Guest opinion: Dr. Tim Ball
Courts will not sit in judgment of scientific disputes. A lawyer told me it becomes “your paper” against “my paper” and courts argue they’re not qualified to make the required scientific judgments. This is a reasonable position and causes some to advocate for “scientific” courts, but that is not normally necessary. Application of the scientific method of hypothesis, skeptical analysis, publication, and peer review, do the job. It is precisely the failure of these applications that cause false climate science to exist. Because of the court’s position, including the US Supreme Court, they are vulnerable to exploitation. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) used the vulnerability to achieve a political goal. It seems that proof they did it deliberately is in the position they took about global warming. In the EPA machinations to establish regulatory and bureaucratic control over CO2 they had to argue that global warming was unproven.
Here is the orchestrated scenario, based on a form of argument proposed by White House Science Advisor John Holdren, in the book EcoScience, Population, Resources, Environment. Writing about action on the false claim of overpopulation he said,
Indeed, it has been concluded that compulsory population-control laws, even including laws requiring compulsory abortion, could be sustained under the existing Constitution if the population crisis became sufficiently severe to endanger the society.
He says, “it has been concluded”, but who reached the conclusion? He did. Who decides when the crisis is “sufficiently severe”? He does. Not only do you build the straw man, but you also control the fire.
It is possible the EPA arranged for Massachusetts and a few other states to file a petition against them for failing to regulate CO2 as a harmful substance. Of course, it was the EPA who determined it was a harmful substance. The EPA rejected the responsibility, and that led to a series of legal actions. The EPA wanted the case to end up before the US Supreme Court. Here are the Facts of the Case. (You can listen to the oral arguments at the web site).
Massachusetts and several other states petitioned the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), asking EPA to regulate emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases that contribute to global warming from new motor vehicles. Massachusetts argued that EPA was required to regulate these “greenhouse gases” by the Clean Air Act – which states that Congress must regulate “any air pollutant” that can “reasonably be anticipated to endanger public health or welfare.”
EPA denied the petition, claiming that the Clean Air Act does not authorize the Agency to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. Even if it did, EPA argued, the Agency had discretion to defer a decision until more research could be done on “the causes, extent and significance of climate change and the potential options for addressing it.” Massachusetts appealed the denial of the petition to the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit, and a divided panel ruled in favor of EPA.
The EPA argued the Clean Air Act does not authorize them to regulate greenhouse gas emissions. It is here they had to argue that the information is insufficient about global warming to reach a conclusion and requires more research. They said they had the authority not to act.
…the Agency had discretion to defer a decision until more research could be done on “the causes, extent and significance of climate change and the potential options for addressing it.”
This contradicts the certainties of the IPCC. Their Summary For Policymakers (SPM) written specifically for agencies like the EPA, states.
Anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions have increased since the pre-industrial era, driven largely by economic and population growth, and are now higher than ever. This has led to atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide that are unprecedented in at least the last 800,000 years. Their effects, together with those of other anthropogenic drivers, have been detected throughout the climate system and are extremely likely to have been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century.
IPCC defines Extremely Likely as 95-100%. It appears either the EPA believes their statement to the Court is true or the IPCC is wrong, or they misled the Court.
Analysis of the Supreme Court conclusion provides some evidence.
By a 5-4 vote the Court reversed the D.C. Circuit and ruled in favor of Massachusetts. The opinion by Justice John Paul Stevens held that Massachusetts, due to its “stake in protecting its quasi-sovereign interests” as a state, had standing to sue the EPA over potential damage caused to its territory by global warming.
This argument uses the IPCC bias that warming is only a cost – there are no benefits. It was the argument Patrick Michaels made well recently before the Committee of Natural Resources.
The Court rejected the EPA’s argument that the Clean Air Act was not meant to refer to carbon emissions in the section giving the EPA authority to regulate “air pollution agent[s]”. The Act’s definition of air pollutant was written with “sweeping,” “capacious” language so that it would not become obsolete.
This outcome is precisely what the EPA wanted. They acted to lose and thus have the power of the US Supreme Court to justify their action.
Finally, the majority ruled that the EPA was unjustified in delaying its decision on the basis of prudential and policy considerations. The Court held that if the EPA wishes to continue its inaction on carbon regulation, it is required by the Act to base the decision on a consideration of “whether greenhouse gas emissions contribute to climate change.”
Now the Court provided the second leg the EPA sought. They must act because CO2 is both a pollutant and is causing climate change.
The dissenting opinions are revealing.
Chief Justice Roberts’s dissenting opinion argued that Massachusetts should not have had standing to sue, because the potential injuries from global warming were not concrete or particularized (individual and personal).
Justice Roberts apparently knows enough about global warming to realize the impact on Massachusetts is not easy to determine and speculative.
Justice Scalia’s dissent argued that the Clean Air Act was intended to combat conventional lower-atmosphere pollutants and not global climate change.
Justice Scalia correctly identified the difference between pollution and climate change. This indicates he knows CO2 is not a pollutant.
It was not difficult for the EPA to mislead the Justices because they avoid sciences cases. Also, the Justices were hampered because the public didn’t know that the case was primarily a decision of Administrative Law.
Federal administrative law primarily concerns the powers and procedures of Federal administering agencies in relation to the public (but usually not in criminal matters).
Consider these comments by the Justices in their conclusion. They manifest the confusion exploited by the EPA.
Although we have neither the expertise nor the authority to evaluate these policy judgments, it is evidence that they have nothing whatever to do with whether greenhouse gas emissions contribute to climate change.
Despite that the Justices wrote,
On the merits of contrary to EPA’s position, we hold that the Clean Air Act’s sweeping definition of air pollutant unambiguously covers greenhouse gases.
It doesn’t matter how “sweeping” the definition, no greenhouse gas is a pollutant. Then the Justices apply Administrative Law.
We need not and do not reach the question whether on remand, EPA must make an endangerment finding, or whether policy concerns can inform EPA’s actions in the event that it make such a finding.
We hold only that EPA must ground its reasons for action or inaction in the statute.
So there it is. In future court cases and in the public forum we can cite the EPA argument to delay any action,
until more research could be done on “the causes, extent and significance of climate change and the potential options for addressing it.”
The courts are correct not to involve themselves in scientific disputes when it is a legitimate scientific issue. The difference, as I pointed out to the lawyer, is that in climate science, it is “our paper” against ”their paper”, but “their paper” is created with falsified, corrupted and manipulated data. The case becomes one of illegalities, not science, and that is in the jurisdiction of the court and easy for anyone to understand and judge.