Political Climate
Apr 14, 2014
Obama’s secret science - EPA Concedes: We Can’t Produce All the Data Justifying Clean Air Rules

Barbara Hollingsworth

CNSNews.com) Seven months after being subpoenaed by Congress, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy conceded that her agency does not have, and cannot produce, all of the scientific data used for decades to justify numerous rules and regulations under the Clean Air Act.

In a March 7th letter to House Science, Space and Technology Committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), McCarthy admitted that EPA cannot produce all of the original data from the 1993 Harvard Six Cities Study (HSC) and the American Cancer Society’s (ACS) 1995 Cancer Prevention Study II, which is currently housed at New York University.

Both studies concluded that fine airborne particles measuring 2.5 micrograms or less (PM2.5), 1/30th the diameter of a human hair, are killing thousands of Americans every year.

Both 2.5 and 10 microgram particulates are well below EPA current standards. But they want to lower the standards, cost the US taxpayers $90B using secret, flawed science

These epidemiological studies are cited by EPA as the scientific foundation for clean air regulations that restrict particulate emissions from vehicles, power plants and factories.

The agency has recently come under fire for exposing volunteers to concentrated levels of particulate matter without informing them of the risks, a practice Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.), chairman of the House Science Subcommittee on Investigations and Oversight, called “despicable.”

The full committee, which issued its first subpoena in 21 years last August after being stonewalled by the EPA for two years, wanted the raw data from the studies so that their results could be replicated by independent researchers. (See EPA subpoena.pdf)

However, despite “multiple interactions with the third party owners of the research data in an effort to obtain that data,” McCathy wrote, some of the data subpoenaed by the committee “are not (and were not) in the possession, custody or control of the EPA, nor are they within the authority to obtain data that the agency identified.”

“EPA has not withheld any data in our possession that is responsive to the subpoena,” McCarthy stated. “The EPA acknowledges, however, that the data provided are not sufficient in themselves to replicate the analyses in the epidemiological studies, nor would they allow for the one to one mapping of each pollutant and ecological variable to each subject.” (See EPA letter to Smith March 7 2014 (1).pdf)

CNSNews.com asked EPA whether the agency had turned over any data from the Harvard Six Cities and American Cancer Society studies in response to the subpoena.

“EPA provided to the Committee all the data that was in the possession of the agency or within the agency’s authority to obtain under the Shelby Amendment,” which requires that results of federally-funded studies be made available to the public, an agency spokeswoman responded. “As such, the agency has now in good faith obtained and provided to the Committee all the requested research data subject to the Shelby Amendment and covered by the subpoena.”

A committee staff member confirmed to CNSNews.com that “EPA gave us what they have of both studies, which is a significant amount of data, but not sufficient” to allow independent reproduction or verification of results.

“We’re at a point where EPA has conceded that they don’t have in their possession the data necessary to fully comply, and in some cases, never did possess the data,” he added.

The subpoena was issued as the EPA moves to finalize strict new regulations that could place 90 percent of the U.S. population in non-attainment areas and impose an additional $90 billion annual burden on the U.S. economy.

However, two newer studies cast doubts on the original research.

Stanley Young and Jessie Xia of the National Institute of Statistical Sciences published a paper last year questioning the EPA’s reliance on the Harvard and Cancer Society studies, both of which found that breathing fine particulate matter (PM2.5) resulted in increased mortality.

“There is no significant association of PM2.5 with longevity in the west of the United States,” Young and Xia noted, adding that “our findings call into question the claim made by the original researchers.” (See young080113.pdf)

Another recent study by Johns Hopkins-trained biostatistician Steve Milloy that attempted to duplicate EPA’s findings also found “no correlation between changes in ambient PM2.5 mortality” and any cause of death in California between 2007 and 2010.

“Virtually every regulation proposed by the Obama administration has been justified by nontransparent data and unverifiable claims,” committee chairman Lamar Smith (R-Texas) said in February, denouncing what he called EPA’s “secret science.”

“The American people foot the bill for EPA’s costly regulations, and they have a right to see the underlying science. Costly environmental regulations should be based on publicly available data so that independent scientists can verify the EPA’s claims.”

Smith and Rep. David Schweikert (R-Ariz.) have introduced the Secret Science Reform Act of 2014, which would prohibit EPA from “proposing, finalizing or disseminating regulations based upon scientific information that is not publically available in a manner sufficient for independent scientific analysis.”

HR 4012, which would amend the Environmental Research, Development and Demonstration Authorization Act of 1978, states that “the Administrator shall not propose, finalize, or disseminate a covered action unless all scientific and technical information relied on to support such covered action is (A) specifically identified; and (B) publicly available in a manner that is sufficient for independent analysis and substantial reproduction of research results.”

At a February 11th hearing before the Subcommittee on Environment, Raymond Keating, chief economist at the Small Business & Entrepreneurship Council, testified in favor of the bill. (HHRG-113-SY18-WState-RKeating-20140211.pdf)

“The U.S. has made enormous progress in cleaning the air over the last 40 years, so much so that we now are talking about reducing very small increments of pollution. Achieving those tiny reductions will no doubt be very costly as EPA itself admitted when it released its cost analysis for ozone in 2010. The question is: will they be worth it?” Keating asked.

“We won’t know that unless we have the scientific data in front of us, unless scientists from all over the country can attempt to replicate it and determine its validity. Without that, EPA is hiding the ball, and imposing costs without truly knowing what the benefits are.”

Congress is expected to consider the bill sometime this summer.

Apr 13, 2014
Years of Living Dangerously - a review of another epic fail by the Hollywood Ignorati

Lubos Motl

An expensive superstitious program on drought and CO2

By most quantitative criteria, James Cameron is the world’s most successful film director and film producer. He has earned almost $1 billion just for himself and some of his works are blockbusters - like Titanic and The Terminator; let me not include AAvatar here. He’s also a deep-sea explorer. You can have some unusual hobbies if your worth approaches a billion.

However, when it comes to issues like the climate, he is just batshit crazy. He’s much more religious about this nonsense than Osama bin Laden was religious when it came to the Allah doctrine. So he also decided to shoot a completely unoriginal, redundant, 9-part TV documentary (9 hours in total), Years of Living Dangerously.

The first episode, included in the video above, will be aired tomorrow. I have actually watched it - partly in the background because I had othher work. It is a collection of unnecessary repetitions of footnotes from An Inconvenient Truth. What seemed incredible to me was how boring the “documentary” was. I can’t understand why the creator of Titanic just can’t make a more persuasive documentary.

It’s supposed to be filled with stars so you get Harrison Ford (famous actor), Katharine Hayhoe (a Christian who is a climate alarmist in Texas), and Thomas Friedman (of the New York Times). But in this documentary, they’re dull, uninteresting, not acting well, so at the end, the documentary looks much less “celebrity-laden” than An Inconvenient Truth, for example: Al Gore was enough to beat this documentary in this respect.

Harrison and Friedman are trying to convince random people at those places to offer dramatic stories about drought. What a surprise that they get virtually nothing dramatic out of them. Deserts have been around for billions of years, sometimes they are added, sometimes they are greening (and Sahara is close to the latter; that’s why the world’s greatest desert is never discussed in similar documentaries). The life at deserts (and even semi-deserts) is, by definition, less green and less rosy. wink

These three hosts visit various boring places, especially places with some drought in the Midwest, Turkey, Syria, and so on, and they try to link the drought, unemployment, and all other evils in the world to carbon dioxide. Needless to say, there doesn’t exist any research or scientific or rational justification not even in the alarmist crackpot literature - that wt would indicate that the increase of global temperatures, let alone carbon dioxide, would imply increased drought.

Cameron seems to look at everything through the lenses of the climate change doctrine: wars, unemployment, bad weather, just everything. It’s hard to figure out how someone with such a severe brain defect could have created a movie, let alone Titanic. You may call me a string theory believer. String theory is clearly a theory of everything. But even though some string theory processes actually operate inside all the events around us, I am not thinking of string theory when I look at drought, unemployment, wars, simply because the relevant theories for the low-energy macroscopic phenomena are effective theories whose dependence on the specific features of string theory is extremely weak.

Even if you believed that carbon dioxide adds some measurable positive contribution to the global mean temperature, it’s very clear that its relationship to someone’s unemployment or conflict is much weaker than the influence of the excited string harmonics. It’s just an insanity to think about temperature unrelated phenomena in the world around us and especially social phenomena in terms of the 5th or 10th most important contribution to the variability of the global mean temperature at the centennial timescale. But this program is all about these irrational links. You listen to some stories about oil-palm companies poisoning elephants etc. and you sympathize with the elephants and start to feel that the documentary has deviated from the main theme, AGW. But you’re quickly shown that it hasn’t. The poisoned elephants are due to CO2-driven climate change, too! This guy is a complete loon.

The documentary also criticizes deforestation. Deforestation looks sad to me. But you may see that these people are inhuman Luddites when they single out palm oil as a villain. Palm oil is indeed being grown at vast areas but it’s needed almost everywhere in the products you find in the supermarkets chocolate bars, cosmetics,, and so on, and so on. Incidentally, the price of palm oil seems to be almost the same (currently around $700 per ton) as the price of coconut oil (I am buying coconut oil for prices that are at least 20 times higher!). Given the remarkably healthy character of coconut oil relatively to the palm oil (which is still an unhealthy cholesterol builder, among other things), I am amazed that the palm oil is not being replaced by coconut oil in many applications. At any rate, palm oil should be celebrated, it’s one of the things that the happy modern civilization really needs. More forest-friendly alternatives may be found but check the products you bought in the supermarket how many of them would be in trouble without some kind of a replacement.

Cameron is a climatic religious bigot and the documentary shows that he is totally incapable of learning some science or shooting a program that popularizes science. In this respect, the documentary is even worse than An Inconvenient Truth. It doesn’t even try to make the viewers learn some science or think scientifically about some of these issues. Cameron has probably never tried to do so himself. So it’s just a constant stream of brainwashing, random sad events automatically attributed to “global warming” by the filmmaker himself and by random people who clearly know about as little as he does. The idea of the scientific method formulating competing hypotheses and eliminating the inadequate ones by comparisons with the quantitative evidence is something completely unknown to Cameron.

Katharine Hayhoe offers problematic comments that science and faith are perfectly compatible. She is trying to communicate her climatic apocalyptic beliefs to the Christians and she is apparently surprised that she is failing, much like Cameron must be surprised that his “blockbuster” only has 150,000 views now, although it’s the only copy of the first episode on the Internet. I would be willing to bet that the number of viewers will be low tomorrow.

There is no way to advise Cameron to produce a more rational documentary about an issue that is intrinsically scientific. There is no way simply because making viewers (and himself) think irrationally, using the mindless witch-hunt mentality, is the very reason why he is shooting similar worthless documentaries. It is no coincidence that Katharine Hayhoe is a star in the first episode. Cameron wants religion and superstitions more generally, a mindless faith in what spiritual authorities say, to retake the topics that science has once stolen from them. He wants to convert people and make them as mindless as he is; one thing he surely doesn’t want the viewers to do is to think.

Apr 07, 2014
Alarmists Blame Conditions on Global warming

By Larry Bell

The fact that despite increased atmospheric CO2 levels they can’t explain why temperatures haven’t risen for 17 years, the latest Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report now warns that planetary peril is far worse than even their previous alarmist 2007 report predicted.

For good measure, just to be certain it got full news coverage, the new summary version aimed at the media and politicians threw in lots of scary stuff about rising and acidifying oceans, superstorms, and famines.

Not to worry though. All of this is nothing that billions of dollars more in wind and solar subsidies along with wealth transfer from rich countries for them to redistribute can’t cure, providing that we abandon the fossil fuels that enable that prosperity. Don’t you wish that everything were that simple?

Chris Field of the Carnegie Institution of Science in California, overall lead author of the report warned: “We live in an era where impacts from climate change are already wide spread and consequential.” He went on, “Changes are occurring rapidly and they are sort of building up that risk.”

Yes, “risk.” Throughout the recently-released 49 page summary, that word appears about 5 1/2 times per page. According to the report, competition over scarce water and food may even cause world peace to hang in the balance. It predicts that the highest level of risk will first hit plants, and then animals, both on land and in the acidifying oceans.

Climate change, caused by rich countries of course, will worsen problems such as poverty, sickness and violence. It will break down the benefits of a modernizing society, blocking economic growth and stifling efficient crop production.

If you imagined that flat temperatures since the time most of today’s high school students were born would indicate some problems with IPCC’s previous failed computer model-based doomsday projections, we’re certainly not offered any reason for complacency.

Unlike previous reports which attributed severe weather events only partly to man-made warming, this one also includes broader risks where disastrous consequences like deadly storm surges such as occurred with 2013’s Typhoon Haiyan, 2012s Superstorms Sandy and 2018s Cyclone Nargis might possibly be augmented by rising oceans.

Early study author Richard Toll, a University of Sussex economist asked to have his name removed from the summary due to excessive alarmist harping about risks. He said “It is pretty damn obvious that there are positive impacts of climate change, even though we are not always allowed to talk about them.”

Let’s briefly review a few reasons why he is absolutely correct.

First, no one I know disputes the fact that climate changes. And while the Arctic has recently been warming slightly (although it is cooler than 1,000 years ago), Antarctica is colder. Even the IPCC has finally had to acknowledge that observational evidence indicates Earth’s climate system is considerably less sensitive to greenhouse gases than they previously claimed.

Regarding IPCC’s future prognostications, Roy Spencer, a climate scientist at the University of Alabama in Huntsville, compared predictions of 90 climate models with observed temperatures and found that 95 percent significantly over-forecast the warming trend since 1979.

As for those super storms, of the 35 cyclones in the last 800 years that have killed more than 10,000 people, 33 occurred when carbon dioxide levels were below 350 ppm (now 400 ppm). And despite all the hype about Sandy, 2013 was actually one of the quietest hurricane seasons in recent history. It occurred at a time when the U.S. is enjoying its longest-ever eight-year period without a single hurricane of Category 3 or above making landfall.

Mass starvation and civil strife caused by carbon-fueled warming influences upon food supplies? Well, probably not. Satellites have recorded roughly 14 percent increased greening of the planet over the past 30 years in all types of ecosystems. We might assume this is at least partly due to higher concentrations of atmospheric CO2 which enable plants to grow faster and use less water. Incidentally, this benefit applies also to marine life, including corals, which evolved at CO2 levels that were two to seven times higher than now.

Have no doubt that the IPCC’s latest science fiction installment is welcomed in efforts to help sell the Obama administration’s Climate Action Plan aimed at imposing more energy regulations. The timing coincides with Secretary of State John Kerry’s recent reference to global warming as the greatest terrorist threat. On the other hand, President Obama has stated that he worries most about a nuke attack in New York.

So here’s a thought. If the U.N. has a good plan to end countless millions of years of global climate change terrorism, do you suppose they might be willing to lend a hand in addressing modern threats posed by Russia, China, Iran, North Korea and Syria as well?

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.

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