Pat Michaels: "A Climate Roadmap for Pres. Trump"

By David Middleton

OPINION

A climate roadmap for President Trump

by Patrick Michaels | Jul 14, 2017

This week, President Trump is likely getting an earful in Paris over his extrication of the U.S. from the Paris climate agreement earlier this year. But our withdrawal will be meaningless unless he follows up with two important actions before he leaves office.

First, the administration must vacate the Environmental Protection Agency’s 2009 “Endangerment Finding” from carbon dioxide. Under the 2007 Supreme Court case Massachusetts v. EPA, this finding is required for the Agency to regulate carbon dioxide emissions under the Clean Air Act. No finding, no policy.

Second, the U.S. must pull out of the 1992 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This treaty, which was ratified by the Senate, is the document that enables subsequent emissions agreements, such as the Kyoto Protocol (not ratified) and the Paris agreement (an executive agreement).

[…]

Washington Examiner

CATO

At first glance, Dr. Michaels’ “roadmap” appears to be a short trip over a simple route.  There are a multitude of reasons for withdrawing from the UNFCCC and no reasons to remain a party to this organization… And withdrawal is wholly within the powers of and at the discretion of the President.  So, the last stop on Dr. Michaels’ itinerary is the easy bit.

Vacating the EPA’s endangerment finding may sound easy, but it may not be…

Is the EPA’s Landmark ‘Endangerment Finding’ Now Itself Imperiled?

The EPA’s court-backed determination that greenhouse gases are a threat to America’s health and security might prove hard for a Trump administration to undo.

by Abrahm Lustgarten

ProPublica, Nov. 22, 2016

[…]

The agency’s conclusion rested on thousands of pages of peer-reviewed research, from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, from the U.S. Global Climate Research Program, and from the National Research Council. The agency wrote its rules and subjected them to public criticism. The public submitted voluminous comments, all of which were reviewed by the EPA before it issued a final rule.

The original rule-writing process alone took 14 months, (or 10 years if you count the arguments leading up to the 2007 Supreme Court fight). After its completion, The American Chemistry Council and other groups petitioned the U.S. Court of Appeals in the District of Columbia to review the validity of the finding. In 2012, that court upheld the EPA’s endangerment rule, finding that the agency’s interpretation of its authority and of its obligation to regulate carbon dioxide “is unambiguously correct.”

In order to effectively eliminate the rule now, one former EPA attorney told ProPublica, the Trump administration would likely have to reargue the original decision, including the merits of the scientific evidence, and then build on it.

Per the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision, the new administration would have to use existing evidence to prove no risk is posed by climate gases. Then it would have to explain how new information that has emerged since 2009 — a period including the hottest years on record, some of the biggest storms and driest droughts, and destabilizing mass human migration — demonstrate how the EPA erred in its 2009 conclusion.

It’s a steep hill to climb, and, as Gerrard points out, would inevitably lead to a fresh wave of lawsuits both against the EPA and against polluters directly in courts across the country.

[…]

ProPublica

Per the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision, the new administration would have to use existing evidence to prove no risk is posed by climate gases.

Setting aside the fact that there is no such thing as “climate gases”… The “existing evidence” for the endangerment finding consists of climate models which forecast a a multitude of doomsday scenarios without deep reductions in so-called “greenhouse” gas emissions.

It’s basically impossible to use the existing evidence to vacate the endangerment finding unless the Trump administration can invalidate the models… And Dr. Michael’s roadmap may have a pathway to invalidating the models…

[…]

One of the foundational documents for the Endangerment Finding is the 2009 “National Assessment” of climate change. Its next iteration, in 2014, claimed it was “the most comprehensive and authoritative report ever generated about climate change,” as well as being “a key deliverable of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan.”

The problem is, these “assessments” rely solely upon computer climate models for their future scenarios of gloom and doom. As it turns out, climate modeling (or forecasting) isn’t necessarily climate science, because the modeler gets to choose a preferred answer, and then tune the internal equations to get there.

The forecast models are known as “general circulation models,” or GCMs, and are generated by various government research groups around the world. Every six years, the U.S. Department of Energy supervises a “model intercomparison” project. For the most recent one, in 2013, 34 modeling teams sent in a “frozen code” model to be compared with the predictions from other groups. These form a community of base models, which the researchers feel are their “best” version, and after this point the code cannot be changed until the inter-comparison is done.

According to an Oct. 2016 news story in Science magazine, the modeling team from Germany’s Max Planck Institute was finalizing their inter-comparison version when the team leader, Erich Roeckner, became temporarily unavailable to participate in the work. As the team tested the model before submitting it, they found it now predicted twice as much warming (7 degrees Celsius) for doubled carbon dioxide as it had in its previous iteration. Science reported that Roeckner had a unique ability to tune the model’s cloud formation algorithm, and so in his absence, the model produced heating way outside the norm. Roeckner’s team eventually got the warming down to a level that was within the range of the other models.

Enter Frederic Hourdin, who headed up the French modeling effort. He rounded up modelers from 13 other groups and recently published “The Art and Science of Climate Model Tuning” in the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. All of the climate models the world uses to create and justify things like the U.N. Framework Convention, the EPA endangerment finding, and the Paris agreement, are “tuned” to arrive at parameters forecast within an “anticipated acceptable range,” to quote Hourdin. But the big question is, acceptable to whom? One of Roeckner’s senior scientists, Thorsten Mauritsen, told Science, “The model we produced with 7 degrees [Celsius] was a damn good model.” But in his opinion that was too hot, so it had to be tuned.

[…]

It will be a considerable task to document the tuning problem. But if the Trump administration does this, it will have sufficient justification to warrant vacating the Endangerment Finding, which itself will justify getting the U.S. out of the U.N. Framework Climate Convention, and out of Paris for good.

Patrick J. Michaels is the director of the Center for the Study of Science at the Cato Institute.

Washington Examiner

CATO

In anticipation of, ‘The climate models are not tuned!”

[1] Hourdin, F., T. Mauritsen, A. Gettelman, J. Golaz, V. Balaji, Q. Duan, D. Folini, D. Ji, D. Klocke, Y. Qian, F. Rauser, C. Rio, L. Tomassini, M. Watanabe, and D. Williamson, 2016: The art and science of climate model tuning. Bull. Amer. Meteor. Soc. doi:10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00135.1, in press. [link to full manuscript].

[2Climate model tuning, July 9, 2013 by Judith Curry

[3The art and science of climate model tuning, August 1, 2016 by Judith Curry

One would think that this would be the only evidence needed to vacate the endangerment finding:

Either way, EPA Administrator Pruitt’s “Red Team” should focus like a laser beam” on the climate models and snuff out the CAGW flashlight.

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“The climate models are not tuned!”
Because the relationship between warming and emissions is based on a correlation between cumulative values .
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3000932
https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2997420

You would think that a simple query as to what evidence was the original endangerment finding based on and if the answer is that it was the output from models with no demonstrated level of predictive skill then surely that’s game over?

Joel Snider

Heh. You’d think.

The Reverend Badger

Court cases and reviews are difficult because they are just “arguments”. Surely a simpler and probably very much cheaper alternative would be to fund some actual experiments which could show that the unique EM frequency response (I.R.) of CO2 is not “heat trapping”. It looks pretty easy to me to come up with a multitude of experiments both on small scale volumes of CO2 or mixed gases including CO2 at various concentrations and also to do much larger scale experiments in the actual atmosphere over lengths of several kilometeres.
One could get loads of the lab sized experiments up and running in days for less than $10 million and a few larger scale experiments could yield results in less than 6 months and still see change from $200 million I reckon.
Once you have actual repeatable experimental results which have falsified the CO2 related bit of AGW surely the arguments in court will be relatively simple. In fact if a serious effort is made to go down this route I suspect a large part of the AGW belief system is going to collapse or become dumb even before the outstanding and completely unexpected (/s) results are revealed.

TA

“One could get loads of the lab sized experiments up and running in days for less than $10 million and a few larger scale experiments could yield results in less than 6 months and still see change from $200 million I reckon.”
That’s pocket change for a conservative billionaire. Perhaps if the government doesn’t do this, then maybe it can be privately funded.

The Reverend Badger

Got anyone in mind?

TA

Let me think.

fxk

It’ll be difficult to undo “science” when there are true believers out there.

Case in point;
http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/17/geographers-warn-we-shouldnt-use-research-conducted-by-straight-white-men/
If we think the debate if going to improve or become logic based? Consider the link. “The Party of Science”? Party of the dark ages.

Wharfplank

Now is the time to begin this process as the lawsuits can be defended with the resources ( wink wink ) of the Federal government. The models ruled as being validated, or invalidated, by observations is a 30 minute afternoon TV understandable argument. Now is the time.

Cardin Drake

Why doesn’t Congress do it’s job for a change and pass a law taking away the EPA’s power to regulate CO2 since that was never contemplated in the original law establishing the EPA? I’m sick of unelected bureaucrats making up laws.

TA

Trump might get back in the Paris Accord if we can rig up a deal where other countries pay the U.S. oh, say, $30 billion per year, and no emission restrictions are placed on the U.S (just the reverse of the current deal).

Oh boy Griff that’s your funniest post yet by a wide margin against stiff competition. So Branson says
“I’ve got a feeling that the president is regretting what he did. Maybe his children and son in law [adviser Jared Kushner] are saying, ‘Look, I told you so.’ Hopefully there is a positive change of mind.”
Now what exactly is it Trump is supposed to be looking at that he was told about by his brainwashed younger family? The non-warming climate? The non-accelerating sea level rise? The non-acidifying oceans? The non-increase in extreme weather? The non-existent lower tropospheric hotspot? What? What is Trump supposed to be looking at?

Griff

I think posters on this site ignore the very significant fact that the rest of the world is sticking to the Paris agreement and even pushing further than what they signed up to.
USA is still on the naughty step, they think…

Gunga Din

Griff, “the rest of the world” just wants our green.

TA

Yeah, after it becomes apparent that the U.S. is not going to be paying out the big bucks for the UN Green Climate Fund, I think there will be countries who will rethink their position. Turkey is already complaining.
It’s all about getting the money for many nations. They were bribed into joining the Paris Accord and now the biggest banker says it is no longer going to play.

Sheri

Griff: You assume the US cares enough to fork out millions to parasites who will do nothing to curb their emissions. Not sure that’s true at this point. You can feel free to send a really big contribution and maybe that will help the US look “nicer”.

The EPA needs to reassess the academic establishment’s method of climate forecasting .The IPCC was not tasked with the objective analysis of the science but with evaluating i.e proving, that the human contribution
would be dangerous over time and also that future temperatures could be lowered by limiting CO2 production. This is where the publications ,promotions, and jobs were .This is what largely government and public funds and grants paid for and academia jumped on the gravy train and delivered on cue.
The reality is that Climate is controlled by natural cycles. Earth is just past the 2003+/- peak of a millennial cycle and the current cooling trend will likely continue until the next Little Ice Age minimum at about 2650.See the Energy and Environment paper at http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/full/10.1177/0958305X16686488
and an earlier accessible blog version at http://climatesense-norpag.blogspot.com/2017/02/the-coming-cooling-usefully-accurate_17.html
Here is the abstract for convenience :
“ABSTRACT
This paper argues that the methods used by the establishment climate science community are not fit for purpose and that a new forecasting paradigm should be adopted. Earth’s climate is the result of resonances and beats between various quasi-cyclic processes of varying wavelengths. It is not possible to forecast the future unless we have a good understanding of where the earth is in time in relation to the current phases of those different interacting natural quasi periodicities. Evidence is presented specifying the timing and amplitude of the natural 60+/- year and, more importantly, 1,000 year periodicities (observed emergent behaviors) that are so obvious in the temperature record. Data related to the solar climate driver is discussed and the solar cycle 22 low in the neutron count (high solar activity) in 1991 is identified as a solar activity millennial peak and correlated with the millennial peak -inversion point – in the UAH6 temperature trend in about 2003. The cyclic trends are projected forward and predict a probable general temperature decline in the coming decades and centuries. Estimates of the timing and amplitude of the coming cooling are made. If the real climate outcomes follow a trend which approaches the near term forecasts of this working hypothesis, the divergence between the IPCC forecasts and those projected by this paper will be so large by 2021 as to make the current, supposedly actionable, level of confidence in the IPCC forecasts untenable.”
The EPA needs to establish an Advisory Panel on Climate Science to review the latest data. The most likely outcome would then provide the basis for the overturning of the endangerment finding.

Richard M

One thing that could help would be to have a solid critical review of the latest RSS changes. If these changes could be debunked or at least shown to be very questionable then the administration would have solid ground to stand on showing climate science is extremely biased. This would then provide a basis for removing the endangerment finding.

Griff

Or you could consider they are sensible and accurate and blow part of the skeptic narrative out of the water.
I note from this week’s news round up that some people are still quoting RSS when it agrees with their viewpoint…

Brian

“Per the Supreme Court’s 2007 decision, the new administration would have to use existing evidence to prove no risk is posed by climate gases.”
Good lord . . . how on earth does one prove a negative AT ALL? And how could one even attempt to do so when, as in this case, you can’t use any new data AND the time period is measured in decades at the minimum and millennia overall?
Moon-battery.

David L. Hagen

Hourdin, Frederic, Thorsten Mauritsen, Andrew Gettelman, Jean-Christophe Golaz, Venkatramani Balaji, Qingyun Duan, Doris Folini et al. “The art and science of climate model tuning.” Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society 98, no. 3 (2017): 589-602. http://journals.ametsoc.org/doi/pdf/10.1175/BAMS-D-15-00135.1

We survey the rationale and diversity of approaches for tuning, a fundamental aspect of climate modeling, which should be more systematically documented and taken into account in multimodel analysis.

Cited by 16
Schmidt, Gavin A., David Bader, Leo J. Donner, Gregory S. Elsaesser, Jean-Christophe Golaz, Cecile Hannay, Andrea Molod, Rich Neale, and Suranjana Saha. “Practice and philosophy of climate model tuning across six US modeling centers.” Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss., doi:10.5194/gmd-2017-30, 2017 Manuscript under review for journal Geosci. Model Dev. Discussion started: 14 February 2017

At minimum, we recommend that all future model description papers (or systematic documentation projects such as ES-DOC http://es-doc.org) include a list of tuned-for targets, and describe (as in Table 2) their use of historical trends and imbalances.

Gunga Din

Show what the models had projected in 2007 versus what the actual (not adjusted) observations were in 2007.
Heck, even use the 2007 adjusted numbers. Just be sure to include the satellite and balloon numbers.

Keith A

“It’s basically impossible to use the existing evidence to vacate the endangerment finding unless the Trump administration can invalidate the models.”
If Lord Monckton is correct, the calculations in his forthcoming paper will invalidate the models. All existing models have simply over-estimated the feedback factor. It only takes one paper, if it is correct.
https://wattsupwiththat.com/2016/08/03/ipcc-has-at-least-doubled-true-climate-sensitivity-a-demonstration/

wally

To the extent necessary to decision and when presented, the reviewing court shall decide all relevant questions of law, interpret constitutional and statutory provisions, and determine the meaning or applicability of the terms of an agency action. The reviewing court shall—
(1) compel agency action unlawfully withheld or unreasonably delayed; and
(2) hold unlawful and set aside agency action, findings, and conclusions found to be—
(A) arbitrary, capricious, an abuse of discretion, or otherwise not in accordance with law;
(B) contrary to constitutional right, power, privilege, or immunity;
(C) in excess of statutory jurisdiction, authority, or limitations, or short of statutory right;
(D) without observance of procedure required by law;
(E) unsupported by substantial evidence in a case subject to sections 556 and 557 of this title or otherwise reviewed on the record of an agency hearing provided by statute; or
(F) unwarranted by the facts to the extent that the facts are subject to trial de novo by the reviewing court.
In making the foregoing determinations, the court shall review the whole record or those parts of it cited by a party, and due account shall be taken of the rule of prejudicial error.
(Pub. L. 89–554, Sept. 6, 1966, 80 Stat. 393.)

wally
Tom Halla

“Tuning”. What a perfectly precious term. It is a damn pity it was not current in the mid-1940’s, or Eric Blair, writing as George Orwell, would have had commentary on it.
“War is peace”, . . .

Gunga Din

Some of us are old enough to equate “tuning” something, say, a radio, to adjusting the knob to reach the desired station.

TA

I still do that. 🙂

Pat Frank

I have invalidated the climate models, at WUWT here, and in my presentation at the 34th annual DDP meeting here.
If journal editors could overcome their political fears in the face of climate modelers’ incompetent hostile reviews, this whole problem would be solved. Four years and counting, though.

Lance Wallace

The endangerment finding is a crucial foundation for many other regulations and must be reversed. Yes this will require considerable work, but each and every argument made to bring it about can be disputed. Much evidence against AGW has been developed since the endangerment finding was published in the Federal Register (2009). The EPA should immediately put together a team (probably will have to contract it out) to begin the process. After a year or so, the new endangerment (lack of, that is) arguments can be published in the Federal Register. Then of course there will be the environmental organizations bringing suit, and it will rise to the Supreme Court over the next couple of years. There are two reasons why the Supreme Court will accept this new non-endangerment finding.
1. The courts tend to give way to the Executive Branch agencies when it comes to technical matters.
2. The SC has changed!

AndyE

How to “vacate the endangerment finding” – how to prove a negative, namely that increased CO2 is not dangerous, cannot be done in less than a thousand years. So it is no use setting about doing that at this point in time. Better ignore it. Who worries about that ruling, really? – Just empty words on pieces of paper. Opponents of EPA’s actions or in-actions can only institute legal proceedings which are easily stalled. The crux of the matter is whether any nation coughs up the money promised under the Paris agreement – and not many nations have so far.

climate models do not model the future. they model what the model builders believe the future will be.
consider this: if a model just happened to show the future correctly, but the answer was “too hot” or “too cold” as compared to what the model builder believed, the model builder would think the model was in error and would “tune” the model to return a more acceptable result.

JohnS

The endangerment finding is not based on any valid evidence. Other environmental rules, such as those regarding particulates, were backed up by at least a modicum of statistical and econometric studies that had results that passed the minimal significance levels. But the GCM projections have no significant statistical results. There is simply no scientific evidence for the warming that is projected. That simple fact should be the basis of invalidating the endangerment finding.

JohnS

I meant to add that the PM2.5 rule also does not have any valid evidence. It is based on an unsupportable projection of the (weak) results from studying the effects of much larger particulate matter.

Cold in Wisconsin

I weep for science.

The Reverend Badger

All “my” science is sound, I just have a problem convincing more than 0.1% of people that it is so.

Gilbert K. Arnold

Getting out the UNFCCC is easy. According to US, law any UN agency, which the US is a member of, that recognizes the “Palestinian” state: the US is required to resign form such organization. The UNFCCC has recognized Palestine as a country. Therefore, the US is required, by law, to exit the organization.

“It’s basically impossible to use the existing evidence to vacate the endangerment finding”
First principles physics is all you need. The problem is that climate science makes the climate system to be far more complex than it really is. It’s not rocket science and barely extends beyond basic arithmetic. Connect the dots between the behavior of ideal BB and that of the Earth and the problem is solved.

Maybe the way to go would be to establish that CO2 is essential to life, and that if some CO2 is good, then more CO2 must be better. There is the well known plant-food argument in favour of more CO2, but also the lesser known O2 argument, whereby oxygen in the atmosphere is maintained by plants, which in turn are maintained by CO2.
The courts would then be faced with contradictory evidence, which may lead to the desired outcome.

Also the ozone argument, it comes from O2, and everyone now knows how vital it was to attack evil polluting capitalism in order to preserve it.

skorrent1

Wouldn’t the easiest/quickest solution be to just place a “hold” on any EPA ruling/regulation or enforcement having anything to do with CO2 until the Red Team activities have been fully completed and evaluated? After 7 years of careful study and reflection, and failure of warnist projections, the Endangerment Finding could be quietly dropped.

Frank

Dave wrote: “One would think that this would be the only evidence needed to vacate the endangerment finding” and then presented UAH and RSS data vs. model predictions.
How does one prove that a model or group of models used in the endangerment finding were invalid? Tough question. Remember, your “proof” must convince the Supreme Court. As long as Chevron Deference exists, the court believes that the head of the EPA (approved by Congress) is the one best able to make such a decision.
How far off do the need to be to be invalid? If there were a reasonable consensus the EBMs were correct, would that be enough to prove they were invalid? For that matter, would an ECS of 2, be low enough to prove that there is no danger from rising GHGs? How about an ECS of 1? Even the smallest amount of future warming that can be assigned to GHG’s will cause sea level rise and therefore damage. Even if natural variability were larger than a forced change in SLR, one could argue that GHGs made it worse.
Even if the US withdrew from the UNFCCC, the EPA could still regulate GHGs under the Clean Air Act.
If we can’t stop GHG emissions from being regulated under the Clean Air Act and we can’t amend it without Democratic votes, then the only choice is to make rules that minimize the amount of harm any future EPA could do. Could the EPA or Congress issue a rule saying that regulation of GHG emissions must make sense from a domestic cost-benefit perspective. US costs must be lower by US benefits. Foreign benefits would count only if a binding treaty between the US and that foreign nation existed. The Social Cost of Carbon is zero if we regulate by those rules. The other big factor in the Social Cost of Carbon is the discount rate. If we think our descendant are going to be far richer than we are, then it makes sense economically to let them spend some of their riches adapting to whatever comes rather than asking the current generation to mitigate. Create a precedent of using the growth rate over the last century in projections for the next century. If we can’t stop the EPA from regulating, we must prevent the future damage they can cause.
Findings that the 1.5 and 2.0 degC targets adopted by the Paris Treaty are not based on sound science and economics might eliminate their use by any future head of the EPA.

CheshireRed

Looking at Dr Spencer’s models graphic there’s 1 model which is running just about spot on, in yellow, and another in purple running very close. Shouldn’t those 2 be subject to much closer scrutiny because at present they’re the closest to observations?

SteveT

Surely, from an American’s point of view it is plain crazy to have an endangerment finding based solely on a projection of currently (very) inaccurate models showing warming that is an artifact of higher “minimum” temperatures.
So the endangerment finding (presumably for the health of Americans) solves these problems by:-
spending billions on a duplicate power system that is not reliable
forcing the costs onto power bills, which affects the poorest the most
forces companies to move their jobs abroad to somewhere with cheaper labour/energy costs
causing lower wages, unemployment, higher energy costs – presumably these are thought to improve peoples welfare and mental health (do I need a sarc?)
What are the benefits of the endangerment finding? Given the accelerating technological progress of the last 80 years, I challenge anyone to give an accurate assessment of what the world will look like in 40 years, let alone the end of the century.
SteveT

R. de Haan

If you think Co2 is a problem, stop breathing. If you think this entire AGW game is nothing more but a pathetic attempt to create a technocratic elite that wants to control “EVERYTHING” and wishes you and your family nothing fleeced and eventually dead, get back at them. http//green-agenda.com