US Chamber of commerce wants trial on global warming issue. Reader poll inside

Excerpts from  The LA Times story:

U.S. Chamber of Commerce seeks trial on global warming


By Jim Tankersley

August 25, 2009

Reporting from Washington

The nation’s largest business lobby wants to put the science of global warming on trial.

The U.S. Chamber of Commerce, trying to ward off potentially sweeping federal emissions regulations, is pushing the Environmental Protection Agency to hold a rare public hearing on the scientific evidence for man-made climate change.

Chamber officials say it would be “the Scopes monkey trial of the 21st century” — complete with witnesses, cross-examinations and a judge who would rule, essentially, on whether humans are warming the planet to dangerous effect.

“It would be evolution versus creationism,” said William Kovacs, the chamber’s senior vice president for environment, technology and regulatory affairs. “It would be the science of climate change on trial.”

The goal of the chamber, which represents 3 million large and small businesses, is to fend off potential emissions regulations by undercutting the scientific consensus over climate change. If the EPA denies the request, as expected, the chamber plans to take the fight to federal court.

The EPA is having none of it, calling a hearing a “waste of time” and saying that a threatened lawsuit by the chamber would be “frivolous.”

EPA spokesman Brendan Gilfillan said the agency based its proposed finding that global warming is a danger to public health “on the soundest peer-reviewed science available, which overwhelmingly indicates that climate change presents a threat to human health and welfare.”

The chamber proposal “brings to mind for me the Salem witch trials, based on myth,” said Brenda Ekwurzel, a climate scientist for the environmental group Union of Concerned Scientists. “In this case, it would be ignoring decades of publicly accessible evidence.”

The proposed finding has drawn more than 300,000 public comments. Many of them question scientists’ projections that rising temperatures will lead to increased mortality rates, harmful pollution and extreme weather events such as hurricanes.

In light of those comments, the chamber will tell the EPA in a filing today that a trial-style public hearing, which is allowed under the law but nearly unprecedented on this scale, is the only way to “make a fully informed, transparent decision with scientific integrity based on the actual record of the science.”

Read the complete LA Times story here

Website of the US Chamber of Commerce here



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John in NZ

This will be fun if they can carry it off.

Patrick Davis

What was the film staring Billy Connelly, was it “The Man Who Sued God” becuase his insurance company would not pay out for a lightening strike, an “act of God”?
So AGW-believers and AGW-sceptics have to prove their case? Awesome!


Flush the beggars out

Love to see it but surely they will just bounce it off the Supreme court.


I believe “The Man Who Sued God” was about a storm wrecking Billy’s character’s boat rather than a lightning strike. Fun movie though.


Oh good grief. Putting “global warming” on trial. What are they going to do, sentence it to a time out until we need it?
I find it a rather moronic idea, personally, but hey, I suppose those government workers need to do something to justify their paycheck. There certainly is a lot less “commerce” going on these days and they could probably use the work.


OOPS, my apologies, I thought it was DEPARTMENT of Commerce, not Chamber of Commerce. Chamber of Commerce can do whatever it wants to.

Jimmy Haigh

“…on the soundest peer-reviewed science available, …”
An example of which being Mann’s ‘hockey stick’…

CPT. Charles

Now this could fun.
I’d pay good money to see Hansen and algore pounded into the dirt.

Phillip Bratby

The EPA only has to use delaying tactics – once Copenhagen is out of the way, science and evidence won’t matter anymore.
Brendan Gilfillan is correct when he says that “climate change presents a threat to human health and welfare.” Unfortunately for him, it’s not global warming that is the threat, it’s global cooling. We all know warming is good and cooling is bad. We all know CO2 is good for plant life and thus all animal life.


Excellent news, because ‘supported by an overwhelming consensus of scientists’, and ‘ignoring decades of publicly accessible evidence’ are claims without substance.
In reality, the science behind AGW is weak, the historical data upon which the claimed warming is based has errors and uncertainties considerably larger than the supposed warming, and the projections of the climate models are just computer processed guesswork.


Didn’t help with DDT did it? The judge ruled in favour of DDT – the science being totally sound. But what did the EPA do? Banned DDT and how many people died and still die as a consequence.

All The President’s Men

Who picks who is the judge?
Anybody assuming this could be “good news” is assuming that
(1) the judge and trial (method of presenting evidence) are honest and
(2) “truth” matters to the ecotheists who have adopted anti-industrial/anti-capitalism as their religion of choice.


Anything less than a full blown trial, (with methodologies, data acquisition, data analysis, data interpretation, computer code, interpretations, conclusions, hypothesis and summaries laid out on the table and this data from both sides of the camp, needs to be investigated thoroughly), would be a crime against HUMANITY.

I have suggested this before in the UK in the form of a trial under the auspices of the Royal Society but neither they nor the Met office want to play ball. The BBC is also not interested. Trying to arrange any sort of high level public debate with experts from either side- whether for science or entertainment- is highly problematic. Good luck to the US chamber of Commerce.

Patrick Davis

“Robert A Cook PE (00:47:35) :
Who picks who is the judge?
Anybody assuming this could be “good news” is assuming that
(1) the judge and trial (method of presenting evidence) are honest and
(2) “truth” matters to the ecotheists who have adopted anti-industrial/anti-capitalism as their religion of choice.”
I was thinking this too, and similarly the DDT banning, wouldn’t be corrupted or biased at all would it? Copenhagen is in November/December so I reckon there will be a bit of a chill in the NH and here in the SH will be an normal to below normal Spring/Summer, probbaly, like the start of last Spring/Summer, on the cool side.

wes george

Yes, yes, yes. This is the way to go. Put it on TV live like the OJ Trial. Blog it. Stream it. Make it big news. Subpoena all those tax payer funded data sets, proxies and opaque methodologies that .govs won’t release. Put Hansen, Mann, Jones and the rest of The Team in the dock under oath. Do the same with the skeptics. Total transparency. They want a consensus? End the debate? Time to act is now? Trillions of dollars in higher taxes? Let’s take it to court.
May the best evidence carry the day!

A friend of mine once hit a moose while driving home in the fog. When he came to, the sheriff and game warden were there, and cleared him to go home. He asked them for help putting the moose in the bed of his truck to take home. The warden said, “The moose herd is the property of the state.”
“Is that so?” my friend replied. He then proceeded to sue the state of New Hampshire for letting its “herd” loose on the state highways without an orange reflective belt, no flashing wide load lights, and not in a clearly designated moose crossing with appropriate signage and lighting. He won and got a new pickup truck.
The state legislature then voted the next year to allow people to keep their roadkill.
Sometimes you have to hit the bureaucrats over the head with a lawsuit to make your point.


If you read the tone of this you will realize that we will not have to worry about these guys ever getting anywhere with AGW. I cannot believe they have been employed at any University if this is the case

UK Sceptic

Rubs hands in gleeful anticipation. Can I have a ringside seat?

Paul Vaughan

…And we see the climate industry expand.

Jack Hughes

Bad idea.
A lawyer is no better at deciding a scientific hypothesis than a Pope or a King is. Or a Queen.
Who is going to appoint the judge ?

Bob Koss

IANAL but the IPCC would undoubtedly come up in the case. Wouldn’t CRU data in the AR4 be subject to discovery?


The entire global warming industry can only keep going if all the politicians, junk scientists, and “useful idiots” such as the BBC, The Guardian, etc. are never exposed to anyone who knows the truth.
It’s all about who is hogging the microphone, and who’s interests are being served, and has absolutely nothing to do with real climate science.

I am against such an idea as putting climate change on trial.
How would such a thing be judged? Do scientific hypotheses require legal standing before they are accepted or dismissed? Who would be on the jury?
I could see it could be possible to challenge individual scientists on their scientific conduct from a legal perspective but I fail to see the merits on putting AGW on trial.
The reference to the Scopes Monkey trial is a really poor precedent since despite winnning the argument, Scopes was (correctly) convicted under the law which wasn’t repealed until the mid 1950s and evolutionary theory allowed into school biology textbooks. The law was the problem but the judge had no choice but to uphold the law.
I can understand the frustration of climate realists with the bias of the media and the behavior of some prominent scientists and institutions but going to trial is no way to solve the question of whether AGW is real or not.
We have already had in the UK the case of Simon Singh who was successfully sued by chiropractors for labeling their beliefs as effectively “deliberate and targeted dishonesty”
I believe we should keep the law and science apart, lest we find scientific theories made illegal by misguided jurers and jurists.


Not need to win,
it’s enough to subpoena data/source code otherwise inaccessible.
Highlighting the nature of “climate prediction” based on “sacred” codes etc.
Just one PC related directive uncovered will generate a storm the MSM can’t ignore. Like pressuring a scientist if not follow the PC.

Lindsay H.

I can just imagine the impact Mockton and a few others will have on the judge, I can see Anrhony being called as a witness, it would be a great TV show, could run for months.
Of course you will have to get an impartial judge, one that wont be knobbled by the Govt.
The EPA will run a mile rather than face a courtroom.


The more I read about this subject, the more I believe that a lot of these climatologists aren’t scientists at all. According to the dictionary, “A scientific method consists of the collection of data through observation and experimentation, and the formulation and testing of hypotheses”, it doesn’t consist of doing these measurements, most of which are inaccurate, and then mashing them up with secret computer algorithms to make wild untestable (until they don’t happen) predictions. Even Professor Denzil Dexter did real testable experiments!

Mark N

“The law is an ass” said Mr Bumble.
I can only hope that it works out for the Chamber and it can afford the best lawyers.

John Galt

What did a UK judge determine about an “Inconvenient Truth” just a few years ago? How many errors were found and what were they? But it’s still being praised as gospel by the warmistas.


I admit that my first response when I read the title was “Bring it!”
However…many have pointed out the pitfalls of such an approach. I don’t think this would “solve” anything in the end, BUT…it seems that the data sets AND the methodology would have to be released under these circumstances, which would benefit all.
As a side note, notice that as predicted long ago here on WUWT, there is no mention of MAN-MADE or HUMAN-CAUSED or C02-INDUCED warming or climate change…only “climate change”.
The fact that society is threatened by climate change is pretty much a “duh.” in my book, but that’s exactly the point here.

Pierre Gosselin

I wonder if the EPA is going to use the:
“The science is settled. There’s universal consensus”
The CofC is correct to demand this. It needs to be televised.
There ought to be a national referendum.

Mark N

The Bedford Level experiment tied up 19th Century scientist when their time might have been better spent doing their science. I cant help think that this will be a distraction too. The science will prevail in the end regardless of what the legal community thinks or concludes.

Joseph in Forida

I would love to see a fair trial, but I am not sure that this one would be that fair trial. It might not go as we would hope. It might be called a “big oil” or “corporate” show trail. I think the media would eat it alive.
I would like the geologists, the engineers, and the physicists to join together and have a trial.

Pierre Gosselin

Climate change is not proof of AGW.
Climate change is always occurring. The EPA has to prove that its manmade. This is impossible with the data available today.

Louis Hissink

The real problem is that AGW is a belief system and as such unarguable scientifically.
That said, if this proposal is strongly resisted by the US EPA, then it would strengthen the plaintiff’s case.
But always folks, remember who you are fighting – the STATE – and it’s our habit of leaving it to others to fix things that ultimately is the real reason we have this issue in the first place.
If you Americans can’t snuff this AGW movement out now, with it’s assault on civil liberty, then the rest of us live in dread for the next socialist utopia.


Support it 100%. It would basically be a slam dunk. When the average Joe sees what’s going on, public opinion would turn instantly.


Some people simply believe that we are harming the planet and if the judgement says global warming is unfounded then that will just confirm their view that man fails to see the truth and fails to act. It is for all intents and purposes, a religious conviction, in the specific sense that they see preserving the environment as the one thing in life of most importance and value. Nature suffers because of man’s selfishness, basically. And future generations suffer because we won’t stop having kids… if you follow.
But for most people, news that there is little evidence will be good news and we can just put it all in the proper context alongside real priorities. It would be the best thing for the planet if environmentalism became rational.

Skeptic Tank

It would prove nothing, decide nothing and turn into a circus a thousand times greater than the Scopes trial.
I’ll put up some popcorn.

Jimmy Haigh

Surely this can only be good? We’ve been crying out for a debate. I would think that the pro-AGW side will not want this: they have everything to lose.

Michael T

John Galt (03:07:06) :
There were nine identified by the judge, see
At least the objective science appears to have come quite a long way in further denouncing the creed of the Gorons since 2007….but can we persuade the sheep-like politicians in time? I’m pessimistic about that.


Do you think we could finally get the Monckton / Hanson debate we have been salavating for?

Rereke Whakaaro

Can anybody point me to any material on the Chamber of Commerce website that corroborates the LA Times Article?


When Cap and Trade barely passed in the House, with almost complete Republican opposition, the high water mark of the alarmist movement was reached. Legislation will fail in the Senate, and the way to stop the EPA is in court; whether it’s a whopper of a trial, or more likely, the constant hammering of thousands of littler trials. For the EPA to go forward is a last ditch second tier effort; they wanted it all legislated. Instead, we’ll see it litigated.
And as the US goes, so goes the world. Australia, and New Zealand have already led the way for the industrialized world to respond, by backing off of carbon encumbering, and China and India have shown the way for the burgeoning world to respond; continue to use fossil fuel while spreading toxic clouds of guilt at the precious conceit of the Western elite. Copenhagen will collapse, and we’ll all go back to surviving as best we can. Maybe they can put a little windmill by the seashore for the tourists.
And I’m highly amused for the reversal of roles that the alarmists are in for, after all the talk of flat earths, moon landings and creation. The bigger they come, the harder they fall.

The problem is how to give some folk appropriate ways to change their tune without losing face. But I am sure that someone will be working on this. And how to get maximum coverage with enough of the truth leaking out.
Nixon was impeached. Wegman testified the truth about Mann’s statistics even though he (and North, who agreed with Wegman’s assessmenht) were misrepresented by the press. Black civil rights has gained unthinkable successes – who’d-a-thunk there would be a black US President even 20 years ago? So even though America still has skeletons in her cupboard, she also has successes. Particularly regarding advancing human rights for most of her own folk (I cannot quite yet say “all”). Rome was not built in a day – but the US has a history of fighting for freedom. Keep it up folks.

…and get it to hit maximum news coverage on the run-up to Copenhagen.


TonyB (00:51:18) :
I have suggested this before in the UK in the form of a trial under the auspices of the Royal Society but neither they nor the Met office want to play ball. The BBC is also not interested. Trying to arrange any sort of high level public debate with experts from either side- whether for science or entertainment- is highly problematic. Good luck to the US chamber of Commerce.

We almost got one when Red (Green?) Ken wanted to ban particular cars from London. If I remember correctly, Porsche at the very least were going to take it all the way. The resulting case may have opened up the debate nationally.
RK would have been forced to prove, in court, that AGW was real and that banning high end cars was a move backed by the science and not just a vindictive hangover from his far left days. Unfortunately (for this purpose) he lost the next election.
The only other court case/debate I can remember in the UK was over AG’s Sci-Fi flick being fed to young school children as Science-Fact.
I don’t see much of a debate happening here until energy rationing starts to bite, unemployment rises to unacceptable levels and Winter death rates climb noticeably.
Too many UK children have been hammered by the AGW mantra all their short lives and know nothing else. Spooky really (Village of the Damned spooky), listening to them repeat the mantra without question . If it were something as obvious as Communism being fed to them daily at School you can bet there would have been public debate here long ago.
Funny that most of those (in my experience) supporting Carbon Taxes and energy rationing are employed in the public sector and don’t see the problem in destroying industry. They seem to believe they will be paid and pensioned regardless.
Best wishes to US The Chamber of Commerce.


I wish the Chamber the best of luck, if only to flush out some of the Czars such as Van Jones and Holdren, Lloyd, and Jackson, for what they really are and what their agenda truly is. There are others, but these are some of the most dangerous. But I suspect that the Chamber will be pressured out of actually filing suit. As for getting it before the Supreme Court, think about the latest appointee, and the fact that Obama will likely have the opportunity to appoint at least 1 perhaps 2 more before the next election.
I keep hammering on the political power and money that is at the core of the AGW agenda, but apparently nobody is listening. The general public is too busy taking bribes (tax handouts, Cash for Clunkers, etc. ) from Obama’s operatives to notice what is really happening, and others are trying to position themselves to benefit from it; or are being threatened with financial or career ruination if they don’t toe the party line.

Bruce Cobb

The chamber proposal “brings to mind for me the Salem witch trials, based on myth,” said Brenda Ekwurzel, a climate scientist for the environmental group Union of Concerned Scientists. “In this case, it would be ignoring decades of publicly accessible evidence.”
HAHAHAHAHA! As usual, the climate scientologist has things backwards and upside down. It is they, of course, who, in Salem witch trial fashion, have condemmed C02 as the culprit for all manner of natural disasters, climate related or not, based on a myth.
If indeed there are “decades of publicly accessible evidence”, then it should be a cinch for them to win. So, why are they so afraid? “Waste of time”? Do they really think people won’t see that excuse? You can smell the fear.