The EPA and December 7th—A date that will live in infamy

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Guest post by Steve Goreham

Originally published in The Washington Times

December 7, 2009 is a date that will live in infamy. Not only in memory of the attack on Pearl Harbor, but the day the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) declared carbon dioxide to be a pollutant under the Clean Air Act.

The 52-page EPA Endangerment Finding can be summarized simply. The agency concluded that carbon dioxide and five other greenhouse gases emitted by US industry and vehicles were causing dangerous global warming. The EPA stated that these gases “…threaten the public health and welfare of current and future generations.” The agency relied on studies by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) of the United Nations, the U.S. Global Climate Research Program, and the National Research Council.

That ruling is bizarre. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is an invisible, odorless, harmless gas. It does not cause smoke or smog. The rising visible plumes from the smokestacks of a power plant are not CO2. That’s condensing water vapor. We can’t see carbon dioxide.

The EPA ruling failed to include nature’s largest greenhouse gas, water vapor. Scientists estimate that 75 percent to 90 percent of Earth’s greenhouse effect is due to water vapor and clouds. As any eighth-grade chemistry student learns, burning hydrocarbon fuel produces both carbon dioxide and water vapor. When natural gas (methane) is burned, two water vapor molecules are produced for each carbon dioxide molecule. Since water vapor is a greenhouse gas produced by human industry, the EPA should declare water a pollutant by its own logic.

Rather than being a pollutant, CO2 is green! Carbon dioxide is plant food, a compound essential for plant photosynthesis. Hundreds of peer-reviewed studies show that higher levels of atmospheric CO2 cause plants to grow faster and larger. Wheat, orange trees, pine trees, hardwood trees, prairie grasses, and even poison ivy thrive in higher levels of CO2.

Plants grow larger root systems, produce more seeds and vegetables, and bloom larger flowers with more CO2. Tree wood density increases. Plants grow better in poor soil and drought conditions with higher levels of atmospheric CO2. In fact, if we wanted to put one compound into the atmosphere that would be great for the biosphere, carbon dioxide is that compound. Yet, almost every university and company now tracks the size of its “carbon footprint” and tries to reduce carbon emissions.

But isn’t it true that too much of anything can be bad for the environment? Yes in the case of real pollutants such as carbon monoxide or lead, but carbon dioxide is a harmless compound that is common in nature. The 2007 IPCC Carbon Cycle Model estimated that the atmosphere contained 750 billion tons of carbon in the form of CO2 with an additional 38,000 billion tons of carbon dissolved in the oceans. Mankind adds a comparably small 6 billion tons of carbon to the atmosphere each year.

The current atmospheric level of 394 parts per million (ppm) of carbon dioxide is actually somewhat on the low side. Dr. William Happer of Princeton University points out that atmospheric CO2 reached several thousand ppm in past ages. Geological evidence shows that life flourished during those past times of high CO2.

Over 190 nations are currently gathered in Doha, Qatar, attempting to negotiate a global treaty to restrict carbon dioxide emissions. Future generations will regard the early 20th century as an age of climate foolishness.

Steve Goreham is Executive Director of the Climate Science Coalition of America and author of the new book The Mad, Mad, Mad World of Climatism: Mankind and Climate Change Mania.

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100 thoughts on “The EPA and December 7th—A date that will live in infamy

  1. They, the EPA get away with that because the general public is…..need I say….FN ignorant! And who to point the finger better than ourselves for allowing our education system to fail. Not sure the universities can be turned around as they are bought and paid for by progressives. Further, the K-12 system is amazingly broken. I dare any you to substitute teach one day to see the atrocity we face here in the good ol’ US of A. Sounding cynical, you bet I am.

  2. “Future generations will regard the early 20th century as an age of climate foolishness.”

    Perhaps the late 20th and early 21st centuries…

  3. I’m in it for the genus now. The species sapiens appears not so wise these days, this being its 3rd interglacial so far. Only in the 3rd did sapiens demonstrate written language…..

    It may not be all that bad, you know, stripping the heathen devil gas from the late Holocene/Anthropocene atmosphere.

    Consider that although we are at an eccentricity minima, maybe, maybe not, poised on the abrupt climate bluff to the next glacial, is the present iteration of the genus Homo all that wise?

    Knowing that:

    “An examination of the fossil record indicates that the key junctures in hominin evolution reported nowadays at 2.6, 1.8 and 1 Ma coincide with 400 kyr eccentricity maxima, which suggests that periods with enhanced speciation and extinction events coincided with periods of maximum climate variability on high moisture levels” (http://www.manfredmudelsee.com/publ/pdf/Trends-rhythms-and-events-in-Plio-Pleistocene-African-climate.pdf)

    What would you do 200kyrs (2 glacials and 2 interglacials) before our next, potential, hardware upgrade? Strip the late Holocene prognosticated climate security blanket from the atmosphere?

    Recent extreme glacials have proven to be rather prone to selection of the fittest. In your mind, would this be a bad thing? I mean with terminal morraine as far south as Kansas recently (in NA nomenclature pre-1990), could surviving the loss of Chicago actually be a bad thing.

    Just sayin……..

  4. Very interesting! I’ve sometimes made the argument that it’s at least conceivable that it might be more dangerous to share an air space with two metabolically (and potentially disease-sharing) nonsmokers might be more “dangerous” than sharing one with a single smoker. However, I had never considered CO2 production as being part of the “pollution” coming from those nonsmokers — somehow I had missed that initial announcement three years ago or it just skimmed by one of the smoother surfaces in my brain! Does anyone know how does CO2 measurement compares to the EPA’s five or six “Signal Pollutants” (Ozone, Particulates, Sulfur Dioxide etc)? Would it be as reasonable to argue that a room with a higher reading of CO2 than normal had a higher level of “air pollution” in the same sense that a room with a higher measurement of O3 or SO2 or Particulates could be so claimed?

    :?
    MJM, who has a long-standing sci-fi-styel short story titled “Breathers” that will be getting published as part of a collection of works in 2013 at some point. Note: I am NOT a card-carrying member of VHEMT! ;>

  5. Gary says:
    December 8, 2012 at 5:54 pm
    Actually, this is completely wrong on the history. It was the Supreme Court that concluded that CO2 was a pollutant under the terms of the Clean Air Act and forced the EPA to act.

    IIRC, the SC ruled that it was within the EPA’s jurisdiction to rule that CO2 was a pollutant if it chose to do so. It didn’t force the EPA to act.

  6. blah blah blah.

    might as well blame nixon – no reasonable reading of the clean air act would have allowed them to avoid declaring co2 a pollutant.

    iirc, the finding they made was the mildest outcome they had available.

  7. Gary, it just goes to show how the Law is an ass.

    The Supremes have no idea whether GHGs have an important effect on temperatures or not.

  8. This is indeed bizarre. Make that scarey. The time is rapidly approaching that the federal governments and their supported institutions will no longer be respected as valid enterprises. The results may be shocking to all. This is really scarey.

  9. Leif Svalgaard says:
    December 8, 2012 at 5:55 pm
    will regard the early 20th century as an age of climate foolishness.
    21st
    =============
    Nice catch Leif (and others), I could do the same without a PHd.
    Pretty low hanging fruit.
    Or did we want to improve the post ?

  10. Keeps circling back to this, CAGW blamed upon co2 is an orchestrated attack on reason, freedom and private wealth.
    Orchestrated by agencies of our governments. Funded by. Accepted by. Promoted by.
    Every check and balance our ancestors built into civil government, with the intent of limiting the damage caused by the periodic waves of public hysteria, has been corrupted.
    The people we pay to protect our interests are the activists here.
    Policy proposed & enacted, science NOT archived in the policy papers.
    Civil servants actively pushing enviro-ideology. Not fired.Public proclamations of certainty, by science policy advisors miss-citing the IPCC-FAR.
    Bottom line, ask your govt,at any level, with respect to any CAGW/CC mitigation policy
    “Please supply me with the science, that supports this policy”.
    “Or please direct me to the archive of science, you (The Agency) are using to support this policy”.
    Your opinion of your government & its minions will never be higher than it is today.

  11. michaeljmcfadden says:
    December 8, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    While your at it you might want to reconsider crawling into one of those rebreather airline cabins; never enter without heavy doses of neosporin applied to the inner sanctuary of your nose. :) Also, no CO2 scrubbers. How we survive…amazing.

  12. Ask the UN, in their line of thinking, CO2 from Europe is bad, CO2 from the USA is bad, and CO2 from China, the number producer of CO2, is OK. Any chance I can get a multimillion dollar research grant to prove that rising CO2 levels cause brain dead Zombies in the EPA and the UN?

  13. I have a challenge for the blog.

    Find one thing that you possess, use, or consume that does not have some type of linkage to fossil fuel.

    Really, take a look around and find one!

    Can you?

    The EPA’s Endangerment finding is exactly that,,,, A Pearl Harbor,,,,,,,,,, but focused on your standard of living, and nothing more.

    Does it matter?????

    You decide in the end.

  14. We humans, all 7 billion+ of us, exhale CO2 while breathing. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And our government wants us to believe that CO2 is a dangerous pollutant. That would be hilarious if it wasn’t pathetic.

  15. @Juan Slayton & others:

    As we’re only a dozen years into the 21st century, and most of the AGW Insanity was promulgated and pushed in the 20th century, I think it’s fair to say “20th Century” was the insanity phase. Personally, I’m expecting a cold plunge in the next 10 to 20 years that will likely end once and for all the foolishness (one way or another… either by economic and social collapse or by a ‘chastening’ from a sane electorate “focusing the mind”…)

    So I think it’s a mite too early to call the whole 21st Century a loss…

    @highflight56433:

    Or any modern building…..

    I once upon a time was Facilities Director of a 110,000 square foot facility (3 floors). As in most growing high tech companies, we had new-ish carpet and were adding “furniture” periodically to fill out the space. (Think ‘cubicles’). Some folks had a touch of “sick building syndrome” – one being me. Seems I’m a bit sensitive to “it”, whatever “it” is.

    On the theory it had something to do with the “stuff” coming into the building (since I’ve never had a problem with concrete and steel…) I tried 2 experiments.

    1) In our smallish isolated area for Facilities and I.T. (I was also Director of I.T.) I tried treating the carpet that was new. Sprinkled it with two alternating solutions. First, a dilute ammonia solution. Then waited 20 minutes. Then a dilute vinegar solution. (You can use either order, depending on if you want to ‘finish’ with a medicinal smell or a Cesar Salad smell ;-) The theory is that any acids and bases will react with one or the other. (It works. Removes tobacco smells too. I first developed this when ‘on the road’ and coping with tobacco stink rooms prior to their being ‘non-smoking’ rooms. It’s based on a toned down version of military chemical decontamination protocols.) That drastically cut symptoms “for a while”…

    Then I found that the ‘incoming’ air was ‘not fresh’. Seems that on the large A/C units on the roof there’s a ‘percent to recycle’ setting. For “energy savings” it us usually set to have 10% to 20% (if you are lucky) ‘make up air’. The rest is cycled over and over and over and…

    2) At the next A/C filter replacement / tune up I had the A/C guys crank the “make up air” dampers wide open. I think it was about 50% “make up air”. Suddenly nobody had symptoms. Heck, overall energy and wellbeing in the whole building went up near as I could tell. The place just felt “fresh and energized”. Even folks who had no idea what I’d done noticed.

    Yes, energy costs went up some. Not much at all, though. Then again, being as we were in the San Francisco Bay Area where it’s got “natural air conditioning”, it’s not like we had much in the way of heating or cooling costs anyway. ( I suspect that given the number of computers in the building that just doing air turnover reduced our cooling costs more than it increased our winter heating costs… but “things changed” before I could gather and inspect over a years worth of data).

    So if you are worried about ‘breathing in what the other guy breathed out’, you need to avoid any building with central A/C and closed windows…

    Per the EPA and CO2:

    Folks sometimes accuse me of being a Right Wing Republican. Other folks get mad at me when I say Republicans are as bad as Democrats. ( In reality, I’m more of a libertarian leaning sort). As an example of just why, one need look no further than Tricky Dick Nixon and the EPA. (Though I’d toss in the Bush Presidents as big “talk a good line and keep on spending” sorts… Read My Lips, I’m Raising Taxes was followed by “Ok, I’ll cut taxes but we’ll keep on spending full tilt”.)

    What we really need is to go through each “presidential legacy” and toss them out, one at a time in reverse order, deconstructing the Central Planning Machine one Legacy at a time. We don’t need Central Planning Medical care. We don’t need Central Planning Mortgages. We don’t need Central Planning Education (thanks to Carter… folks forget we had perfectly fine Public Education BEFORE there was any Federal Dept of Education…) etc. etc. right on back through Tricky Dick Nixon and Johnson’s “Great Society” programs and all.

    Devolve the power and authority back to “the States and the People, respectively”… We just don’t need a Federal EPA. (We certainly don’t need BOTH a Federal and a California one duplicating and ‘one-upping’ each other…)

  16. u,k.(us): Or did we want to improve the post ?

    Well, as a matter of fact yes, although I would favor a convention that as such minor errors are corrected, the flagging comments get deleted.

  17. It is not like we didn’t know this was coming. The only reason this has been allowed to happen is the political opposition has spent all its capital and leadership tilting at economic windmills. Now we will see a real tax increase that is beyond the control of the buffoons that populate the Congress. Those buffoons are all of them party affiliation aside.

  18. Carl says:
    December 8, 2012 at 9:04 pm
    We humans, all 7 billion+ of us, exhale CO2 while breathing. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. And our government wants us to believe that CO2 is a dangerous pollutant. That would be hilarious if it wasn’t pathetic.
    ————————————————————————————————————————
    But CO2 _is_ a dangerous pollutant. That’s why we (and all other animals) exhale it …

  19. I am getting a bit tired of these articles (not only here) that pick up on a one-dimensional view of what a pollutant is and then somehow believe they scored a victory.

    Yes, I get it – CO2 is not a ‘dirty’, sooty or (generally) toxic substance etc., it is all harmless in and by itself. Now what? Could it be that the DEFINITION of pollutant that is being applied here must then obviously be one to include substances that are harmful beyond the above definition of something directly toxic/harmful. — Say, like harmful effects through global warming…?

    In that light, the CO2-is-not-a-pollutant meme is getting a bit boring, other than missing the point completely.

    Oh, and bonus points for “We can’t see carbon dioxide.” Yeah right, and I can’t see the ebola virus either, so I guess it will be alright then….

  20. “sophocles says:

    December 8, 2012 at 11:02 pm”

    It’s not a pollutant, it’s a by-product of consuming oxygen, or in short, living.

  21. I’m now spitting venom, nasty people down at the EPA who by their own website and graph show the worst heatwaves in the US to be in the 1930s with no trend in the following 70 years.

  22. anyway , all you have to ask them is- as a pollutant should we try and eradicate co2 completely. .

    What about the greenhouses that pump it up to 1000ppm.

  23. Matt says:
    December 9, 2012 at 12:28 am

    Gee Matt, sorry we’re boring you, pal. If you are bored with all of this, go and get stimulated elsewhere then. You can see the effects of Ebola. You can see the effects of CO2. Except that the latter effect is not as you so snidely state. A snide, I’ll guess, that was meant to assuage your ennui at the boring lot in here. Perhaps as an exercise to help with your atrophy, show us the warming and its catastrophic effects!

  24. duncanmackenzie says:
    December 8, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    blah blah blah.

    might as well blame nixon – no reasonable reading of the clean air act would have allowed them to avoid declaring co2 a pollutant.

    iirc, the finding they made was the mildest outcome they had available.

    Bullshit. As pointed out in the main article, if one declares CO2 a pollutant then by the SAME logic one must declare H20 a pollutant as well, because burning natural gas (methane) produces two water vapor molecules for each carbon dioxide molecule.

    Maybe you can reconcile this contradiction for us, Duncan “blah blah blah” MacKenzie?

  25. OssQss says:
    December 8, 2012 at 9:02 pm

    I have a challenge for the blog.

    Find one thing that you possess, use, or consume that does not have some type of linkage to fossil fuel.

    Really, take a look around and find one!

    Can you?

    The EPA’s Endangerment finding is exactly that,,,, A Pearl Harbor,,,,,,,,,, but focused on your standard of living, and nothing more.

    Does it matter?????

    You decide in the end.
    ——————————————–

    Trueness.

    Man is destroyer, and most especially the men who are destroyer are men and women who will endorse the hated Bush.

    Al Gore’s nothing less than a murderer. He jacked world energy markets because he was BORED and because he was ANGRY, and he MADE a MOVIE of himself DOING IT so he could BASK in the HILARITY he believes, he pulled off.

    He used the opportunity of the tight political security and times, to hold the world hostage to his energy – shortage terror/mass markets manipulation. HIS FUNDAMENTAL INHERITED FORTUNE is from the OIL BUSINESS.

    His company Occidental oil has more oil holdings than all but two or three companies in the WORLD: they aren’t, in the U.S. because their U.S. holdings are in Alternative Energy, and they’re the oil mega-company that holds a LARGER percentage of it’s energy portfolio as ALTERNATIVE ENERGY than any OTHER
    oil company
    on earth.

    He held the American System at gunpoint: the Americans’ security forces were fighting war on real terrorists and Al Gore operated a heist, using the Americans’ fear of POLITICAL VIOLENCE or FOMENT breaking OUT.

    “MAYBE it’s a GOOD thing that… i LOST the ELECTION and was maybe… MAYBEee…..
    (WINK-wink) (translated “If we say we REALLY BUHLEEEve IT AINT CRIME is it?”
    STEERED by POWER on HIGH to DISCOVah
    that IF you don’t PUT
    my POLICIES into EFFECT
    in SPITE of THE ELECTION,
    a LOT of PEOPLE
    could
    LOSE all they OWN
    or even
    DIE.

    “People could *D*I*E* if YOU don’t GO AHEAD and buy MY products (alternative energy)
    and
    put MY policies IN PLACE,
    REGARDLESS
    of the ELECTION.”

    That’s what the definition of TERRORISM is:
    to CREATE FEAR of LOSS of PROPERTY
    or LIFE
    to STEER
    POLITICAL
    and MARKET PROCESSES
    with an end to eventually, altering policy decisions.

    When IslamoFascists destroyed all that monetary value they made promise to destroy more until we were BANKRUPTED. They discussed between themselves, derailing people’s economic lives, to punish them for their political decision making.

    That is why manipulating markets is part of terrorism and security oriented policy regulation.

    This is crime,
    it always was crime,
    and Al Gore while the biggest of the criminals, isn’t first.
    The first one(s) were the guys running the “The Tropopause, the Tropopause, that Magically Potentially asPLODING TROPoPAUSE…” scam.

    No?

    Yes. Hansen told Congress in ’89 that ‘the measurements are just too precise, and highly complex’

    regarding the measuring of atmospheric infrared. The measurement of infrared, and the tropopause’s transmission of light.

    The tropopause blocks a lot of infrared that’s incoming, it’s a shell of almost, purely carbon dioxide that floats above the earth due to a coincidental weight/distance/gravity issue. The convective engine of water expanding greatly hence sifting upward as per classical thermo-gravitational dynamics, at high speed, pulls other molecules near the rising water, up, too; the gases are caught in the upward flow process, as dust, birds, insects, aerosols, yada-yada are;

    and, when everything shakes out at the top, and the uprushing mixture has it’s water, high percentage it is, radiate off heat energy into space, contract back down to a solid, falling again as ice, until yada, YADA, ad nauseum,

    well – when this whole water-as-phase-change-refrigerant, dumps all that heat and plummets back down, it’s dragging force on molecules around it of course, reduces a lot; and the oxygen, and nitrogen – they spin around and, some of them are lost into space but mostly, the two of the settle back into their individual movement at that altitude, wafting back, to fill in the vacuum, in the space where the water molecules contracted hundreds of times, back into ice; and then of course promptly started plummeting downward – leaving the space where they’d been, utterly empty.

    When this shake-out occurs, among the gas molecules left in suspension, the weight of carbon dioxide is such that, it lays on the top of all the really dry oxygen and nitrogen, in a… kind of cool balance, between mass, gravity, and molecular sizes: it’s the gas equivalent of a bug, running on a water puddle.
    Well, when this “weather scamming for BIG bucks through gubmunt signts’ started, there was Goddard Institute of Space-odie-ology right there, backing it up. “Yew kin trust this sh**, it’s fer REEL!” lied the devil. It wasn’t real, it was draino, and American science injected it into it’s arm.

    Now, we’ve got Al Gore making Americans sorry they didn’t elect him, and he’s got the Goddard Institute of Spacie-Odie-Hansen-ology
    propping him up.

    For big bucks.

    Let me explain this to ya in case you good folk aren’t really following the American Government’s Weather Scam.

    The air you breathe out is now classified as a pollutant by the EPA so when you breathe out, you’re in danger of violation of government regulation and it might decide
    to use the paramilitary might, of American armed force – designed to keep Islamic suicide bombers feeling like the room feels stuffy, and ‘strangely suspicious of’
    every move he makes.

    How do you feel every time you breathe out now?

    Thank Spacie-Odie-Jim-Hansen and Al Gore for making the oil you don’t buy from him, and the coal you don’t buy from him,
    the target of as immediately feasible government shutdown as possible?

    It’s nothing more or less than gigantic organized crime by people.

    That’s the reason it seems like
    nothing more or less than gigantic organized crime by people.

    Most precisely, by government employees.

  26. Richard,

    Getting rid of CO2 would warm the planet as net energy outflows to space would be reduced. Even the IPCC recognise this as far as the Stratosphere is concerned. Unfortunately they do not believe in the existence of steam engines, internal combustion engines, jet engines or firearms all of which depend upon the gas laws and the First Law as do global temperatures. Perhaps this is why they and the UN and Obama and the EPA and the BBC are trying to eradicate the evidence?

    Personally I suspect they will do a big “FAIL” on firearms but I’m sure that will help with the UN’s depopulation targets.

  27. Co2 is not the problem, and has never been the problem. The problem is the money to be made from making other people think co2 is the problem…

    Combine that with the ease now with which NGOs and governments can get into bed with other, with zero accountability and traceability, and you have a recipe for a most potent form of blinkered thinking and enlightened self interest going.

  28. If one approaches this from the position that human life is a scourge on the planet, then CO2 is bad because it supports human and other oxygen consuming life thru the mechanisms mentioned in the article.

    And that, my friends, is precisely the position taken by environmentalists. In a very real sense they are genocidal maniacs.

  29. “Infamy, Infamy, they’ve all got it In-for-me!”
    Sorry but someone had to say it………..I’ll get my coat.

  30. Matt says:
    December 9, 2012 at 12:28 am
    “Yes, I get it – CO2 is not a ‘dirty’, sooty or (generally) toxic substance etc., it is all harmless in and by itself. Now what? Could it be that the DEFINITION of pollutant that is being applied here must then obviously be one to include substances that are harmful beyond the above definition of something directly toxic/harmful. — Say, like harmful effects through global warming…?”

    There has been no global warming for the past 16 years; the assumption that CO2 causes global warming rests on computer models that have failed. If I write a wrong computer model that shows bad effects of an arbitrary activity in a 100 years, will you stop doing that activity?

    Good example of a boneheadedly wrong computer simulation: Sagan, nuclear winter.

    http://www.textfiles.com/survival/nkwrmelt.txt

    Made him a ton of money through TV shows.

  31. Maybe Boehner should agree to some tax hikes for the rich in exchange for defunding the UN and EPA. It certainly would put Obama in a bit of a pickle to reject that offer.

  32. Not only did the SC say (in Massachusetts v. EPA) that it was within EPA’s power to decide whether of not CO2 is a pollutant, the court said that if EPA decided it was a pollutant, by issuing an endangerment finding, they had the authority to regulate it. I would note in the Connecticut v. AEP case that the court explicitly said that they make no judgment on whether or not CO2 causes global warming.

  33. Tulipmania of the C17th was more sensible – at least they were selling *something*:

    http://www.businessweek.com/2000/00_17/b3678084.htm

    “…. Soon after, the tulip market crashed utterly, spectacularly. It began in Haarlem, at a routine bulb auction when, for the first time, the greater fool refused to show up and pay. Within days, the panic had spread across the country. Despite the efforts of traders to prop up demand, the market for tulips evaporated. Flowers that had commanded 5,000 guilders a few weeks before now fetched one-hundredth that amount. “

  34. Starzmom, your note that “the court said that if EPA decided it was a pollutant, by issuing an endangerment finding, they had the authority to regulate it.” is interesting. The 1992 Report on Environmental Tobacco Smoke was thrown out as invalid in 1998 by Judge William Osteen. Osteen’s ruling itself was later declared null however, not because any of its content was wrong, but simply because the EPA’s Report was not formally considered to be a “regulatory action” — and thus was not subject to court rulings!

    It might be worth looking into this particular aspect of the CO2 work by the EPA: Is it “regulatory” and thus subject to court examination? If it’s *not* regulatory, does it appear that it was deliberately presented in that way to avoid court examination? Other than my note above on the one EPA ruling I don’t know anything about the legal arena such things play in, but it seems possible that the two might relate in some way.

    – MJM

  35. The SC was monumentally, and historically wrong to give the EPA the green light on declaring C02 a “pollutant”. This was essentially an assault on the Constitution, and threatens our economy, our way of llfe, and, by virtue of lowering living standards, the actual lives of those least able to afford to lose any more. Once freedom is given up, it is very difficult to get it back.

  36. Law is one of the few highly paid professions that is science-math free….hence science illiterates can rise to power and force non science “findings” on the under educated masses. The 5-4 decision shows that even the nitwits with black robe disease can hardly agree. Their ignorant default possition is to ALWAYS side with the government as the source of all truth. Government is a malignant growth that has been allowed to metastasis under Supreme Court quackery.

  37. It is ironic that billions of dollars are being advocated to reduce the emission of a gas which is essential to life on this plant. We are carbon based life forms.

    Commercial greenhouse inject CO2 into the greenhouse to increase yield and to reduce growing times. Increased atmospheric CO2 has and will cause the biosphere to expand and will result increased productivity and yield from food crops. A doubling of atmospheric CO2 for example results in a roughly 40% increase in yield of cereal crops.

    http://www.omafra.gov.on.ca/english/crops/facts/00-077.htm

    Carbon dioxide (CO2) is an essential component of photosynthesis (also called carbon assimilation). Photosynthesis is a chemical process that uses light energy to convert CO2 and water into sugars in green plants. These sugars are then used for growth within the plant, through respiration. The difference between the rate of photosynthesis and the rate of respiration is the basis for dry-matter accumulation (growth) in the plant. In greenhouse production the aim of all growers is to increase dry-matter content and economically optimize crop yield. CO2 increases productivity through improved plant growth and vigour. Some ways in which productivity is increased by CO2 include earlier flowering, higher fruit yields, reduced bud abortion in roses, improved stem strength and flower size. Growers should regard CO2 as a nutrient.

    C3 plants (trees, cereal crops, and shrubs) lose roughly 50% of the water they absorb due to transrespiration (loss of water from the plant’s stomata.) When CO2 rises C3 plants produce less stomata which reduces water loss in the plant.. This results in more water at the root of the plant which enables synergistic bacteria on the roots to produce more nitrogen byproducts which increases plant growth.

    A higher level of atmospheric CO2 enables plants to make more effective use of water and enables the plant to survive in regions of low water such as deserts. Higher levels of atmospheric CO2 are beneficial to biosphere.

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2003/05/030509084556.htm

    Greenhouse Gas Might Green Up The Desert; Weizmann Institute Study Suggests That Rising Carbon Dioxide Levels Might Cause Forests To Spread Into Dry Environments

    The Weizmann team found, to its surprise, that the Yatir forest is a substantial “sink” (CO2-absorbing site): its absorbing efficiency is similar to that of many of its counterparts in more fertile lands. These results were unexpected since forests in dry regions are considered to develop very slowly, if at all, and thus are not expected to soak up much carbon dioxide (the more rapidly the forest develops the more carbon dioxide it needs, since carbon dioxide drives the production of sugars). However, the Yatir forest is growing at a relatively quick pace, and is even expanding further into the desert.

    Plants need carbon dioxide for photosynthesis, which leads to the production of sugars. But to obtain it, they must open pores in their leaves and consequently lose large quantities of water to evaporation. The plant must decide which it needs more: water or carbon dioxide. Yakir suggests that the 30 percent increase of atmospheric carbon dioxide since the start of the industrial revolution eases the plant’s dilemma. Under such conditions, the plant doesn’t have to fully open the pores for carbon dioxide to seep in – a relatively small opening is sufficient. Consequently, less water escapes the plant’s pores. This efficient water preservation technique keeps moisture in the ground, allowing forests to grow in areas that previously were too dry.

    http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/environment/article6036529.ece

    “There is no doubt that the enrichment of the air with CO2 is increasing plant growth rates in many areas,” said Professor Martin Parry, head of plant science at Rothamsted Research, Britain’s leading crop institute.
    TREES and plants are growing bigger and faster in response to the billions of tons of carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere by humans, scientists have found.

    Researchers in Germany recently discovered that wheat grown in similar conditions would produce up to 16% more grain.

  38. E.M. Smith says:

    2) At the next A/C filter replacement / tune up I had the A/C guys crank the “make up air” dampers wide open. I think it was about 50% “make up air”. Suddenly nobody had symptoms.

    Possibly too many negative (or positive?) ions?

    Or (sarc) too much CO2? There’s an amusing short story of the aftermath of a person’s sitting on an air-conditioning unit in a wine cellar packed with people in Lawrence Durrell’s story, “Stiff Upper Lip”. (In the book of that name, here: http://www.amazon.com/Stiff-Upper-Lip-Lawrence-Durrell/dp/0525209816/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1355071716&sr=1-1&keywords=Stiff+upper+lip The Kindle version is only $4. Here’s an excerpt describing the effects:

    Suddenly I noticed that everyone seemed unwontedly hilarious, a rather ghastly sort of hilarity, mind you. Laughter, talk, music–it all seemed to have gone into a new focus.
    ……………
    People seemed to have suddenly aged, bent up. You could begin to see how they would look at ninety if they lived that long. The chiefs of mission had gone an ashen color. As if they had worn their expressions almost down to the lining. . . . Knees began to buckle, stays to creak, guy-ropes to give. Still, in courtly fashion, people [were] still talking and laughing, but somehow in a precarious way. Polk-Mowbray had gone a distinctly chalky color and had difficulty in articulating.
    ………….
    Some were kneeling in pleading postures. Some were crawling about in that painstaking way that beetles do when they are drunk on sugar-water. Others had simply keeled over among the flowers.

  39. Matt says:
    December 9, 2012 at 12:28 am
    I am getting a bit tired of these articles (not only here) that pick up on a one-dimensional view of what a pollutant is and then somehow believe they scored a victory.

    Yes, I get it – CO2 is not a ‘dirty’, sooty or (generally) toxic substance etc., it is all harmless in and by itself. Now what? Could it be that the DEFINITION of pollutant that is being applied here must then obviously be one to include substances that are harmful beyond the above definition of something directly toxic/harmful. — Say, like harmful effects through global warming…?

    In that light, the CO2-is-not-a-pollutant meme is getting a bit boring, other than missing the point completely.

    Oh, and bonus points for “We can’t see carbon dioxide.” Yeah right, and I can’t see the ebola virus either, so I guess it will be alright then….

    The bill/law is titled, “The Clean Air Act.” The congresspeople who voted for it thought they were voting for clean air. Many among the majority would not have voted for allowing restrictions on CO2, which is clean. The dissenting opinions on the Supreme Court pointed that out. So it’s relevant that CO2 is not dirty.

  40. “That ruling is bizarre. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is an invisible, odorless, harmless gas. It does not cause smoke or smog. The rising visible plumes from the smokestacks of a power plant are not CO2. That’s condensing water vapor. We can’t see carbon dioxide.”

    How do the facts the CO2 is invisible and odorless have any bearing on whether or not is it harmless?

  41. Banning the light bulbs didn’t save the planet. CAFE standards have not saved the planet. Wind power has not saved the planet. Nuclear power has not saved the planet. Biofuels have not saved the planet. Energy taxes in many different varieties have not saved the planet. Why would anybody believe that more taxes and regulations will save the planet? At the same time the government approved auto industry will give you a 0% loan to buy a monster truck or SUV. The government supported mortgage industry will give you loan at record low rates to build another oversized house which will cost you a fortune to heat or cool. The government continues to pour resources into the war industry. Isn’t war bad for the planet? Saving the planet is smokescreen to cover up the desires of the evil elites who want more power and control. Mores taxes on the poor and more power for the rich.

  42. mbw says:
    December 9, 2012 at 9:28 am

    “How do the facts the CO2 is invisible and odorless have any bearing on whether or not is it harmless?”

    It is better than harmless. It is plant food. We eat better now because of a higher concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. All 7 billion of us humans and the animals too.

  43. The EPA may also want to consider the dangers of the chemical agent DHMO (Dihydrogen Monoxide). The following is but a very short list of its dangers. For a full, highly alarming listing see http://www.dhmo.org/facts.html.

    “Each year, Dihydrogen Monoxide is a known causative component in many thousands of deaths and is a major contributor to millions upon millions of dollars in damage to property and the environment. Some of the known perils of Dihydrogen Monoxide are:

    Death due to accidental inhalation of DHMO, even in small quantities.
    Prolonged exposure to solid DHMO causes severe tissue damage.
    Excessive ingestion produces a number of unpleasant though not typically life-threatening side-effects.
    DHMO is a major component of acid rain.
    Gaseous DHMO can cause severe burns.
    Contributes to soil erosion.
    Leads to corrosion and oxidation of many metals.
    Contamination of electrical systems often causes short-circuits.
    Exposure decreases effectiveness of automobile brakes.
    Found in biopsies of pre-cancerous tumors and lesions.
    Given to vicious dogs involved in recent deadly attacks.
    Often associated with killer cyclones in the U.S. Midwest and elsewhere, and in hurricanes including deadly storms in Florida, New Orleans and other areas of the southeastern U.S.
    Thermal variations in DHMO are a suspected contributor to the El Nino weather effect.”
    By not protecting us from DHMO, the EPA is not doing its job!
    /sarc

  44. @R Baker

    You miss the point and did not answer the question. Why would anyone who knows what they are talking about make an argument that CO2 is harmless start by pointing out that it is invisible? And so what if CO2 is plant food? That also has no bearing on whether or not CO2 is causing global warming and related climate changes.

  45. @mbw:

    It is your conjecture that CO2 has ‘harmed’ the planet, therefore the onus is on you to provide testable, verifiable scientific proof, per the scientific method, showing that the rise in CO2 has caused global harm.

    There is no such evidence. Without any verifiable, testable examples of global “harm” due to human CO2 emissions, CO2 is, in fact, “harmless”. Your evidence-free conjecture that CO2 causes “harm” is nothing but baseless conjecture.

    On balance, the net result of the rise in CO2 is harmless, and beneficial to the biosphere. But you cannot admit that, because it destroys your fact-free argument. So you will always insist that the rise in CO2 is 100% bad. But without verifiable, testable evidence, your conjecture is as valid as saying the moon is made of green cheese — and just as unscientific.

  46. @Matt 12:28. So sorry to hear of your boredom. do try holding your exhalation of co2 for a couple of hours, this will solve all your problems.
    So how many parts per million dihydrogen monoxide would be permissible in our lakes and rivers?
    Deadliest poison on the plant. Kills more people than anything but life itself. Save the planet right.

  47. mbw says:
    December 9, 2012 at 9:28 am
    How do the facts the CO2 is invisible and odorless have any bearing on whether or not is it harmless?
    It doesn’t, but why is it, do you suppose, that in any “news” story having to do with C02 and global warming they invariable show the smokestacks of power plants belching out great plumes of what appears to be actual smoke, often appearing black? Some will even show pictures of smog-darkened cities, usually China, which probably has the greatest smog problem. Why do you think they call it “carbon”, which people associate with black carbon, or soot?

  48. Instead of heating our homes directly or indirectly with evil co2 producing fuels, I understand that by covering oneself with a nice polar bear skin one can forego using the central heat. And with proper processing the polar bear fat could run the SUV. Mother nature solves the problem.

  49. David, UK says:

    Bullshit. As pointed out in the main article, if one declares CO2 a pollutant then by the SAME logic one must declare H20 a pollutant as well, because burning natural gas (methane) produces two water vapor molecules for each carbon dioxide molecule.

    Maybe you can reconcile this contradiction for us, Duncan “blah blah blah” MacKenzie?

    It is not a contradiction at all. It is called understanding the science. Because of the larger quantities of water vapor present in the atmosphere and the much faster cycling of CO2 into and out of the atmosphere, our emissions of water vapor do not significantly change the concentration of water vapor (at least on global scales). However, our emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere do significantly change the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

  50. …Just to add to my last post, the concentration of water vapor in the atmosphere does turn out to be very important, but the way that humans are increasing that concentration is by increasing the concentration of non-condensable greenhouse gases like CO2, which causes heating, which leads to an increase in water vapor via the water vapor feedback.

  51. joelshore says:

    “…the concentration of water vapor in the atmosphere does turn out to be very important, but the way that humans are increasing that concentration is by increasing the concentration of non-condensable greenhouse gases like CO2, which causes heating, which leads to an increase in water vapor …”

    Both global relative humidity and specific humidity have been declining for many decades. Therefore, humans are not increasing water vapor. Therefore, not only is joelshore wrong as usual, but he inadvertently proved that CO2 has no measurable heating effect.

    I predict joelshore’s response will be to argue about the charts, as always. Because the charts prove he is wrong.

  52. joeldshore:

    At December 9, 2012 at 11:21 am you assert

    However, our emissions of CO2 into the atmosphere do significantly change the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere.

    That may or may not be true because the evidence cannot resolve the issue either way.
    ref. Rorsch A, Courtney RS & Thoenes D, ‘The Interaction of Climate Change and the Carbon Dioxide Cycle’ E&E v16no2 (2005)

    What is certain is that atmospheric CO2 concentrations have had no discernible affect on global temperature.

    And it is probable that atmospheric CO2 concentrations cannot have a discernible effect because climate sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 concentration is less than 1deg.C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration. Empirical – n.b. not model-derived – determinations indicate climate sensitivity is less than 1.0deg.C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 equivalent. This is indicated by the studies of Idso from surface measurements

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/Idso_CR_1998.pdf

    and Lindzen & Choi from ERBE satelite data

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/Lindzen-and-Choi-GRL-2009.pdf

    and Gregory from balloon radiosonde data

    http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/OLR&NGF_June2011.pdf

    If climate sensitivity is less than 1 deg.C for a doubling of CO2 equivalent, then it is physically impossible for the man-made global warming to be large enough to be detected because natural variability is much, much larger. If something exists but is too small to be detected then it only has an abstract existence; it does not have a discernible existence that has effects (observation of the effects would be its detection).

    Richard

  53. @D Böehm

    The second chart is mislabled as is discussed in the WUWT posting it appeared it. See: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/06/21/a-window-on-water-vapor-and-planetary-temperature-part-2/

    I have no idea where his first chart came from. Here is a chart I found:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams-state-of-the-climate/2009-time-series/humidity

    It came from here:

    http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/bams-state-of-the-climate/2009-time-series/

    Here is what the IPCC said (FYI):
    “To summarise, global, local and regional studies all indicate increases in moisture in the atmosphere near the surface, but highlight differences between regions and between day and night. Satellite observations of oceanic lower-tropospheric water vapour reveal substantial variability during the last two decades. This variability is closely tied to changes in surface temperatures, with the water vapour mass changing at roughly the same rate at which the saturated vapour pressure does. A significant upward trend is observed over the global oceans and some NH land areas, although the calculated trend is likely influenced by large interannual variability in the record.”

    Draw your own conclusions.

  54. Buzzed,

    Thanks for that. I notice that specific humidity rose slightly at ground level, and I assume that is due at least in part to the UHI effect. At higher altitudes, specific humidity is still declining.

    You also say you don’t know the provenance of the relative humidity chart. It can be found here, among other sites. Relative humidity is the more relevant metric regarding CO2 anyway.

    You say: Draw your own conclusions. That is what I have been doing: Unless verifiable, testable, empirical measurements are produced showing a cause and effect proving that ∆CO2 causes ∆T, then AGW must be too small to measure. QED, eh? And if AGW is too minuscule to measure, then for all practical purposes it amounts to zero [even though I think AGW exists as an extremely minor effect].

    If AGW is zero for all practical purposes, then public funding to “study” the effect of “carbon” must be stopped; it is a complete waste of money at this point, and the country does not have money to waste.

  55. D Böehm: You don’t get the nature of empirical science. You cannot prove cause and effect like in mathematics. Rather one considers the preponderance of the evidence. It is very likely that human CO2 and other GHG emissions have caused the observed warming both of the lower atmosphere and oceans while cooling the stratosphere. The pattern is so far as anyone knows best explained by the greenhouse effect. There is considerable uncertainty in how far the warming trend will go. The scientists cannot tell us what to do about the risk. We can cross our fingers and hope for the best or invest in mitigation and adaption measures which do have an economic cost. Your proposal that we not even study this issue is absurd and goes well beyond what even the most ardent skeptics are calling for.

  56. Looks to me like the EPA and a particular political party is in the back pockets of foreign lobbyists who want access to our IP, tech, and most importantly, wealth.

    Nice to know that the democrats want to screw us and the US.

  57. Buzzed says:

    “You cannot prove cause and effect like in mathematics.”

    Wrong.

    As we see, the cause-and-effect is crystal clear. Furthermore, we see it on all time scales from months to hundreds of millennia.

    But there is no similar empirical evidence showing that ∆T follows ∆CO2. None. There is no evidence of that kind of correlation.

    The alarmist crowd has it exactly backward: ∆T causes ∆CO2, not vice-versa; any such putative effect from CO2 is mere conjecture, since there are no empirical measurements showing that CO2 controls temperature. Sorry to bust your fantasy bubble, but evidence-free conjectures don’t cut it here.

  58. D Boehm says:

    Both global relative humidity and specific humidity have been declining for many decades. Therefore, humans are not increasing water vapor. Therefore, not only is joelshore wrong as usual, but he inadvertently proved that CO2 has no measurable heating effect.

    I predict joelshore’s response will be to argue about the charts, as always. Because the charts prove he is wrong.

    You predict correctly because (as usual) you have cherry-picked the one re-analysis that shows what you want it to show and have ignored all the other ones…and the satellite analyses that show just the opposite, as well as the response of water vapor to short-term variations in temperature due to things like ENSO. See the discussion here: http://geotest.tamu.edu/userfiles/216/Dessler10.pdf

    richardscourtney says:

    And it is probable that atmospheric CO2 concentrations cannot have a discernible effect because climate sensitivity to atmospheric CO2 concentration is less than 1deg.C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 concentration. Empirical – n.b. not model-derived – determinations indicate climate sensitivity is less than 1.0deg.C for a doubling of atmospheric CO2 equivalent. This is indicated by the studies of Idso from surface measurements

    http://www.warwickhughes.com/papers/Idso_CR_1998.pdf

    and Lindzen & Choi from ERBE satelite data

    http://www.drroyspencer.com/Lindzen-and-Choi-GRL-2009.pdf

    and Gregory from balloon radiosonde data

    http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/OLR&NGF_June2011.pdf

    We have had discussion about the Idso paper before, which is a joke. That Lindzen and Choi paper was so bad that even Spencer was very critical of it. (And, Lindzen and Choi even admitted that their paper had serious problems and published a new and supposedly improved version in some obscure journal.) The Gregory paper isn’t even peer-reviewed.

    See here for a real scientific discussion of the empirical determinations of climate sensitivity: http://www.ipcc.ch/publications_and_data/ar4/wg1/en/ch9s9-6.html

  59. Warmists should be obliged to (try to) survive on carbon-free cereals, meat, fruit and vegetables. Released from the obligation only after swearing to maximize their CO2 output from there on to repay it for their lives and survival.

  60. joelshore is as wrong as Buzzed. There is no global warming, and there hasn’t been for a decade and a half. Planet Earth itself is debunking shore’s and Buzz’s baseless assertions.

    Planet Earth is the ultimate Authority. Who should we believe? The always mistaken joelshore? Or Planet Earth, and our lyin’ eyes?

  61. “Human-Caused Climate Change Signal Emerges from the Noise

    Nov. 29, 2012 — By comparing simulations from 20 different computer models to satellite observations, Lawrence Livermore climate scientists and colleagues from 16 other organizations have found that tropospheric and stratospheric temperature changes are clearly related to human activities.”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121129143504.htm

  62. Since all lifeforms emit co2 all lifeforms must be polluters. Does this not contradict evolution or the perception of ecosystems. I have held the belief that religion should be kept out of politics. but now feel science should be held out as they seem to be coming one in the same.

  63. Since water vapor is a greenhouse gas produced by human industry, the EPA should declare water a pollutant by its own logic.
    ———
    No it wouldn’t.

    The atmosphere is more or less at constant relative humidity. So any excess water vapour rains out. It can’t increase without limit.

    CO2 can just keep on increasing.

  64. joeldshore:

    At December 9, 2012 at 7:00 pm you write

    We have had discussion about the Idso paper before, which is a joke. That Lindzen and Choi paper was so bad that even Spencer was very critical of it. (And, Lindzen and Choi even admitted that their paper had serious problems and published a new and supposedly improved version in some obscure journal.) The Gregory paper isn’t even peer-reviewed.

    OK. I understand that.

    It says you are not able to provide any specific criticism of any of the three completely different analyses which each assesses different data sets.

    Richard

    REPLY: I would tend to agree. Joel’s personal biases are clear here, his scientific ones seem to follow without specifics. – A

  65. mbw:

    Your post at December 9, 2012 at 10:25 pm says in total

    “Human-Caused Climate Change Signal Emerges from the Noise

    Nov. 29, 2012 — By comparing simulations from 20 different computer models to satellite observations, Lawrence Livermore climate scientists and colleagues from 16 other organizations have found that tropospheric and stratospheric temperature changes are clearly related to human activities.”

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/11/121129143504.htm

    I rephrase your quotation so its true meaning is clear.

    By comparing simulations from 20 different computer models to satellite observations, Lawrence Livermore climate scientists and colleagues from 16 other organizations have found that tropospheric and stratospheric temperature changes are clearly indicative of the opinions which the modellers built into their models.

    Richard

  66. That ruling is bizarre. Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant. It is an invisible, odorless, harmless gas. It does not cause smoke or smog. The rising visible plumes from the smokestacks of a power plant are not CO2. That’s condensing water vapor. We can’t see carbon dioxide.
    ———–
    A basic misunderstanding followed by copious statements of the obvious.

    The misunderstanding arises due to the distinction between normal language and legal language. The normal language has it that a pollutant is an impurity. The legal language borrowed that word and transformed it by giving a legal definition that is an operational definition as a substance causing harm. The normal language definition probably can’t be used in a legal sense since it is too hard to define purity.

    The green mischief makers have reimported the legal definition back into normal language
    A) cos they don’t understand the legal defintion
    B) possibly for propaganda purposes.

    The EPA are stuck with implementing the law according to the legal definition not the normal language definition. Tough!!

  67. But isn’t it true that too much of anything can be bad for the environment?
    ———
    Yes. Without exception.

    Too much water and you drown.

    Too much fertilizer, you know plant food, runoff and your water ways die.

    To much sewage, you know plant food, and you get sick.

    Too much oxygen, you know for respiration, and you die, painfully.

    Too much nitrogen and you die.

    Too much salt and you die.

    Too much fat and your arteries flog up and you die.

    Too much sugar and you get diabetes and you die.

    Too much vitamin D and you die.

    So distinguishing between CO2 as being OK in excess, while only pollutants are dangerous in excess is not possible.

  68. It says you are not able to provide any specific criticism of any of the three completely different analyses which each assesses different data sets.

    I don’t have infinite amounts of time and when I have invested time in explaining the scientific issues with things that you quote, it seems to do little good anyway. If you want to know what is wrong with Lindzen and Choi, read the critique of it at Spencer’s website or the comments on it that were published in GRL. As for Idso, take as an example his Experiment #3: Here are some questions that a real skeptic might ask about it: Do we really expect an oscillation with a timescale of months could be used directly to determine the equilibrium climate sensitivity in the naive way that he does it when we know that there are relaxation timescales that are much longer than this? [For those who understand simple differential equations, the answer is NO.] Why do climate models that have much larger climate sensitivities nonetheless reasonably reproduce the seasonal cycle?…Do we really expect a method that would fail so miserably in diagnosing the climate sensitivity in a climate model to miraculously do better in the real world? In fact, why do careful studies that look at the seasonal cycle in nature vs climate models in fact conclude that the climate sensitivity is much higher ( http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/JCLI3865.1 )?

    And, I notice that you are are not able to provide any specific criticism of any of the discussion or papers in the section of the IPCC report that I referenced.

  69. “Andy says: December 10, 2012 at 2:44 am
    Since all lifeforms emit co2 all lifeforms must be polluters. …”

    Do we not sh*t? Do we not have regulations on what to do with it? In the hunter gather days this was not a big issue. Now we spend billions on this problem.

  70. D Boehm says:

    joelshore is as wrong as Buzzed. There is no global warming, and there hasn’t been for a decade and a half. Planet Earth itself is debunking shore’s and Buzz’s baseless assertions.

    In other words, as usual, you are unable to defend your cherry-picked data, so you are going to change the subject. (And, even though you can’t defend the data that you have shown, if the past is any guide, that will not stop you from showing it again in the future.)

  71. mbw:

    Your post at December 10, 2012 at 6:09 am says in total
    @richardscourtney

    Altering a quote to suit your bias is not an argument.

    Yes, and that is why I don’t do it.

    Making baseless allegations reveals that you don’t have an argument.

    Richard

  72. joeldshore:

    I reply to your arm-waving post at December 10, 2012 at 5:22 am in the same manner as that post.

    You ask me

    And, I notice that you are are not able to provide any specific criticism of any of the discussion or papers in the section of the IPCC report that I referenced.

    I answer: I have rebutted them several times including on WUWT so go and look it up.
    (See, anybody can play your childish games.)

    When you have something worth the bother of refuting it then I shall. Until then I am content to expose your evasions.

    Richard

  73. richardscourtney says:

    I answer: I have rebutted them several times including on WUWT so go and look it up.
    (See, anybody can play your childish games.)

    When you have something worth the bother of refuting it then I shall. Until then I am content to expose your evasions.

    I guess you are hoping that people won’t notice how you have avoided my substantive comment on Idso’s paper. I’ll give you another one: Take his experiment #4 where he looks at the total greenhouse effect vs the total thermal radiative flux. Even others who have made this argument, like Monckton and Willis Eschenbach know that the correct number to use is not the total thermal radiative flux but the net top-of-the-atmosphere radiative effect of greenhouse elements (greenhouse gases + clouds), which is about 100-150 W/m^2 rather than Idso’s 348 W/m^2. [Monckton tends to favor the 100 W/m^2 value and Willis the 150 W/m^2 value, which depends on the interpretation of the Trenberth and Kiehl paper where the radiative effects of the greenhouse elements are calculated.]

    And on top of that, what all of these arguments get wrong is the fact that they are in fact circular: They assume that all of the greenhouse gases (and clouds) in the atmosphere are forcings and not feedbacks, so in other words, there are no positive feedbacks in the climate system; to make this less abstract, they assume that the only way to get water vapor into the atmosphere is to put it there rather than that you can get it into the atmosphere by increasing the temperature and thereby increasing evaporation and the amount of water vapor the atmosphere can hold at saturation. (The one feedback that they do seem include is a well-known negative feedback, the lapse rate feedback, which is included since it is not really a radiative feedback of the same type as the others but is just reflecting the difference between the magnitude of the warming at the surface and the warming at the altitude where most of the radiation escapes to space. No wonder that the result that Monckton and Willis obtain is at or somewhat below the value for the climate sensitivity in the absence of feedbacks!)

  74. duncanmackenzie says:
    December 8, 2012 at 6:15 pm

    blah blah blah.

    might as well blame nixon – no reasonable reading of the clean air act would have allowed them to avoid declaring co2 a pollutant.

    iirc, the finding they made was the mildest outcome they had available.
    _________________________________
    No it was not.
    I will let an EPA scientist speak for himself.

    Fred H. Haynie { 06.27.09 at 4:00 pm }

    To all concerned,

    One reason I retired early from research at EPA years ago was good science was beginning to be sidetracked for political purposes. In this case EPA has been completely derailed. I have spent the last four years of my retirement studying all the data I could find to get to the truth about climate change. I just finished a presentation that shows ample evidence that anthropogenic emissions of carbon dioxide do not cause global warming. Carbon dioxide has been falsely convicted on circumstantial evidence by a politically selected jury. A just retrial could overturn this conviction before we punish ourselves by trying to control emissions that will have no effect on climate change. You can view the presentation and be your on judge and jury at http:\\www.kidswincom.net\climate.pdf

    The EPA ignored the science and went with the IPCC otherwise know as “The Delinquent Teenager Who Was Mistaken for the World’s Top Climate Expert“ a teenager who got a failing grade on 21 chapters

  75. eyesonu says:
    December 8, 2012 at 6:17 pm

    This is indeed bizarre. Make that scary. The time is rapidly approaching that the federal governments and their supported institutions will no longer be respected as valid enterprises. The results may be shocking to all. This is really scary.
    _______________________________________
    Yes it is scary.

    If we do go into a cooling trend and food resources become scarce and expensive there will be a lot of finger pointing and unfortunately for the politicians they are in the front lines because they listened to the $$$ whispering in their ears instead of looking at ALL the facts and passed the appropriate laws. Therefore they are going to be held accountable.

  76. joelshore says:

    “In other words, as usual, you are unable to defend your cherry-picked data, so you are going to change the subject. ”

    Wrong as usual, chump. I pointed out that the planet — the ultimate Authority — is proving you wrong. You just don’t like the fact that your globaloney nonsense conflicts with the real world.

  77. joeldshore :

    I am replying to your fatuous post addressed to me at December 10, 2012 at 8:08 am.

    It begins by saying

    I guess you are hoping that people won’t notice how you have avoided my substantive comment on Idso’s paper.

    That so-called “substantive comment” was pure drivel and unsubstantiated assertion. I hope people will read it so they can see why I did not waste time on it and, therefore, (unlike you) I draw attention to it by citing where “people” can read it and I quote it. It is at December 10, 2012 at 5:22 am and it says

    As for Idso, take as an example his Experiment #3: Here are some questions that a real skeptic might ask about it: Do we really expect an oscillation with a timescale of month should be used directly to determine the equilibrium climate sensitivity in the naive way that he does it when we know that there are relaxation timescales that are much longer than this? [For those who understand simple differential equations, the answer is NO.] Why do climate models that have much larger climate sensitivities nonetheless reasonably reproduce the seasonal cycle?…Do we really expect a method that would fail so miserably in diagnosing the climate sensitivity in a climate model to miraculously do better in the real world? In fact, why do careful studies that look at the seasonal cycle in nature vs climate models in fact conclude that the climate sensitivity is much higher ( http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/JCLI3865.1 )?

    Idso provides 8 (yes, EIGHT) different experiments and they each provide a similar result.

    You ask a question about his Experiment #3. Then assert – with no evidence – that the answer is “NO”. That is merely facile assertion which cannot be considered to be “substantive comment” by any stretch of imagination. And your answer is plain wrong as this paper explains

    http://economics.huji.ac.il/facultye/beenstock/Nature_Paper091209.pdf

    It concludes that

    We have shown that greenhouse gas forcings do not polynomially cointegrate with global temperature and solar irradiance. Therefore, previous claims that carbon emissions permanently increase global temperature are false. Although we find no permanent effect of greenhouse gas forcings on global temperature, there appears to be a temporary, or short-term, effect. We show that this temporary effect can easily be mistaken for a permanent one. Polynomial cointegration tests show that the putative permanent effect is induced by the spurious regression phenomenon. Because the effect is temporary, recent global warming should be interpreted as a short-term response to increased carbon emissions, which is expected to be reversed in the future.

    Your so-called “substantive comment” then follows that with a series of assertions that models don’t agree with Idso’s measurements. I agree, they don’t. This is strong evidence that the models are wrong because models need to agree with empirical measurements if they are to be accepted.

    You laughably claim you made “substantive comment”. I considered it to be unworthy of an answer because anybody could see it was merely arm-waving. But I have now rebutted it because you have insisted that I did.

    Your recent post continues

    I’ll give you another one: Take his experiment #4 where he looks at the total greenhouse effect vs the total thermal radiative flux. Even others who have made this argument, like Monckton and Willis Eschenbach know that the correct number to use is not the total thermal radiative flux but the net top-of-the-atosphere radiative effect of greenhouse elements (greenhouse gases + clouds), which is about 100-150 W/m^2 rather than Idso’s 348 W/m^2. [Monckton tends to favor the 100 W/m^2 value and Willis the 150 W/m^2 value, which depends on the interpretation of the Trenberth and Kiehl paper where the radiative effects of the greenhouse elements are calculated.]

    Idso’s method gives very similar results to his other seven experiments and to the results obtained by Monckton and Willis Eschenbach (except that Eschenbach has very recently done a different analysis which provides an even lower climate sensitivity: see
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/10/an-interim-look-at-intermediate-sensitivity/ ).

    And you conclude your post saying

    And on top of that, what all of these arguments get wrong is the fact that they are in fact circular: They assume that all of the greenhouse gases (and clouds) in the atmosphere are forcings and not feedbacks, so in other words, there are no positive feedbacks in the climate system; to make this less abstract, they assume that the only way to get water vapor into the atmosphere is to put it there rather than that you can get it into the atmosphere by increasing the temperature and thereby increasing evaporation and the amount of water vapor the atmosphere can hold at saturation. (The one feedback that they do seem include is a well-known negative feedback, the lapse rate feedback, which is included since it is not really a radiative feedback of the same type as the others but is just reflecting the difference between the magnitude of the warming at the surface and the warming at the altitude where most of the radiation escapes to space. No wonder that the result that Monckton and Willis obtain is at or somewhat below the value for the climate sensitivity in the absence of feedbacks!)

    There is no circular argument.
    The empirical values of climate sensitivity measure what happens in reality so they include effects of all the feedbacks both positive and negative. Your assertions concerning feedbacks demonstrate that you don’t have a clue about the subject.

    Joel, I know it is difficult for you now that your superstitious belief in discernible AGW is being refuted by multiple lines of scientific evidence, but your desperate attempts to cling to your belief are making you look ridiculous. I suggest that you would do better to abandon the superstition.

    Richard

  78. Buzzed says:
    December 9, 2012 at 5:54 pm

    D Böehm: You don’t get the nature of empirical science. You cannot prove cause and effect like in mathematics. Rather one considers the preponderance of the evidence. It is very likely that human CO2 and other GHG emissions have caused the observed warming both of the lower atmosphere and oceans while cooling the stratosphere. The pattern is so far as anyone knows best explained by the greenhouse effect. …
    ________________________________
    Wrong

    The oceans are 70% of the earth’s surface. CO2 IR radiation has virtually no effect.
    Graph from Colorado.edu

    Graph Read what it says at the bottom.

    Graph Absorption Coefficient vs Ocean Penetration depth
    The wavelengths of CO2 IR re-radiation are between 13.5 and 16.5 microns, and this radiation can only penetrate 5 to 10 microns deep into the ocean. This is much less than the boundary layer where evaporation takes place (500 microns), and that is the only thing the infrared radiation can do; help to evaporate water.

    The Sun’s energy can penetrate to 100 meters deep. Sunlight on the water surface at the equator is only 3% reflected. 97% reaches to 100 meters deep and is converted into heat. Two thirds of this energy escapes from the surface via water evaporation. The water evaporation is dependent only on the temperature of the water and independent of the temperature of the atmosphere. In addition, the evaporation temperature is dependent on various material properties, pressure, flow rates and convection (basically gravity).

    This is one of the alligators climastrologists keep trying to shove under the rug.

  79. LazyTeenager says:
    December 10, 2012 at 4:19 am

    ———–
    A basic misunderstanding followed by copious statements of the obvious.

    The misunderstanding arises due to the distinction between normal language and legal language. The normal language has it that a pollutant is an impurity. The legal language borrowed that word and transformed it by giving a legal definition that is an operational definition as a substance causing harm.….
    _________________________________
    So by THAT definition the EPA should be banning Water.
    From CDC

    Overview

    Every day, about ten people die from unintentional drowning. Of these, two are children aged 14 or younger. Drowning ranks fifth among the leading causes of unintentional injury death in the United States….

    There is a heck of a lot more VALID evidence showing harm with regards to water than there is CO2.

  80. @Gail Combs

    Swimming pools are in fact regulated for safety reasons. The EPA is required by law to base its CO2 regulations on mainstream scientific opinion. If you disagree with mainstream scientific opinion that’s your prerogative. Argue with the National Academy of Science.

  81. mbw:

    At December 10, 2012 at 5:49 pm you say

    The EPA is required by law to base its CO2 regulations on mainstream scientific opinion. If you disagree with mainstream scientific opinion that’s your prerogative. Argue with the National Academy of Science.

    I suspect you are right when you say, “The EPA is required by law to base its CO2 regulations on mainstream scientific opinion”. And I am assuming you are right because – not being an American – I have no reason to doubt it.

    “Scientific opinions” always represent vested interests and they all need to be evaluated. Only considering “mainstream scientific opinion” can have disastrous consequences.

    As an example of this need, I point out that if such a “law” had existed in the UK in the 1930s then we in the UK and you in the US would probably now be speaking German. It was only possible to build the radar defences necessary to win the Battle of Britain by ignoring “mainstream scientific opinion”.

    So, if you are right then your country would benefit from amending “the law” because government agencies need to evaluate evidence (n.b. not opinions) when formulating policy actions.

    Richard

  82. richardscourtney says:

    You ask a question about his Experiment #3. Then assert – with no evidence – that the answer is “NO”. That is merely facile assertion which cannot be considered to be “substantive comment” by any stretch of imagination. And your answer is plain wrong as this paper explains

    http://economics.huji.ac.il/facultye/beenstock/Nature_Paper091209.pdf

    To most scientists, it would be obvious that if you try to get a system to oscillate at time scales that are much shorter than the typical timescale for relaxation, you will not get the full response. For example, why do you think that the temperature does not drop to zero when the sun goes down every night even though the external radiative forcing goes away? Why do you think that the air temperature drops and rises more rapidly with the diurnal cycle than the temperature of the water in a swimming pool?

    The paper you cite has nothing to do with this discussion but is just an unrelated example of some economists deluding themselves by looking at things that they don’t understand. It is completely irrelevant to the current discussion.

    Your so-called “substantive comment” then follows that with a series of assertions that models don’t agree with Idso’s measurements. I agree, they don’t. This is strong evidence that the models are wrong because models need to agree with empirical measurements if they are to be accepted.

    No…The models do agree the measurements that Idso discusses. The models in fact produce a similar seasonal cycle to what is seen in nature. The question, however, is whether Idso’s completely unjustified method of diagnosing the climate sensitivity from this empirical data in the real climate system is a good one.

    And, that is where models come in: If we look at this diagnostic method in the simplified world of a climate model, and this method successfully diagnoses the climate sensitivity, then if we are lucky and the real world doesn’t produce additional complications that screw that up, the method may do a good job diagnosing the climate sensitivity in the real world. However, if the method can’t even diagnose the climate sensitivity in a climate model (where that sensitivity can be determined easily), it is very unlikely that it will magically do a better job in the real world.

    It is strange to me that someone who considers himself a skeptic would accept a diagnostic method as being reliable on the basis of zero evidence (and simple physical principles arguing against it). It seems that you are willing to believe just about anything that gives you the result that you want.

    Idso’s method gives very similar results to his other seven experiments and to the results obtained by Monckton and Willis Eschenbach

    If, by similar (in comparison to Monckton and Eschenbach) you mean within a factor of three.

    (except that Eschenbach has very recently done a different analysis which provides an even lower climate sensitivity: see
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2012/12/10/an-interim-look-at-intermediate-sensitivity/ ).

    Willis, by his own admission, is not looking at an equilibrium climate sensitivity (hence the word “intermediate”). Most people wouldn’t call what he is looking at a climate sensitivity at all.

    There is no circular argument.
    The empirical values of climate sensitivity measure what happens in reality so they include effects of all the feedbacks both positive and negative. Your assertions concerning feedbacks demonstrate that you don’t have a clue about the subject.

    Let me make this really simple: To get the climate sensitivity, you have to take the response to greenhouse gases (an increase in the surface temperature by 33 K) and divide by the forcing. Yes, the temperature response includes the effects of all feedbacks. But, the question is, what do you use for the forcing? You can’t just use the radiative effect of all of the greenhouse gases because that assumes that all of those gases are forcings…and hence not feedbacks. I.e., it assumes that if you warm up the atmosphere, it does not increase the amount of water vapor that it holds (which is ridiculous because if you lower the temperature enough in our current state without changing the concentration of water vapor, you end up with a supersaturated atmosphere). So, in fact, it assumes that the water vapor feedback is exactly zero, which means you are assuming your conclusion. (It also assumes that the cloud feedback is exactly zero and that the ice-albedo feedback is exactly zero.)

    For people like yourself who don’t seem to have a clear scientific understanding of what forcings and feedbacks are, I have come up with a simple analogy that may help, the so-called “Bill Gates feedback” that I discussed here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/05/monckton-on-sensitivity-training-at-durban/#comment-820816 and here: http://wattsupwiththat.com/2011/12/05/monckton-on-sensitivity-training-at-durban/#comment-820890

  83. Harrison’s chronometer was another one that “mainstream scientific opinion” tried to suppress, and he himself had to fight for many years for acknowledgement and the reward due him for his accomplishment.

  84. joeldshore:

    This is a response to your twaddle at December 11, 2012 at 4:44 am which I provide purely to demonstrate to others that I have read it. Your post is another example of your irrelevant nonsense which is not worth the bother of my refuting it.

    And your post I am answering is a response to my rebuttal of your previous tripe which I said was not worth the effort of rebutting. But you insisted that I answer it so I did with the result that you got egg on your face.

    As illustration of why your recent rubbish is not worthy of response I cite its including this

    The paper you cite has nothing to do with this discussion but is just an unrelated example of some economists deluding themselves by looking at things that they don’t understand. It is completely irrelevant to the current discussion.

    NO!
    The paper is an analysis of temperature time series by experts in data analyses.

    Your words (which I cite) in rejection of it are precisely the same kind of ignorant stupidity which enabled the disaster of Mann’s ‘hockey stick’.

    The authors of that paper have more expertise to analyse global temperature time series than all the total of self-proclaimed climatologists in the world.

    Richard

  85. richardscourtney says:

    This is a response to your twaddle at December 11, 2012 at 4:44 am which I provide purely to demonstrate to others that I have read it. Your post is another example of your irrelevant nonsense which is not worth the bother of my refuting it.

    Yes, I understand how actual scientific reasoning and analysis is completely irrelevant and foreign from your point of view but I decided to include it for those who are capable of understand such things.

  86. joeldshore:

    Thanks for the laugh you gave me with your post at December 11, 2012 at 8:19 am.

    As you have repeatedly demonstrated, you are incapable of “scientific reasoning” and you don’t understand it when it is presented to you. Indeed, that is why I merely illustrated your lack of ability instead of wasting more time on another detailed explanation of your many errors: there are limits to how many ‘pearls’ I am willing to ‘caste before swine’.

    Are you trying to outdo Perlw1tz as the most comical poster in the history of WUWT?

    Richard

  87. Do we not sh*t? Do we not have regulations on what to do with it? In the hunter gather days this was not a big issue. Now we spend billions on this problem.
    So you equate Sh*t to co2 as a problem. Good on you, you spoke before reading all of my statement. Manure of all kinds are a vital part for both evolution and ecosystems. Love it when the emotionally charged people equate things to make an argument and still shoot themselves in the foot.

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