EPA Evidence on Warming Far From Conclusive

Friday, 28 Feb 2014 11:34 AM

By Larry Bell

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Perhaps some of you will find it remarkable, as I do, to hear people who are supposed to know better invoke the term “science" as a final authority to support claims which were never disputed or issues which are altogether misrepresented.
 
Recall in the first instance, for example, when President Obama declared in his January State of the Union address: “The debate is settled. Climate change is a fact.” Have you ever met anyone who will argue that climate doesn’t change?
 
And as he previously said during his first inaugural address:“Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms.” Admittedly, this is where I’m a little unclear regarding what “overwhelming judgment of science”he is referring to.
 
On one hand, is there any science suggesting that terrible impacts of fires, droughts, or powerful storms can be avoided? On the other, is there any ipso facto evidence linking the existence of such natural events with conditions that we have any control over? After all, such occurrences have been going on ever since climate first began changing many millions of years ago.
 
Very fortunately we are living at an optimum time in climate history. There has been no trend in the strength or frequency of land-falling hurricanes in the world’s five main hurricane basins during the past 50-70 years; there is no trend in the strength or frequency of tropical cyclones in the main Atlantic hurricane development corridor over the past 370 years; there is no trend since 1950 in the frequency of strong (F3-F5) U.S. tornadoes; and the 2013 Atlantic hurricane season was the first season since 1994 to end with no known major hurricanes and cyclonic activity.
 
For a big conflating science-claiming clincher, the one where we're supposed to conclude that since science proves that climate changes (which we knew), and that preparedness for climate (and weather) change is prudent (which it is), that this ipso facto means the following: A) We are the cause of climate change; B) Climate changes only in one direction (warmer); C) This represents a crisis (that scientists agree about); and D) Those people making the claim have urgent scientifically based solutions we must follow (to reduce atmospheric CO2 emissions at all cost).
 
On the other hand, let's take a closer look at those representations:
 
1. While it's impossible to argue that we have absolutely no influence on climate change, no evidence exists regarding how much, whether that influence results in warming or cooling, or whether it has any real consequences.
 
2. Although there is evidence that climate has been warming in fits and starts ever since the Little Ice Age ended around 1850, it was warmer about 1,000 years ago before the Industrial Revolution brought smokestacks and SUVs on the scene. Also, global mean temperatures have been flat now despite ballyhooed record CO2 levels since the time most of today's high school students were born.
 
3. There is absolutely no “scientific consensus” whatsoever that any influence humans CO2 emissions or any other activities have on climate is even known, much less dangerous. No credible scientific survey exists.
 
4. Those who claim that we should follow their advice to solve an unsubstantiated crisis applying draconian methods should be subject to scientific suspicion and stringent scrutiny. After all, aren't all responsible scientists supposed to be skeptical and accountable?
 
In his last State of the Union address, President Obama referred to “carbon pollution” three times, commiting to “set new standards on the amount of carbon pollution our power plants are allowed to dump into the air.”
 
But didn’t we already know that after his trusty EPA now mandates a 1,100-pound limit per megawatt hour on carbon emissions from new coal power plants despite the fact that there no viable commercial-scale technology presently exists to achieve that ideological pipe dream. Even if it actually mattered, the most modern coal-fired plants can only reduce CO2 emissions to 1,800 pounds.
 
There should be little reason for surprise here considering presidential candidate Barack Obama’s promise in 2008 while pushing a CO2 cap-and-trade priority: “Under my plan of a cap-and-trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket. Coal-powered plants, you know, natural gas, you name it, whatever the plants were, whatever the industry was, they would have to retrofit their operations. That will cost money. They will pass that money on to consumers.”
 
There’s very good reason to be skeptical that any of this was ever about science. That old flea-bitten dog waggery just won’t hunt.
 
Larry Bell is a professor and endowed professor at the University of Houston, where he directs the Sasakawa International Center for Space Architecture and heads the graduate program in space architecture. He is author of “Climate of Corruption: Politics and Power Behind the Global Warming Hoax,” and his professional aerospace work has been featured on the History Channel and the Discovery Channel-Canada. Read more of his reports — Click Here Now.
 
 

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