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EPA Quashed Report Skeptical of Global Warming

timothy posted about 5 years ago | from the just-some-random-nutjob dept.

Censorship 1057

theodp writes "CNET reports that less than two weeks before the EPA formally submitted its pro-carbon dioxide regulation recommendation to the White House, an EPA center director quashed a 98-page report that warned against making hasty 'decisions based on a scientific hypothesis that does not appear to explain most of the available data.' In an e-mail message (pdf) to a staff researcher on March 17, the EPA official wrote: 'The administrator and the administration has decided to move forward...and your comments do not help the legal or policy case for this decision.' The employee was also ordered not to 'have any direct communication' with anyone outside his small group at EPA on the topic of climate change, and was informed his report would not be shared with the agency group working on the topic. In a statement, the EPA took aim at the credentials of the report's author, Alan Carlin (BS Physics-Caltech, PhD Econ-MIT), describing him as 'not a scientist.' BTW, the official who chastised Carlin also found himself caught up in a 2005 brouhaha over mercury emissions after top EPA officials ordered the findings of a Harvard University study stripped from public records."

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1057 comments

News Flash! Civil Servants Corrupt! News @ 11:00 (3, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | about 5 years ago | (#28498951)

So, under the old boss, he leaned one way, and under the new boss he leans another.

Color me shocked.

Re:News Flash! Civil Servants Corrupt! News @ 11:0 (2, Insightful)

motek (179836) | about 5 years ago | (#28498977)

They are not necessarily corrupt. The just adjust easily. Perhaps this is why they are called 'servants'.

Re:News Flash! Civil Servants Corrupt! News @ 11:0 (3, Insightful)

eln (21727) | about 5 years ago | (#28499109)

Under the old boss, the EPA was accused of quashing reports on climate change made by climatologists. Now, they're accused of quashing reports on climate change made by economists. There's a fundamental difference there.

Re:News Flash! Civil Servants Corrupt! News @ 11:0 (4, Insightful)

Moridineas (213502) | about 5 years ago | (#28499167)

Wow, the guy has worked for the EPA for almost 40 years but because he has an MIT PhD in economics, that makes it ok?

It wasn't ok when it was the other side, and it's not ok now. End of story.

Re:News Flash! Civil Servants Corrupt! News @ 11:0 (0, Troll)

DJRumpy (1345787) | about 5 years ago | (#28499197)

This is not news. The guy had a physics degree, and an economics degree. Neither which fully qualifies him to report on Global Warming. Perhaps if he had an ecological degree to go along with the physics degree I'd give him more weight. As it is, I suspect he was speaking more from his economics degree.

Re:News Flash! Civil Servants Corrupt! News @ 11:0 (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28499253)

Physics degree qualifies you to report on whatever the hell you like as far as I'm concerned.

Re:News Flash! Civil Servants Corrupt! News @ 11:0 (2, Insightful)

digitig (1056110) | about 5 years ago | (#28499357)

Quite. After all, reducing the emotional response to a Shakespeare sonnet to a set of quantum states is well within the reach of an undergraduate Physics course nowadays, isn't it? Er, isn't it? Oh, in that case maybe a physics degree doesn't qualify a person to report on whatever the hell they like after all.

Re:News Flash! Civil Servants Corrupt! News @ 11:0 (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28499373)

I have a physics degree (and PhD), but I don't consider myself more knowledgable on non-physics topics than someone who doesn't.

If there's one thing I did learn though, is that it's damn hard to go from a set of data to a sound conclusion. *Much* harder than non-scientists think. The unscientific ways of thinking of most of the "sceptic" (though "dogmatic" would be more appropriate) crowd are painfully obvious. Fortunately, my field isn't climate science, so most of the anti-global warming points only leave me banging my head against the wall relatively gently, rather than at skull-crushing speed.

Re:News Flash! Civil Servants Corrupt! News @ 11:0 (3, Insightful)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | about 5 years ago | (#28499343)

Except a ecological degree guarantees that you are fully indoctrinated in the environmental dogma of the day...not necessarily that you understand the nature of natural phenomena.

Re:News Flash! Civil Servants Corrupt! News @ 11:0 (3, Insightful)

pallmall1 (882819) | about 5 years ago | (#28499361)

The guy had a physics degree, and an economics degree. Neither which fully qualifies him to report on Global Warming.

What does Al Gore have a degree in?

The sole purpose of government is politics. (1, Interesting)

reporter (666905) | about 5 years ago | (#28499267)

After Barack Hussein Obama became president, his supporters were expecting a 100% change in how government operates. The reality is that Obama is no better than George W. Bush. Both men take the same dishonest approach to government and differ only in the sense that each person is pursuing a different political agenda.

Most independent voters who voted for Hillary Clinton or wanted to vote for Michael Bloomberg knew what would happen if Obama took office. Our worst fears have been realized.

An early example showing the real Obama is found in a quite startling essay [wsj.com] published by the "Wall Street Journal". The Justice Department, under the leadership of Obama, dismissed a "civil lawsuit for voter intimidation against the New Black Panther Party. The Black Panthers weren't content to endorse Barack Obama. They sent their members to the polls last November to 'patrol election sites.' Fox News aired a video of two Black Panthers in military-style uniforms in a Philadelphia precinct. One of them was carrying a nightstick. ... The complaint the Justice Department filed in January (before Messrs. Obama and Holder took over) says the Panthers made 'racial threats and racial insults' to voters and 'menacing and intimidating, gestures, statements and movements directed at individuals who were present to aid voters.' One witness, Bartle Bull, a civil-rights lawyer who worked with Charles Evers in Mississippi in the 1960s, called it the worst voter intimidation he had ever seen.".

The latest example showing the real Obama is this attempt by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to censor opposing opinions. In this case, the EPA claims that the critic, Alan Carlin (BS Physics-Caltech, PhD Econ-MIT), is not a "real" scientist. Yet, Dr. Carlin has a Bachelor's degree in physics from Caltech and a Doctorate in (intensively mathematical) economics from MIT. The Caltech degree, by itself, puts Dr. Carlin in league with the very best. The training that went into that Bachelor's degree is equivalent to a Master's degree (in physics) from a lesser university.

Personally, I believe that global warming is real, but I -- as an educated Westerner -- respect the dissenting opinion of reputable scientists like Dr. Carlin. I oppose censoring them.

Note that the Bush administration attempted the same kind of censorshop in the other direction. According to a report [nytimes.com] by the "New York Times", the Bush administration had censored a NASA climatologist who was warning about the certainty of global warming.

Here's the bottom line. The emperor has changed, but his clothes remain the same. Hopefully, President Nicolas Sarkozy can save us American voters from our stupidity in electing the worst political candidates -- time after time.

Re:The sole purpose of government is politics. (1, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | about 5 years ago | (#28499295)

After Barack Hussein Obama

The verbal economy of your post is truly beautiful. Thank you. After only four words, I was assured I would find nothing of value there.

Re:The sole purpose of government is politics. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28499359)

You could have stopped at three.

enviro-terrorist (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | about 5 years ago | (#28498953)

mark my words, it's only a matter of time before anyone with a desenting view is marked as an enviro-terrorist.

debate is healthy, the fact that the EPA needs a step on anyone who disagree's means thier arguments are not as solid as they want us to think.

I wonder.... (3, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#28498967)

I wonder how many of these reports on other things (crime, drugs, copyright, etc) have been censored too in order to only give the government's point of view?

Stop giving them power (4, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about 5 years ago | (#28499085)

Stop giving them power to take your money and make your choices for you. Then you don't care.

Re:Stop giving them power (2)

erroneus (253617) | about 5 years ago | (#28499141)

If I tried to take that power away by any means, I think we know what the result would be. Individuals cannot make such a change, masses must and masses will not likely do that until things are extremely bad.

Re:Stop giving them power (4, Informative)

Kohath (38547) | about 5 years ago | (#28499185)

The point still stands though. There's a lot of people who just don't understand the value of limited government. This is a huge piece of the value: What if they're all stupid and evil in the government? If they don't have any power, it really doesn't matter.

Once you give them power, you better be certain they're all infallible. If you can't be certain of that, then don't give them power.

Re:Stop giving them power (2, Interesting)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#28499181)

Stop giving who power? The government? Yes, I am all for that. However we have a screwed up idea of a free society with a totally screwed up idea of representation that worked just fine when states made most of the laws but now we have a huge federal government with a tiny state government and the few rights states have get taken away by the federal government by extortion (make your drinking age 21 or we won't give you any money). Really, who do I vote for? I can vote libertarian which shares nearly 99% of my beliefs but probably won't get elected. I can vote for republicans which I agree with on many economic issues but disagree with their eroding of civil liberties, or I can vote for democrats who I agree with on their civil liberties but don't agree with them on the eroding of economic liberties and the right to bear arms.

Please tell me, how am I supposed to stop giving them power (with legal means of course).

Re:Stop giving them power (1, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about 5 years ago | (#28499231)

You have it backward on civil liberties. Republicans are pro-civil liberties and Democrats are against them. The "Republicans are anti-civil-liberties" stuff is from 40 or 50 years ago, and even then it was over-hyped to make political points.

Re:Stop giving them power (4, Interesting)

deathy_epl+ccs (896747) | about 5 years ago | (#28499255)

Funny... when it comes to wanting to take away our civil liberties, I have a hard time telling either party apart.

Re:Stop giving them power (1, Informative)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#28499303)

By civil liberties I mean the right to free speech. The PATRIOT act severely limited this and it was primary a republican-enacted law. Along with a lot of recent republican attitudes towards the elimination of speech that may be "anti-American" (such as the anti-flag burning amendments which were overwhelmingly supported by republicans) and the refusal by many republicans to allow same-sex marriage (my personal belief is that marriage is a religious ceremony and shouldn't be government by the government though). While democrats have more or less opposed these things.

Re:I wonder.... (1)

davester666 (731373) | about 5 years ago | (#28499227)

All of them.

And we want the gov to run health care? (-1, Offtopic)

Jerry (6400) | about 5 years ago | (#28498993)

"I am sorry sir, your prostate cancer is not a "covered" disease. You will die of old age before the cancer kills you!" says the bureaucrat, with a copies of several scientific studies stating otherwise laying in his trash can.

On the other hand, the same reply from a corporate doctor paid to lie for their bottom line has the same effect.

Re:And we want the gov to run health care? (1)

DaHat (247651) | about 5 years ago | (#28499091)

True... only you have alternatives to the corporate doctor, when the state takes full control, your options get pretty thin pretty fast.

Re:And we want the gov to run health care? (4, Insightful)

99BottlesOfBeerInMyF (813746) | about 5 years ago | (#28499207)

True... only you have alternatives to the corporate doctor, when the state takes full control, your options get pretty thin pretty fast.

Not really, because for the vast majority of americans it isn't the corporate doctor making the decision, but the corporate insurance agency bureaucrat who has a vested interest in not doing anything for you. With the government at least they have the ostensible purpose of administering your good health and outrageously bad decisions reflect on politicians concerned about being reelected. Outrageous decisions from the insurance companies result in them giving someone a promotion and bad press that comes to nothing because politicians care more about lobbying bucks than constituents.

I'm quite skeptical that the US government can create and run a reasonable socialized healthcare system, but I don't see any better alternatives. What we have now isn't working. We pay more than other countries for much less and it is one of the major factors destabilizing our economy. Half of personal bankruptcies are the result of medical problems. 75% of those were people who had health insurance that found a way to not ay or underpay to such a degree that the individual could not afford treatment. I've been through the system. I had some of the best healthcare available to the middle class when I became ill. I still ended up paying over $20K out of pocket to get treated which would have driven the majority of people (without my paranoiacly large amount of savings) into complete poverty. I can't even imagine how many people who are too poor for personal bankruptcy to make sense are driven into poverty by our broken healthcare system.

Medicine is one of those fields along with firefighting, law enforcement, and military defense where capitalism is a very poor fit.

Re:And we want the gov to run health care? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28499165)

Hey, they're doing a fine job in the patent office. Or the IRS, which will give you advice and then audit you for following it.

Fuck you corpocrate troll (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | about 5 years ago | (#28499377)

The rest of the industrial world (you know, all those countries with universal health care) do not have this problem. The United STates, with its unregulated private market DOES have it. Your private health insurance can refuse to treat your cancer based on "pre-existing conditions;" guess what, the Sécurité Sociale or the National Health Service cannot.

the seven words you can't say in an EPA report (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28498999)

"There is no reason to regulate CO2".

- Carlin

Carlin? Of the RAND corporation? (1, Troll)

mangu (126918) | about 5 years ago | (#28499405)

Looking at this guy's website [googlepages.com] the first thing that seems not quite kosher is that he works for RAND corporation [wikipedia.org]

I think this explains all, it seems very natural that the same "think-tank" that once proposed that a nuclear war can have a winner [wikipedia.org] will also state so categorically that global warming is harmless.

That's the same organization that gets so much funding from the oil industry they opened a branch in the Persian gulf [rand.org] .

It looks like... (0, Offtopic)

vorenus (1319377) | about 5 years ago | (#28499003)

it's a Pig... bear... man?

Re:It looks like... (0, Offtopic)

lalena (1221394) | about 5 years ago | (#28499149)

Actually, this post isn't off topic.
South Park did an episode making fun of Al Gore right after his movie came out. In this episode, he was spreading awareness of Man-Bear-Pig (half man, half bear, half pig) instead of Global Warming.
Wikipedia on ManBearPig [wikipedia.org]

Hope and Change? (3, Funny)

Kohath (38547) | about 5 years ago | (#28499005)

They told me if I voted for McCain that science would be subservient to policy goals. And they were right!

Thx Instapundit.

Old adage (5, Insightful)

beatbox32 (325106) | about 5 years ago | (#28499011)

Science may not be biased, but scientists certainly are.

Re:Old adage (4, Funny)

jd (1658) | about 5 years ago | (#28499385)

Be fair. No real scientist would be seen dead with a degree in economics. It makes it impossible to write grant proposals with a straight face.

The Administration modded this guy troll too! (5, Insightful)

realcoolguy425 (587426) | about 5 years ago | (#28499015)

I made a post very critical of carbon emissions not long ago, think it ended up scoring (1, Troll). I was even trying to cite the numbers from other sources. Now is it worth severe economic consequences to lower the temperature (and this is just a maybe, and likely using the best model for the pro-carbon-emission-controllers out there) by ONE-TWENTIETH of ONE degree? (over the course of decades) I know I certainly believed most of this green crap when I was in school (not all of it is COMPLETELY crap). However the carbon dioxide aspect of it is the biggest fairy tale we seem to want to believe. Clouds and sunspots have more effect on climate than carbon dioxide ever will. Feel free to mod me down, but at least explain where I'm wrong before doing so. Once again please note I'm only talking about carbon dioxide, and I'm not saying things like smog, or other emissions that cause acid rain are not problems.

Re:The Administration modded this guy troll too! (2, Insightful)

bencoder (1197139) | about 5 years ago | (#28499047)

Yep, slashdot contains just as many of the humans-are-evil crew as the rest of society. I believed it all up until the beginning of this year when I decided to actually look at the data. The evidence just does not exist.

Re:The Administration modded this guy troll too! (2, Insightful)

timmarhy (659436) | about 5 years ago | (#28499119)

yep, you only need to google global warming and read all the terrible explainations touting the old "co2 works like a glass green house" line to know we are really REALLY fucked.

a little science sprinkled over a lot of save the world machoism is all there is to global warming.

Re:The Administration modded this guy troll too! (3, Insightful)

WinterSolstice (223271) | about 5 years ago | (#28499183)

I'm fairly neutral on global climate *. I think both sides are entirely too biased, and reason is not prevailing.

Sure, pollution in the environment is bad. No shit.
Putting tons of hybrid cars on the ground (with the included extra huge batteries and short life spans such batteries dictate) is not the answer. Cows that burp less (WTF?) is not the answer.

I think the anti-environment group is being too extreme - nobody wants to live in 19th century London, ok? Everything covered in soot, the water toxic, etc. This is bad.
On the other hand, the pro-environment groups are just as bad. Sorry guys, but if you expend more coal-driven energy on being green than you would otherwise, you're just hurting yourself.

Rationality on the eco topics is as rare as on the sexuality topics.

Re:The Administration modded this guy troll too! (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#28499395)

What I am critical of is government regulation on these things. Really, if we ever come close to running out of oil we will find a decent enough solution. If things become really bad we will find solutions. But the fact remains that they aren't. Will eventually electric power win out over gas? Sure. But today electric powered vehicles suck. In 2020 will they? Perhaps, perhaps not. But funneling taxpayer money into them isn't the solution. Did government sponsored anything really help initial innovations? No. Did they help in refining it? Sometimes. As of 2009, we have no need for electric vehicles. Oil is cheap and pollution really isn't that bad in most places. When the next breakthrough happens it will not be because of government. The reasons being that government grants usually try to find "perfect" solutions that don't work in the real world while "good enough" solutions are ignored because they won't allow for the extra billion if they find the "perfect" solution. So its simple, do nothing and the free market will figure out a way to do it.

Re:The Administration modded this guy troll too! (1, Funny)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | about 5 years ago | (#28499241)

I believed it all up until the beginning of this year when I decided to actually look at the data. The evidence just does not exist.

Well color me convinced.

Re:The Administration modded this guy troll too! (4, Insightful)

EastCoastSurfer (310758) | about 5 years ago | (#28499137)

What irks me about the climate-change-CO2-fear-mongers is that we are forgetting about very real pollutants that are causing problems today. Just look at the current levels of mercury in the oceans. It has gotten to the point where it's not safe to eat many types of fish because the mercury content is so high. Sure, the global warming may be real and we might so happen to stop the planet from heating up, but then what? At that point other pollutants will have killed off all of our food sources.

Re:The Administration modded this guy troll too! (2, Insightful)

mangu (126918) | about 5 years ago | (#28499313)

Now is it worth severe economic consequences to lower the temperature

I know we shouldn't feed trolls, but I will bite. Isn't it funny how people dismiss so many rigorous physical studies that overwhelmingly indicate a close correlation between global warming and CO2 emission, yet they will readily accept some vague assumptions of economics, the "dismal science" that can't even predict market prices five minutes ahead?

If one assumes that "severe economic consequences" will result from lowering anthropogenic CO2 emissions, then those studies in economics should be much better, more precise, more accurate than the physical studies that predict the survival of a large part of humanity may be in danger if the current situation persists.

Re:The Administration modded this guy troll too! (2, Insightful)

techno-vampire (666512) | about 5 years ago | (#28499399)

Now is it worth severe economic consequences to lower the temperature...

Well, let's see. A higher average temperature means longer, warmer summers over more of the world, leading to longer growing seasons, bigger harvests and a larger food supply. A lower temperature leads to shorter growing seasons, smaller harvests, less food and, in extreme cases, crop failures. Granted, the one-twentieth of one degree that you refer to is probably not enough to make a difference, but I think the basic principle is clear. Cleaning up smog is good (Living near Los Angeles, I know how bad it can be.) and pouring endless amounts of CO2 into the air is probably not a good idea, but humanity has not only survived times when it was warmer than it is now, it prospered during htem.

Yeah... (3, Insightful)

Sitnalta (1051230) | about 5 years ago | (#28499025)

There will ALWAYS be skepticism on a scientific theory as controversial as this. At some point we have to take action. And maybe this paper was given the bum's rush, but I think it was less "conspiracy to silence critics of the almighty environmentalists" and more "oh, God, let's just get on with this already."

The EPA is a federal organization that, at the end of the day, must side on the consensus of the scientific community. Not be paralyzed by every single dissenting opinion.

Re:Yeah... (3, Insightful)

That's Unpossible! (722232) | about 5 years ago | (#28499095)

must side on the consensus of the scientific community

If you keep silencing dissenting scientific opinions, is it a true consensus?

Re:Yeah... (1, Flamebait)

Buzz_Litebeer (539463) | about 5 years ago | (#28499159)

I don't know the scientific community was pretty adamant in its consensus against the Bush administration on this.

This guy sounds like a holdover from individuals hired by the previous administration to refute the rest of the scientific community.

Re:Yeah... (1, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#28499201)

Right, and anyone who has ideas different to "traditional American values" must be a terrorist!

If you silence people on the grounds of having a different opinion you are effectively becoming censors, no different than that of China or of Iran.

Re:Yeah... (0, Flamebait)

Kohath (38547) | about 5 years ago | (#28499103)

Translation: It's OK to silence dissent when it's expedient.

Re:Yeah... (1)

JordanL (886154) | about 5 years ago | (#28499123)

The EPA, as a federal agency, must side with the Administration that makes its Appointments.

Were people here complaining about the scientists the federal government was siding with the last 8 years?

The previous Official View (tm) was one you didn't agree with, so you were critical. This is a view you agree with, so you are not critical. (You in the general sense, not the parent specifically.)

It's human nature, everyone does it, and it's an entirely separate issue from whether or not you happen to be right.

The whole point of the scientific process is to eliminate this problem.

This article is about a social issue, and it has nearly nothing to do with science... it's all about people, power, and censorship.

Re:Yeah... (2, Insightful)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#28499135)

Sure, lets rush into something that may or may not be true and lets totally screw up our economy because of it! We did the exact same thing with drugs, copyright and you can even look at the war on terror as the same way. You need to carefully look at the information and make informed decisions.

You have to realize too that alarmist positions are great at gaining funds, which lead to much of the research being carefully edited to lead to even more alarmist predictions to gain more funds. Which are you going to support, the study that finds that within 10 years the sea levels are going to flood New York, and many animals will die. Or the study that says that if everything continues just right now with absolutely no variation we might possibly see a 2 inch increase of the sea level in 30 years.

If you don't stop to look at these things you end up charging into things much as how Bush did in Iraq. Only rather than chasing WMDs and screwing us of some speech and privacy rights and a bunch of tax dollars, we can charge into this and screw us of our economic rights and a bunch of tax dollars.

Re:Yeah... (-1, Offtopic)

Darkness404 (1287218) | about 5 years ago | (#28499415)

I love it, people prefer to mod me troll then come up with a reasonable argument. So apparently (0 Troll) is a way of saying "I disagree with you but can't find any evidence to back up my claims".

Re:Yeah... (3, Interesting)

smoker2 (750216) | about 5 years ago | (#28499145)

The EPA is a federal organization that, at the end of the day, must side on the consensus of the scientific community. Not be paralyzed by every single dissenting opinion

How can you judge whether there is a consensus, if the community has had things withheld from its judgment ? Yep, we have 100% agreement from those who don't know ALL the facts.

Re:Yeah... (1)

Luke has no name (1423139) | about 5 years ago | (#28499237)

The EPA is one of many federal organizations with too much power and not enough purpose.

Controversial? Controversial according to whom? (1)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | about 5 years ago | (#28499407)

According to Exxon or its PR team (GOPFOX inc.), it is controversial.
To the scientific community, it is about as controversial as evolution, the Big Bang, the germ theory of disease or the wave/particle duality.

Re:Yeah... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28499425)

So the world is still flat?

I agree (5, Insightful)

grep_rocks (1182831) | about 5 years ago | (#28499031)

I hate to be a troll - but I agree with the EPA, a PhD in economics is not the same as being a climate scientist - unless he has decided to dig into the climate computer models - which I doubt - I am not sure what the substance of his report would be - economic impact?

Re:I agree (1)

Moridineas (213502) | about 5 years ago | (#28499203)

Just out of curiosity, what makes you doubt that? The person in question has worked at the EPA for 38 years according to TFA. We're not talking about some recently appointed political hack... believe me, you've got to be dedicated to make it at any government agency for 38 years!

Being in favor of openness is being in favor of openness even when you don't like what's being said.

Depends on what you think of Economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28499035)

Alan Carlin (BS Physics-Caltech, PhD Econ-MIT), describing him as 'not a scientist.'

So what makes him a scientist, having a bachelor's degree in Physics, or a doctorate in Economics? 'Cause I know how y'all treat the "social sciences" around here

Re:Depends on what you think of Economics (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28499117)

Maybe he has a doctorate in ID theory from Bob Jones University.

Did anybody read his paper? (5, Informative)

Useful Wheat (1488675) | about 5 years ago | (#28499039)

If you read through the entire article, you can find some interesting information on what it was he wanted us to do. Instead of regulating CO2 emissions, he states that it is more economical to reduce the amount of radiation from the sun that reaches the earth. I don't really understand his position. In effect, he's saying, "I don't believe in global warming. However, even if I did, there's no reason to regulate CO2 emissions." He seems bent against regulation of CO2 at any cost.

Secondly, he also states that global temperatures have fallen for the last 11 years. I really would like to see his work. This article (http://earthtrends.wri.org/updates/node/83), reported in the September 26 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, shows global temperatures rising for the last 30 years.

This man strikes me as being very much against any type of environmental regulation, and I'm not surprised that the EPA is trying to silence him.

Re:Did anybody read his paper? (1)

sharkey (16670) | about 5 years ago | (#28499129)

...he states that it is more economical to reduce the amount of radiation from the sun that reaches the earth.

"We don't know who struck first, us or them. But we do know it was us that scorched the sky."

Re:Did anybody read his paper? (0, Flamebait)

dr2chase (653338) | about 5 years ago | (#28499161)

Skimming TFA, I found myself wondering if we might not have hired a few wingnuts into the EPA during the Bush years. "No warming in 11 years", in particular, is a wingnut claim. And with a PhD in Economics, he's not a climate scientist.

Re:Did anybody read his paper? (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28499215)

re: "No warming in 11 years", in particular, is a wingnut claim.

Yeah, those guys at NASA are all wingnuts...

Re:Did anybody read his paper? (2, Insightful)

Snocone (158524) | about 5 years ago | (#28499315)

"No warming in 11 years", in particular, is a wingnut claim

Er, no, actually, that's observation of the data.

It rather says quite a bit about this topic that a demonstrably factual statement is attempted to be labelled "a wingnut claim" doesn't it now?

http://www.friendsofscience.org/assets/documents/FOS%20Essay/GlobalTroposphereTemperaturesAverage.jpg [friendsofscience.org]

Even if you throw out the 11-year old peak El Niño as a complete freak because since you have your AGW-über-alles blinders on and therefore can make no sense of it (whilst the magnetic/solar theorists -- aka, REAL scientists and not humanity-hating Chicken Littles -- are pointing out that event is exactly is what one expects as a cycle climax ... but I digress) there still is no way to interpret the 2002-present data as anything but a sustained downward trend, is there now?

But sure would be nice if you could provide some sensible AGW-centric explanation for the way that C02 continues to climb monotonically whilst temperatures decline. The 'weather is not climate' thing is getting too old to believe by now if you have any kind of a brain, yes? And if not, just exactly how many years does the trend in the graph have to continue before you accept reality?

Re:Did anybody read his paper? (4, Insightful)

QuoteMstr (55051) | about 5 years ago | (#28499387)

there still is no way to interpret the 2002-present data as anything but a sustained downward trend

Actually, it just looks like a brief downward excursion in a larger chaotic trend. We see exactly the same behavior in another chaotic system, the stock marker: even in a a bull market (good times), one finds downward trends.

Changes in temperature on this scale are exactly what you would expect to find, actually, in the context of an overall, long-term warming trend [cabq.gov] .

Re:Did anybody read his paper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28499413)

Curious you found one graph that seems to contradict everyone else who has anything to say about the subject. Even more curious that the graph seems to only select the last 30 years, since the start of the largest scale warming on record.

http://images.google.com/images?hl=en&q=global+temperature+graph&btnG=Search+Images&gbv=2&aq=0&oq=global+temperature

Somehow I'm more inclined to believe NASA then the "friends of science".
http://www.nasa.gov/centers/goddard/images/content/208488main_global_temp_change.jpg

Re:Did anybody read his paper? (5, Insightful)

radtea (464814) | about 5 years ago | (#28499421)

"No warming in 11 years", in particular, is a wingnut claim. And with a PhD in Economics, he's not a climate scientist.

First, have a look at the data: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Instrumental_Temperature_Record.png [wikipedia.org]

"Global temperature" is a meaningless term in any case, but so long as measures are consistent (they aren't--the thermometer coverage in Asia dropped precipitately after the fall of the Soviet Union) the trend should have something vaguely to do with atmospheric heat content. On that basis, there was a large increase in atmospheric heat content from around 1900 to about 1940, then nothing much for the next forty years, then a sudden jump between 1980 and 2000. It's too soon to tell yet, and I've not run a statistical analysis myself (although one is trivial to do) but you'd have to be insane not to notice that the past decade looks a lot like noise.

Furthermore, the climate modelling community are now predicting "the possibility" of a reduction in global heat content in the next decade, making AGW an untestable hypothesis, globally. If temperatures go up: it proves we have global warming! If temperatures go down: it proves nothing because global warming can cause that too!

So now the ball is firmly in the court of AGW advocates: what facts would you count as evidence that AGW is NOT occurring? If you can't name any, then your belief is not science but faith. We'll argue about priors strength and whatnot after you've adduced the facts that you would count as evidence.

Secondly, with a B.Sc. in physics from Caltech he is one of the smartest people you could possibly imagine, with a better grounding in physics--and remember, climate science is nothing but a special category of physics, so anyone with a decent physics degree is qualified to do climate science--than many people with Ph.D.'s in the subject. I was a post-doc at Caltech, coming from a top-tier university, and felt myself in good company with the grad students, post-docs and profs there. The undergrads were like they belonged to a different species: focused, intelligent and intense beyond belief.

And I should also point out: no one doing "climate science" is a computational physicist, yet a huge amount of climate science is nothing but computational physics. As a computational physicist who has had a look at GCM's, I'm appalled by what I find there. Good science, certainly, but nothing like what I would want public policy based on.

I think there are good reasons to try to reduce our dependence on carbon-based fuels, and as a believer in free markets I am in general an advocate of cap and trade as a sustainable mechanism for imposing property rights and limiting dumping in the atmospheric commons. But as a scientist I think there are far more open questions on AGW than settled ones, and the public debate as pretty much abandoned any pretence of science, with each side arguing its own religion with no reference to any facts that would reasonably bear on the issue.

Re:Did anybody read his paper? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28499171)

You will need to remember, these are people with agendas. They will use the data that supports their position and ignore the rest. Oh look, polar regions have had a warming trend? Excellent, let's use that .4 degree difference as our main argument. Let's also not mention that the earth tends to trend in one direction or another for long periods of time. [either cooling down, or warming up].

Vienna - Plants grow better and absorb more carbon dioxide under hazy skies, a team of European researchers said Wednesday

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show/265464,dirty-skies-make-plants-grow-slow-down-climate-change.html [earthtimes.org] Lets also not mention that more carbon will make more plants grow bigger and faster. It really makes no sense why the US has this anti-carbon obsession... Maybe someone can explain it to me? The EPA's job is to 'regulate' I guess they would feel useless if they had nothing to do...

Re:Did anybody read his paper? (0, Flamebait)

timmarhy (659436) | about 5 years ago | (#28499195)

the problem is, how did they measure the temperature, are the devices accurate and was the data collected in a consistent manner?

if you play with a dataset long enough you can get it to spit out almost any answer you want. it's one of my fears with global warming, that it's so agenda driven that the numbers are being bent in one sides favour.

Re:Did anybody read his paper? (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 5 years ago | (#28499301)

Also, his credentials don't make him a scientific authority: a PhD in economics makes you an authority on economics, not climatology. A BS in physics give you a bit more authority than the average Joe on physics, not climatology.

In short, they were right to attack his credentials, because on this issue he doesn't have any.

harsh but right (0)

slimjim8094 (941042) | about 5 years ago | (#28499057)

Look, I'm sure this guy is very competent as a physicist and economist but he is simply not qualified to cast doubt on climatologists.

They were right to dismiss him

Re:harsh but right (1)

timmarhy (659436) | about 5 years ago | (#28499087)

the fact he isn't a climatologist doesn't make him automaticaly wrong.

Re:harsh but right (1)

psiogen (262130) | about 5 years ago | (#28499235)

Sure, but it probably means he shouldn't be writing climatology reports for the EPA.

Re:harsh but right (1)

dkleinsc (563838) | about 5 years ago | (#28499323)

Sure, but it does mean that the rest of us have no more reason to believe him than, say, timmarhy (659436).

They said he's not a climate scientist (5, Informative)

MarkusQ (450076) | about 5 years ago | (#28499075)

They said he's not a climate scientist, but he has an undergrad physics degree and a PhD in economics and he's seems to have spent most of his career writing position papers for economics think tanks! Heck, that should be enough to qualify him as a client scientist...oh wait. What I mean is, with those credentials he should be able to practice dentistry and set policy on...no, that's not it.

He's a...race car driver? No, that's not it either.

Let me think.

I know! He's an economist.

So now all I have to do is prove that climate science is a subset of economics and the "how dare they say he isn't a climate scientist" outrage will be justified.

--MarkusQ

P.S. From what I can gather, the "suppressed opinion" was just that--an opinion. It isn't like the guy had gone out and done any original research.

Re:They said he's not a climate scientist (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28499125)

They said he's not a climate scientist, but he has an undergrad physics degree and a PhD in economics and he's seems to have spent most of his career writing position papers for economics think tanks! Heck, that should be enough to qualify him as a client scientist...oh wait. What I mean is, with those credentials he should be able to practice dentistry and set policy on...no, that's not it.

He's a...race car driver? No, that's not it either.

Let me think.

I know! He's an economist.

So now all I have to do is prove that climate science is a subset of economics and the "how dare they say he isn't a climate scientist" outrage will be justified.

--MarkusQ

P.S. From what I can gather, the "suppressed opinion" was just that--an opinion. It isn't like the guy had gone out and done any original research.

Exactly. Please check his publication record,not even one single scientific paper on climate change on a career spanning over 38 years as... an economist.What a surprise!

Re:They said he's not a climate scientist (1)

Moridineas (213502) | about 5 years ago | (#28499229)

he's [sec] seems to have spent most of his career writing position papers for economics think tanks

Or working for the EPA for 38 years?

Re:They said he's not a climate scientist (1)

langelgjm (860756) | about 5 years ago | (#28499337)

he's [sec] seems to have spent most of his career writing position papers for economics think tanks

[sic]

There's less here than meets the eye (0, Flamebait)

Emor dNilapasi (455542) | about 5 years ago | (#28499093)

This has already been addressed at RealClimate [realclimate.org] . The short answer is that the data on which the analysis rests is questionable, as is the analysis itself. But if all you really want is en excuse to engage in a bit of gratuitous government- or Obama-bashing, then please don't let me stop you.

Re:There's less here than meets the eye (1, Insightful)

Kohath (38547) | about 5 years ago | (#28499139)

Listen up people! The talking-points are written. No need to think for yourself. Go read George Soros's RealClimate.org and repeat what it says there.

Whew!. That was close. Independent thought was only narrowly avoided.

RealClimate cannot be trusted (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28499401)

The main guys at RealClimate are Hansen fanboys to an extreme degree (one of them works under him), and can't be trusted to make an unbiased review.

They have a very simple way of dealing with contrary scientific opinion, and that is to block the poster from their site. It has happened repeatedly.

The facts in this area are confused enough already. Adding the totally corrupt opinion at RealClimate to the mix does not help.

A Convenient Scapegoat (0, Redundant)

pipingguy (566974) | about 5 years ago | (#28499099)

Let the unraveling begin.

Problems with the US Temperature Record (1, Informative)

MCSEBear (907831) | about 5 years ago | (#28499153)

We seriously need to move some of the stations where temperature data is gathered. When the National Weather Service's temperature sensors are often surrounded by large brick buildings, concrete sidewalks, and asphalt parking lots, you're just not getting good data. Anybody whose car has a thermometer that measures outside temperature can tell you that just driving from the countryside into an area full of buildings and asphalt results in very real temperature increases. Having the official instruments that measure climate change be in highly developed areas is resulting in temperature measurement records that are not trustworthy.

Recently, a National Weather Service temperature sensor in Hawaii was racking up day after day of record temperatures before they discovered that the sensor was not only located in the middle of all the runways of the Honolulu airport, but that the temperature sensor was malfunctioning and was reporting temperatures many degrees higher than they actually were.

When compared to measurements taken at the Pacific Tsunami Warning Center only four miles away (which is outside the highly developed area) temperature measurements were *seven* degrees cooler. Did the weather service invalidate the temperature records that by the faulty sensor in the middle of the airport runways? Nope. All that faulty data is now being used to 'prove' global warming.

A survey of the official National Weather System ground temperature measurement instruments is underway and a huge number of problems have been observed. More information on this survey and photos of just how fucked up some of the instrument placements are is available here:

http://wattsupwiththat.files.wordpress.com/2009/05/surfacestationsreport_spring09.pdf [wordpress.com]

Re:Problems with the US Temperature Record (3, Informative)

Raul654 (453029) | about 5 years ago | (#28499257)

This is one bit of denialist propaganda that gets repeated over and over. Only there's one huge problem with it -- the satellites temperature measurements correlate very closely with the ground temperature measurements. (Compare the blue with black and red lines here [wikipedia.org] ). I suppose the satellites are misbehaving in exactly the same way too?

Re:Problems with the US Temperature Record (0, Redundant)

MCSEBear (907831) | about 5 years ago | (#28499393)

So having large asphalt parking lots, concrete sidewalks, large buildings, air conditioning units and the like being within feet of an instrument that measures temperature do not skew temperature readings being taken???

I know people who like to use the word 'denialist' are under the opinion that the world is composed of people who are extremely gullible, but we're not actually *that* fucking stupid.

Moving the stations that make climate measurements away from things that either generate heat (like an air conditioning system's heat exchanger) or even things that simply absorb and release heat (like buildings, sidewalks, or pavement) just makes sense.

problem with head-in-sand ostrich deniers (1)

Uberbah (647458) | about 5 years ago | (#28499397)

...they keep latching on to some tidbit of information and then beat it to death as if it "proves" that climate change is a hoax based on weak science. So there might be a faulty sensor in Hawaii: B. F. D. Does nothing to change the fact that there is a mountain of other evidence to rely on.

Follow the money (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28499179)

Just watch how much of the "cap and trade" taxes are sent to Al Gore's company.

Give me $10 mil, and ill get you 10 reports (0, Troll)

unity100 (970058) | about 5 years ago | (#28499187)

from separate 'research institutions'. i will time them so that they will come one after another and even make you believe that there is no global warming, despite the ice you stand on in antarctica is melting and you gonna fall into the water in 5 minutes.

Global Warming isn't man-made. (0)

NRAdude (166969) | about 5 years ago | (#28499199)

The unknown seasons and cycles of the sun also cause atmospheric changes, for which U.S. Navy and U.S. Airforce have been spraying Aluminum Oxide and another couple of dangerous chemicals in the atmosphere to artificially stimulate moisture and cloud formation as well as reflect sunlight reaching the surfact of planet Earth.

WHAT EVERYONE SHOULD LOOK INTO IS: As large heavenly bodies travel out in the solar-system, their gravitational pull causes geothermal activity. Looking at the magnetic poles, North is currently centered in Siberia again and is pointing right at Planet X/Nibiru a dead sun that re-lives when it reaches our Sun every 5,000 years of its orbit.

Researching Adolph Hitler would reveal that he was searching for artifacts that would've proved similar feats of survival of former populations; apparently he found levitation equipment to raise structure high enough to evade the rising seas. I doubt a ship were to survive the sea unless it were configured to submerge perhaps into one of the canyons formed by a historic iceberg and river like that one over in Newport Beach by the Santa Ana River or the Maryanas Trench.

Anyone with any thoughts on this?

When there are extreme weather imbalances, it is always caused by uncontrolled forces. Man has only a 1% immediate effect on this planet through the atmosphere and we are so-well insulated that nothing we passively do is causing any effect that lasts beyond a week or two. If all populations shut down their combustion engines, we would be in deep shit because then we'ld know what this planet would realy behave bi-polar if not for our work of insulation.

Planet X, December 21 of Year 2012 is going to put every country under-water except for Coloradan republics and Tibet (aka Roofs of the Heavens).

If anything disrupts the rotation of Planet Earth itself, then that 500,000 square-mile bulge of water forced to the equator will recover all the floodplains for as long as gravity has been weakened by rotation rate.

Planet X is said to be 4-times the size of Planet Earth and 10-times the gravity, which is why Magnetic North has moved back to Siberia. All Ocean floors where magma forms and displaces crust have recorded longitudinal lines that prove when the Magnetic Poles have switched or been disrupted. All areas of this planet with unusual phenomenons in Time and Space have rock formations that suggest they were one the site of a former magnetic North or South pole; Bermuda Triangle and China Sea are examples of former Pole locations.

Happy to help.

Shocking! NOT!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28499213)

Big Eco is just as likely as Big Business to misuse funds and only put forth studies supporting their views.

Recent examples abound...
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/2237375/posts - California Air Resource Board puts forth new Diesel rules even though the lead scientist was a liar
http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0309/20503.html - Obama EPA nominee involved in $25 million misuse of funds

I dunno... (3, Interesting)

IonOtter (629215) | about 5 years ago | (#28499239)

This man has been working for the EPA since 1971. [googlepages.com] Hell, he helped BUILD the place.

So what if he's "just an economist"? According to my degree, I'm "just a fish farmer", yet I'm working for a company and doing stuff that keeps the telcom grid alive. Nine years of military communications experience will do that for you. Makes me wonder what 38 years of experience working for climate scientists would do for an economist?

It's not exactly like he's going to just pull this stuff out of his backside after 38 years of service. Nobody that manages to survive THAT long, through seven presidents-five or whom were hostile to the EPA-is going to just buck the trend without a pretty darn good reason.

I'd say it's worth paying attention to the man. Even if he's on the verge of retirement, 38 years of experience is nothing to sneeze at.

Re:I dunno... (0, Troll)

Uberbah (647458) | about 5 years ago | (#28499333)

So what if he's "just an economist"?

Sphincter says what? What if you were going in for open heart surgery and the nurse introduced your surgeon, and said he's "just a janitor"? How is the fact that someone is commenting outside the field of their expertise NOT relevant?

Sometimes the stupid around here makes my head hurt.

The Right Legislation...for the Wrong Reasons (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 5 years ago | (#28499245)

I think the Waxman-Markey bill is a fine piece of legislation, but the motivations being put forth to enact it are all wrong. The anthropological component to global warming will never be known with acceptable certainty, and anyone who says anything one way or the other doesn't know what the hell they are talking about. We'll never really know for 100% certainty. It's a lightning rod for political arguments, and the arguments are probably spewing forth more hot air and CO2 than coal plants ever will.

Reasons for enacting this bill should be:

1) Energy Independence - Let's get the energy supply from within our borders so we stop getting in dumb wars where we need to shoot people for petroleum. Hell, we're so nice and humanitarian that we can't even pillage and loot a country properly! After 6 years in Iraq we should have had crude oil shooting out of the White House fountain during Dubya's term.

2) Modernize the Coal Plant Fleet - We'll need all that coal in W. Virginia and Pennsylvania and the west for the foreseeable future, but we should be smart in how we utilize it. This bill will not kill coal or jobs - coal is just too big a slice of our energy generation needs for the present. If it turns out that it does start hurting, lots of people will scream, politicians' heads will roll, and it will get sorted out in short order - the beauty of democracy. This bill *will* kick the coal industry in the pants and give it some financial incentive to modernize and invest in pollution controls. Believe it or not, people in the coal industry really don't mind investing in pollution control equipment as long as it doesn't break the bank. Go figure - people who WORK in coal plants tend to live NEAR coal plants, and they want clean air at home just as much as you do.

I don't buy the CO2 impact, and by the time they get carbon sequestration sorted out, all the coal will be gone, but if it makes a bunch of people busy trying to figure out how to capture CO2, then I say let them have their fun and jobs.

3) Sustainability - Coal isn't going to last forever. How long? I don't know, depends what guess you consider the most reliable. A W.A.G, probably less than 100 years - let's use that number for giggles. Why wait for coal to gasp it's last in 100 years and THEN try to get other technologies up to speed? If we can make some good jobs to harness renewable energy now, why not do that? Better to learn how to utilize renewables reliably now and phase them in over time while coal winds down. Otherwise we're just pushing a crisis on our kids, or our kid's kids. Utilizing renewables now can't hurt, and it would make jobs.

in other words, the usual excuses (2, Informative)

Uberbah (647458) | about 5 years ago | (#28499285)

The alleged danger that cigarettes pose will never be known with acceptable certainty, and anyone who says anything one way or the other doesn't know what the hell they are talking about.

Same hand waving, same excuses.

We'll never really know for 100% certainty.

Nothing is "100% certain" in science, not even gravity. But for practical purposes, yes you can be sure that climate change is happening, and humans have been the driving cause. Deal with it.

Lunatic Fringe (1, Interesting)

QuoteMstr (55051) | about 5 years ago | (#28499259)

Of course this story will bring all the conspiracy theorists out of the woodwork. They will argue that global warming really doesn't exist, or that it's not anthropogenic, and other such things. It makes them feel great to imagine they can see something which the larger scientific community is clearly missing. They can feel like heroes.

Well, sorry to dash your hopes, climate-change deniers, but this report is akin to a convicted criminal filing appeal after appeal after appeal, not to bring up some point of fact or law, but simply to clog the system and delay his sentence. After a certain mass of evidence has accumulated, you've got to find something extraordinary to reverse the judgment. Appeals eventually end.

As the old saying goes, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Considering the vast body of reviewed and verified climate change literature, and considering this paper's lack of relevant extraordinary evidence, quashing the report was certainly the right thing to do. It would eventually be rebuffed anyway, but doing so would divert resources from valuable endeavors and provide the not-so-loyal opposition with ammunition to delay climate change in the legislature. We've studied the problem enough: now it's time to say "enough is enough" and work on solutions.

Climate change denialism (2, Insightful)

benjfowler (239527) | about 5 years ago | (#28499293)

The position of the previous adminstration was not based on scientific consensus: it was based on political opinion and a lot of wishful thinking by a lot of people who thought that if they wished hard enough, that reality would change to fit their world-view. You can't really expect more from politicians who base is composed of free market fundamentalists and young Earth creationists.

On the other hand, the Obama administration, much to their credit, are far more reality-based, and have a much more rational world view generally. Senior Obama advisors are a veritable who's who of great minds. Wooly disfunctional thinking won't get you very far with this lot.

So when a bureaucrat holdover from the previous administration starts trying to claim that there is anything but overwhelming scientific consensus on climate change, he deserves to have his arse kicked for his stupidity.

Modded +1 Darwin Bait.

You Don't Have to be a Scientist to Know... (0, Troll)

thepainguy (1436453) | about 5 years ago | (#28499319)

...that there are problems with the theory of anthropogenic global warming and at least how it is presented. A while back I put together a document that points out some serious problems with how Algore has gone about making his points...

http://www.chrisoleary.com/projects/NeitherThisNorThat/Documents/AnInconvenientTruth_Analysis.pdf [chrisoleary.com]

Irony and Science (5, Informative)

Doofus (43075) | about 5 years ago | (#28499363)

Disclaimer: I am software person who happens to work with a group of people who deal with, among other issues, climate change. I am somewhat informed on the subject. One of my colleagues was a member of the IPCC. His Nobel certificate is hanging on his wall, even though all he did was contribute a couple of equations.

Unbelievably, despite the fact that I am working on a deliverable for this coming week, I took the time to a) RTFM on CNET, and b) download the PDF of the author's report.

I read through the table of contents, and thought it was worth scanning through portions of the document.

Ironic Item One

In the executive summary, the author chides the EPA as an organization for relying on decades of work by the IPCC, and thousands of person-hours involved in climate science that were brought to bear on the IPCC reports over the last several years. The author points out that the IPCC reports did not include the most recent findings regarding, among several phenomena, solar sunspot cycles, cosmic rays, and the melting of Greenland's ice sheet. The author supports his contention that sunspot cycles and cosmic rays affect Earth's climate by citing one or two, non-peer-reviewed postings to web sites.

Interestingly the most recent peer-reviewed findings regarding all of these items indicate that a) sunspot cycles have nothing to do with global mean temperatures; b) cosmic rays have nothing to do with global mean temperatures; c) Greenland's ice sheet continues to melt at a fairly good clip.

Ironic, and damaging, Item Two

Scanning through the report, the reader comes to page 64 of the report, 79 of the PDF, and finds this heading:

Contrast between Continuing Improvements in US Health and Welfare and their Alleged Endangerment Described in the draft TSD

The author then goes on to point out how the following aspects of life in the US have improved over the last century or so, despite rising atmospheric CO2 concentrations:

  • Crop yields, including Corn and Wheat
  • Average Annual Heat-Related Mortality
  • Ozone Air Quality

Then, the kicker comes on page 66; I quote:

Perhaps, most significant of all, the average lifespan of Americans has increased (Figure 2-5) [ Graph of Mean lifespan in US, 1890-2010, omitted ].
In fact, there is no better way to obtain a good picture of how human health and welfare may trend in the future under increases in greenhouse gas emissions than to assess how we have fared in the past during a period of increasing greenhouse gas emissions.

While the author does cite a number of actual scientific reports, the text quoted here and the failure to consider the entire constellation of improvements wrought by technology over the last century render his entire report ridiculous.

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