Skip to content

Dennis Avery: U.S. Supreme Court Should Reverse Climate “Endangerment Finding”

Dennis Avery, Townhall

The science was not settled in 2009; and, fortunately, the weight of evidence has since shifted importantly toward climate skeptics.

Nine years ago, President Obama’s Environmental Protection Agency issued an “Endangerment Finding,” claiming man-made global warming posed an imminent threat to Americans. The Finding, however, was based on computerized climate models that couldn’t even successfully hind-cast the weather we’d had over the past century—much less forecast earth’s climate 100 years into the future. The earth’s climate has always changed, often abruptly.

EPA essentially asserted that 80 percent of our energy “warmed the earth” and represented a long-term risk. Obama’s team thus bet in 2009 that the earth’s strong warming from 1976–98 would continue. But it didn’t. Never mind all those recent “hottest year” claims from NOAA and NASA. Satellites, our most honest indicator, say our planet’s temperature has risen an insignificant 0.02 degrees C since 1998.

Despite the 20-year non-warming, which clearly shows that the models are worthless for prediction, the Federal Appeals Court in Washington recently blocked a new natural gas pipeline’s regulatory approval. This ruling encourages Greens to keep thinking they can regulate gas and oil production and transport into oblivion. Alarmists across the country are already citing the new precedent in other cases, in effect demanding re-hearings on Trump’s whole Energy Plan.

If the courts decree that pipelines have dangerous methane emissions, the U.S. will be unable to generate electricity except at the infamous whimsies of winds and sunshine. But the models’ prediction of dangerously rising temperatures have proven wrong. The disparity between the models’ predictions and the thermometer readings is growing wider by the day.

In science, if your theory doesn’t take account of all the relevant data, you need a new theory.

Meanwhile, thousands of new coal-fired power plants are being built around the world – -even in Europe. (Many Third world plants are being built with Chinese financing.) The CO2 from this new coal-fired power will dwarf whatever emissions the judges hope to prevent in America.

The President now risks losing the economic growth and the millions of new jobs that abundant energy should create. Without new pipelines, our “miraculous” fracked gas will be trapped in the semideserts and mountains where the gas is found. (Could gasoline prices then soar back to $4?)

What danger can today’s EPA find in earth’s current 20-year non-warming? What ice-melt will that trigger? What sea level rise? World food production has just set a new record, importantly because higher CO2 levels in the atmosphere act like fertilizer for crop plants.

Justice Neil Gorsuch’s confirmation to the Supreme Court should strongly encourage a Trump Endangerment reversal. Gorsuch stated in a 2016 opinion that the so-called Chevron Precedent, which says the courts should defer to Federal judges on laws that are ambiguous, is “difficult to square with the Constitution.” He believes it shifts too much power from Congress to unelected bureaucrats.

EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt will need to build a strong case for the reversal, however, because the Supreme Court still does not have a reliable 5–4 conservative majority. Pruitt’s current approach of setting up competing red-team vs. blue team must help convince Justice Kennedy that the world today looks much different than when the EPA rubberstamped the IPCC and the failed climate models.

The science was not settled in 2009; and, fortunately, the weight of evidence has since shifted importantly toward the skeptics. It starts with the still-continuing 20-year non-warming. The best “answer”’ the alarmists can find is that “extra” CO2 heat is hiding in the deep ocean depths. But cold water is heavier than warm water, so the warm water would have warmed the depths on its way down. NASA’s newer and more-accurate data comes from ARGO floats that periodically dive to sample water temperatures 2100 feet below the surface. They find no hidden heat.

Moreover, the earth has been warming, erratically but persistently, since 1715. How much of this warming was due to the natural cycles, and how much was man-made (including land-clearing, irrigation, expanding Urban Heat Islands and CO2)? The skeptics contend CO2 adds a barely significant one degree C. Alarmists claim up to 12 degrees C for CO2!

How did hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria destroy so much with only 0.02 degree C of warming? Britain’s wooden-ship logbooks from 1700–1850 confirm twice as many major land-falling Caribbean hurricane per decade during the cold Little Ice Age as during the far warmer years from 1950–2000. Nor has the post-1998 weather produced more intensive storms, longer droughts, or any of the other claimed climate impacts Obama’s EPA assumed would happen.

The simple truth is that the Pacific Decadal Oscillation–not recognized until 1996—has given the world a climate scare every 25–30 years since we got thermometers about 1850. In 1845, the ships of Sir John Franklin’s Arctic expedition were crushed by ice. Just 64 years later, in 1909, Roald Amundsen sailed through a relatively warm, ice-free Northwest Passage. In the 1970s, we were warned urgently of a new Ice Age. And then came the “overheated” Al Gore years, 1976–98.

The huge Pacific’s 60-year oscillation raises ocean temperatures—and thus the world’s— by 1–2 degrees C for about 30 years, then shifts back again for another 30 years. Every time it shifted in the past, alarmists extended the current reading in a straight line for five or 20 years and screamed: “Disaster!” This time, the alarmists claim the non-warming isn’t real!

Today, there’s no doubt the models have predicted more than twice as much warming as we’ve observed. Given the high number of official thermometers in urban spaces and at jet-powered airports, the models may be overpredicting by three-fold!

Another major new scientific finding also goes against the alarmists. Last year CERN (the multi-billion-dollar Institute for European Nuclear Research) told subscribers to the CERN Courier that all the climate models must be re-done. CERN reported that its CLOUD experiment had used its huge particle accelerator and a giant cloud chamber to find that the sun and cosmic rays are the real “mystery factors” in earth’s climate. The research supports the contention that CO2 is only a bit player.

Full post