Dr. Pat Michaels on the ‘voluminous science that the USGCRP either ignored or slanted’ for the EPA endangerment finding

Guest Post by Dr. Pat Michaels

Here is a version of my EPA testimony that contains links to the 2009 publication Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, published by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP).  As shown in my comments, this document played a principal role in their Endangerment Finding of December 7, 2009.

Also linked is a draft document, ADDENDUM: Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States, by the Center for the Study of Public Science and Public Policy at the Cato Institute.  This document is analogous to the USGCRP report in form and content, but details the voluminous science that the USGCRP either ignored or slanted. It is a fact that there are almost twice as many references and endnotes in the Addendum than there are in the original report. Note that this is a draft version that contains various minor errors and will undergo some slight changes before the final version is released later this year.

Readers should enjoy looking at the USGCRP document and the Addendum side-by-side. (see below).


Docket No. EPA‐HQ‐OAR‐2011‐0660

Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions for New Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units

Public Comments by:

Dr. Patrick J. Michaels

Cato Institute

Washington, DC

June 22, 2012

Chapter 3 of EPA’s the Regulatory Impact Analysis (RIA) for the Proposed Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions for New Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units is concerned with “The climate change problem and rationale for rulemaking.” The Chapter “summarizes the adverse effects on public health and public welfare detailed in the 2009 Endangerment Finding” and has this to say regarding the source of the scientific opinions underlying the Endangerment Finding:

The major assessments by the U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP), the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and the National Research Council (NRC) served as the primary scientific basis for these effects.

In fact, the USGCRP 2009 report, Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States is the only one of these documents that relates directly and purposefully to climate change in the U.S. It is therefore of much more import than the other two.

The EPA’s proposed rule states that “There is no reason to revisit the 2009 Endangerment Finding given recent scientific findings that strengthen the scientific conclusion that GHG air pollution endangers human health and welfare.”

That is not the case. Through careful consideration and involved effort, I conclusively demonstrate in the attached report that the 2009 USGCRP report Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States—itself a summary of 21 Synthesis and Assessment Reports produced by the USGCRP (formerly the Climate Change Science Program) over the past several years prior to 2009—is unrepresentative of the larger body of scientific research on the topic of anthropogenic climate change and its potential impacts in the United States. It is wholly inappropriate for the EPA to rely on a set of documents that is clearly slanted towards negative impacts from climate change when there is a large body of scientific evidence, much of it not included in the USGCRP assessment products, that argues for the contrary. The EPA, contrary to its assertion, must revisit the Endangerment Finding.

I submitted an extensive public comment when Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States was in draft form, in which I stated, with some dismay, that:

Of all of the “consensus” government or intergovernmental documents of this genre that I have reviewed in my 30+ years in this profession, there is no doubt that this is absolutely the worst of all. Virtually every sentence can be contested or does not repre­sent a complete survey of a relevant litera­ture…

Not only did the 2009 USGCRP report re-appear in near its draft form, but, what’s worse, it served as the foundation document pertaining to climate impacts in the U.S. for EPA’s Endangerment Finding, and, subsequently, the EPA’s Proposed Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions for New Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units.

The USGCRP report is scientifically misleading and unfortunately it has served to mislead the EPA. However, my initial review of the draft report, while extensive, was limited by the brevity of the Comment Period.

To complete my review, I began to work on a separate document, an “Addendum” to the 2009 USGCRP report, extensively detailing, in the same format as that report, the “missing” science. It is noteworthy that the number of citations and endnotes in the Addendum substantially exceeds—932 versus 569—the number in the 2009 USGCRP report. Some of these papers were available to the authors of the report. Many additional new and influential scientific findings have been published subsequent to the 2009 USGCRP report. Consequently, my Addendum draws upon a considerably more comprehensive body of scientific research. Noteworthy is that many of the papers cited in the Addendum that were published after the 2009 USGCRP report indicate the probability of extreme climate change is much lower than the USGCRP assumed.

This directly challenges EPA’s glib assertion that recent science reinforces “the scientific conclusion that GHG air pollution endangers human health and welfare,” and with regard to science published concurrently or previous to the USGCRP report, is prima facie evidence that there was a voluminous refereed literature that the USGCRP chose to ignore, and, by the reference standard, a volume that was larger than the science it did consider.

A team of well-qualified scientists and experts produced the “Addendum”, which represents a complementary and extensive assessment of the “missing” scientific literature. While this report is not in its absolute final form, I include the fourth-order draft as the central part of my public comments on the New Stationary Source proposal. It is imperative that the EPA closely examine and compare this Addendum to the original USGCRP document. Such an examination will be eye-opening and should convincingly demonstrate that the EPA must reassess the science of climate change and therefore reconsider their Endangerment Finding, which, of course, is the rationale for the New Stationary Source proposal. The proposed regulation should be withdrawn until such time as a thorough review of the most current science can be conducted and submitted for public comment.

As an example of differences between the two reports, I include below a comparison between the “Key Findings” in each of the two reports—the original 2009 USGCRP Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States and my Addendum to that report. The side-by-side comparison clearly shows that the whole of the scientific literature tells a much different story than only those parts selected for inclusion by the USGCRP.

Original USGCRP Report


New Addendum to USGCRP Reportclip_image004

In addition to my complete Addendum which is included below, I am providing two links that will aid EPA and interested parties in comparing the original USGCRP document and the Addendum.

The original USGCRP document can be found at:


and the Addendum is located at:


I submit the full Addendum report as part of my comments on the EPA’s Proposed Standards of Performance for Greenhouse Gas Emissions for New Stationary Sources: Electric Utility Generating Units. I ask that the EPA complete a thorough review of this Addendum in order to better expose them to the full scope of the science of anthropogenic climate change—a scope that was not provided by the USGCRP. As a result, the Endangerment Finding may be sufficiently compromised so that it cannot serve as the basis for any proposed regulation.

Further, no static report can provide long-term guidance as to the nature of climate change and its impacts as this field is constantly evolving under the weight of new scientific findings. Consequently, it is imperative EPA reassess the current scientific understanding on an annual basis, if not continuously. If the EPA were to do have done that with the regulations being proposed here (consideration of my comments and Addendum would have been an appropriate place to start) it is quite likely that their original Endangerment Finding would have to be revised and potentially overturned.

Relying on dated and incomplete science in a rapidly evolving environment will almost certainly lead to poor regulations. In the name of science and in the spirit of responsible government, the EPA must revisit the Endangerment Finding before adopting sweeping regulations with potentially enormous economic and social implications.

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June 22, 2012 1:47 pm

The attitude displayed in the famous “climategate” emails has a long provenance. This finding was shown in an invited presentation to the American Meteorological Society annual meeting in 1997. A scientist whom I had held in high esteem, Tim Barnett of Scripps Institute of Oceanography, in the discussion after its presentation, threatened to asphyxiate me with the microphone cord “if I ever gave it again”. (From the sworn testimony of Patrick J. Michaels before the US Congressional Committee on Science and Technology, 17-November-2010)

James H. Merritt
June 22, 2012 2:02 pm

Twenty years or so I and my colleagues reviewed an EPA-proposed standard for exposure to electromagnetic radiation in the radiofrequency/microwave range and in the low frequency range (60 Hz). This proposed standard was similarly flawed with a bias for health effects induced by such exposure. This proposed standard raised the specter of cancer and other illnesses as a result of EMR exposure including 60 Hz power lines. Much of the scienific studies referenced in this proposed standard were deeply flawed or of dubious relevance to real life exposures or both. In the event, this standard was so battered by our review and that of other scientists in the field of biological effects that it was abandoned by the bureaucrats at EPA. However, it lives on in the concerns that have been expressed for induction of brain cancer by cell phone radiation exposure. Poor science can be beaten down but it always seems to rise from the ashes to burden the public welfare again and again. I hope that your Addendum has better luck.

June 22, 2012 2:05 pm

The EPA has no desire to ever revise, reassess, change or give up any power ever. It’s the nature of the beast. You can’t rein them in with facts, only laws.

June 22, 2012 2:45 pm

There is not a single Supreme Court Justice who could pass a college Chemistry or Physics exam. They entered Law because they could not compete in Math and Science. Then, based of false evidence by the vested interests in the EPA, five of the nine “justices” rule that your mothers warm breath on your baby face is a TOXIN. Prima Facia proof that a majority of this court are in the final stages of Black Robe Disease. First the ‘sentence’….but then, the Addendum Evidence…..and in a ‘just’ world, reversal.

June 22, 2012 2:52 pm

Ever rising CO2 has not managed to produce more than trivial (if any) temperature rise in over a decade now.
Surely someone is bound to notice this glaring disconnect between the AGW alarmism hypothesis and the observations sooner or later.

Liam S
June 22, 2012 2:53 pm

The EPA should have providence over CO2 emissions when it can control all of them, not just the less-than 1% by the US, not even the 5% by all of mankind, but also the 95% emitted by nature:
which is unfazed by humans, let alone government bureaucracy.

June 22, 2012 3:14 pm

Science is not settled, it is about to open a new chapter !
Here is a short glimpse at the true nature of our planet

P Walker
June 22, 2012 3:40 pm

Dr. Michaels ,
I suggest that you send a copy of both your testimony and the addendum to every member of the House Energy and Commerce Commitee , as I expect that Lisa Jackson will ignore it altogether .

G. Karst
June 22, 2012 4:04 pm

James H. Merritt says:
June 22, 2012 at 2:02 pm
Poor science can be beaten down but it always seems to rise from the ashes to burden the public welfare again and again. I hope that your Addendum has better luck.

Like “urban legends”, once these fairy tales are established, it can take generations to fade. I don’t think anything can be done, if not nipped in the bud. These days the “tree of knowledge” is not pruned adequately and no wonder… the gardeners are all off chasing butterflies. GK

ferd berple
June 22, 2012 4:22 pm

Liam S says:
June 22, 2012 at 2:53 pm
The EPA should have providence over CO2 emissions when it can control all of them, not just the less-than 1% by the US, not even the 5% by all of mankind, but also the 95% emitted by nature:
If nature is producing a toxin and releasing it into the atmosphere, then the EPA has a duty to eliminate this. Whether the source be nature or human, the EPA has a duty to reduce the toxin. Slap a cease and desist order on Nature.

June 22, 2012 4:42 pm

What ever happened to the EPA’s Inspector General report finding that the EPA failed to follow their own process in coming up with the CO2 endangerment finding?

June 22, 2012 4:54 pm

The USEPA is a political organ, not a scientific one. They have goals, and will choose the evidence to support their goal as they see fit. They are unelected psuedo-technocrats who use the magic of science as a smoke screen for their schemes. Only a new President can stop them quickly by appointing a replacement for Jackson. Jackson, you will remember, recently claimed that PM2.5 (particulate emissions) caused more deaths than cancer. The corruption is deeply engrained and will take a generation to weed out as the bureaucrats age out.
Submitting a scientific argument to the EPA will accomplish little or nothing as it will be ignored. Dr. Michael’s rebuttal and many more similar documents need to be published in the mainstream media to achieve wide circulation.
How much other EPA derived legislation has shaky justification?

June 22, 2012 5:25 pm

“The US.EPA is a political organ …”
And we all now know just what organ it is, and what it does to the public, the economy, and small businesses with it.

June 22, 2012 6:52 pm

James H. Merritt says:
June 22, 2012 at 2:02 pm
… it lives on in the concerns that have been expressed for induction of brain cancer by cell phone radiation exposure.

This is a bad habit people have gotten into, I think, and there used to be better ‘separation’ of this concept by the press and certainly the ‘technical’ press and technical community in general in using the ‘radiation’ as used in regards to exposure to relatively benign EM energy as used to express the movement or outward propagation of the EM energy as opposed to referring to exposure or bombardment by actual nuclear particles .. (there is also the concept of exposure to non-ionizing ‘energy’ vs non-ionizing
but let’s not address this just yet) …
Antennas radiate;antennas radiate EM (Electro-Magnetic) energy (also known by the public as ‘radio waves’); antennas do not radiate ‘radiation’ per se (i.e. throw off Alpha or Beta etc. ‘particles’ like the public has been kinda ‘trained’ to think of when they see the term ‘radiation’ and some even to the point of distinct, adverse knee-jerk reflex-responses) … does this make it any clearer or no?

June 22, 2012 7:27 pm

I spent 25 years working at some pretty high levels in the Superfund program Nd can tell you what Epa does with the comments it receives. It acknowledges them and then goes on to tell the commenter hos and why the Epa knows better. They are never wrong if you believe their responses to your com.enter.
what gets me is that the average American thinks that government can’t do anything right with the exception of the Epa which can do nothing wrong

June 23, 2012 7:22 am

The document can be used in many ways. Potentially at the state level and in the court of law, where evidence against the government position would be useful. What is important is to push back everywhere possible.

June 23, 2012 8:01 am

I found this sentence (page 14 of the “Addendum”) awkward:
“As early as the mid-1980s, it was recognized that climate models driven with greenhouse gases only calculated about twice as much warming as was being observed.”
“Only” should be moved before greenhouse gases, otherwise “only” seems bizarrely to be describing the relationship between between the observed and calculated warming. While it should be obvious that “only” can’t describe twice as much, I’d still modify it to have it’s meaning be clearer.

June 24, 2012 1:04 pm

A number of typos and some unclear sentences. I read about half and skimmed another 25%. Also, I was confused by the position and role of the very 1st figure in the first chapter (or Intro?) with all of the proxies and the CO2. It is not addressed in the text, just has a caption. It seems to show a strong correlation of, I assume, temp. from many proxies and CO2. Should be a discussion of why you put it in that spot and what it means or how it will be addressed later.

David L. Hagen
June 24, 2012 3:01 pm

Thanks for all your effort.
The two summary images above have very poor resolution and are difficult to read.
To be able to read your parallel summaries, please post high resolution images that can be accessed by clicking on the above low resolution images.

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