. I hope that the CAGW folks, and scientists generally, can learn this lesson in humility.

    What do Al Gore and his minions fail to understand about “No federal judge shall hold that ‘The science is settled’?” Time will tell.

  48. Until mainstream scientists embrace the scientific method, their opinions can hardly be called scientific.

  49. Moderate Republican says:
    June 24, 2011 at 8:04 am

    No, they said that EPA has jurisdiction and that no federal judge should hold that the science is settled. Federal Judges take note of statements like that. In case you are not American, permit me to explain that the SCOTUS just put federal judges on notice that a ruling that the science is settled will be overturned by at least eight SCOTUS justices. What will Al Gore do?

  50. Moderate Republican says:
    June 24, 2011 at 11:03 am

    You mean like trying to paint this decision as somehow a rejection of climate science? Yeah, I’d agree that trying to do that is clutching as straws.

    No really, how is the court agreeing that the EPA concluded something an endorsement of said EPA conclusion. Please explain this.

  51. Rattus Norvegicus says:
    June 24, 2011 at 9:39 am

    OMG, federal judges have just been put on notice that a ruling that implies that the science is settled will be overturned by at least eight members of the SCOTUS.

  52. Of such rulings comes the threat of citizen revolt. It may be a slow process because voting is a slow immutable process. Change in government policies come form the vote, the best and last resort of a civilization.

  53. This is a BIG loss for the watermelons. It takes away their ability to harrass any company they didn’t like for emitting GHGs. However, the companies can still sue the EPA.

    I see a lot of spin, but the bottom line is … this a big win for the truth.

  54. There is a tendency to read into USSC decisions an opinion concerning the facts of a case. In this instance an opinion on AGW. However, the court mostly ignores such facts; it is focused on the law.

    In this case AGW skeptics (power companies) and mainstream AGW believers (EPA) were on the same side … that a 3rd party (states and NYC) could not force the EPA to take a specific action (issue regulation) in what they deemed a timely manner. The ruling was not so much against extreme AGW believers (the states and NYC) as against the process they wanted to impose on another AGW believer (the EPA).

    As in previous decisions the USSC made it clear that the logical (and legal) fact-finder was not the courts but the one designated by Congress for such issues… the EPA. People often say the USSC previously ruled CO2 contributed to GW and required the EPA to regulate it. They did not. What they ruled was the EPA was responsible for determining the facts of the issue and based on these facts making necessary regulations (if any). In other words, the EPA had authority in this area. The current ruling mostly affirms that position.

  55. Smokey says@ June 22, 2011 at 6:53 am “And increased CO2 is not only completely harmless, it is a net benefit to the biosphere. ”

    Respectfully, anyone making an assertion like the above is most certainly not qualified to deride “mainstream science:.

  56. Lawrence Solomon’s spin on the decision by the supreme court is mind blowing. Serisouly, Everyone take the time to read the decision. It is pretty obvious from ACTUALLY reading the decision that the Court agrees that greenhouse gas emissions are dangerous and the EPA is able to regulate them. Any other interpretation is absolute nonsense.

  57. it’s too much work for me to spin this decision into anything positive.

    they grant and affirm that co2 is a pollutant and that the epa must must therefore regulate it.
    they further endorse the notion of ‘greenhouse gas’ and do not question the catastrophic claims.
    they further identify themselves as ‘NOT FINDERS OF FACT’.
    well, none of that lot are finders of fact – they are all engaged evasion of facts. not the government nor the supreme court need any steenkeen facts.
    and there are no pleasant facts to be found in that decision.
    there is no cause for any parade.
    this is not a feast of reason.
    we are just going to get screwed and the witchdoctors will merely belabor the tactics.

  58. Y’all ain’t seein’ the sublime beauty before ye: commies of all colors attached their full fleet of limousines to a dog star that is suddenly flickering ‘stead o’ burnin’ bright.

    Which of you are on the trail of Net news sites, half of which allow public comments? For the first and perhaps last time in human history, everybody can step up to the plate with a their own free printing press, so I suggest a new hobby: Google (“News”) for Global Warming each day and say to you distant neighbors, that Chicken Little is a b*tch, that Emperor’s require clothes, and that seven nines do not equal seventy nine.

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

    P.S. my CNC router towers o’er my old Italian bed in which I sat every Friday, an hour or four at a time, becoming World War Two, as I peered down a mile of Broadway USA from floor five: father fixed aircraft instruments in the Aleutian Islands of Alaska in the Pacific theatre. Those flyboys weren’t coming back if the glowing dials didn’t spin right. On -=Nik’s=- Island of the Atlantic, this Isle of Man, even my Upper West Side neighbors adopt “kid caught with hand in cookie jar” bad doggie looks when Global Warming (R.I.P.) embarrassingly slips through their stupid sister’s lips. Global Warming is the Stuxnex virus, a meme set free, devilish by decree, which is now stripping cockroaches of their ladybug paintjobs. Hurray, I say!

    P.S.S. Here is the mandatory Nietzsche quote that expresses my repeated first impression of the grandfatherly folk that spook skeptic sites instead of venture forth to spread good news views in comments of Net news:

    “The Hammer Speaks:

    Why so hard?” the kitchen coal once said to the diamond. “After all, are we not close kin?”

    Why so soft? O my brothers, thus I ask you: are you not after all my brothers?

    Why so soft, so pliant and yielding? Why is there so much denial, self-denial, in your hearts? So little destiny in your eyes?

    And if you do not want to be destinies and inexorable ones, how can you one day triumph with me?

    And if your hardness does not wish to flash and cut through, how can you one day create with me?

    For all creators are hard. And it must seem blessedness to you to impress your hand on millennia as on wax.

    Blessedness to write on the will of millennia as on bronze — harder than bronze, nobler than bronze. Only the noblest is altogether hard.

    This new tablet, O my brothers, I place over you: Become hard!”

  59. Moderate Republican says:
    June 24, 2011 at 11:03 am

    Speaking of grasping at straws, that a nice strawman there.
    Nobody has ever said or even implied that this ruling means the courts are rejecting climate science.

  60. Moderate Republican says:

    “Smokey says@ June 22, 2011 at 6:53 am “And increased CO2 is not only completely harmless, it is a net benefit to the biosphere.”

    “Respectfully, anyone making an assertion like the above is most certainly not qualified to deride “mainstream science.”

    That completely content-free comment ignores the fact that there is no testable, measureable, empirical evidence showing any global harm due to CO2. Furthermore, there is a mountain of evidence showing conclusively that more CO2 increases agricultural production. The conclusion is inescapable: CO2 is harmless and beneficial. More is better.

  61. Jeremy says:
    June 24, 2011 at 8:44 am
    At what point do the fanatical AGW believers who say it is unequivocal and settled science start to become the subject of jokes?

    Welcome to WUWT, Jeremy. We have been laughing at them for years. In fact one of the reasons I come to this site is for my health because of all the laughing. That and truth.

  62. quis custodiet can never be those whose post normal reading comprehension is so fanciful and dreamy.
    the responses to the article have been slobberingly droll.
    it’s almost like a secular version of ‘jesus loves me’.
    i reckon it’s best to be sceptical of those who call themselves sceptics who gush and drool and simper over the words of a bunch of freaks in widow’s-weeds and powdered wigs as if those fools can better dispose of your life than some other bunch.
    and who among the crowd spots the evil premise in that? anybody? or does everybody think their ‘daddy’ is there to protect them?
    do you know what a protection racket is?
    what is so deadly dangerous is that ‘it is not rape if you negotiate’
    heh. bargain with reality all you want. it won’t budge.

  63. Mark Wilson says @ June 24, 2011 at 11:49 am “Nobody has ever said or even implied that this ruling means the courts are rejecting climate science.”

    Um, no Mark, as with many of your other posts your assertion here doesn’t hold up.

    From the first paragraph “The justices of the United States Supreme Court this week became the world’s most august global warming sceptics.”

    That statement is grasping at straws, and your assertion is just plain wrong.

  64. Gary Crough says:
    June 24, 2011 at 11:25 am
    “What they ruled was the EPA was responsible for determining the facts of the issue and based on these facts making necessary regulations (if any).”

    But they put federal judges on warning that if the EPA, or anyone else, shows up and says that the science is settled, that the judge allows the case to proceed, and the judge rules in favor of the EPA, then SCOTUS will overturn the ruling. There is no way that they could be clearer. In effect, they just ruled inadmissible claims such as “The science is settled,” “The consensus of scientists is,” or similar claims. They just spanked Al Gore and everyone who has said that there is a consensus of scientists that CAGW is the truth.

    Congress has total authority over EPA, including the authority to abolish it. So, EPA can rule whatever Barry and Lisa want but Congress can immediately change the law.

  65. Trollus rattus, yes only one footnote, but one that will march through public understanding.; ….after all, we all emit co2…”

  66. Smokey says @ June 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm ” TFurthermore, there is a mountain of evidence showing conclusively that more CO2 increases agricultural production. The conclusion is inescapable: CO2 is harmless and beneficial. More is better”

    Um, no, that is clearly not inescapable but it does provide more evidence that anyone making an assertion like the above is most certainly not qualified to deride “mainstream science”.

    That is like saying “Trees like water too, so therefore more water is better regardless of the amount”. That is clearly a bogus statement, as is your assertion above. And in addition to being bogus it is wildly far removed from any scientific line of thought.

  67. MR:

    A borderline insane comment like that is to be expected from a logic-challenged poster who has zero evidence of any global harm from CO2, but only True Belief in the repeatedly falsified CO2=CAGW conjecture.

    “The object in life is not to be on the side of the majority, but to escape finding oneself in the ranks of the insane.”
    ~ Marcus Aurelius

  68. Here is another part of the SC decision (pg. 14):

    “It is altogether fitting that Congress designated an expert agency, here, EPA, as best suited to serve as primary regulator of greenhouse gas emissions.”

    Let’s not get carried away by a couple of sentences. The Supremes aren’t going to overturn EPA on GHGs unless it can be demonstrated that EPA’s decision is arbitrary and capricious. That is a very difficult legal hurdle to overcome. There might be other technicalities that could cause the SC to overturn EPA, but as far as science is concerned, the SC defers to EPA, even if there are considerable uncertainties.

    If anything is going to change, it will have to be done by Congress.

  69. Smokey says:
    June 24, 2011 at 12:00 pm

    I won’t comment on your “More is better”…i think it is obvious that there are limits, and that more CO2 is not better for EVERYTHING…. but can you please post the links to the “mountain of evidence showing conclusively that more CO2 increases agricultural production”.

  70. Smokey says @ June 24, 2011 at 12:22 pm “A borderline insane comment like that is ….”

    It is only insane if you believe that “The conclusion is inescapable: CO2 is harmless and beneficial. More is better” makes any sense as a scientific statement. And no – a YouTube video of a plant in a greenhouse doesn’t qualify as proof of anything. If you really think it does then you’ve got other bigger issues to deal with…

  71. Smokey says:
    June 24, 2011 at 11:09 am

    Until mainstream scientists embrace the scientific method, their opinions can hardly be called scientific.

    Whoa!

    Surely what is practiced by mainstream scientists is the scientific method, by definition. As opposed to…

  72. Moderate Republican says:
    June 24, 2011 at 11:32 am

    Respectfully, anyone making an assertion like the above is most certainly not qualified to deride “mainstream science:.

    With respect, that’s your opinion. There are lots of respected scientists more qualified than you or me (we all know who many of them are) who are saying that CO2 is indeed harmless or even beneficial at current levels. After all, the world is growing measurably richer in vegetation by the decade, so there’s certainly no sign that it is harmful to life. And there are plenty of scientists saying that there is no evidence for positive temperature feedbacks (unless you or anyone else can point us towards the as-yet hypothetical hotspot so essential to the AGW hypothesis? No? Thought not). As for throwing in the word “mainstream” – that’s just an alternative for “consensus” – it’s simply not a scientific argument, it just says “there’s more of us than there are of you.” It’s lame. Like you naming yourself “Moderate Republican.” Really, really lame.

  73. Robert of Ottawa says:
    June 24, 2011 at 12:04 pm
    Eco-litigation is dead.

    The ruling specifically says that the EPA can regulate carbon dioxide. Therefore your assertion is nonsense.

    unless as John says:
    June 24, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    “If anything is going to change, it will have to be done by Congress.”

    Why do you choose to ignore the reality?

  74. So MR, are you honestly claiming that the mere act of being a sceptic proves that one has rejected science?

    That in and of itself is not a scientifically valid statement. But then again, I know science. It becomes more evident with every one of your posts that the only thing you know is propaganda.

  75. Lady Life Grows says:
    June 24, 2011 at 12:02 pm

    Welcome to WUWT, Jeremy. We have been laughing at them for years. In fact one of the reasons I come to this site is for my health because of all the laughing. That and truth.

    You misunderstand me. I didn’t ask when they themselves would become a source of humor. I asked when will the average person substitute “CAGW Believer” for “blonde”.

    And I’ve been here for years…

  76. Moderate Republican says:
    June 24, 2011 at 12:15 pm

    That is like saying “Trees like water too, so therefore more water is better regardless of the amount”. That is clearly a bogus statement, as is your assertion above. And in addition to being bogus it is wildly far removed from any scientific line of thought.

    Since every study done shows that plants benefit from CO2 levels up to 10 and 20 times higher than we currently have. I know of no study that has found a CO2 level that is high enough to harm plants.

    As usual, you are just grasping at desperate strawmen.

  77. Will the EPA automatically grant every human emission rights even if the human doesn’t have the monetary means to acquire enough carbon credits?

  78. John says:
    June 24, 2011 at 12:23 pm

    The courts have over ruled the EPA in the past when it was obvious they weren’t following the science. A decade or two ago the EPA put out a ruling on particulates in the air. The courts struck down the regulations as not following the science.

  79. This SCOTUS decision looks like an open handed encouragement of empowering Congress to pass additional legislation that prevents the EPA bias from corrupted IPCC processes & reports.

    John

  80. John, I’m not sure I agree with you entirely. The EPA is expected to do due diligence in their research and to balance socio-economic impacts against SCIENTIFIC findings. The EPA is, therefore, vulnerable on both fronts; show that the science is wonky or show that the EPA discounted the economic impact and you could, quite easily, get a SCOTUS decision against them. What this decision DID do was to prevent all our power companies and industries from being nibbled to death by law suits.

  81. The judgements logic is dangerous. Lower courts re-interpreted existing law and mandated the EPA to regulate. A higher court says as a lower court has made EPA competant to regulate the courts in general should not pre-empt this work. The legitimacy for any regulation flows from elected representives deciding it should be so. If we do not like thire choices we can dump them at the next election. Clearly the legislators framing the existing law did not formulated the existing acts to cover AGW, as they predate AGW alarm. They did not mention AGW. It was not the issue they were looking to resolve. The correct judgement would be that if legislators want to regulate AGW gasses or pass regulation to EPA, they need to mandate it, and be punished at the next election if we do not like it. US courts believe they have a role to re-interprete law in a progress manner. Most states in the world would take the view the court should keep thier noses out of policy and let the legislator decide that.
    The point is not does the science support AGW. Nor does the EPA respect the science. The point is has any policy decision been validated by the democratic process. No taxation without representation! The courts are for impliementing law and occasionally limiting abuses of power.

  82. Moderate Republican says:
    June 24, 2011 at 12:28 pm
    “And no – a YouTube video of a plant in a greenhouse doesn’t qualify as proof of anything. If you really think it does then you’ve got other bigger issues to deal with…”

    Here!

  83. Moderate Republican says:

    “Smokey says@ June 22, 2011 at 6:53 am “And increased CO2 is not only completely harmless, it is a net benefit to the biosphere.”

    “Respectfully, anyone making an assertion like the above is most certainly not qualified to deride “mainstream science.”

    MR, if you do not understand or underestimate, the benefits of CO2, then you are far away from “mainstream science”. In fact you are so far, as might be considered unrecoverable. Now is the time to give your head a good shake. GK

  84. According to the ruling:
    “The defendants, now petitioners, are four private companies
    and the Tennessee Valley Authority, a federally owned corporation that operates fossil-fuel fired power plants in several States. According to the complaints, the defendants
    “are the five largest emitters of carbon dioxide in the
    United States.” App. 57, 118. Their collective annual
    emissions of 650 million tons constitute 25 percent of
    emissions from the domestic electric power sector, 10
    percent of emissions from all domestic human activities,
    ibid., and 2.5 percent of all anthropogenic emissions
    worldwide”

    My question is simply what do we get from these five companies as far as percentage of electricity provided nationally?

  85. gopher says:

    “…can you please post the links to the ‘mountain of evidence’ showing conclusively that more CO2 increases agricultural production”.

    Sure, glad you asked:

    Wheat responds very well to higher CO2: click

    For lots more information on plants benefitting from higher CO2, see here.

    There is plenty more real world evidence confirming that enhanced CO2 increases agricultural production:

    click1
    click2
    click3
    click4
    click5
    click6
    click7

    The findings in the last link state:

    Under treatments simulating the atmospheric conditions of 2050:

    • Soybean and corn yields were both significantly greater

    • The nutritional quality of beans and grain were maintained

    • Crop water use decreased, potentially improving drought tolerance but also reducing
    inputs for regional rainfall

    • In soybean, elevated CO2 stimulated C3 photosynthesis and respiration

    • In corn, contrary to predictions, elevated CO2 increased C4 photosynthesis

    Folks in Illinois, and at UOI in particular, know something about farming. You should listen to them, instead of the logic impaired who cannot produce evidence of any global harm from CO2.

    If CO causes no global harm, it is harmless. If it benefits agricultural productivity, CO2 is beneficial. Conclusion: CO2 is harmless and beneficial.

    “Carbon” is being demonized not because CO2 is a problem; as we see, it is not a problem. CO2 is being demonized because the UN and EU agendas require it. Taxing the air we breathe is the ultimate wet dream of all Totalitarian governments, no?

    The real question is: why do some folks insist on believing in an evidence-free conjecture that has been repeatedly falsified? That is a question for psychiatrists, not scientists.

  86. I’d sure like to see that women in the red dress again..
    I have a case of wildturkey riding on the next little ice age, if I lose then I have to buy my neighbor a case of his favorite wine instead. i figure we will all know the answer to this puzzel in the next few years and I have the time to wait. I also figure that if we rush to any conclution, to any quick fix it will lead to a ball of sh??, i know this from experience and that a firm head and looking carefully at any problem will evenutally lead to a qualified solution.
    In the end it’s just Fun and Games.

  87. @Smokey

    But the point is, the direct effect of CO2 on plants is an irrelevance. The real issue is the effect of CO2 as a GHG, and mainstream science says those effects will be bad.

  88. MR:

    Like it or not, terrestrial life is CARBON based. This carbon is provided, to us through the plants and animals we consume. It is provided to plants by CO2 extracted from the atmosphere. So the first benefit was life itself. On the other hand, not one person (outside of industrial accidents, or geological venting) has been killed by anthropogenic CO2. The benefits of CO2 go beyond agriculture to our very existence (and earth’s bio-mass). Even though our exhale may contain 20,000 to 30,000 ppm CO2, it can still revive an unconscious (drowned) person via mouth to mouth resuscitation. To dismiss such, demonstrates, that you have an ideology to protect. GK

  89. Although not a lawyer, my reading of the decision is that EPA is the controlling agency, and until they publish standards, no States or cities can arbitrarily impose their own CO2 standards and limits. Really nothing new.
    EPA is supposed to calculate the cost of all their regulations, but invariably concludes that no matter the cost, the changes are warranted. Perhaps forcing them to produce a valid and realistic cost/benefit analysis would eventually make them act more reasonably. However, if they assume all worst case scenarios (e.g. the plant will be destroyed if CO2 increases any more), then they will not be stopped. Giving an agency such power, and then allowing them to police themselves, is very dangerous. Cap and Trade would be bad. EPA in charge might be worse.

  90. John B:

    Mainstream climate science, which has been mostly wrong about everything, predicts bad effects. They are making an evidence-free prediction, based on models. There is no evidence of global damage from CO2. None. They’ve been crying “Wolf!” for a long time now, but unlike the fairy tale, there’s never been a wolf.

    After a hefty ≈40% increase in CO2 over the past century and a half, there certainly should be at least some evidence of the predicted global harm. But there is no such evidence. Rational folks will look at that lack of evidence and conclude that the CO2 scare is based on false assumptions.

    So why do some folks still believe that catastrophe is around the corner? Leo Tolstoy explains:

    “I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the greatest complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious truth if it be such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions which they have delighted in explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others, and which they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.”

    The simplest and most obvious truth is that CO2 is not causing global harm, and that it enhances ag productivity. CO2, at current and projected concentrations, is harmless and beneficial. Those are simple and obvious truths. But some folks’ egos get in the way of accepting the truth.

  91. Perhaps as a non-lawyer I am misreading this opinion but I do not see where it affirms the EPA’s authority to regulate GHG. This decision seems to affirm congress’s authority to act on its own behalf or designate another person or organization to act for it. The EPA only has that authority as long as it pleases congress and in 2013 it may not please congress.

  92. G. Karst says @ June 24, 2011 at 2:29 pm “Even though our exhale may contain 20,000 to 30,000 ppm CO2, it can still revive an unconscious (drowned) person via mouth to mouth resuscitation. To dismiss such, demonstrates, that you have an ideology to protect. GK”

    What!?!?

    Are you really saying that because you can give someone mouth to mouth resuscitation that..what..that somehow proves that CO2 as a forcer in the climate can never be problematic?

    Do you really believe that is even remotely close to being a scientifically valid statement?

  93. The very first sentence in Article I of the Constitution says; “All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives”. Nowhere does the Constitution say Congress may delegate that authority to the EPA or any orther entity. If the clean energy act gives the EPA the power to regulate carbon dioxide emissions that would seem to be a clear violation of the constitution. Now consider the fact that;
    -Hydrocarbon fuels power nearly all vehicles in the US.
    -Half of our electricity comes from coal, and smaller amounts come from other hydrocarbon fuels.
    -Most homes are heated with hydrocarbon fuels.
    All of those fuels produce CO when burned.
    Consequently any serious reductions in CO2 emissions could leave us all shivering in the dark.
    Do we really want to put that decision in the hands of unelected bureaucrats in Washington?

  94. Mark Wilson says @ June 24, 2011 at 12:57 pm “Since every study done shows that plants benefit from CO2 levels up to 10 and 20 times higher than we currently have. I know of no study that has found a CO2 level that is high enough to harm plants… As usual, you are just grasping at desperate strawmen.”

    No, as usual you are wrong again due to not understanding the science Mark.

    Agriculture yield is not dependent solely on CO2, so to make any claim based solely on CO2 levels relating to agriculture is either deliberately mislead or just stupefying ill-informed. Farmed plants behave differently than those in the wild where conditions aren’t managed. And more plant growth doesn’t inherently equate to healthier plants or improve agriculture yield.

    http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/co2plant.htm

    BTW – you are misusing the concept of a strawman argument as well. If you are going to assume someone of something at least use the term properly.

  95. “Federal judges lack the scientific, economic, and technological resources an agency can utilize in coping with issues of this order.”

    Scientific evidence means nothing to an idealogue.
    I see no restraints on the EPA’s attempts to tax CO2 emissions coming from this decision.

  96. John B says:
    June 24, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    Mainstream science does not say that the GHG affects of CO2 will be bad.
    A few computer models do. Those computer models are known to be deeply flawed and there isn’t a scintilla of real world evidence to back up the predictions of those models.

    Why anyone would think a temperature rise of less than half a degree is bad, is beyond me.

  97. From the Lexis-Nexis environmental blog: http://www.lexisnexis.com/community/environmental-climatechangelaw/blogs/environmentallawandclimatechangeblog/archive/2011/06/20/today-s-supreme-court-decision-in-aep-v-connecticut-michael-gerrard-columbia-law-school-arnold-porter.aspx

    Today’s Supreme Court Decision in AEP v. Connecticut
    Posted by
    Michael B Gerrard
    Change Author:
    *

    External URL:

    Here is my instant analysis of the decision just issued by the Supreme Court in American Electric Power v. Connecticut, the case in which several states and others sought a court order requiring several large electric utilities to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions because they were a public nuisance.

    The 8-0 decision by Justice Ginsburg dismissing the lawsuit is based entirely on displacement of federal common law by the Clean Air Act. The Court found that Congress had entrusted EPA in the first instance to decide how GHGs should be regulated, and it’s not for the federal courts to issue their own rules.

    United States Supreme Court

    I think this is the most intriguing paragraph in the opinion: “The petitioners contend that the federal courts lack authority to adjudicate this case. Four members of the Court would hold that at least some plaintiffs have Article III standing under Massachusetts, which permitted a State to challenge EPA’s refusal to regulate greenhouse gas emissions; and further, that no other threshold obstacle bars review. Four members of the court, adhering to a dissenting opinion in Massachusetts, or regarding that decision as distinguishable, would hold that none of the plaintiffs have Article III standing. We therefore affirm, by an equally divided Court, the Second Circuit’s exercise of jurisdiction and proceed to the merits.”

    Though unnamed in the opinion, clearly the four justices who find standing, and no other obstacles to review, are Ginsburg, Breyer, Kagan and Kennedy. The four who disagree are Roberts, Scalia, Thomas and Alito. (Thomas and Alito filed a concurrence casting doubt on Massachusetts; it’s interesting that neither Roberts nor Scalia joined.) The Ginsburg group thus apparently rejects the political question defense as well as the standing argument. Sotomayor was recused from this case because she was on the Second Circuit panel in the AEP case; should another case come up on which she wasn’t recused, there would apparently be a 5-4 majority to allow climate change nuisance litigation, but for the Clean Air Act displacement.

    On the other hand, I read the above-quoted paragraph (when considered in conjunction with Massachusetts) to say that Justice Kennedy may believe that only states would have standing. Thus there might be a 5-4 majority against any kinds of GHG nuisance claims (and maybe other kinds of GHG claims) by non-states.

    The Court explicitly did not decide whether the Clean Air Act preempts state public nuisance litigation over GHGs. Thus some plaintiff group will probably press state common law claims, perhaps on the remand in AEP v. Connecticut.

    Since the opinion was based entirely on displacement by Congressional designation of EPA as the decision-maker on GHG regulation, if Congress takes away EPA’s authority to regulate GHGs but does not explicitly bar federal common law nuisance claims, these cases will come back.

    I will be moderating a debate on the subject, “A Climate Change Debate: The Future of Climate Change Litigation After the Supreme Court Acts (Again),” at the New York City Bar Association on Thursday, June 30, 6 pm to 8 pm. Further details about that free event are available at A Climate Change Debate: The Future of Climate Change Litigation After the Supreme Court Acts (Again).

    Sincerely,

    Michael B. Gerrard
    Michael B. Gerrard
    Andrew Sabin Professor of Professional Practice
    Director, Center for Climate Change Law
    Columbia Law School
    435 West 116th Street
    New York, New York 10027
    (212) 854-3287
    michael.gerrard@law.columbia.edu

  98. I think the host of the world’s most viewed climate website deserves some fragment of the credit for this decision.

  99. John B says:
    June 24, 2011 at 12:33 pm

    Smokey says:
    June 24, 2011 at 11:09 am

    “Until mainstream scientists embrace the scientific method, their opinions can hardly be called scientific.”

    Whoa!

    Surely what is practiced by mainstream scientists is the scientific method, by definition. As opposed to…

    No, John, the rules for practicing real scientific method and principle science are already well established. Unsurprisingly, your Relativism is instead Postnormal Science’s rule, under which the only principle of “science” that is real is established by a propagandistic “consensus” or vote, that is, until “Might makes Right” makes its pre-Enlightenment re-emergence – the latter two “principles” and their practitioners also involving evolutionary throw-backs and dead-ends.

    In other words the grossly unscientific practices of self-ordained ipcc-style “Climate Scientists” do not define what real scientific method and principle science is, which, according to your very definition, tends to suggest that “Climate Science” is not practicing real scientific method and principle science.

    Even the ipcc, enc., itself left this same conclusion well in play by not requiring countries containing ~5 billion of the Earth’s ~6.7 billion people to follow its own alleged Kyoto Protocol “cure” to its own alleged “disease”, a conclusion which India and China ran with, in a manner directily opposite to the ipcc’s alleged “disease”, its alleged “cure” and its “science”.

  100. Here, I think, is the money quote:

    “The Act itself thus provides a means to seeklimits on emissions of carbon dioxide from domestic power plants—the same relief the plaintiffs seek by invoking federal common law. We see no room for a parallel track.”

    So one of the alarmist’s potential avenues of attack, federal common law, is now closed. That’s all. It is good news.

  101. Mike says: June 24, 2011 at 9:07 am
    “You may recall the Supreme Court ordered the EPA under Bush to stop ignoring the science. Now this is finally happening.”

    Yes, but that’s the problem. The EPA pays scientists to tell them what they want to hear, and what they want to hear is that CO2 is a problem that needs regulation. If a scientist submits a proposal for a research grant, it will not be funded unless it will conclude that CO2 is a problem.

  102. Yes, we all exhale CO2, even Al Gore, who arguably has a larger-than-life footprint.
    But the biggest emitter is Lisa Jackson, who needs to be regulated by Congressional purse strings.
    She may be riding the wave now, but I see the ultimate snip awaiting the EPA if they can’t tone her down.

  103. Mark Wilson says @ June 24, 2011 at 3:15 pm “Mainstream science does not say that the GHG affects of CO2 will be bad. A few computer models do. ”

    Huh? What sort of alternative universe are you making this assertion from.

    Who is “mainstream science” in that alternative universe? I ask because here on earth the “mainstream science ” that is qualified to offer research on the climate impacts of the amount of CO2 we’re pumping into the atmosphere overwhelmingly says it it is an issue.

  104. Moderate Republican says:
    June 24, 2011 at 2:59 pm
    Mark Wilson says @ June 24, 2011 at 12:57 pm “Since every study done shows that plants benefit from CO2 levels up to 10 and 20 times higher than we currently have. I know of no study that has found a CO2 level that is high enough to harm plants… As usual, you are just grasping at desperate strawmen.”

    No, as usual you are wrong again due to not understanding the science Mark.

    Agriculture yield is not dependent solely on CO2, so to make any claim based solely on CO2 levels relating to agriculture is either deliberately mislead or just stupefying ill-informed. Farmed plants behave differently than those in the wild where conditions aren’t managed. And more plant growth doesn’t inherently equate to healthier plants or improve agriculture yield.

    http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/co2plant.htm

    BTW – you are misusing the concept of a strawman argument as well. If you are going to assume someone of something at least use the term properly.

    moderate republican
    BTW-If you are going to make assumptions of someone at least use the term properly.

  105. Dan in California said:

    “If a scientist submits a proposal for a research grant, it [the EPA] will not be funded unless it will conclude that CO2 is a problem.”

    And how would they know the conclusion at the time of issuing the grant?

  106. banjo says:

    “Agriculture yield is not dependent solely on CO2…”

    “Solely”?? Whoever made that statement?

    Agriculture is dependent on many factors. But it is irrefutable that increased CO2 raises agricultural productivity. Greenhouse growers would not waste their money on CO2 injection systems if CO2 had no effect.

  107. Every so often, a new form of entertainment appears at WUWT (and most blogs, for that matter), that I like to call the persistent troll. PTs wander into a blog and attempt to “educate” or “correct” the regular visitors. They are far more intelligent than the ordinary person, and know so much more that it’s amazing they deign to waste their obviously valuable time on what some would consider a lost cause.

    This month’s PT is, of course, using a moniker that they most likely find hilarious… because to the far left, anyone with an “R” beside their name is obviously “far right”. Therefore, the logic of a “moderate republican” is a joke. I find the blinkers of the left to be amusing, but hey, that’s just me.

    Our “MR” has very little science knowledge, and is hopelessly stuck on a particularly useless avenue of argument, the “appeal to authority”. Another hallmark of the PT is excessive use of the exclamation and question marks, mostly while feigning amazement.

    PTs are not interested in learning anything, they are here to “educate”. Thus, responding to the PT is an exercise in futility, as even the most meticulously researched links and quotes will be simply ignored, or more often mocked.

    The benefit to having a PT in the group is obvious, though. Fence-sitters can easily read through the comments on a given thread and clearly see who is intelligent and has science knowledge and experience, and contrast them with the one who appears as a raving ignoramous. And as a benefit, they get the research that others post in their futile attempts to educate the PT.

    My favorite recent posts have been from the one who claims that “protesters ended the Vietnam War”, and the one where “there was no Ice-Age scare in the 70s”, although the one about “mainstream climate science” was pretty good too.

  108. The EPA is not going anywhere. Decisions will ultimately and always be made inside the economics spectrum, all the way to the Supreme Court if need be. This is just another example of politicians and NGOs with an agenda trying to fight a losing battle in the aforementioned economics spectrum.

    It is this simple, “clean the air”, “save the planet”, while killing people’s hopes, jobs, and the whole of US of A . Guess who’s going to win that one. It’s not going to work. And in time, the EPA will either be overruled or diminished to the point of ineffectiveness. Have faith in the system – it works.

    Best,

    J.

  109. Mark Wilson:

    The courts have over ruled the EPA in the past when it was obvious they weren’t following the science. A decade or two ago the EPA put out a ruling on particulates in the air. The courts struck down the regulations as not following the science.

    Yes it was overturned because it did not adequately enforce the standards which the science said should hold. See here.

  110. banjo,

    Thanks for posting that link, which confirms the benefits of more CO2:

    Plants grown at higher CO2 levels had more flowers (an average of 19 percent more in the species studied); more seeds (16 percent more); greater individual seed weight (four percent more); greater total seed weight (25 percent more) and lower concentration of nitrogen in the seeds (a decrease of 14 percent) than those grown at current levels of atmospheric CO2.

    Under higher CO2 levels, crop plants showed a notable increase in reproduction while wild plants did not. On average, crops produced more fruits than did wild species (28 percent higher in crops vs. 4 percent higher in wild plants) as well as seeds (21 percent higher vs. 4 percent higher, respectively).

    Individual crops varied in their response to increased CO2 levels. Rice seemed to be the most responsive, as its seed production increased an average of 42 percent. Soybean followed with a 20 percent increase in seed, then wheat (15 percent increase) and, finally, corn (5 percent increase).

    Those findings support the FACE study’s key findings:

    Key Findings:

    Under treatments simulating the atmospheric conditions of 2050:

    • Soybean and corn yields were both significantly greater

    • The nutritional quality of beans and grain were maintained

    • Crop water use decreased, potentially improving drought tolerance but also reducing
    inputs for regional rainfall

    • In soybean, elevated CO2 stimulated C3 photosynthesis and respiration

    • In corn, contrary to predictions, elevated CO2 increased C4 photosynthesis

    [source]

  111. Moderate Republican says:
    June 24, 2011 at 4:04 pm


    Who is “mainstream science” in that alternative universe? I ask because here on earth the “mainstream science ” that is qualified to offer research on the climate impacts of the amount of CO2 we’re pumping into the atmosphere overwhelmingly says it it is an issue.

    ___________________
    You are free to prove that assertion. Let us see your links to ‘proof’ which stand up to scrutiny from this august forum.

  112. Sean:

    You’ve really lost the logic here. The Supreme Court said that CO2 fell under the Clean Air Act’s definition of a pollutant (Mass. v. EPA), The logic of the decision flows from that. Since the federal government has “filled the space”, the right to regulate CO2 falls to the federal government. Lower courts held that this was non-justicable (not open to interpretation by the courts) because it was a political issue. Circuit court held that because of the SC decision in the Massachusetts case it was a federal matter. Supreme court held that it was indeed a federal matter. Period. (It should be noted that the SC, as noted in the decision, split on whether or not the Circuit court as correct. A split upholds the decision). Once the court decided to here the underlying case, the decision flows from basic supremacy clause doctrine on issues of this sort, and cases which constitute controlling law on this seem to go back to 1901.

    Just keep telling yourselves, on any side of this issue, that the decision had anything to do with global warming. It did not and the basic law governing this decision is long, loud and clear. That is why it was an 8-0 decision.

  113. Finally. A reasoned decision by a governmental body that seems to take into account much more than the potential taxes a government can squeeze from, or the daily control it can force on its subjects. Of particular note: liberal judges voted with conservative judges, and none are on the payrolls of Big Climate Change or Big Oil.

    Perhaps we can finally see light at the end of the climate-stupidity tunnel. And maybe, if we’re very lucky, it’s not a windmill- and solar-powered people-mover subsidized by the last 13 taxpayers in the country.

  114. I guess the alarmists will have to start a campaign to gas and tattoo Justice Ginsberg! Nice group of people those alarmists.

  115. Moderate Republican says:
    June 24, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Who is “mainstream science” in that alternative universe? I ask because here on earth the “mainstream science ” that is qualified to offer research on the climate impacts of the amount of CO2 we’re pumping into the atmosphere overwhelmingly says it it is an issue.

    MR, that’s simply a Mantra. You have either been unknowingly caught by a classic “word game” used by an obvious Propaganda Operation, or you are trying to perpetuate the same one yourself. Climate Scientists do not get to self-anoint themselves as “mainstream” or even as “real” scientists. It’s their actual practices while doing their “science” which determine whether they are doing real science and whether they are “qualified”. Which means they have to adhere to the well-established practices of real scientific method and principle science, which are known to work. But, objectively, they don’t adhere to the principles of real science.

    Among other things, how could anyone with a modicum of real world sense think that a “science” whose CO2 = CAGW hypotheses, tied solely to Warming Model runs = “the physics”, have not yet resulted in delivering even one successful prediction as confirmed by empirical results in the real world – and also as compared to its lack of being necessary to explain anything which has happened climatically, excluding any effect any net increased living biomass might have on the climate – is “mainstream” or its purveyors “qualified”? – But also granting that CO2 “might” possibly be responsible for a very small amount of current atmospheric warming, which has not been “catastrophic” in the way CAGW means, while atmospheric CO2 has apparently still never produced an alleged runaway or prevented cooling in the past, and that’s about it.

  116. John B says:
    June 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm

    And how would they [the EPA] know the conclusion at the time of issuing the grant?

    Money. The EPA just knows how to train or select for a certain sub-species of “scientists”. And the “scientists” in turn know a good pay master or provider when they see it. Their science and results sign or scat, as in “sheep dip”, speaks for itself.

  117. “Moderate Republican” babbled:
    “Who is “mainstream science” in that alternative universe? I ask because here on earth the “mainstream science ” that is qualified to offer research on the climate impacts of the amount of CO2 we’re pumping into the atmosphere overwhelmingly says it it is an issue.”

    Circular argument. Epic fail.

  118. JPeden is right. The EPA knows the playas, and the alarmist contingent gets preferential treatment. The grants show that, and it would be naive to believe otherwise.

  119. How dare they suggest science is not settled. How dare they say the debate is not over. How dare they endulge these evil, oil-funded deniers.

    Thank god for some sanity.

  120. D. King says:
    June 24, 2011 at 1:23 pm
    Moderate Republican says:
    June 24, 2011 at 12:28 pm
    “And no – a YouTube video of a plant in a greenhouse doesn’t qualify as proof of anything. If you really think it does then you’ve got other bigger issues to deal with…”

    Here!

    ————————————————————
    D. King:

    Although I’ve seen that graph many times, it still leaves me edgy whenever I see it. The long term trend line for CO2 is obviously down. Fortunately, CO2 is trending up at this time, but looking at the steepness of some of those drops on the graph, it looks like nature could lower the atmospheric CO2 a couple of hundred ppm at any given moment. That would result in levels going below 200 ppm.

    As all of us know (with the probable exception of MR) that would not bode well for life on earth.

    I see a dearth of atmospheric CO2 to be a large and real threat. Not even the most catastrophic predictions of the ‘evils’ of rising CO2 levels come close.

  121. No doubt about it, no matter how it is spun, there is a palpable change in “attitude” revealed by the Opinion. Here is how the alarmist tabloid “Nature” reacted in a column: http://www.nature.com/news/2011/110621/full/474421a.html . In particular the close: “That the nation’s highest court would repeat this misleading refrain, and seemingly endorse Dyson’s views as equal to those of the IPCC and the EPA, simply takes the breath away.”

    So here we have again the appeal to the authority of the “IPCC and EPA.” Interestingly most of the commenters seem to prefer Dyson to the IPCC or EPA.

  122. CodeTech,

    Correctomundo. The site pests who post incessantly trying to argue and nitpick everything they possibly can are violating site Policy. Being a crank in order to try and drown out reasonable dialog is simply a tactic. And I notice that they never answer questions, but they constantly demand “Yes or No?” answers to their own questions. People like that have no interest in facts, they are just running interference.

  123. @ Smokey and Banjo – isolated example of crops prove nothing about additional CO2 levels overall impact on the earth’s vegetation. As shown in the actual science in the link above nutritional yields cannot be assumed to e better and natural vegetation most certainly doesn’t have e benefit of ideal water and nutrients that commercial crops do. For anyone to argue that plants in a controlled environment are a proxy for all of the earth’s vegetation is ridiculously unscientific. So consistent with your other posts.

  124. In a way, this decision is too bad. Basically it keeps New Yorkers and other eastern US liberal morons from freezing their bippies off in the dark. That would have served them right.

    Still, this is a tempest in a teapot. The Clean Air Act gives no authority to the EPA to regulate CO2 emissions; any such authority stems from court orders and executive orders. After the elections of 2012, the executive orders will be terminated, Congress will amend the CAA to state specifically that CO2 is off limits, and the courts be damned. And perhaps, the EPA will suffer the massive retrenchment that it deserves.

    Vote early and vote often!

  125. MR:

    Thanx for your typically baseless opinion. You’re wrong, as usual. Obviously you either haven’t been reading the citations provided, or cognitive dissonance causes you to reject out of hand facts which don’t fit your belief system. I suspect the latter. But it could be both.

  126. Moderate Republican says:
    June 24, 2011 at 2:59 pm

    Mark Wilson says @ June 24, 2011 at 12:57 pm “Since every study done shows that plants benefit from CO2 levels up to 10 and 20 times higher than we currently have. I know of no study that has found a CO2 level that is high enough to harm plants… As usual, you are just grasping at desperate strawmen.”

    No, as usual you are wrong again due to not understanding the science Mark.

    Agriculture yield is not dependent solely on CO2, so to make any claim based solely on CO2 levels relating to agriculture is either deliberately mislead or just stupefying ill-informed. Farmed plants behave differently than those in the wild where conditions aren’t managed. And more plant growth doesn’t inherently equate to healthier plants or improve agriculture yield.

    http://researchnews.osu.edu/archive/co2plant.htm

    BTW – you are misusing the concept of a strawman argument as well. If you are going to assume someone of something at least use the term properly.

    This is hilarious. You tell someone else they’re mis-using the term strawman as you just created a straw man.

    Let me recap for you.
    Someone said that CO2 is beneficial.
    You said no it isn’t, it’s harmful.
    Someone else pointed out lots of links to research that said it is beneficial.
    You then say, no, plants are not solely-dependent on CO2 concentration, so he’s wrong.

    Except, no one made any such claim. No one said that plant growth is limited by CO2 concentration, simply that they benefit from a higher concentration. What you did was create a strawman right there, so you could knock it down. No one made the claim you spoke of, but you implied they did just so you could say they were wrong.

    Hilarious.

  127. jtom says:
    June 24, 2011 at 6:16 pm

    “Although I’ve seen that graph many times, it still leaves me edgy whenever I see it. The long term trend line for CO2 is obviously down.”

    Don’t tell MR this, but the X-axis is in millions of years!

  128. CodeTech says:
    June 24, 2011 at 4:48 pm

    “Every so often, a new form of entertainment appears at WUWT (and most blogs, for that matter), that I like to call the persistent troll (PT). ”

    Oooh, oooh! Can I play the PT now? Please??

    [ahem]

    “OK, there…Smokey! You obviously don’t perceive the ridiculosity of your fetid arguments! I mean, the logic is inescapable…all plants needs CO2…we humans are pumping out too much CO2…so too many plants will live…and, errrr, thrive…but, uhhh, then they will eventually die! And that will be BAD…ergo…too much CO2 is bad…and 110% of the climate scientists agree with me, because if they don’t agree with you, they logically MUST agree with me. And by the way, you really ARE ignorant…don’t you know that the proper gender-neutral term today is “straw-person” NOT “straw-MAN”. Sheesh!”

    \PT

  129. If MR did some research he would be very surprised by some of the findings. It seems that added atmospheric CO2 can ameliorate conditions that would otherwise preclude plant growth. For instance, if conditions are to arid to grow a plant, it will grow if you increase the available water OR increase carbon dioxide; if the soil is too poor for plants, you can add nutrients OR carbon dioxide and the plants will flurish; too little sun, add light OR increase carbon dioxide; too cold, too hot, etc.

    I found this to be a rather fascinating relationship between carbon dioxide and plant life. It really underscores the importance of CO2 in the atmosphere.

  130. Passing this issue along to the EPA looks like a BAD idea to me. The EPA administration is basically appointed by the President! He has said that he intends to use the EPA’s regulatory powers to force through policies that he can’t get through the legislative channels. SCOTUS PILATE has just washed its hands of the issue of regulating CO2. And as for the hope of voting out Obama and his EPA thugs in 2012, that may be wishful thinking.

  131. John B says: June 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm
    “If a scientist submits a proposal for a research grant, it [the EPA] will not be funded unless it will conclude that CO2 is a problem.”
    And how would they know the conclusion at the time of issuing the grant?

    That’s something I am quite familiar with, as I have written many proposals to government agencies, and have a good win rate. The proposal *must* tell them what they want to hear or there is no chance of winning a contract. My experience is with NASA and DoD agencies, but the policies are quite the same.

  132. Moderate Republican says:
    June 24, 2011 at 2:47 pm

    What!?!?

    Are you really saying that because you can give someone mouth to mouth resuscitation that..what..that somehow proves that CO2 as a forcer in the climate can never be problematic?

    Do you really believe that is even remotely close to being a scientifically valid statement?

    Of course, you know perfectly well, I said no such thing. You say CO2 benefits cannot possibly outweigh the harm. First, CO2 benefits are demonstrable, our very being is evidence. The harm is conjecture, existing only in incomplete modality. Empirical evidence that CO2 in a glass tube warms when irradiated with IR photons(of narrow bands), hardly constitutes evidence that it drives climate at all. All substances absorb and re-emit IR photons. It’s all about sensitivity, and that is hardly settled. Don’t even get me started on feed-backs.

    You need to let go of ideology and agenda serving, arm waving, baby kissing science and re-evaluate (re-visit) the actual evidence and data. You are at the right blog for the “do over”. You will find no tombstones, nor death certificate, that declares “cause of death” as ACO2 or any other kind of CO2, for that mater. GK

  133. MR applying your own logic to CO2 causing CAGW, one can equally conclude:

    “For anyone to argue that CO2 in a controlled environment (computer model) is a proxy for all of the Earth’s temperature is ridiculously unscientific”

    Either you must admit your own logic is faulty or you must accept that CAGW from CO2 is, by your own definition, ridiculously unscientific.

  134. There was a great interview with Freeman Dyson on Charlie Rose a couple years ago…it suddenly disappeared after about a week. I did save it before that.
    I have not watched Charlie Rose since he danced on Michael Crighton’s grave by interviewing Al Gore [in which interview Rose disclosed that he and 'Al' had a joint business venture] on the 1st Anniversary of Crighton’s death.

  135. Theo Goodwin says:

    “Congress has total authority over EPA, including the authority to abolish it. So, EPA can rule whatever Barry and Lisa want but Congress can immediately change the law.”

    I agree. All of the “authority” of the EPA is Congressional authority that Congress delegated to the EPA. In a previous USSC case the EPA asserted (with the weakest argument they could muster) they did not have the authority to regulate CO2 and the USSC ruled that Congress had given them the authority to regulate CO2 if they found it harmful. And making that determination was the job of the EPA.

    So of course Congress can take it back the authority … hopefully they will.

  136. “The Supreme Court can be no better than the “consensus” — they obviously are not questioning it seriously, or they wouldn’t have affirmed the EPA’s authority to regulate a natural gas — so of course they are incompetent.”

    Nonsense. All they did in AEP v. Conn. was dismiss a nuisance lawsuit on grounds that EPA has jurisdiction over the issue, not individual states. That was a very predictable (and not at all alarming) result. That’s why the decision was unanimous.

    What was NOT expected was the language the AEP decision included that acknowledged the scientific controversy over AGW.

    Here’s why that matters a great deal:

    1. In Mass. v. EPA, the court held that EPA did have legal authority to regulate GHG emissions, provided that EPA found that they posed a hazard to public health.
    2. In its recent endangerment finding, EPA found that GHGs do pose such a threat. It then proposed a plethora of regulations to deal with the threat it identified.
    3. Since then, many states have filed suits challenging the process by which the EPA’s GHG endangerment finding was reached (hasty, shoddy and half-baked, to put it mildly) and the scientific claims put forward by EPA in support of its finding (flimsy IPCC propaganda in many instances).

    It is almost certain that one or more of the state lawsuits mentioned above will find its way to SCOTUS in the not-too-distant future. When that happens, I believe the court will overturn EPA’s finding and remand the matter to EPA with instructions to “do it over and do it right” the next time. Since I don’t believe that will be possible, the comments the justices offered about AGW in the AEP decision are very encouraging and give me comfort about how the court may rule in the state cases that will come before them in the next 1-2 years.

  137. Moderate Republican wrote:

    For anyone to argue that plants in a controlled environment are a proxy for all of the earth’s vegetation is ridiculously unscientific.

    Perhaps a review of the Scientific Method is in order? You’ll find that controlled experiments are EXACTLY what the Scientific Method calls for. And taking the data from a single tree, or two sand bars and extrapolating over the entire world – without any means of a control or even accurate predictive validation – is, in fact, ridiculously unscientific.

    Your attempt at Orwellian language twisting won’t fly here…

  138. And since the justices of the supreme court know less about climate change and the debate about climate change than Anthony’s readers do this means what????

  139. LazyTeenager says:
    June 24, 2011 at 9:16 pm
    And since the justices of the supreme court know less about climate change and the debate about climate change than Anthony’s readers do this means what????
    —————————————————————————–

    ….. that your tribe has jumped the shark.

  140. LazyTeenager says:
    June 24, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    And since the justices of the supreme court know less about climate change and the debate about climate change than Anthony’s readers do this means what????

    It means: It is way past your bedtime! Get your teddy bear and scoot! GK

  141. Please read the opinion of the Supreme Court (SCOTUS) in this matter (link attached). They uphold the legal obligation of the USEPA to regulate greenhouse gases, and all they are doing in this opinion is saying that the federal courts are not the proper venue for these regulatory arguments. I sense no support for CAGW skeptics here.

    We (SCOTUS) hold that the Clean Air Act and the EPA actions it authorizes displace any federal common law right to seek abatement of carbon-dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel fired power plants. Massachusetts made plain that emissions of carbon dioxide qualify as air pollution subject toregulation under the Act. 549 U. S., at 528–529. And we think it equally plain that the Act “speaks directly” to emissions of carbon dioxide from the defendants’ plants.

    http://www.supremecourt.gov/opinions/10pdf/10-174.pdf

  142. A few folks are reading too much into this. Example follows …

    “Passing this issue along to the EPA looks like a BAD idea to me. The EPA administration is basically appointed by the President! He has said that he intends to use the EPA’s regulatory powers to force through policies that he can’t get through the legislative channels. SCOTUS PILATE has just washed its hands of the issue of regulating CO2. And as for the hope of voting out Obama and his EPA thugs in 2012, that may be wishful thinking.”

    You had two choices here, and I’ll use cleaned-up vernacular: (1) solid excrement, (2) liquid excrement. We got solid excrement but it is less painful than liquid excrement.

    (2) Allowing progressive-liberal northeastern states, largely driven by green socialist activist groups and their tainted money from corrupt foundations and wealthy benefactors to attack companies and entire industries at the discretion of the court system and ignorant juries.

    (1) Punting it back to the executive branch which at least has purse-strings leading back to the Congress, particularly the House of Representatives.

    I would say that option (2) has been killing us for many years. The courts are packed with political *appointees*. And while there is theoretical oversight of the courts by the Congress, it is practically never exercised. Even John Marshall couldn’t dream of a day when the court system is the activist branch, and the choice of both first resort and last resort for every issue.

    The House is political of course, but none are appointed and we get a shot every two years to (pardon the pun) clean house. So Option (1) is not perfect, but it is closer to being constitutional because there is no sane interpretation of the Constitution that places the judicial branch at the center of all things political.

    From an Anti-Socialist, Pro-Individual Liberty and Freedom point of view, I have to see this as an OK result. As some others have mentioned, we shoehorn all this nonsense into an identifiable agency like EPA, and then shut that sucker down. Defund it and lock the doors. While this may sound unrealistic today, only a few more economic shocks will start a clamor for dramatic federal cuts, and there are alphabet agencies galore in line for the chopping block. We need to make sure that all the AGW science fiction peddlers are in one of those agencies.

    Finally, a useful clue to me is anything that brings in lots of Trolls, whining like little children, and making absolute fools of themselves (multiple cases here), is a good thing. Normally this time of year they would be exploiting the warming summer weather with their annual scare stories but have been sidetracked big-time by recent events. And there is so much more to come. Just wait for the minimum sea-ice extent to pass by in September when they will then begin their seemingly endless fall-winter-spring depression once again!

  143. Just finished reading the Opinion and all the above. B-737 has the take closest to mine. The Court inferred that EPA actions have to reflect a common good or gain; lack of EPA balance can be appealed.

  144. Anyone fancy annoying the alarmists that run Wikipedia by suggesting that the supreme court is a reliable source?

    We all know the answer: the only reliable source is the 73 scientists who form the ‘overwhelming consensus’ who seem to extremely close … so close one couldn’t tell them apart from those who spend an awful lot of time editing Wikipedia

  145. Rattus Norvegicus
    The history of the acts as shown on EPA site

    http://www.epa.gov/air/caa/peg/understand.html

    The idea of a pollutant has been extended by the courts away from an earlier common sense idea. How would you feel if smoking were regulated by EPA as a court decided cigarette smoke was a pollutant. You would not argue that smoke was good for you and the people around you. You would argue elected representatives need to authorize the role change as cigarette smoke is not in the scope intended when the acts were examined.
    Congress can limit or extend the EPA role, but has not so the status quo should apply.

  146. The next 18 appointees to the Supreme Court should be FARMERS! Need I say more? What?
    Oh, OK. OK.
    The next 200 Senators elected to the US Senate should be FARMERS! How’s that? Still not enough?
    OK.
    The next 1000 Representatives elected to the US House of Representatives should be FARMERS!
    What?
    Oh, yes, forgot.. The next 45 Presidents of the United States should be FARMERS!

    PS: And we ought to send all the lawyers in this country to China too!

  147. Ah the first batch of eco loons silenced (kicked out of the equation). now let Congress encourage the EPA to endorse actual science rather than Gavin’s manned up Real Climate apology for science. Interesting times indeed!!

  148. John B says: June 24, 2011 at 4:40 pm
    “If a scientist submits a proposal for a research grant, it [the EPA] will not be funded unless it will conclude that CO2 is a problem.”
    And how would they know the conclusion at the time of issuing the grant?

    First, the [ ] brackets completely change the meaning of what I said. What I meant was the proposal will not be funded by the EPA unless the proposed work will prove CO2 is a problem.

    Second, I think a brief summary of the government contracting process is in order. All federal agencies follow the FARs (Federal Acquisition Regulations) which are published on-line. Requests for Proposals (RFPs) are published in Commerce Business Daily, which is also available on-line. Government customer RFPs clearly state what the solicitation requires, and what a winning proposal shall say. The acquisition regulations are very strict and precise. I know of NASA employees who did jail time by stating that XXX software shall be used instead of saying that contractor shall use software in all ways compatible with XXX. The government request identifies a Contracting Officer and a Technical Point of Contact (TPOC). Typically, a potential contractor will call the TPOC and say: “Hi Joe, I’m thinking of proposing this…” The customer TPOC will answer by saying: “Well Fred, that’s close to what we’re looking for” or “Gee, Bob, that would not be favorably judged.” Just as the USAF knows exactly what size tires they buy for their airplanes, requests for scientific research know exactly which researchers will do a “good job” for the team.

    I’m not saying this is good or bad, it’s just how the government contracting world works. And it is completely different from commercial practice.

  149. alan says on June 24, 2011 at 8:10 pm

    Passing this issue along to the EPA looks like a BAD idea to me. The EPA administration is basically appointed by the President!

    Yes bad idea, unless you want the courts setting and administering policy as well as writing legislation (when it feels like it!); recall the separation of powers idea our (the US) Constitution embodies …

    It’s up to congress to set the direction of these bureaus like the EPA through PL (Public Law) enactments (vs CFR or Code of Federal Regulations which these bureaus write). The courts act as line judges making ‘foul’ calls.

    .

  150. Moderate Republican [ad nauseum]

    Exemplification of PTS (Persistent Troll Syndrome) running a misleading as Hades nic … but in support of the welcome dreck, foils are always needed to keep the troops sharp and running their ‘A’ game …

    (I only wonder, from whence he/she came? DailyKos? DU? Huff(com)Post?)

    .

  151. The ruling is a positive development. It establishes:

    1. That the courts do not have jurisdiction to determine CO2 science. That is up to the EPA.
    2. That CO2 disputes must go through the EPA. They cannot be brought directly to the courts.
    3. That the court does have jurisdiction to rule on EPA CO2 over matters of economic impact and national security.

    In other words, the EPA sets the rules on CO2 so long as the benefits outweigh the costs and do not place the nation at risk. This last point is perhaps the most significant, because of the EPA reliance on the IPCC.

    The IPCC does not have the national interests of the USA anywhere in its mandate. The IPCC is completely free to recommend policies that would lead to the destruction of the USA, so long as those policies were a net benefit to the rest of the planet.

    As the USA makes up only about 5% of the population of the planet, but generates about 25% of the CO2, the quickest way for the IPCC to reduce CO2 levels would be the economic destruction of the USA. This would benefit the other 95% of the planet with minimal cost.

    Since the EPA places heavy reliance on the IPCC, it is possible that the current EPA direction will unknowingly lead to the economic destruction of the USA, which the courts might decide is not in the national interest.

  152. Rattus Norvegicus says:
    June 24, 2011 at 9:39 am
    “This really wasn’t a remarkable decision. It is a straight federalism decision, the EPA has the power to regulate the emission of carbon dioxide and so preempts any right under federal common law for the states to regulate CO2 emissions.”

    Does that mean that California can’t go ahead with AB32?

  153. Dan in California says:
    June 25, 2011 at 6:12 am

    “First, the [ ] brackets completely change the meaning of what I said.

    Apologies for that, I realised I had bracketed the wrong “it” after I had posted the comment. I knew what you meant and didn’t intend to change your meaning.

    But as regards government requests for proposals (RFPs), I think you are wrong about what a research proposal as opposed to a proposal for hardware or software looks like. A research RFP would be e.g. “to look at sea level changes”, not “to conclude that sea levels have risen”. Anything else would not only be corrupt but stupid as these things are public. Do you know of any RFPs that explicitly or implicitly ask researchers “to conclude…”?

  154. John B says: June 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm
    Dan in California says: June 25, 2011 at 6:12 am
    Do you know of any RFPs that explicitly or implicitly ask researchers “to conclude…”?

    They’re not explicit. RFPs for research certainly do include implicit orders on the outcome. I do have personal experience in this. I was principal investigator on a small government research contract about 20 years ago and I naiively thought I was supposed to do an honest study. After I handed in the final report I was informed by my government customer that the purpose of the contract was to conclude the status quo was the best approach. I never got another contract from that customer again. Unlike most university scientists, I have a large customer base, so I was not out on the street after that. I can’t say in a public forum which government entity that was, but James Hanson works for them.

  155. John B says: June 25, 2011 at 1:58 pm
    “ Do you know of any RFPs that explicitly or implicitly ask researchers “to conclude…”?”

    Here’s another personal example (I have grey hair; I’ve been at this a long time).My company had a small phase 1 contract to do R&D (this is rocket science, not climate science). The customer formally invited us to submit a phase 2 proposal. Invitations for sole-source contract proposals are not made unless there is a high probability of award. After submittal, the government lab director personally berated us for not letting him help write the proposal. I was astounded, as that would have been illegal. We did not get the contract.

    It happens. Frequently.

  156. @Dan

    But R&D is not research. (Yes, I do know what R&D stands for). What I am saying is that government grants for research do not dictate what the research should conclude. I could be wrong, does anyone have any evidence?

  157. The point is the batttle ground should be at the ballot box not the courts. Whatever the courts decide, elected representives should be get their hands dirty. They talk about saving the planet but know measures constant with the declared problem as political suicide so they are looking for fudges. It gets them of the hook if the courts / quangoes like the EPA take on the problem. Sorry – Sean and stacyglen are both me – finger trouble.

  158. I’m glad to see that some people here have actually looked at the Court’s opinion and interpreted it more or less correctly. The rest of you should grow up. There’s nothing in the opinion to suggest that Ginsburg or anyone on the Court is either hostile or friendly to the claim that CO2 emissions cause dangerous global warming. The remark about breathing merely supports the obviously true claim that Congress could not “preemptively prohibit every discharge of carbon dioxide without a permit.” The reason for claiming it is that Congress could preemptively prohibit every discharge of some other things, but the plaintiffs seem not to recognize this difference.

    I’ll say it again: The rest of you should grow up. This is far from being the only time when people here have posted yahoo-like cheering or booing in a comments thread. It happens all the time.

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