By David Middleton
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).
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.
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.
In anticipation of, ‘The climate models are not tuned!”…
 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].
 Climate model tuning, July 9, 2013 by Judith Curry
 The 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.