The Right Opinion

Evidence That Demands a Verdict

Dismantling the EPA's extremist views regarding CO2.

By Joe Bastardi · Jul. 16, 2013

The systematic assault on economical energy sources and the economy by the EPA was given de facto approval, if not encouragement by President Obama in his speech two weeks ago on the environment. As his words sunk in it became apparent that he seeks to isolate and demonize those who wish to confront him on this matter with facts, and by doing so, destroy opposition to a policy that his EPA has enacted based on easily disproven assumptions. Give the fact that poverty rates continue to rise in our nation under his watch and that the true workforce continues to drop, he seems dangerously out of touch with the facts. Yet he accuses others of such behavior either out of ignorance, arrogance, or both. His EPA has been ruling by decree based on ideas that ignore facts and disregard the harm they are doing to the nation.

There are three lines of evidence the EPA uses to back their environmental policies.

  1. Greenhouse Gas Trapping Hot Spot Theory.

  2. The so-called unusual rise in GAST (Globally Averaged Surface Temperatures).

  3. Assumed validity of climate models, used for policy analysis purposes. (See, for example, SOUTHEASTERN LEGAL FOUNDATION, INC., ET AL., Petitioners, v. ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION AGENCY, ET AL. Nos. 12-1268, 12-1269, 12-1272.)

One at a time, let’s show why they don’t have a leg to stand on.

Greenhouse Gas Trapping Hot Spot

There is none. In fact, temperature trends in the middle and upper troposphere are flat. For example, a look at the 200 mb level from the Hadley Center Balloon Data shows no rise at all.

The entire layer – the surface to 18km – shows no rise.

The figure bellow shows the Tropical Central Pacific Temperatures. Similarly, it shows no statistically significant slope. There is simply no evidence of EPA’s assumed Tropical Hot Spot.

Unusual rise in GAST

Their second line of evidence of a catastrophic rise in Globally Averaged Surface Temperatures (GAST) in the last 50 years due to CO2 concentrations is easily debunked when one looks at reality.

First of all, there has been a lot of fudging of data since the satellite era started – not with the objective satellite data, but the pre-satellite era where researches have adjusted temperatures down. What is most egregious is the estimation of Arctic temperatures which could not be reliably measured in a widespread fashion without the use of satellites prior to 1978. So right off the bat, there are questions about the “fox guarding the henhouse” with data manipulation. But even taking that into account, the fact is that the link between CO2 and temperatures disappeared once the cyclical warming of the oceans – a natural occurrence – was accounted for in the atmosphere. A temperature leveling and turnaround has begun (the leveling has been occurring over the last 17 years). But let’s look at this so-called “catastrophic” warming. (Amazing how mankind is now living in the most advanced age with more people supported on the planet, in large part due to the freedoms fossil fuels have supported.)

The warming linked to the earth coming out of the cold cycle of the Pacific can clearly be seen below, followed by the leveling off.

The disconnect with CO2 can be seen here:

But is the warming over the entire period as unusual as the EPA claims?

The 1930s still stick out far and away as the decade with the most current high temperature records. The following graph depicts state records by decade.

There is simply no justification for the idea that CO2 is driving a catastrophic warmup. Quite the contrary, man has never been more prosperous on a whole, or produced so much as during the current age we are living in.

Assumed validity of climate models

This is almost laughable. Anyone who works in the field every day – as we do in the private sector – knows how bad models can be. In fact, in spite of the heat wave in the Northeast and Midwest this week, the coming cool – combined with the coolness of the summer overall which was not predicted in many circles before the summer – is saving this country billions of dollars in energy and agriculture costs (a record corn crop is likely). This was not the pre-summer missive from the modeling (my company Weatherbell.com predicted a cooler summer than the previous three, saying that the Midwest could turn into the Garden of Eden agriculture-wise this year rather than a drought driven heat wave as was opined by some). But the point is that the models are a mathematical representation of a chaotic field and I can not even fathom that this could be one of their reasons. It shows the ignorance as to the nature of the climate. It also shows the willingness of those that truly don’t understand weather and climate to place trust in a model. It’s flabbergasting.

One picture destroys the whole premise. Dr. John Christy, who testified before congress on this matter, has put this graph together:

The following graph from Dr. Dr Roy Spencer is even more dramatic. While Dr. Christy shows the average, Dr. Spencer shows how the individual predictions of 19 US models are all well above actual observations. And the EPA is trying to base policy on this?

Why anyone would think they could justify EPA’s regulatory plans or suggest a carbon tax as an alternative given the facts presented above is beyond me.

The facts clearly reveal that the EPA and the president do not have a leg to stand on as their policies assault the very energy lifeline of our economy at this critical time in our nation’s history. The EPA’s decisions are based on erroneous ideas. Quite sinister is the fact that the foundational core values of this country – the encouragement of liberal free thinking, competition and tolerance – are all opposite of what the EPA and this president are doing in regards to climate change. Their policy is to shut down exposure to the facts, destroy the chance to compete in a free and vibrant market, and not tolerate any dissent.

There is more than just a cat fight among scientists involved here, and in fact I would argue that it is a side show to the main agenda despite the fact that each of the EPA’s lines of “evidence” are invalid as shown above. People are already getting hurt. Close to 150 coal plants have been shutdown, throwing people out of work and driving up costs. And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. It prompted this:

Democratic Senator Joe Manchin (WV) said Obama was waging “a war on coal … a war on jobs … a war on America.”

Given the immense problems facing our nation today – which includes the increasingly turbulent Middle East; America could be energy independent and more prosperous by exploiting the resources we have here – why are people pushing these policies? They are either frightfully out of touch with the situation, or worse, they may have an agenda that is weakening the fiber of the nation.

You see the evidence. What is your verdict?

Joe Bastardi is chief forecaster at WeatherBELL Analytics, a meteorological consulting firm.

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