American Elephants

The Health of the Economy is, Once Again, Trumped by Politics. by The Elephant's Child

Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) introduced an amendment under the Congressional Review Act to stop unelected bureaucrats at the Environmental Protection Agency from imposing costly and environmentally useless CO2 cuts by using the Clean Air Act. The Clean Air Act was never intended for any such thing — but simply to keep the air clean.  The Democrats pulled out all stops to defeat the amendment.

The Supreme Court, in a case called Massachusetts v. EPA in 2007, ruled that if the EPA found CO2 to be a danger to public health, it could regulate carbon dioxide under the Clean Air Act. The Obama administration was not forced by the Supreme Court ruling to find that there was endangerment — they were supposed to study the science and determine if there was enough evidence or if the science was so uncertain that they could not reach such a decision.

Well, when your objective is accretion of power rather than preventing danger to public health, you’re going to find — absurdly — that the colorless, odorless, benign substance that we exhale with every breath has suddenly become a noxious gas.

The problem here is that way too many ordinary people didn’t pay attention in high school biology, and can’t remember photosynthesis or the scientific method, for that matter, and wilt when anyone comes across as an expert.  And that includes members of our highest court.  There’s the IPCC, the UN’s “body of experts” proclaiming on global warming and climate change who say that the consensus of scientists says that CO2 produced by human activity is dangerously warming the earth.  The seas will rise, drought, melting glaciers, yadda yadda. Promising to halt something nonexistent may turn out to be Obama’s big success.

Here’s the “quote of the day” from Bishop Hill in Climate:

Claims such as ‘2,500 of the world’s leading scientists have reached a consensus that human activities are having a significant influence on the climate’ are disingenuous. That particular consensus judgment, as are many others in the IPCC reports, is reached by only a few dozen experts in the specific field of detection and attribution studies; other IPCC authors are experts in other fields.

Mike Hulme in a forthcoming paper about the governance of the IPCC.

Here’s more.  A cross-examination of global warming science conducted by the University of Pennsylvania’s Institute for Law and Economics has concluded that virtually every claim advanced by global warming proponents fails to stand up to scrutiny.

The cross-examination, carried out by Jason Scott Johnston, Professor and Director of the Program on Law, Environment and Economy at the University of Pennsylvania Law School, found that “on virtually every major issue in climate change science, the [reports of the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change] and other summarizing work by leading climate establishment scientists have adopted various rhetorical strategies that seem to systematically conceal or minimize what appear to be fundamental scientific uncertainties or even disagreements.”

Professor Johnson, who expressed surprise that the case for global warming was so weak, systematically examined the claims made in IPCC publications and other similar work by leading climate establishment scientists and compared them with what is found in the peer-edited climate science literature. He found that the climate establishment does not follow the scientific method. Instead, it “seems overall to comprise an effort to marshal evidence in favor of a predetermined policy preference.”

Whether or not they were dubious, the Democrats had to force defeat of this amendment, or President Obama would have vetoed it as he threatened to do, which would have been humiliating, when he supposedly had control of the House and the Senate.   And the health of the economy is trumped, once again, by politics.

This is an enormous bureaucratic intrusion into our economy, a monumental mistake, and will lead to federal regulation of schools, hospitals, nursing homes, sports arenas, commercial buildings and much more, and it is plain nonsense.

CO2 is a basic building block of life, a natural plant fertilizer, and we are at present at a low point in the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere.  We could use a lot more of it, not less.  Michelle Malkin has more about the Climategate scandal, and comments from GOP Senator James Inhofe who is the most knowledgeable member of the Senate.

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